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Group Hounds (KC)
History The Saluki originated from Egypt and is one of the oldest known breeds in the world. Research shows it could have existed as early as 7000 B.C., although the oldest records date back to 2100 B.C. in the Upper Nile regions. The Bedouins of Egypt considered it a holy dog; some Salukis have distinctive white spot on the forehead believed to be the “Kiss of Allah.” It was so revered, in fact, that mummified Salukis were found alongside the pharaohs in many Egyptian tombs.
Early Arabs valued the Saluki as a gazelle hunter; its speed and grace allowed it to easily chase down the agile prey. When the breed first reached English shores around 1840, they quickly became favored as rabbit hunters. It is said that a Saluki can outrun the Greyhound, the fastest known breed. Although known in England as the Persian Greyhound, it became a well-established breed and eventually reached the Americas. The Saluki was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in November 1927.
Appearance The Saluki exudes grace and elegance from all angles. Its long, sprightly legs allow it to gain top speed in the wild, and its slim body gives it a proud and noble gait. It is often distinguished by its large feathered ears, which stand out in proportion to its narrow head.
Colours Salukis can come in a variety of colors and combinations, but the most common are black and tan, grizzle and tan, white, cream, golden, fawn, red, and tricolor (black, white and tan).
Temperament Salukis are gentle and loving, but they seldom physically show affection even with their families. This often comes across as shyness or arrogance. They are not built for rough play; too much cuddling can make them uneasy. They’ll snuggle up when they want to, otherwise it’s best to leave them alone. They get along best with older children who know how to handle them. They can also be picky with other animals, although they’ll usually get along with other Salukis.
Weight 58.5 - 71 cm in height and 14- 25 Kg in weight. Males and females are usually the same size.
Problems Salukis are a fairly hardy breed, but some lines are prone to genetic diseases such as retinal atrophy and lens luxation. They may also be oversensitive to anesthesia, since they have very little body fat. Females need extra care during pregnancy as they tend to carry large litters (sometimes ten or more).
Living Conditions This breed loves the outdoors and will do best in a house with a large fenced yard. Although relatively idle indoors, Salukis need their space and will become restless if left indoors for too long. They should sleep inside, however, as they are not accustomed to cold temperatures. They are most comfortable in warm but not extremely hot weather.
Requirements Salukis are naturally athletic and need lots of exercise to stay in shape. They should be taken on long brisk walks or jogs every day. It’s important to keep them leashed, though—they can be too fast to follow when allowed to run free. They are not recommended as jogging companions, as they’ll most likely outrun their owners. Most dogs will be happy to trot on a leash alongside a bicycle or run around the yard.
Training Requirements Obedience training is recommended, but owners should not expect full results as Salukis will always be a little independent. Training should start early to keep their hunting instincts in check; otherwise they will chase and kill small animals, even other household pets. They should also be socialized early to avoid extreme aloofness and aggressiveness with children.
Life Expectancy The life expectancy of a Saluki is about 10 to 12 years.
Grooming The Saluki’s coat is naturally smooth and odor-free. All it needs is an occasional brush, especially on the feathered parts (ears, legs, shoulders). This breed sheds moderately and needs a bit more grooming during shedding season.
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More Saluki Information: Check out our Saluki Clubs and links to more informative websites dedicated to the breed.
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