Saluki Dog Breed

Saluki is a graceful and elegant greyhound, originating from the Middle East where this dog is considered a special animal that can only be given and is a symbol of honor. Like all greyhounds, the Saluki is a hunting dog that chases his prey by sight and captures them thanks to his high speed and strong jaws.

This breed is categorized in the first section of group 10 of the FCI classification of canine breeds. That is, according to the FCI, The Saluki corresponds to long-haired or fringed sighthound dogs, even when there is a variety of Saluki that is short hair.

Do you want to adopt a Saluki and know nothing about this breed? Do not miss this card of ExpertoAnimal and continue reading the history, physical characteristics, temperament, care, education, and health that correspond to this breed of sighthound dogs.

Origin of Saluki

The Saluki also known as “The Royal Dog of Egypt“, is one of the oldest and most domesticated breeds of sighthound dogs. He originated in the Middle East where he was used for thousands of years as a hunting greyhound and said to be descended from the wolves of the Ara desert. Thanks to his great qualities as a hunting dog, he achieved an important space in the Arab world. According to Arabic tradition, the Saluki is not sold and is only given as a gift in honor.

The first official European standard was the British standard of 1923. Since then, Saluki has become part of dog shows. As expected, in Western countries Saluki is used as a pet dog and as an exhibition dog. His hunting qualities are still exploited in eastern countries, but not elsewhere in the world.

Physical characteristics of the Saluki

The Saluki standard does not indicate a certain weight, but the weight of these dogs is usually between 13 and 30 kilograms. The height of the cross is in the range of 58 to 71 centimeters, being females smaller than males.

The Saluki must give the impression of being a graceful and symmetrical dog, strong, active, resistant, and very fast, becoming one of the fastest dogs in the world. This general appearance should occur both in the two varieties of this breed: the long-haired Saluki and the short-haired ones. The short hair variety should have the same characteristics as the long hair variety, with the obvious exception of fur.

Although Salukis usually give the impression of being longer than tall, the length of the body measured from the tip of the shoulder to the tip of the buttock should be approximately equal to the height of the cross (height of the dog at shoulder level). That is to say that they are dogs of almost square structure.

The elongated head helps these dogs cut the air when they are racing. While the skull is moderately wide between the ears, the overall shape of the head of the Saluki is elongated. The stop, or nasofrontal depression, is not pronounced. The nose is black or liver (brown) and the jaws are strong. The teeth close in scissors, with the inner face of the upper incisors contacting the outer face of the lower incisors. Long, oval eyes can range from dark to hazel and are not prominent.

The look should express dignity and gentleness. The ears of the Saluki, on the other hand, are long and of high implantation. They are covered with long and silky hair and hang on the sides of the head.

The long, curved, and muscular neck continues with a strong and moderately wide back. The back, slightly arched as in all greyhounds, is muscular. The hip bones are well separated from each other. Saluki has a deep, long but moderately thin chest. His ribs are not flat or barrel-shaped. The lower line is well retracted at belly level, presenting slender dogs.

Saluki Dog Colors
Saluki Dog Colors Image Credits

The long tail reaches at least to the hock and presents abundant fur in his ventral region. Saluki limbs are strong and muscular, but thin. They should not appear heavy. On the other hand, the feet are of moderate length but with long and arched toes. Between the fingers is an abundant and bushy coat that protects the extremities during intense running.

The soft and silky fur forms fringes on the legs and back of the thighs. Adults may also have fringes on the throat, while puppies may have woolly hair on the shoulders and thighs. Dogs of the short-haired variety do not have fringes.

The trot of the Saluki is smooth, fluid, and effortless. The movements of these dogs do not denote heaviness. During the full speed race, you can appreciate the moments when Saluki has his four legs in the air at the same time.

Saluki Character

The Saluki is a dog of reserved character, peaceful, and very loyal. Due to his reserved and somewhat independent character, this dog is not ideal for families with small children, as he does not tolerate well the antics of these and I prefer not to be bothered much. However, this dog breed is a good pet for families with large children who can assume responsibilities in the care of the dog.

He is not suitable for houses in which there are other small pets, since the hunting instinct of the Saluki leads him to chase and kill small animals. He can even be problematic with small breed dogs. However, with proper socialization and proper training, you can get along with small dogs and cats.

This breed tends to be a submissive dog towards other dogs and people, but it is still important to socialize him as a puppy.

Saluki Care

These dogs need a lot of exercise and are not fit to live in apartments or small houses. Due to their urgent need to run, it is good to have a very large space for them to exercise. Life in the country suits them better than in the city, but they must sleep indoors and not outdoors.

When dogs of this breed are taken for walks, care should be taken not to release them in places near busy streets or avenues. Since they are such fast dogs, they can leave the park without their owners noticing, and end up run over or worse. Therefore, it is more advisable to release them in closed areas where they can play with other dogs and be well guarded by the owners.

The coat of the Saluki does not require great care. Just regular brushing to remove dead hair (lose hair regularly) and prevent fringes from tangling. This dog should be bathed only when necessary, to better preserve his coat.

Saluki Education

According to breed experts, saluki is not easy to train and will never become a champion of obedience because of his hunting nature. However, this has a lot to do with canine training styles.

While it is true that this breed has not demonstrated its qualities in dog training, very good results can be achieved when practicing clicker training and basic orders of obedience. On the other hand, traditional training methods based on punishing the dog to correct a bad behavior will never succeed in properly training this or any other dog.

It is advisable to go to trainers or experienced people to help us educate the Saluki if we see that we do not manage to do it ourselves.

Saluki health

As desert hunting dogs, the Salukis have been through a very intense selection. That’s why this breed is usually very resistant. However, these dogs can be prone to eye diseases and develop cancer, like many other breeds, especially when they get old.

Life expectancy for these dogs is between 10 and 12 years. Of course, dogs that are employed to hunt have a higher physical wear than those that are pets and therefore have a slightly lower life expectancy.

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