Lithe and leggy, Salukis are the supermodels of the canine world. Their looks are legendary: this ancient breed can be traced back to the pyramids. Archaeologists have even found these dogs entombed with Egyptian royalty!
But this dog is more than just a pretty face and a gorgeous body. She's built for speed and long distances. The Saluki runs in a “double-suspension gallop,” where “all four feet are off the ground” at once. They also have larger hearts than most breeds, which helps them to cover long distances without tiring.
Originally from the Middle East, this medium-sized breed can grow to between 40-65 pounds and lives an average of 10-17 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Coursing
Origin: Middle East
Breed Group: Hound
Average Lifespan: 10-17 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
AKC RANKING 110
FAMILY sighthound, Southern (sighthound)
AREA OF ORIGIN Middle East
DATE OF ORIGIN ancient times
ORIGINAL FUNCTION coursing hare and gazelles
TODAY'S FUNCTION lure coursing, open-field coursing
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 23-28 Weight: 35-65
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 23-28 Weight: 35-65
OTHER NAME gazelle hound, Persian greyhound
Energy level Low energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Moderately affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Shy
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Low tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A SALUKI'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Salukis are gentle, dignified, and loyal. They'll do best if supervised while playing with children and other dogs. These elegant dogs are loving but not effusive; if you're looking for a cuddle-puppy, this is not the breed for you.
WHAT IS SALUKI BEHAVIOR LIKE?
She might look like she lives to sashay down the runway, but this athletic breed is no fainting, fragile beauty. The Saluki is a strong, swift, agile dog, built to run long and hard over difficult terrain. These graceful hounds need lots of space to stretch their legs; their prey drive and sighthound nature means that running should happen within a safely fenced area.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A SALUKI?
As a breed, Salukis are dogs that know their own minds. You'll need to be patient and consistent with this hound. She'll appreciate the physical activity and mental stimulation provided by training.
Many Salukis compete in lure coursing and show rings. Their acute hunting instincts make Salukis an outstanding hunting breed, but a poor candidate for off-leash play.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO SALUKIS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Whether feathered-coated or smooth, Salukis don't usually shed much compared to other dogs. Smooth Salukis require brushing and bathing only occasionally. Salukis with feathering on their ears and legs will require more frequent grooming to prevent mats and tangles and keep those locks clean.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO SALUKIS HAVE?
As a breed, Salukis are generally healthy. Some are prone to eye disease or hip dysplasia while others have demonstrated hypothyroidism, cardiomyopathy, and hemangiosarcoma. They may also react poorly to barbituate anesthesia, so be sure to ask your vet about this if your Saluki has surgery.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE SALUKIS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Salukis among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS A SALUKI'S BEST DAY?
Get her out to an enclosed field far away from traffic and just let her run. Your Saluki will chase down every furry creature she can see, stretch those legs and then gratefully return home for a nap on her bed (or the couch, if she can get away with it).
SHOULD I ADOPT A SALUKI?
Unsurprisingly, this desert dog does well in warm climates but doesn't much care for the cold. For a fancy-looking breed, the Saluki doesn't require much grooming, but as with any athletic dog, you must be committed to making sure your Saluki gets enough daily exercise. Let her stretch those legs for days, and this canine Linda Evangelista will gladly follow you down the catwalk of life.
Have you decided that a Saluki is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.