AKC Hound Group
The royal dog of Egypt, the Saluki might be as old as the oldest-known civilization. His body might have been mummified like the bodies of the Pharaohs themselves, and Saluki-like dog depictions appear in ancient Egyptian tombs dating from 2100 BC. This breed is thought of by the Muslims as a sacred gift from Allah, so these dogs were never sold but only offered as gifts of friendship or homage. The Saluki is a brilliant desert sight hunter, capable of incredible speed and agility over rough terrain. The Saluki was used to course gazelle, the fastest of the antelopes, as well as fox, jackal, and hare. In the West, this breed is primarily an elegant companion, pet, and show dog, although he has also been successful as a coursing dog.
The Saluki has a slim, graceful, Greyhound-like body with long, silky feathering on the ears and tail. (There is also a less common smooth variety with no feathering. The smooth’s coat is generally a bit coarser than the feathered variety’s silky coat). The head is long and narrow. Ears are pendant. The long curved tail is set low. The neck is long and flexible and the chest is fairly narrow but deep. The abdomen is tucked up. A dog of elegant lines. The feet are thickly haired between the long toes for protection from rough terrain. The coat is smooth, soft, and silky, and comes in many colors: white, cream, fawn, gold, red, grizzle (“wolf-like” pattern), black and tan, tricolor, and white with spots of any of these colors. They are odor free.
- Height: 23 to 28 in.
- Size: Medium
- Weight: 35 to 65 lbs.
- Availability: Might take some effort to find
- Talents: Hunting by sight, watchdog, racing, and lure coursing
The Saluki’s instinct is to chase and kill fleeing mammals. As a result, many pets, such as rabbits, are not recommended for Saluki owners. Can be good with family cats, especially indoors, if raised with them. The Saluki loves to run. Many are lost or killed because doors or gates accidentally left open. A Saluki can never be off lead except in an isolated, scouted area. Needs lots of exercise, but in spurts. Runs faster than humans. Easily distracted and somewhat skittish, especially when confronted with another dog. Too slim for kids’ roughhousing. Warm temperatures are most comfortable; very hot or cold weather can be uncomfortable.
Gentle, affectionate, but not demonstrative. Sensitive and friendly, but somewhat aloof, even with his family. Good with gentle older children. Fairly submissive to dominant people and dogs. Very independent—does best with another Saluki as a companion. A pleasant and serene companion and a good watchdog, though not aggressive. Graceful and elegant. A natural athlete.
- Children: Best with older, considerate children
- Friendliness: Reserved with strangers
- Trainability: Somewhat difficult to train
- Independence: Very independent
- Dominance: Low
- Other Pets: Generally good with other dogs; do not trust with non-canine pets
- Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
- Noise: Average barker
- Indoors: Relatively inactive indoors
- Owner: Not recommended for novice owners
- Grooming: A little grooming needed
- Trimming and Stripping: No trimming or stripping needed
- Coat: Feathered or smooth coat
- Shedding: Average shedder
- Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise needed
- Jogging: A good jogging companion
- Apartments: Not recommended for apartments
- Outdoor Space: Best with acreage
- Climate: Prefers warm climates
- Longevity: Average (10 to 12 years)