Saluki Puppy Facts

Did you just bring home a new Saluki puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!

Breed History

How old is this breed? The breed, also known as the Gazelle Hound, Royal Dog of Egypt, and Persian Greyhound, belongs to the oldest group of domesticated dogs -- the sighthounds. From this group, this is probably the oldest breed.

While some members of the sighthound group, such as the Afghan Hound, existed about 4,000 years ago, they didn't exist as a distinct breeds.

The Saluki, on the other hand, is identified by some historians as a distinct breed that existed as long as 2,400 years ago. And drawings of dogs resembling this breed were discovered on Egyptian tombs dating back to around 2,100 B.C. If that's not old enough, 8,000 year old images of dogs resembling this breed were discovered during excavations of Sumerian empire.

Saluki Dog Pictures
Saluki Dog Pictures

The breed was held in high regard in Egypt where many dogs were mummified and buried with Pharaohs. That practice gave rise to the name "Royal Dog of Egypt". Even in a Muslim culture where dogs were considered as "unclean", these dogs were allowed to sleep in tents with their owners.

The original Saluki habitat comprised the region between the Caspian Sea and the Sahara desert. There were variations in dogs living in different parts of that region, but they were very insignificant, mostly the size and color.

While this is not the fastest of the sighthound breeds, it still possesses great speed and endurance. As a matter of fact, no other sighthound can run for as long as the Saluki. The breed was used by Arabs to hunt gazelle. Often, the dogs hunted in tandem with specially trained falcons that were used to locate the prey.

The breed was first introduced into England around 1840 and was known as the Persian Greyhound. It wasn't until early 1920s that Saluki was bought to United States and 1927 when it was officially recognized by AKC as a distinct breed.

Physical Characteristics of Saluki Puppies

Don't let its fragile appearance fool you! The Saluki is an efficient hunter with strength, speed, and endurance to chase its prey over long distance.

Saluki Dog Pictures
Saluki Dog Pictures

This is a tall dog with a graceful, well-muscled body, deep but narrow chest, and long and well-muscled neck. The long tail is feathered, curved, and is a very important part of body. Just like cheetahs, Salukis use their tails as a rudder to steer, which gives them an added advantage over their prey.

The head is long and narrow, with black or liver nose, and large dark eyes. The ears are long and covered with long, silky hair.

The front legs are straight and long while the back legs are moderately bent. The feet are of moderate length, with thick hair between the toes for protection against rough terrain.

There are two varieties of Salukis -- coated or longhaired (feathering on all legs) and smooth (legs are covered with smooth short hair).

The hair is smooth, with silky texture, and can be white, red, fawn, cream, golden, black and tan, grizzle and tan, and tricolor (white, black and tan).

    Height Weight
  Male 23 to 28 inches 35 - 70 pounds
  Female Varies, but considerably smaller than male Varies, but considerably smaller than male


The Saluqi is a typical sighthound -- intelligent but independent, requires patience when training for obedience, and loves to chase things that run away from it.

It's gentle, but not cuddly. It will protect its family and unlike some other members of the sighthound group, it can make a good watchdog.

Salukis are outgoing with their own family but reserved and sometimes even shy with strangers. They are loyal, often get attached to one family member, and good with children as long as there is no roughhousing involved.

They get along well with other Salukis and sighthound breeds but don't have much tolerance for other dog breeds, especially smaller ones.

Be careful if you have other pets living in the house. A properly socialized Saluki will probably be OK with a family cat, but how well they get along will also depend on cat's personality. There is better chance they could co-exist if a cat can establish his dominance over the dog.

Like other independent-minded and sensitive breeds, it does not respond well to harsh treatment, including shouting and punishment. For best results, train in a calm and consistent way and include positive reinforcement and rewards as part of your training.

The breed gets bored quite fast so avoid boring and repetitive training sessions.

When losing sight of its prey, while running, the Saluki can jump up with all four feet at once in an effort to locate the prey. The jump can be as high as 7 feet.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

The breed requires an active and patient family, preferably with older children.  

While it's not active indoors, it's still not recommended for an apartment lifestyle. It will do best in the suburbs, living on a large, fenced property.

It prefers living in a warm climate and is not suited to live outdoors.

Some Saluki breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

While it's pretty inactive indoors, the Saluki is a very active breed and needs plenty of exercise.

The best exercise you can give your pet is to let him run off leash. Unfortunately, too many Salukis are lost or killed when they spot a small animal and run after it. Only allow your pet to run free in a protected, fenced area.

You can also take your pet along if you are into jogging or bicycle riding, but always on leash.

At a minimum, take your pet for several long walks every day.


The Saluki is an extremely clean dog, has little body odor, and is an average shedder.

Brushing and combing (especially the longer-haired parts of the body) several times per week is all it takes to maintain this dog. Bathe when necessary.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, Salukis are susceptible to complications caused by internal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.

While it's less prone to genetic defects than other breeds, some dogs are susceptible to hypothyroidism, eye problems, and cancer. The breed is also sensitive to anesthesia. For more information about dog diseases and health, visit dog health problems.

To reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems, buy only from reputable Saluki breeders (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.

To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for Saluki puppies is 14 to 16 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Saluki rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this dog behavior and obedience training guide.

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Saluki Puppies » Dog Breeds

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