The Saluki is a beautiful and elegant greyhound, originating in the Middle East where it is considered a special animal that can only be offered and is a symbol of honor. Like all greyhounds, the Saluki is a hunting dog that hunts its prey through the eye, and catches them thanks to its great speed and strong jaws .
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This breed is categorized in the first section of group 10 of the FCI classification of canine breeds. This means that, according to the FCI, it corresponds to long-haired or fringed greyhounds, even when there is a variety of Saluki that is short-haired.
Want to adopt a Saluki and know nothing about this breed? So do not miss this YourCatCareguide card and discover the history, physical characteristics, temperament, care, education and health that correspond to this breed of greyhound dogs.
- Group X
- More than 80
Origin of Saluki
The Saluki, also known as the royal dog of Egypt, is one of the oldest domesticated breeds of greyhounds known. It originates in the Middle East where it has been used for thousands of years as a hunting greyhound and is said to descend from the wolves of the Sahara desert. Thanks to his great qualities as a hunter dog , he obtained an important space in the Arab world. According to Arab tradition , the Saluki is not sold and is only delivered as a gift in honor.
The first official European standard was the British of 1923. Since then, the Saluki has become part of the dog shows. As expected, in Western countries the Saluki is used as a pet dog and as a show dog. Its hunting qualities are enjoyed in Eastern countries, but not elsewhere in the world.
Physical characteristics of Saluki
The Saluki pattern does not indicate a certain weight , but the weight of these dogs is typically between 13 and 30 pounds. The height at the withers is between 58 and 71 centimeters, the females being smaller than the males.
The Saluki is a beautiful and symmetrical dog, strong, active, resistant and very fast , becoming one of the fastest dogs in the world . This appearance must appear in the two varieties of this race: the saluki of long hair and the ones of short hair. The short hair variety should have the same characteristics as the long hair variety, with the clear exception of the hair. Although the Salukis often seem to be 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 at the withers (shoulder height of the dog). This means that they are almost square-shaped dogs.
The elongated head of these dogs helps them cut the air when they are in the running. Although the skull is moderately broad between the ears, the Saluki’s head is generally elongated. The stop, or naso-frontal depression, is not pronounced. The nose is black or 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 must express dignity and gentilise. The Saluki’s ears, in turn, are long and high insertion. They are covered with long, silky hair, and hang from the sides of the head.
The long, curved and muscular neck continues with a strong and moderate broad back. The loin, slightly arched like all greyhounds, is muscular. The bones of the hip are well separated from each other. The Saluki features a deep and long, but moderately thin chest. Their ribs are neither flat nor barrel-shaped. The lower line is well retracted at the belly level, presenting thin puppies.
The long tail reaches at least the hock and shows abundantly in its ventral region. It is of low insertion and the dogs take it curved. However, adults should not carry their tail above the spine line unless they are engaging in intense activities such as play. The Saluki’s extremities are strong and muscular, but thin. They should not look heavy. In turn, the paws are of moderate length but with long and arched fingers. Between the toes lies an abundant, dense hair that protects the extremities during intense racing.
The silky smooth hair forms fringes on the paws and the back of the thighs. Adults may also have fringes in their throats, while puppies may have wool over their shoulders and thighs. Dogs of the short-haired variety do not have fringes. Although the breed standard accepts any color , it also indicates that the tiger is not desirable.
The Saluki trot is smooth, fluid and effortless. During the race, at the maximum speed they reach, we can appreciate moments when the Saluki has its four legs in the air at the same time.
The Saluki is a reserved, peaceful and very loyal dog . Because of its reserved and somewhat independent character, this dog is not ideal for families with small children, since it does not tolerate well the mischief of these and prefers that do not bother much. However, it is a good pet for families with large children who can take on responsibilities in dog care.
It is not suitable for homes where there are other small pets, since Saluki’s hunting instinct leads him to chase and kill small animals. It can even be problematic with dogs of small breeds. However, with proper socialization and proper training, you can get along with small dogs and cats.
Usually a submissive dog with other dogs and even people, but still it is important to socialize since the puppy.
Care of the Saluki
These dogs need a lot of exercise and are not fit to live in apartments or small houses. Due to their great need to run, it is good to have a very large space to exercise. Life in the country is better for them than in the city, but they must sleep indoors and not on the street.
When taking dogs of this breed, care must be taken not to drop them in places near busy streets or avenues. Because they are so fast dogs, they can leave the park without their owners realizing and getting run over or worse. Therefore, it is best to release them in enclosed areas where they can play with other dogs and be watched by the owners.
Saluki’s hair does not need great care. Just regular brushing to eliminate dead hair (lose regularly) and prevent fringes from tangling. You should bath the dog only when it is necessary, to better preserve your hair.
According to experts in the breed, the Saluki is not easy to train and will never become a champion of obedience due to its hunter nature. However, this is very much related to the styles of canine training that one uses.
Although this breed has not demonstrated its qualities in canine training, very good results can be achieved when practicing clicker training and basic obedience orders . In contrast, with traditional methods of training based on punishing the dog to correct bad behavior will never be able to train this dog nor another dog.
It is advisable to use trainer or experienced people to help you educate Saluki if you see that you can not do it yourself.
Like desert hunting dogs, the Salukis went through a very intense selection. Therefore, this breed is usually very resistant . However, these dogs may be prone to eye disease and develop cancer, just like many other breeds, especially as they get older.
The average life expectancy for these dogs is between 10 and 12 years. Consequently, the dogs that are used to hunt have a greater physical wear than the ones that are pets and, therefore, have a life expectancy a little smaller.