Breed Organization Saluki Club of America Website: http://www.salukiclub.org Native Country Middle East Other Names Saluki, Gazelle Hound, Persian Greyhound, Tanji, Persian Sighthound, Royal Dog of Egypt Life Expectancy Approximately 10-12 Years Litter Size Average 5-7 Puppies Breed Group AKC Hound
Breed Appearance Salukis are "sight" hounds, which means they hunt by sight, run the quarry down, catch it, and kill or retrieve it.
It has the typical deep-chested, long legged body of the sighthounds. Their coats come in a variety of colors, including white, cream, fawn,
red, grizzle and tan, black and tan, and tricolor (white, black and tan). The overall appearance of the Saluki is one of grace and symmetry. There are
two coat types evident in the Saluki gene pool, smooth and feathered. The feathered variety has light feathering on the back of the legs and thighs.
The fur on both varieties is silky to the touch, and is low shedding compared to other breeds.
Breed Description Head: Long, narrow, cleanly cut. Skull moderately wide, not domed. Stop not very pronounced. Black or liver nose. Ears: Set on high, long, very mobile, carried flat against the cheeks. In the fringed variety, the ears are covered with silky hair of varying length. Eyes: Large, dark to hazel. Body: Long. Long, flexible, well-muscled neck. Long, high, fairly narrow chest. Slightly arched, sufficiently long loin. Pronounced
tuck-up. Fairly broad back. Long, slightly sloping croup. Tail: Set on low, long. Carried curved in a natural extension of the topline. Underside has fairly long, silky feathering. Hair: Smooth, silky. More or less abundant feathering on the backs of the legs. Possible feathering on the throat. - Short, without feathering. Coat: All colors and combinations of colors are the same for both varieties. Size: Dog: 58 to 71 cm. (23-28 in).Bitch: slightly smaller. Weight: 15 to 30 kg. (33-66 lb).
History Salukis are considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. All along the Silk Road his presence was known for almost as long as the dog
has been domesticated, a testimony to his function as a hunter and his beauty as a companion. His image is found in many cultures. There are petroglyphs and rock arts in
Golpaygan and Khomein in central Iran that shows saluki-like hounds and falcons accompanying hunters chasing preys (ca. 8000-10,000 B.C)., recent excavations of the Sumerian
empire, estimated at 7000-6000 B.C., have saluki like finds. Saluki-like images adorn pottery found in Susa, and are found appearing on the Egyptian tombs of 2100 B.C. The
nomadic tribes spread the breed across the Middle East from Persia and Egypt, to as far east as Afghanistan and India, and as far south as Sudan.
They were considered to be the "Royal Dog of Egypt". Salukis appear on Egyptian tombs increasingly commonly from The Middle Kingdom (2134 BC – 1785 BC) onward, and have often
been found mummified alongside the bodies of the Pharaohs in the Pyramids. It was during the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt that Salukis rose to their place of prominence, replacing
the Tesem (thought to be similar to modern Pariah dogs, or a generic term for a dog).
The breed is thought to be the type of dog mentioned in The Bible. Salukis have
appeared in medieval paintings regarding the birth of Christ. In China examples of the breed were painted by the fifth Ming Emperor Zhū Zhānjī, known more commonly as the Xuande
Emperor during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). The inscription on the painting reads "playfully painted [by the] imperial brush" in 1427. Additional red seals were added in later years
by owners of the painting, which also reveals that the painting was in the Imperial Chinese collection in the 18th century.
Iran has a long and rich visual history with
the Saluki, from early representations on pottery found in Susa, miniatures painted by Master Kamal Uddin Behzad, book illustrations By Abd al-Wahhab ibn 'Abd al-Fattah ibn 'Ali
(1516). It is an illustration from manuscript of Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami, metalsmithing from the reign of the Injuid prince, Jamal al Dine Abu Is'haq, created between 1342 and
1353. Today, the breed is still held in high regard throughout the Middle East, and have been hunting dogs for nobles and rulers around the region. They are considered clean by
the Bedouins, and are allowed to be in women's quarters, while other dogs must be kept outside. Sheik Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain during the 1930s, was known for a pack
of Salukis that accompanied him throughout the Arab world on hunting trips. Following his death, his son Salman ibn Hamad Al Khalifa attempted to keep the lines pure-bred but they
became interbred with other breeds. However, the pure-bred lines of the royal kennel were saved by the efforts of Dana Al Khalifa who was given two pure-bred puppies by the King, and
about a decade later had around pure-bred Salukis registered with the Kennel Club of Bahrain.
English Salukis were exported to many countries, but by the mid-1930s, interest slackened, and with the outbreak of World War II, breeding and show activities almost entirely
stopped. The number of litters was minimal – just enough to keep the breed alive. Food rationing reserved all edible meat for humans, and to prevent the Salukis from dying from
starvation or being killed by bombs, some owners euthanized entire kennels. A small number of Saluki kennels survived the war, and along with fresh imports belonging to a second
wave of soldiers returning from the Middle East, the slow process of re-establishing the breed began again.
The popularity of the Saluki in the United States, according
to the American Kennel Club, has remained relatively stable over the past decade, with the breed ranked 107th in 1999, had decreased to 118th in 2008, but by 2008 had increased once
again to 112th. Between 2000 and 2009, 1215 Salukis were registered with The Kennel Club in the UK, while this does not approach the numbers of the more popular breeds, it is
in line with similar breeds in the Hound Group such as the Borzoi, which had 1399 puppies registered in the same period. In September 2007, The Kennel Club Art Gallery's 12th
exhibition celebrated the Saluki, The Saluki in Art showed a range of exhibits including terracotta and bronze works, along with contemporary artists and a range of trophies
from Saluki breed clubs.
Behavior The tough, hardy Saluki is a skilled hunter on sandy or rocky terrain. With his lightning acceleration, he can outrun gazelles.
Calm, intelligent, and affectionate, he is a delightful pet who adores children. Very reserved toward strangers, he makes an effective
watchdog. He is a quick learner and must be trained gently.
Health The Saluki is prone to some genetic eye diseases and cancer. It can get sunburn, especially on the nose.
Advice The Saluki is not recommended for apartment life. These dogs are relatively inactive indoors and will do best with acreage. This breed should
sleep indoors. They prefer warm temperatures over cold ones. The Saluki is a natural athlete that needs a lot of exercise, including a daily, long, brisk walk or run. They
are happiest when running, however many are lost or killed when they are allowed to get free and they spot a small animal to chase. This very independent dog can never be
off its lead except in an isolated, scouted area. These dogs hunt on sight. They will pay no attention to their handler's calls if they are chasing something. In some
countries they are not permitted to be left off of their lead at all. Salukis run at top speeds of 40 mph or more with their feet barely touching the ground. These
top speeds are reached in short spurts, but they also have exceptional endurance. An excellent way to exercise your Salukis is to let it trot alongside your bike.
Function Incredibly fast even over rough terrain, this desert sight hunter was used by the Arabs to hunt gazelle, the fastest of the antelopes, along with fox, jackal
and hare. They have also been successful as racing dogs.