Saluki - General Features, Temperament, Health problems

FCI # 269, Origin: Middle East, Group 10.1 Long-haired or fringed Sighthounds.

Height: 23-28 in, Weight: 29-66 pounds

Grooming: Low, Shedding: Medium, Coat: short and smooth with feathering on the ears and tail.

Color: white, fawn, grizzle and tan, black and tan, tricolor.

Ease of training: High, Energy level: High, Span of life: 10-12 years.

Breed: Saluki is a dog of Egyptian rulers, probably the oldest breed of domesticated dogs. Some historians identify Saluki as "a special breed and type, known from 329 BC. when Alexander Macedonian conquered India."

This breed is considered on an equal age with the earliest of known civilizations. This assertion is based on the fact that hunting dogs, which can be seen at the ancient carvings, look much more like the Saluki, than like any other breed: they have a body of a Greyhound with feathering on the ears, on the tail and limbs. Exactly the same dog is depicted on Egyptian tombs from 2100 BC. And the recent excavations of even more ancient Sumerian empire, which belongs to the 7000 - 6000 years BC., discovered the carvings of dogs strikingly similar to the Saluki.

Saluki was the only dog ??????which was allowed to sleep on the carpet in the tents of Sheikhs. These dogs were so highly valued, that after death their bodies were often embalmed as the bodies of the Pharaohs. Therefore, in the ancient tombs of the Upper Nile there have been found remains of numerous dogs.

Because of the desert nomadic lifestyle, the entire region was a home for Saluki - from the Caspian Sea to the Sahara, including Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Persia.

Naturally, in such a vast region dogs of the same breed differed from each other - mainly by the size and coat. Therefore, the Arabian Saluki is smaller than the Persian Saluki, and has a less pronounced feathering on the legs and ears.

Three Salukis were first brought to England in 1840 - these were: female, owned by Sir Hamilton Smith, the dog, who lived in the Zoo of the Regent's Park, and the dog, which belonged to the Duke of Devonshire in Chasuort. At that time they were known as the Persian Greyhound, since all three dogs came from Persia.
However, the real interest to the breed had emerged since the Reverend Florence Amherst in 1895 brought the first Arabian Salukis from the kennel of Prince Abdullah of Trans-Jordan.

England later learned more about the Salukis from the soldiers, who visited the East during the First World War. They brought this dogs home as a war trophies or a gifts from a friendly-minded tribes.

Because of their extraordinary agility Salukis were used by Arabs mainly to drive the gazelles, the fastest of the antelopes. There is a record sayng that the pharaohs went hunting on horseback with falcons on their sleeves and Saluki on a leash. It is believed that these dogs were also used to hunt jackals, foxes and hares. Engraving, published in 1852  depicts a wild boar hunt in Algeria, with the active participation of the Saluki.

In England, these dogs are widely used for hunting a hare, and regular competitions where judges take into account the dog's ability to make quick turns in the shortest time in order to catch the hare. 

In England and at the continent there are very popular dog races on a special track with obstacles. At home, in the steppes, this dog is not having an easy life. She lives in a harsh environment where survival is the matter of health and strength, that is why she has such a strong constitution.

Saluki is beautiful like a thoroughbred horse: the same grace and harmony of forms, chiseled and elegant lines. Saluki is very attached to her master, though she does not show her tender feelings. She is a good guard dog, but not aggressive.

Salukis have been well known in England long before they appeared in the U.S. American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed only in 1927. 

General Features: Saluki is the embodiment of grace and elegance, at the same time this dog represents the type of "catcher", capable of extraordinary agility and restlessness in chasing and catching the prey.

Saluki is a dog of a relatively big size (height at the withers 60-75 cm). Proportioned. Chest is deep and moderately flat. Eyes are dark, large, oval. The head is long and narrow, skull is somewhat broad between the ears. Nose is black or brown. The ears are long, hanging close to the head, covered with long, silky hair. The tail is long, low-set, slightly curved at the end, covered with the rich feathering. Coat is short, smooth and silky. Colors: white, cream, fawn, red, black, gray, with or without markings and all shades of these colors.

Saluki is a fine companion, a good guard, gets along well with children.

Temperament: Saluki is calm and independent. This is a faithful dog with a great sense of dignity. Saluki will not love someone just because he is the master, but she will adore a person if he is a good master. Salukis are very intelligent. The problem is that the mind and obedience - are two different things, and it happens often that Saluki is guided by her own mind, not by the mind of her owner.

Salukis are also very tender. They love to take the initiative and do not like compulsion. They are not aggressive towards people. Relations of Saluki with the other dogs depend on a situation. If properly socialized Saluki will not be aggressive, but still you should not count on the absolute tolerance in this dogs - they are not a Golden Retrievers. Saluki has a certain character and in the dangerous situation can defend herself.

Despite their habit not to demonstrate their feelings too often, Saluki is a very loyal and affectionate dog. In case she have to be separated from her beloved master, Saluki will experience a very serious stress. So if you have any doubts that you can keep the Saluki - you better go for another breed.

Saluki is shedding twice a year, dropping a small amount of wool. Much smaller than the Setters, and it is absolutely insignificant compared to the Shepherds.
Salukis do not have a dogie odor, even when they are wet. This is one of the unique features of the breed. This is because the Saluki's wool is covered with much less amount of grease, than in Shepherds for example.

It is not difficult to keep Saluki in the house. It is quite enough to wash this dogs with the special sampoo and after washing - to use the balsam, produced specially for dogs. This will keep Saluki's coat in excellent condition. You can wash the Saluki less frequent, but many dog experts believe that in a dusty town bathing once a week is optimal for almost any dog ??????breed (with the exception for the breeds with abundant undercoat such as Huskies). This dog is not for the booth or outside kennel. In addition, the Saluki is one of the most comfortable breeds for the city apartment, since they are very cleanly and very quiet at home and mostly behave discreetly.

Salukis indeed are very clean and tidy. They do not drop their food onto the floor, do not play the sea battles with a bowl of water and do not make circles around the table, spilling saliva. In addition, Salukis quickly and irreversibly become accustomed to the fact that the toilet is located on the street - with rare exceptions, when due to the improper upbringing Salukis may make some mess in the house out of revenge.

Salukis need less protein intake than most of the other dogs - while the food may be quite fat, especially in the cold time of the year. These dogs do not require large portions of meat - if you start to feed the Saluki only stakes, your dog will be pleased, but sick. 

Salukis can not tolerate loneliness and it is not recommended to leave the Salukis alone for more than 4 hours. It should be noted that the presence of other dogs can make the situation much easier - two (three and beyond) Saluki will do a lot better without the owner, than just one. Saluki may get along well with the cat, but onlu if Saluki knows this cat from the puppy-hood and the cat is behaving decently. All other cats anyway will be taken by Saluki as a "game" to hunt. With rabbits, guinea pigs, parrots, and so on Saluki will get along fine if they will live in a sturdy box. Saluki is a hunting dog and you must never forget this.

Most of Saluki live in harmony with the other breeds of dogs. They are completely pack animals and feel just great around the other dogs - much better, than if left alone. The truth is that the most happy Saluki will be in the company of the other Salukis.

Saluki love children and can communicate with them for hours, but only an adult will be able to train Saluki properly. Walking Saluki is an event that requires some caution, but not time-consuming. Salukis will be happy to have two 40 minute walks a day if they will be able to run free in some well fenced area, far from the roads.

Saluki has exotic appearance and she is beautiful and smart. Salukis almost do not shed and have no smell, even if they become wet. They do not have the annoying saliva. Saluki is always considerate - this dog will never break anything in the house while wagging her tail. They are smart and sensitive, and can usually understand all their owner's moods. Salukis are always trying to communicate with you, sniffing and creaking when you're petting them, answer them a couple of words and you will have a real debate! Saluki communicates by giving you a paw - to get your attention or to ask for something. Saluki usually attracts attention of the passers by when you take her for a walk, so you better be prepared to answer many questions about this unusual breed. Some of Salukis are very musical, and sometimes "sing along" when they hear the music.

It is best to get involved in the dog racing or coursing. This will make your Saluki happy and there is nothing more beautiful than a Saluki happy with her life!

Health problems: Some Salukis are prone to cancer. Also dogs of this breed may get a sunburn.

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