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Saluki Dog Breed: All The Info You Need

Saluki Dog Breed: All The Info You Need

The Saluki is a unique and ancient breed that is not only gorgeous but also a great hunter and a devoted friend. Although they seem slender, these medium-sized dogs are speedy and athletic.

Salukis are independent thinkers who like activities that allow them to use their natural inclinations to run. They are part of the hound group and a sighthound breed (dogs that hunt largely by sight rather than smell).

Salukis are one of the quickest breeds for sprinting great distances and excellent hunters and are favored by kings, pharaohs, and nobles for chasing down swift animals like gazelles. These characteristics make them unsuitable for apartment dwellers or first-time dog owners, but if you live an active lifestyle in a warmer area and have access to a large fenced yard, a Saluki dog may be a good fit for you.

The roots of the Saluki are lost in the sands of time, yet his history is said to date back to antiquity. He is the epitome of grace and speed, befitting of the appellation The Noble given to him by his Arab breeders. The Saluki has been developed for speed, strength, and endurance, as seen by his long, narrow head and sleek yet powerful frame. He was named the Royal dog of Egypt, and his elegant smooth coat makes it clear why. 

The Saluki is a beautiful yet quiet breed that is loving without being overbearing. He’s content to demonstrate his devotion through silent company. Although hardly everyone is given the gift of a Saluki’s dedicated friendship, those fortunate few who do are grateful.

History of the Saluki

The Saluki, also known as the Persian Greyhound or Gazelle Hound, has long been regarded as one of the oldest dog breeds. This has now been confirmed by genetic data. He is believed to be related to the Afghan Hound. 

Salukis and other ancient breeds are said to be descendants of the original dogs, who traveled the world with their nomadic owners. Saluki-like dogs with a Greyhound-like body have been found in Egyptian tombs going back to 2100 B.C.E. Carvings from the Sumerian kingdom (7,000-6,000 B.C.E.) portray dogs that have uncanny similarities to the Saluki.

Egyptian Pharaohs used Salukis to hunt gazelles and hares. After death, the canines were typically honored by being mummified. Salukis were regarded as a gift from Allah by nomadic Muslims, who viewed dogs as dirty animals. They were given the epithet El Hor, which meant The Noble.

The only canines allowed to sleep inside the tents were Salukis. The breed’s name might be derived from the ancient city of Saluk in Yemen, or from the Syrian city of Seleucia. According to another interpretation, the name is a translation of the Arabic word meaning hound.

Salukis were found in Persia, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Arabia, among other places in the Middle East. The earliest reported incidence of Salukis coming in Britain was in 1840, but the breed did not become established in the United Kingdom until after World War I, when many British servicemen returned from the Middle East with them.

Saluki’s popularity grew more slowly in the United States. The Saluki Club of America was created in 1927, the same year the American Kennel Club approved the breed. Jinniyat of Grevel was the first Saluki recognized by the AKC in 1929.


Salukis draw attention wherever they go. They are graceful and elegant, yet they are also quick and energetic. They have floppy ears and a long tail. 

Salukis are medium-sized dogs that seem tall and slim, weighing 35–65 pounds and standing 23–28 inches tall (females are somewhat smaller than males). “They’re athletic, and as puppies, they might appear skinny and immature.’ This is comparable to a pre-adolescent or early adolescent human “Starr White, of Windstorm Salukis in Ontario, Canada, agrees.

The coat of a Saluki can be smooth variety or feathered variety, with the feathered version having long feathering hair on the legs and ears. The coat sheds little and is easy to keep clean with weekly brushing and baths as needed. Salukis have “hare-feet,” or hair on their paws and between their pads, which helps them run (and find traction) in thick sand, regardless of coat type.

Salukis are most commonly found in tones of cream, tan, or fawn, although they may also be found in grizzle (a pattern that seems gray from a distance), red, golden, black and tan, and even tricolor (black, tan, and white).

Personality of the Saluki

The personality of a Saluki is sometimes compared to that of a cat. They like finding a comfortable seat on the couch, sunbathing, and spending quality time alone. Salukis are devoted to their owners and have a sweet attitude, although they are unlikely to follow you about or respond to your calls every time. They want a more autonomous lifestyle, and because they can run as fast as the wind, you may not be able to let your Saluki off-leash or go for hikes in open areas.

They enjoy running free, but it must be done with caution because Salukis run for pleasure and can easily cross a road. It’s best to have a large fenced-in or protected space.

The Saluki is a reserved dog who is loyal to his family. He’s a sensitive soul who lives on alone. He has a proclivity for forming close bonds with a single individual, which might cause separation anxiety.

Salukis are guarded among strangers and might be bashful if they aren’t socialized at a young age. They should be socialized throughout their lives. They get along with other dogs in general but prefer other Salukis or, at the very least, other sighthounds. They’re sensitive dogs, so they’ll pick up on tensions in the house and get worried.

Salukis appreciate being pampered with soft bedding and access to furniture, and they enjoy being pampered with soft bedding and access to furniture. They’re just like cats when it comes to personal hygiene.

Salukis, like other dogs, benefit from early socialization, which includes exposure to a variety of people, sights, noises, and activities. Socialization is important for your Saluki puppy to develop into well-rounded loyal pets.

Are they good family dogs?

A Saluki dog does not love being kenneled for lengthy periods of time; instead, they require a comfortable home atmosphere where she can stretch out and be by your side when she is not off doing something exciting. So apartment life isn’t ideal for them.

These dogs adore cuddling and watching TV on the couch, but they may be alarmed by the activity and noise of little children. Salukis make excellent companions for families with older children or single-person households, despite their somewhat distant attitudes.

They get along with other dogs in general but prefer other Salukis or, at the very least, other sighthounds. In their own home, they won’t hunt tiny dogs or cats, but other creatures like pet birds, mice, rabbits, or hamsters may be too tempting.

While Salukis aren’t particularly sociable, they do develop deep attachments to their owners and dread being left alone for lengthy periods of time. If you have time to dedicate to a loving, elegant companion who can sprint like the wind, consider a Saluki.

Living needs and Saluki care

Even though the beauty of Salukis is undeniable, not everyone can handle living with an independent and energetic great athlete like he is. If a squirrel, cat, or radio-controlled car moves, the Saluki will instinctively pursue it. His top speed has been measured at 30 to 35 miles per hour.

Without the protection of a strong human on the other end of the leash or a completely enclosed yard, he’ll almost certainly meet his demise at the hands of a passing vehicle. A lot of people assume that Salukis living in rural areas would be less likely to get into trouble, yet they’ve been known to chase after goats, foxes, raccoon-like creatures like snakes, squirrel-like creatures like mice and deer.

Provide a Saluki with 300 to 400 feet of fenced space so he can run around. An enclosed sports field at a neighboring school or a beach that isn’t on a busy road should be within easy reach of anyone with limited space in their backyard. As long as you can keep up with the Saluki, you’ll have a great running partner. Competitors praise his speed and lure chasing skills. Some Salukis compete in obedience and tracking.

There are several ways to keep Salukis active, such as long walks or treks or even a free run. When a rabbit or deer comes near, your Saluki will be on the prowl if you don’t keep them on a leash.

These magnificent animals will have a blast playing outside with you, but they also need time to relax and recover from the stresses of everyday life. As a Saluki is rather large and heavy, it is best to keep her in a high dog bed or sofa to avoid developing sores and blisters on the more delicate parts of the skin.


The Saluki has a short, smooth, and silky hair. He is either completely smooth, or there can be a little feathering on its legs, backs of its thighs, and tail. This animal has very long ears that are covered in soft, long hair.

Salukis come in all sorts of colors, including white, cream, fawn, golden, grizzle and tan, black and tan, and multicolored varieties (white, black, and tan). The nose’s color is black or liver.

Low-shedding Salukis have no dog odor and are a clean breed. Brush the coat once a week to get rid of dead hair and spread the skin oils. Comb feathering at least once or twice a week to get rid of knots. Most of the time, your Saluki can be cleaned up with a damp cloth. Only bathe him if he’s really dirty!

Some other grooming needs are dental hygiene and nail care. Brush your Saluki’s teeth at least two or three times a week to get rid of tartar and the bacteria that comes with it. Daily is even better.

Trim his nails once or twice a month, if they need it. They’re too long if you can hear the nail clicking on the floor. A Saluki’s short nails keep the feet in good shape and will not hurt your legs when it jumps up to meet you.

When your Saluki is a puppy, start getting him used to having his hair brushed and his ears checked. He won’t have a hard time getting veterinary exams and other things done when he’s an adult because you’ll make grooming fun and rewarding.


Salukis are clever and rapid learners, but they are also independent and stubborn, making training difficult. Maintain training sessions brief, engaging, and intriguing to keep your Saluki’s attention. When a Saluki is bored, he will refuse to learn. Never use severe verbal or physical punishments. Instead, use positive reinforcement.

These dogs require space to roam, especially in a yard with a high fence, as they have a high prey drive and will wander if permitted. They are not well-suited for apartment living or being left home alone all day. They’d also do better with an experienced pet parent who can keep training tough and constant while still giving them the exercise they require.

Without early socialization and constant reinforcement via new experiences and introductions to many different people throughout his life, the calm and gentle Saluki might become timid and shy. He’s a good watchdog, but not a guard dog because he’s generally quiet although alert. In the hunt, Salukis are brave, but they are otherwise unaggressive.

The Saluki’s vision is unmatched since they can spot fast-moving small animals from great distances. Local squirrels and neighboring cats will not enter your yard unnoticed if you have a Saluki. When bringing a Saluki to a home with other pets, exercise extreme caution and patience due to their predatory drive.

It is possible to train a Saluki, but don’t expect the same level of obedience as a Golden Retriever. Salukis are independent thinkers who will happily disregard you if anything else is more intriguing than what you’re asking them to do. Never use aggressive verbal or physical reprimand. Instead, use positive reinforcement strategies such as food rewards and praise.

Nutrition of the Saluki

Your Saluki might not be a prolific eater. According to the Saluki Club of America, she’ll choose a meal high in protein and high-quality foods to keep her tummy happy. And don’t be fooled by their small stature. These dogs require large-breed-specific food.

1.75 to 2.75 cups of high-quality dog food split into two meals per day is the recommended daily quantity.

The amount of food your adult dog consumes is determined by his size, age, body type, metabolism, and degree of activity. Dogs, like people, are unique individuals that require different amounts of nutrition. A very active dog will almost certainly require more than a couch potato dog.

The quality of dog food you buy matters, too. The better the dog food, the more it will nourish your dog, and the less you’ll have to put into his bowl.

Salukis are dog supermodels who may be fussy eaters. Remember that they’re intended to appear sleek, and the trace of their ribs beneath their skin can be seen only slightly.


Salukis are competitive athletes, so they need daily exercise. They will thrive in a family that is active—a family that wants to get out and do something, even if the weather is bad.

Salukis thrive when they have plenty of opportunities for exercise, such as long walks, treks, or even runs. They like the opportunity to run and chase. If your Saluki is not leashed and a rabbit or deer passes by, they will chase a good chase.

The slim but rugged Saluki is a hunting dog, so he has to be active on a regular basis. Some Salukis may get by on a daily stroll alone, while others require more rigorous exercise. Salukis who were raised with children are used to tiring each other out.

At least 40 minutes of physical activity, walking, or jogging each day is recommended for your Saluki. Because of their strong hunting instincts, Salukis should not be left off-leash without a fence, otherwise, they may wander off in search of some unlucky prey. Salukis compete in a number of canine sports, including lure coursing, which utilizes their natural hunting instincts.

Lures coursing is a terrific activity to do with your dog if you want to have some fun. It’s the ideal pastime for these dogs that prefer to chase and hunt by sight. They race through a field course after prey, which is usually a white plastic bag. The lure is tied to a rope that is pulled by a set of hooks as the dogs follow it.

Agility is another sport that may appeal to Saluki’s need to have fun. While Salukis may not do well in obedience competitions, if you can convince them that training and competition are their ideas, they can be successful.

Health conditions of the Saluki

Salukis are healthy purebred dogs that may live a long life if given proper nourishment and medical attention. They have an average life expectancy of 12–14 years and are typically clear of significant genetic diseases. Salukis, like other sighthound breeds, can be born with cardiac problems or acquire them later in life. According to the breed organization, diseases like hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and lymphoma can develop, just as they can in any other breed. Female Salukis are also at risk for breast cancer.

Bloat, or stomach torsion, is a constant problem for any breed that is a quick runner with a broad chest, such as the Saluki. When a dog, even a healthy one, participates in excessive activity after eating, this dangerous and life-threatening problem can occur. Therefore a responsible owner should make sure their Saluki spends time resting after meals.

Regularly see the vet for heart, bone, and thyroid checks to guarantee your Saluki’s health.

Most common health problems

Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint becomes unstable as a result of both developmental and environmental factors. Dogs are prone to this bone and joint disorder. The femur does not meet the pelvic bone appropriately, causing the bones to wear out prematurely.

Later in life, your dog may develop arthritis, which can be excruciatingly painful. This ailment shows itself as a peculiar walk, shaky posture, or limping, all of which are plainly seen in your beautiful pup. To preserve your dog’s quality of life, discuss care with your veterinarian as soon as possible.


In this condition, the hormone generated by the thyroid gland is at an unusually low level. Infertility is a common symptom of this condition. Obesity, mental dullness, drooping eyes, low energy levels, and erratic heat cycles are some of the more visible symptoms.

The dog’s fur becomes harsh and brittle, falling out, and the skin becomes tough and black. Hypothyroidism is treated with daily medicine that must be given to the dog for the rest of his life. Thankfully, a dog who receives thyroid therapy on a daily basis can enjoy a full and happy life.

Umbilical Hernia

At birth, abdominal fat or internal organs protrude against the abdominal wall at the umbilicus, causing an umbilical hernia. If the hernia is minor, it may not require treatment. Some minor hernias close spontaneously by the time the puppy is six months old, and some dogs have survived their entire lives with small hernias.

Large hernias necessitate surgery, which is frequently performed when a dog is spayed or neutered. A more dangerous issue occurs when an intestine loop falls into the hernia, resulting in life-threatening “strangulation” of the intestine.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is an eye ailment that might have a negative impact on the quality of life of your dog. This usually happens later in life as a result of retinal degeneration. Retinal dysplasia is the name for the early-onset type, which is observed in puppies. This is when the retinal cells do not mature properly.

The dog becomes partially or completely blind in both cases. While the disease isn’t unpleasant, it can have a significant influence on your dog’s quality of life. Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s alternatives, as well as what to do if he becomes blind.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This is one of the most prevalent blood clotting problems in humans, and you might be surprised to learn that it can also affect your dog. Von Willebrand’s disease is caused by a lack of the von Willebrand Factor, a protein that aids in blood clotting.

In the event of even a minor cut, this can result in significant bleeding. This disease is difficult to detect because your dog may appear to be in perfect health for their whole life unless they have an injury. Other signs and symptoms may appear in some dogs. Nosebleeds, blood in the feces or urine, and easily damaged skin are examples.

If you and your dog are both careful, this ailment will not have a significant impact on your dog’s quality of life. Inquire with your veterinarian about treatment options for the condition. It’s critical to have your puppy checked for this problem as soon as possible, as certain medications, such as aspirin, might make it worse.


Lymphosarcoma is the third most frequent cancer in dogs, and it can affect the spleen, gastrointestinal system, lymph nodes, liver, and bone marrow, among other organs. Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer, but about 80% of dogs treated will go into remission.


Allergies to pollen, mold, and dust cause people to sneeze. Instead of sneezing, allergies in dogs produce itching. Atopy is a name used to describe a common skin allergy in these puppies. The feet, tummy, skin wrinkles, and ears are the most commonly affected locations. Symptoms normally emerge between the ages of one and three, and they can get worse as time goes on. Licking the paws, stroking the face, and recurring ear infections are the most prevalent allergy symptoms. The good news is that these diseases can be treated in a number of different ways.


In older canines, cataracts are a common cause of blindness. The lenses of his eyes become more opaque—in other words, hazy rather than clear. Many dogs adapt well to losing their vision and live happily ever after. Surgical removal of cataracts and restoration of vision may also be a possibility.


Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV or Bloat) is a condition that affects dogs with deep, narrow chests. This indicates that your dog is more vulnerable than other breeds. The stomach twists on itself and fills with gas when a dog bloats. The twisting cuts off the stomach’s and sometimes the spleen’s blood flow.

If left untreated, the sickness can kill your dog in as little as 30 minutes. Your dog may retch or heave (but nothing comes out), be agitated, have an enlarged abdomen, or lie in a prayer position (front feet down, rear end up). Preventive surgery, which involves tacking or suturing the stomach in place so that it does not twist, is possible.

Getting a Saluki

Expect to pay between $1,200 and $1,800 for a Saluki puppy from a breeder. Their litter size is from 4 to 8 puppies. Look for trustworthy breeders instead of buying from a puppy mill or a pet shop. Responsible breeders will make certain that the puppy’s parents are both healthy and free of hereditary disorders.

Consult your veterinarian or other Saluki owners in your area for recommendations. Breeder directories are available from the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Saluki Club of America. If you are willing to pay the extra money, you can also look up the Arabian Saluki Center.

If you choose to adopt rather than buy, you can find adoptable Salukis through animal shelters or Saluki rescue groups. Adoption costs vary depending on where you adopt from, but they are nearly always cheaper than the cost of buying a Saluki.

Never purchase a Saluki from a puppy mill, pet store, or breeder that does not give health certificates or guarantees. Look for a trustworthy breeder that screens her breeding dogs for hereditary problems that might be passed down to the offspring and breeds for good dispositions.

Salukis are frequently purchased without a thorough grasp of what it takes to own one, and these dogs frequently find up in the hands of rescue organizations, where they are available for adoption or fostering. Other Salukis are rescued after their owners divorce or pass away. 

A rescue group is a fantastic place to start if you’re interested in adopting an adult Saluki that has previously gone through the destructive puppy period and may already be trained.

Final thoughts

Salukis, one of the oldest dog breeds, were once thought to be a gift from God. They’re lightning fast, as thin as a supermodel, and profoundly loyal to their people.

Despite the fact that these dogs are purebred, some may wind up in shelters or rescues. If this is the kind of dog you want, think about adopting.

Salukis are easy to groom, hard to train, and should not be left alone. These dogs aren’t good for living in an apartment or being left alone all day. They need a lot of space to run around, especially in a yard with a high fence. They have a high prey drive and will run around if they can. And you will have to provide a lot of exercise to your dog.

Beautiful but quiet, the Saluki is affectionate but not overly showy. In order to show that he’s a good friend, he’ll spend time with you quietly. The gift of a Saluki’s devoted companionship is not given to everyone, but those who are fortunate enough to get it are grateful.

Salukis are known for their exotic looks, but not everyone can live with this spirited and independent hunter. The Saluki will chase anything that moves, even if it’s a squirrel, a cat, or a plastic bag. His speed has been clocked at 30 to 35 miles per hour, and he will chase anything that moves.

They do better when they have an experienced pet parent who can be firm and consistent with training, but also give them the exercise they need to stay healthy. Give your Saluki the love and attention they need, and you’ll have a loyal friend for life. If you don’t have that much time to spend with your pet, this isn’t the breed for you.

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My name is Katy and I am 27. I love to travel and you would be surprised how good I am at karaoke. 🙂 Passionate dog lover and a "mother" to a beautiful toy puddle named Zara. I work as a volunteer in a local shelter and I am a veterinary assistant helping our four-legged friends every day.