The Saluki is an ancient breed that has its origins in the Middle East. It was named after a town called Saluk (now non-existent) and was used by many of the Bedouin tribes for hunting. It became known all over as a dog that could get the job done. It is believed that even the pharaohs used this breed for hunting with falcons. During the middle ages, the Muslims saw this dog as a holy gift from the hand of Allah himself. Because of the supposed holy origins of the dog, they could eat the meat that it brought down, some kinds of which would have been forbidden because of their religion. The very first dog of this breed to reach the west came to England in the year of 1835. However, this wonderful and unique breed was not officially recognized until 1924. The breed standards did not come into being until 1968.
This dog is known to have an elegant, aristocratic look about it. It is a sight hound that does not make much use of its nose while hunting. The modern breed has been bred to make it a family dog. Hence, it has been turned from a working breed into a family dog breed.
As this is a sight hound, it is known to sight the prey, run after it, and capture it. This dog is an excellent runner, having a world record in 1996 in the Guinness Book for running at the speed of 68.8 kilometers per hour (43 miles).
The average height of this dog is 23 to 28 inches (58 to 70 cm) and the average weight is 40 to 60 pounds (18 to 27 kg). This dog has long, wavy ears, and a shorter body coat. It has feathering at the tail and at the back of its legs. It has a narrow head and large eyes. The tail is long and curved. It also has long legs and a deep chest. The coat can be white, cream, red, fawn, black and tan, grizzle and tan, or even tri-colored which is black, white, and tan.
This is a very independent breed which is a bit aloof and reserved towards strangers. However, it is very affectionate and loyal. This dog can be a bit difficult to train. Thus, training will require time and patience. However, it should be imparted with gentleness, and no harsh or strict methods should be used. This dog tends to get bored easily, and hence it is not advisable to leave it alone at home for extended periods of time. It is a very intelligent breed which does not enjoy regular dog games such as chasing and fetching. Being originally bred to hunt, this dog will chase moving objects. It is advisable to socialize your dog with people from an early age, otherwise it will become shy and timid.
This breed is not prone to joint problems such as hip dysplasia. However, it does show a relatively high incidence of cancer, particularly liver cancer or lymphoma. It is also affected by heart-related issues such as heart failures or heart defects.
This is a wonderful, intelligent, loving, and entertaining dog to have as a pet. It is a lot of fun to be around, and the effort needed to keep it occupied is also worth it.