Dog Health & More
One of the oldest of dog breeds, Salukis were once considered a gift from Allah. They're fast as the wind, skinny as a supermodel, and quietly devoted to their people. A Saluki is easy to groom, challenging to train, and not to be trusted off leash.
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The Saluki's origins are shrouded in the sands of time, but his history is believed to go back to antiquity. He is the very definition of grace and speed, well deserving of the name bestowed on him by his Arab breeders — The Noble. The Saluki is bred for speed, strength, and endurance, qualities that are evident in his long, narrow head and sleek yet muscular body.
Beautiful but reserved, the Saluki is affectionate without being overly demonstrative. He's happy to prove his loyalty through quiet companionship. Not everyone is offered the gift of a Saluki's devoted friendship, but those happy few who receive it are appreciative of the honor.
Salukis are widely admired for their exotic appearance, but not everyone is well suited to live with this spirited and independent hunter. Any movement, be it a squirrel, cat, or radio-controlled car, will activate the Saluki's instinct to chase, and his speed has been clocked at 30 to 35 miles per hour.
Unless he's protected by a strong human on the other end of the leash or a securely fenced yard, he's likely to meet his end beneath the wheels of a car. You might think that Salukis living in the country would have fewer issues, but they've been known to chase down and tangle with or kill goats, otters, foxes, raccoons, snakes, squirrels, and deer.
To keep a Saluki safe and well exercised, provide him with 300 to 400 lateral feet of fenced area where he can run full out. If your yard isn't that large, you should have easy access to a fenced park, an enclosed sports field at a school, or a beach with no nearby road. On leash, the Saluki makes an excellent jogging companion — if you can keep up with him. He's also a good competitor in agility and lure coursing. Some Salukis participate in obedience and tracking as well.
Indoors, the Saluki will make himself at home on your soft sofa or bed. He likes his comforts and needs cushioning for his somewhat bony body. Using his long, skinny muzzle, he'll surf your kitchen counters in search of anything edible.
The calm and gentle Saluki can become timid and shy without early socialization and regular reinforcement through new experiences and introductions to many different people throughout his life. Generally quiet but alert, he's a good watchdog, but not a guard dog. Salukis are fearless in the hunt but otherwise unaggressive.
Training a Saluki is possible, but don't expect the perfect obedience you might have from a Golden Retriever. Salukis think for themselves, and if something else is more interesting than what you're asking them to do, they're perfectly happy to ignore you. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as food rewards and praise, never harsh verbal or physical corrections.
Salukis can make excellent companions for older children, but they aren't recommended for homes with young children. They're tolerant, but young Salukis can be too active for children younger than 8 years of age, and their thin skin and knobby bones make them vulnerable to injury if children aren't careful.
While Salukis aren't overly demonstrative, they do become strongly attached to their people and dislike being left alone for long periods. Consider a Saluki if you have time to give to a devoted, graceful friend who can run like the wind.