Did you know?
According to the May 21, 2004 issue of Science Magazine, the Saluki’s antiquity has been confirmed through DNA analysis. Testing has identified it as one of the earliest breeds to evolve from wolves.
The Saluki… is a marvel of elegance. – Vita Sackville-West
The Saluki is one of the most ancient breeds of dog, and has remained virtually unchanged for nearly 7,000 years. Originating in Mesopotamia, he has also been called the Persian Greyhound or Persian Gazellehound.
Bred by the nomadic Bedouin tribes, the Saluki uses his incredible eyesight to locate prey, chase it down, and hold it for the hunter without killing it. He hunts in a pack for hare, fox, wild ass, and gazelle.
The Saluki has great speed and stamina enabling him to survive in the harsh desert environment. Lithe, athletic, and graceful, the Saluki was highly prized by Bedouin tribesmen. In Arabic, he is called “El Hor” or “The Noble One”. He has also been called the Royal Dog of Egypt, and his remains have been found buried with pharaohs.
Males stand between 23 and 28 inches at the shoulder. They have smooth, silky, short-haired coats that may be black and tan, tri-coloured, or white, cream, fawn, golden, red, tan, or grizzle, with or without white markings. There are two varieties of the breed. The feathered variety has long hair on the ears, thighs, and tail. The smooth variety has no feathering. Though large, the Saluki is a modest eater.
Photos displayed courtesy of Shelley Work, Faridaat Salukis, British Columbia
Intelligent, independent, and aloof with strangers, the Saluki is nevertheless a loyal and devoted family dog and will not be happy if he is excluded from this group. As befits a regal, aristocratic dog, the Saluki enjoys the finer things in life and takes well to pampered domestication. The soft, gentle eyes of the Saluki are far seeing. In fact, a Saluki can see clearly for at least a mile! Since these dogs were bred to chase down small animals, cats and other household pets may trigger their hunting instincts.
Early training and socialization are important so they do not develop into excessively shy or cautious animals. Salukis are proud animals but sensitive too. Harsh training methods are not appropriate. In fact, training will likely require extra patience on the part of the owner. Salukis consider themselves above the need to perform silly tricks for your enjoyment!
Bred for high-speed hunting, Salukis have bursts of speed of up to 40 mph. They require a lot of exercise to build their strength and stamina. A high fence around a good-sized yard is necessary so they can enjoy an unrestricted run.