Saluki (or Gazelle Hound) Guide

Hound Dog Breeds

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The Saluki has a general greyhound-like build and should combine grace, symmetry, great speed and endurance. Likwise, it should have the strength to enable it to kill gazelle or other quarry over deep sand or rocky mountains. Its expression should be dignified and gentle, with deep, faithful, far-seeing eyes. Its movement is light. The coat is smooth and silky; the feathered variety has long hair on its ears, tail, between its toes and sometimes on the backs of its legs; the smooth variety has no long feathering. This breed has a wide range of equally acceptable types, reflecting the wide area over which it was developed.

The Saluki tends to be aloof and reserved with strangers. It is extremely devoted to its own family, but it is not particularly demonstrative. The Saluki is very gentle with children, but it may not be playful enough to satisfy most of them. Extremely sensitive, it does not take to rough-and-tumble play or deal well with harsh corrections. Some Salukis can be shy. This breed is very quiet and sedate indoors, seeking out a soft, warm spot. Outside, it runs in great circles at tremendous speeds and will chase any small running animals or fast-moving objects. It may not come when called.


FAMILY sighthound, Southern (sighthound)


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

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Daily exercise is essential, preferably in the form of free running in a safe, enclosed area. The Saluki's needs can also be met with long leash walks or jogging. Salukis should sleep inside in all but the warmest climates; they do best as indoor dogs with access to a yard. They can play in snow and cold weather but should not be expected to spend extended time in the cold. The Saluki must have a soft bed, or it could develop callouses. A Saluki in proper weight is naturally thin; however, this breed tends to be a picky eater, which can result in a very thin-looking dog. Many people not familiar with the Saluki wrongly assume that the dog is not being fed properly! The smooth coat needs only occasional brushing to remove dead hair, but the feathered coat needs combing once or twice a week to prevent matting.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: none
• Occasionally seen: cardiomyopathy
• Suggested tests: none
• Life span: 12 – 14 years
• Note: sensitive to anesthesia
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The Saluki is perhaps the most ancient breed of domestic dog. Evidence of the Saluki can be found on Egyptian tombs dating several thousand years before Christ. The name Saluki may come from the ancient civilization of Seleucia. Arab nomads used Salukis to run down gazelles, foxes and hares in the desert, often with the aid of falcons. Although the Muslim religion considered the dog to be unclean, an exception was made for the Saluki, which was referred to as el hor, the "noble one." As the provider of meat, the Saluki was allowed to sleep in the tents and enjoy the tender attention of its Bedouin master. Salukis were not allowed to breed with non-Salukis, which accounts for their purity throughout the centuries. Because Salukis ranged with their nomadic owners over a wide area of the Middle East, they became widely distributed with great local variation, resulting in the breed's variability today. The Saluki came to the attention of the Western world around 1900 and was recognized by the AKC in 1928. Their numbers have decreased in their lands of origin as a result of the advent of hunting with guns from jeeps. The primary role of the Saluki today is as an exotic companion and show dog, although many of these dogs are still used for hare coursing. The Saluki is also called the Persian greyhound, gazelle hound or tazi.
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