The saluki is perhaps the oldest known breed of domesticated dog. As a purebred type, its history can be traced back almost 5000 years. A recent study confirms the Saluki's antiquity through DNA analysis identifying it as one of the earliest breeds to diverge from wolves.
Their bodies were often found mummified like the bodies of the pharaohs
themselves and their pictures appear in ancient Egyptian tombs dating
This breed is thought of by the Muslims as a sacred gift of Allah. These dogs were never sold and were offered as a gift of friendship or homage. The Saluki is a desert sight hunter capable of speed and agility over rough terrain. The Saluki was used to course gazelle, the fastest of the antelopes. They were also used for hunting in tandem with falcons. The Saluki was allowed to sleep in the tents of the Bedouin tribes, as well as share the prey during a meal.
This moderate sized hound can range from 23" to 28" at the withers. Feathered or smooth coated. The Saluki is a medium shedder. Recent studies suggest the stride of the Saluki can be as much as 12 feet. Although the Greyhound is widely viewed as being the fastest dog breed with a top speed of 45 mph, the Saluki is said to be slightly under that for several miles. The Saluki is known for its incredible endurance verse the sprint breeds.
The saluki is capability of a 13 plus year life span. The number one cause of death is automobiles and second is cancer. They are sensitive to anesthesia as a result of low body fat. Salukis have a cat like quality of being aloof, clean and affectionate on their own terms. They are sensitive to harsh actions and a "heavy hand" should never be used in their training. Because of their independence and can be hard to train. Salukis require regular exercise, but can behave quietly indoors. Salukis are good with children as well as other animals. Word of caution, the prey drive is always there.
One should really do their homework when considering a Saluki. Contact with a responsible breeder would be the best, but dog shows and lure coursing events would also be good places to see and ask questions about Salukis.
If your interested in a saluki, be prepared to travel. This is a rare breed and will be hard to find locally. You most likely will have to travel out of state and be on a waiting list.
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