Meet The Breed: Ancient Saluki Dog

The Saluki is a one-family dog devoted to his family members. This is a quiet dog who thrives on companionship. Read on to discover more about Saluki's history, personality, and grooming needs.

Saluki has an appearance of a gentle and sensitive dog, while underneath that appearance holds strong independence.

This is one of the world’s oldest breeds, who spend their first days hunting for kings.

They are agile sprinters who enjoy nothing like a good chase.

They are slim and leggy, but perfectly balanced, like a strong athlete. Males are between 23 and 28 inches at the shoulder, while females are significantly shorter.

They do come in many patterns and colors. The most distinctive part of their face is large and oval-shaped eyes. This is a highly adaptable dog, who can adapt to work and live in any climate.

Getting a Saluki is a wonderful experience because they’re magnificent animals. However, owning them does comes with some challenges.

Quick Facts

Real name: Saluki
Origin: Fertile Crescent
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 40-65 pounds
Height: 23-28 inches (male), considerably smaller (female)
Lifespan: 10 – 17 years
Litter Size: 4 – 8 puppies
Color: White, cream, fawn, red, grizzle/tan, black/tan, and tri-color (white, black and tan)
Coat: Smooth and feathered

Saluki History

As a dog breed, Saluki is among the oldest dog breeds. Dog fanciers and experts claim that Saluki is so ancient that it goes as far back as 7000 b.c.

Saluki is a sighthound, and as such this dog was among the king’s favorites. Moreover, this breed was a favorite of Egyptian pharaohs, and even Alexander the Great, and many other famous names throughout history.

The name Saluki may come from the ancient civilization of Seleucia.

This breed was used by Arab nomads to track foxes and gazelles in the desert, often teamed with falcons.

The Muslim religion has a strong belief in dogs being unclean animals, but an exception was made for the Saluki only.

Dog handlers even referred to the breed as ‘el hor’ meaning ‘the noble one.’ This gentle and fast dog was allowed to sleep in tents and share meals with humans.

They were not allowed to breed with non-Salukis. The Western world become familiar with the breed around 1900 and was recognized by the AKC in 1928.

Due to many reasons, their numbers have decreased in the land of their origin, but The Arabian Saluki Center in Dubai is working to protect the Saluki in its native lands.

Today, this breed is mostly busy being a companion dog.

Saluki Physical Appearance

The Suluki has an impression of grace and symmetry. One look at this dog is enough to realize that this is a powerful and fast dog, packed with strength and endurance.

After all, this dog was used to chase and kill gazelle and thrive on the rocky and mountain-like area. The head is long and narrow, while the skull is wide between the ears.

Ears are long and covered with long and silky hair hanging close to the skull. Their eyes are dark and hazel. The neck is long and well-muscled, while the chest are deep and narrow.

Forelegs are straight and long. The coat is smooth and silky, with slight feathers on the legs, while hindquarters are strong and low to the ground.

Saluki Personality

This is a one-family dog.

If you are serious about getting a dog, and getting the Saluki in fact, you can expect to get a beautiful and strong dog who tend to be aloof, and shy with strangers.

Although this is a devoted dog, you will never see Saluki jumping directly on your lap. This is a quiet dog at home, who is extremely gentle with children, and great with other dogs.

They are ok watchdogs, but terrible at protection.

They are runners, and they need time and space to run, and run hard, every day. That being said, bear in mind that exercise is important for this dog.

They are moderately obedient as long as you work as a team. They love to run and lounge, but prefer to chase.

So, if you have a backyard, make sure that it’s well-fenced, and on walks always keep your Saluki on a leash. They may seem gentle, but they are strong hunters at heart.

Living With Suluki

Salukis love comfort and spending indoor time with their humans. They love warm areas, and having a pillow of their own. In fact, they are happy lounging for hours. Still, you need to provide enough exercise and outdoor time.

This breed is extremely thin, and they are usually picky eaters. You will probably have strangers accusing you that your dog is too thin, so be ready for that.

Learn how much you should feed your dog and talk to your veterinarian about the best food option for your Saluki.

Bear in mind that dogs with very long ears should wear an ear stocking (snood) when eating to keep the ears out of the food.

This is why you should always think carefully when choosing the best food bowl for your Fido.

Suluki Grooming

Saluki can have two types of coat: smooth and feathered.

Don’t let that scare you, because both types are extremely easy to maintain, as long as you provide weekly brushing.

Make sure that you have the right grooming tools on hand to have as smooth a brushing experience as possible.

Think of brushing more as a bonding experience, than a duty. This is a great way to connect with your dog who thrives on connection and physical bond.

Check ears regularly and learn how to clean them. Have a regular gums check and provide food that promotes strong and healthy teeth.

Check the skin for any sign of infection and fleas during the brushing sessions.

This breed is known for not having a ‘doggy’ odor, which makes them perfect apartment animals.

As such, they do not need frequent bathing, or bathing at all – dogs don’t have the same pH skin value as humans do.

Simply said, the less you bathe them it’s better for their skin. In fact, with Saluki bathing should be an option only when and if they get dirty or before a dog show.

Suluki Health

Salukis are free from serious genetic diseases. If you are dealing with responsible breeders, you can rest assured that getting a healthy dog.

A responsible breeder will alwasy present you medical documentation on the dog, show you facilities, and even introduce you to your puppy’s parents.

Some Salukis may develop heart conditions such as valve disease or arrhythmia. Some may develop certain cancers such as:

  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Mammary cancers
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Various blood conditions

In bigger dogs, bloat is a frequent occurrence, and you should be careful not to let your Saluki run after a meal because it can lead to bloat, a life-threatening conditions.

Just make sure that you balance activities and meals well. If you need more help in this area talk to your veterinarian.

Frequent Health Tests for Suluki:

  • Cardiac Exam
  • Thyroid Evaluation

Once you get a dog you are directly responsible for his health and protecting him from one of the most vicious modern diseases – obesity.

The rise of obese dogs in the States is something that dog owners should take as a serious fact, and do their best to keep the dog’s weight optimal and avoid feeding Fido with heavy table scraps and other human foods that may be dangerous for your dog.

Provide high-quality food, but make sure that you keep it optimal and provide regular exercise to keep your Suluki fit.

10 Facts About the Saluki

The Saluki is often described as an ancient dog with strength, grace, and beauty.

Here is more info on Suluki that you might find interesting:

  • This is one of the oldest known dog breeds
  • They are often named as the royal dog of Egypt
  • In Arab communities, they are still called ‘el hor’, which means the noble
  • As a sighthound, Suluki relies on their eyesight rather than their noses
  • They may look gentle and sensitive, but they are highly strong and possess enormous stamina
  • They need to run at least once or twice a week
  • Their coat comes in two varieties: smooth or feathered
  • Based on standards, Suzuki’s eyes should always be dark-to-hazel
  • They are extremely curious
  • Their name stands for good qualities

The Bottom Line

Just like with any other dog breed, you will have to be extremely patient with your Suluki until puppyhood ends.

As a general rule, the puppy stage is quite destructive and it takes an experienced dog owner to get through this phase calmly.

They are fast even as puppies, so you will have to be careful where your Suluki puppy goes – check if your company offers a pawternity leave.

Is Suluki your perfect dog? Well, if you want a tall dog, who has soft easy-care, is polite with people, and doesn’t bark much then a Saluki may be right for you.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with providing an extremely safe area where Saluki can gallop, who is emotionally sensitive, and shy then a Saluki may not be right for you.