Salukis have lithe and graceful frames covered in smooth, silky coats. Their narrow heads have broad skulls, dark eyes and long, feathered ears. Their long, sinuous necks have nice muscle tone, sloping down to narrow chests and somewhat broad backs. They have long tails covered in silky hair, and their coats can come in white, off-white, fawn, red, tan, black and tan and tricolor (white, black and tan). Overall, Salukis carry themselves with beautiful and balanced refinement.
Though spectacular speedsters outside, Salukis are relatively sedate indoors. They have a quiet way about them that might seem reserved or even aloof. Truth be told, this is an ancient breed with an independent personality. They can also be sensitive, recognizing conflict among household members.
Salukis form a special bond with their owners, and they love their families dearly, but they are not likely to go bonkers when you walk through the door. A great way to bond with them is exercise. Superb jogging partners, they also have the endurance to keep up with you on a bike for a good long time. In fact, your bike will probably wear out before they do.
Salukis have their own way of doing things. Some say this is shyness, others say it’s a dignified independence. Either way, they should get consistent training as puppies (and later as adults) to help ensure proper socialization.
Salukis need lots of room to run. In other words, they might not be truly happy in an apartment. A wide-open, controlled area is the ideal sprinting ground for Salukis, but they will easily appreciate a vigorous, daily walk around the neighborhood. Because they are natural hunters with jaw-dropping speed, always keep them on a leash.
A healthy Saluki can live as long as 12 years. Common health issues include eye problems, cancer, hypothyroidism and heart trouble. Very light shedders, Salukis need only occasional brushing and grooming to keep their coats looking great. Inspect their ears regularly for cleanliness and also check their noses for sunburn.
Salukis are one of the oldest domestic dog breeds, dating back thousands of years. Archaeologists have even found mummified Salukis in Egyptian tombs. Used in Arab countries as big-game hunters and in England to catch rabbits, Salukis have long been prized for their quickness and agility. Though popular in Arab countries for eons, they didn’t catch on in the United States until the early 1900s.
Photography by Kayla Bertagnolli, as captured at the 2018 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Read more about the Saluki on Dogster.com: Get to Know the Saluki: Sleek, Svelte and Swift