Saluki Dog – The Ancient Breed That Lives

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
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.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
23 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder
35 to 70 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 14 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

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.

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