AKC Dog Breeds: Saluki

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Hound  Group
Height:18-28 inches   Weight: 35-65 pounds  
white, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle and tan tricolor (black, tan and white), black and tan

Salukis have been revered through the ages. They are renowned for their speeds, agility, endurance and extreme hunting skills. The breed has long been used to hunt in harsh desert terrain and is particularly noted for its ability to track and kill gazelle. The Saluki is a medium-sized breed with a long and regal history. This breed is considered by many to be the oldest in the world. The royal dog of Egypt, the Saluki originated in the Middle East where their bodies have been found mummified alongside Pharaohs. Their pictures have been found on Egyptian tombs that date from 2100 BC. The Arabs consider this breed to be a gift from Allah. Their place in this culture is such that Salukis are cherished, household dwellers in countries where other dogs are considered unclean and unworthy. They breed has long been dubbed "el hor," which means the noble by the Arabs.

General Appearance
The appearance of the Saluki is one of total grace and balance. They have an unusual gait when they are at top speed: all four of their legs are in the air at the same time. It has a slim, greyhound-like body with long silky feathering on the ears and tail. There is also a rarer smooth variety with no feathering. The Smooth coat is generally a bit coarser than the feathered variety's silky coat. The coat comes in black & tan, fawn, white, cream, gold and red, as well as various combinations of these. Salukis with a patch of white in the middle of the forehead are thought by Bedouin tribes to have "the kiss of Allah" and is regarded as special. The head is narrow and well-proportioned, tapering gradually toward the nose. The ears are long and hanging. It has sturdy jaws and large skinny eyes that are either light or dark brown with a sweet, dignified expression. The Saluki's neck is elegant and flexible. Its body is very elongated, with oblique muscular shoulders. The feet are thickly haired between the toes for protection from rough terrain. 

An extremely fast and agile dog, the Saluki is a very dignified and often aloof creature. He is very independent and can be manipulative, which means that he needs an assertive and confident owner with experience of dog ownership and handling. The Saluki should never be left alone in an unsecured area, as he can jump and run with amazing agility, and will soon be up, off, and away. These dogs do need to be socialized early on in order to promote confidence and an outgoing personality. They are energetic when outdoors, as their running and jumping abilities prove, but when indoors they are quiet, calm, and peaceful. This is a dog that likes his creature comforts, but also needs plenty of exercise to release all of that energy. The Saluki is not a Velcro pet that will follow you around everywhere, and tends to be reserved. However, he is still loyal and displays affection in his own quiet way to his family. The Saluki will get along well with children that are older and gentle, as he does not take to being handled roughly or pounced upon, as smaller children may be tempted to do. They are generally accepting of other dogs, but should not be trusted around smaller animals due to their high prey drive. He tends to keep himself to himself, and is usually aloof and reserved around strangers. Cautious and protective, they can make effective watchdogs. This breed can be a challenge to train, but owners should always focus on correcting him verbally due to his sensitive nature.


Salukis are loved for their virtually odor-free coats. They only require minimal grooming care. The Saluki is known for its smooth, silky coat. It tends to be one of the easier breeds to keep properly groomed for this reason. The Saluki needs a full brushing or combing in the feathery areas only about once or twice a week. The smooth-coated variety only really requires a rubdown for proper care. On the shedding scale, the Saluki tends to be very house-friendly. They shed very little.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Saluki is around 12-14 years, and there are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed. This includes thyroid problems, heart conditions, tumors, and sensitivity to drug and chemicals. The parents of the Saluki should have clearance in relation to heart conditions.

Activity Level

The Saluki requires a lot of exercise. They are natural-born runners that enjoy the thrill of the chase as much as they love a successful hunt. With top speeds of up to 40 miles per hour, the Saluki is not a breed that should be left unattended, or unleashed, in unsafe areas. At least two good, long walks (runs) a day is the minimum requirement for Saluki exercise in most cases. They tend to enjoy hunt training and agility training, as well.


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Saluki profile on dog encyclopedia
Saluki dog featured in dog encyclopedia