Saluki - Origin, Characteristics and Behavior

Saluki: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Saluki is a graceful and elegant greyhound, originating from the Middle East where it...

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The Saluki is a graceful and elegant sighthound, originally from the Middle East where it is considered a special animal that can only be given as a gift as it is a symbol of honor. Like all greyhounds, the Saluki is a hunting dog that pursues its prey on sight and captures it thanks to its hallucinating speed and powerful jaws.

This breed is classified in the first section of group 10 of the FCI classification of dog breeds. In other words, according to the FCI, and even if there is a variety of short-haired Saluki, it corresponds to sighthounds with long or fringed hair.

Do you want to adopt a Saluki but you know absolutely nothing about it? Well, don't miss this PlanetAnimal file and find out everything about the origin, temperament, education and possible he alth problems a Saluki can suffer from!

Happy reading!


  • Asia
  • Iran

FCI Nomenclature

  • Group X

Physical Characteristics

  • End
  • Proportional


  • Large


  • 55-70

Adult Weight

  • 25-45

Life expectancy

  • 12-14

Recommended physical activity

  • High


  • Very loyal
  • Quiet
  • Submitted

Ideal for

  • Apartment
  • Walking
  • The hunt
  • Sports

Recommended climate

  • Temperate

Hair type

  • Medium
  • Smooth
  • End

Origin of Saluki

The Saluki is one of the oldest known domestic greyhound breeds. It originated in the Middle East where it was used for thousands of years as a hunting greyhound. It is said to be descended from the Arabian desert wolves.Thanks to his great qualities as a hunting dog, he acquired an important place in the Arab world. According to Arabic tradition, the Saluki is not sold and is only offered as a sign of honor.

The first official European standard was the British standard of 1923. Since then, the Saluki has been part of dog shows. It is not surprising that in Western countries the Saluki is used as a companion dog and as a show dog. Its hunting qualities are still exploited in Eastern countries, but not in other parts of the world.

Physical characteristics of the Saluki

The Saluki standard does not indicate a certain weight, but these dogs weigh between 13 and 30 kilograms. Its height at the withers is between 58 and 71 centimeters and females are smaller than males.

The Saluki should give the impression of being a graceful and symmetrical dog, strong, active and resistant.It is also one of the fastest dogs in the world. This general appearance should be present in both varieties of this breed: the long-haired saluki and the short-haired one. The short-haired variety should have the same characteristics as the long-haired variety, with the obvious exception of the coat.

Although Salukis often give the impression of being longer than they are tall, the length of the body measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock should be approximately equal to the height at the withers ( height of the dog at shoulder level). That is to say, they are dogs with an almost square structure.

The extended head helps these dogs cut through the air when they run. While the skull is moderately wide between the ears, the general shape of the saluki's head is elongated. The arrest, or nasofrontal depression, is not pronounced. The nose is black or liver (brown) and the jaws are strong. The teeth close like a scissor, the inner surface of the upper incisors in contact with the outer surface of the lower incisors.The long oval eyes can vary from dark to hazel and are not prominent. The gaze should express dignity and gentleness. Saluki's ears, on the other hand, are long and set high. They are covered in long, silky hair that hangs down the sides of their heads.

The long, curved, muscular neck continues with a strong, moderately broad back. The back, slightly arched as in all greyhounds, is muscular. The hip bones are well separated from each other. The Saluki has a deep and long but moderately thin chest. Their ribs are neither flattened nor barrel-shaped.

The long tail reaches at least the hock and has abundant fur on its ventral region. It is of low insertion and almost always curved. However, adults should not carry their tails above the line of their back unless they are engaged in strenuous activities, such as when playing.

The members of the Saluki are strong and muscular, but thin.They should not look heavy. On the other hand, the feet are of moderate length but with long, arched toes. Between the toes there is abundant, bushy fur that protects the extremities during intense running.

The soft and silky coat forms fringes on the legs and at the back of the thighs. Adults may also have hair on their throats, while puppies may have woolly hair on their shoulders and thighs. Dogs of the short-haired variety do not have feathering. Although the breed standard accepts any color, it also states that brindle is not desirable.

The Saluki trot is smooth, fluid and effortless. The movements of these dogs do not denote heaviness. During the race at maximum speed, you can appreciate the moments when the Saluki has all four legs in the air at the same time.

Saluki character

The Saluki is a reserved, peaceful and very loyal dog.Due to his reserved and somewhat independent nature, this dog is not ideal for families with young children, as he does not tolerate their jokes well and prefers not to be disturbed too much. However, it is a good pet for families with older children who can take on the responsibility of caring for the dog.

It is not suitable for homes with other small pets, as the saluki's hunting instinct leads it to chase and kill smaller animals. This can even be problematic with small dog breeds. However, with proper socialization and training, they can get along with small dogs and cats.

He tends to be a submissive dog towards other dogs and people, but it's still important to socialize him from a young age.

Caring for a Saluki

These dogs need a lot of exercise and are not suitable for living in apartments or small houses.Due to their need to run, it is good to have a very large space for them to exercise. Living in the country suits them better than in the city, but they should sleep inside the house and not outside.

When walking dogs of this breed, be careful not to release them in places near busy streets or avenues. As they are very fast dogs, they can run out of the park without their guardians noticing and end up getting run over or worse. For this reason, it is more advisable to release them in closed areas where they can play with other dogs and be well supervised by their guardians.

The Saluki's coat does not require much care. Regular brushing is enough to remove dead hair (he loses it regularly) and to prevent the bangs from getting tangled. The dog should only be bathed when necessary, in order to better preserve its coat.

Saluki Training

According to breed experts, the Saluki is not easy to train and will never become an obedience champion due to its hunting nature.

While it is true that this breed has not demonstrated its qualities in dog training, very good results can be obtained when clicker training and basic obedience commands are practiced. In contrast, with traditional training methods based on punishing the dog to correct bad behavior, you won't get good results with Salukis (and any other dogs for that matter).

If you have trouble training your dog, don't hesitate to bring him to a professional canine trainer.

Saluki He alth

As the hunting dogs of the desert, Salukis have undergone very intense selection. Therefore, this breed is generally very hardy.However, these dogs can be prone to eye disease and cancer like many other breeds, especially as they age.

The life expectancy of these dogs is between 10 and 12 years. Of course dogs used for hunting are more physically exhausted than those kept as pets and therefore have a slightly shorter lifespan.

Saluki Pictures

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