One of the oldest dogs for domestication, the Greyhound-like slim Saluki is named after an Arabian city of the same name (now non-existent). A relative of the Afghan Hound, it is said to have originated in the area stretching between Turkey and eastern Turkestan. It is also known as the “Persian Greyhound”, or the “Arabian Hound” or the “Gazelle Hound”. It is also said that it was Egypt’s royal dog because its mummy form would always be found next to the Pharaoh mummies, and dated as back as 2100 BCE! The Arabs used it as a sight hunter in the desert to hunt down gazelles, hares, jackals and foxes. It was also used as excellent racing dogs. Its gait is very unusual and worth watching—when running at full speed (40 mph), its legs (all four) are not on the ground! It is not used to hot weather, and gets sunburns, especially on the nose. In 1929, the American Kennel Club had recognized this breed.
With a height of 23 to 28 inches (females are about an inch or two shorter) and weight of 29 to 66 pounds (females are about 5 to 8 pounds lesser), the narrow and long head of the Saluki tapers towards the nose with a slight stop. It has liver or black nose, and dark-to-hazel eyes that are large and oval. With a narrow and deep chest, it has a long neck. Hanging close to its head, the ears are mobile. Clean the ears daily and check for infections. It has straight legs and thickly haired feet. The feathered tail is long but carried quite low. The ears and tail have silky long featherings on short coat. The coarse, smooth and rare coat has no feathering on ears and tail. The colors of the coat are fawn, red, cream, white, golden, black and tan tricolor, white and black and tan, and grizzle and tan. An average shedder and free of dog odor, the coat needs to be combed and brushed occasionally.
Extremely devoted, even-tempered, great endurance, aloof, loyal, friendly, sensitive, distracted easily, gentle and quite submissive, the Saluki and your harsh discipline would create worst result! But if you have the status of a pack leader (consistent, firm, stern and authoritative but not behave harshly at any point of time) and train it in socialization and obedience from the puppy stage, it would be an excellent pet. Do not rule out the fact that it is dangerous around your non-canine pets because of its strong hunting instincts. It must be taught to enter or exit any doorway after you. Certain dos and don’ts should be set for the dog to follow. It dislikes children who get thrills by roughhousing it! You need to teach your children how to deal with such a breed if they do not want to end up hurt. If it feels you are timid and submissive, it would tend to be very possessive, overprotective, dominating and aggressive. Physical and mental exercises are required on a daily basis; so are brisk walks or runs. Best exercise for it would be to make it trot when you cycle. You need to keep it on leash, and make it heel behind or beside you (never ahead of you). Never keep it off leash in unprotected areas. If you fail to maintain its exercise and walking routine, it would be nervous, high strung and restless. You can put it off leash in a safe and protected area, and inside your house. Leaving it alone would show behavioral problems like snapping, separation anxiety, and guarding. Where food is concerned, give it dog food as small meals thrice a day. Other than the meals, do not try to overfeed it. Also, do not give it one large meal a day.
With a lifespan of about 10 to 12 years, the Saluki is prone to cancer and eye diseases that are genetic.