Saluki: A Complete Guide

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Are you looking for an elegant dog that is slim as a supermodel yet fast as lightning, and one of the oldest breeds on the planet?

The Saluki could be exactly the pet you’ve been looking for. In Eastern culture, it is believed that this dog was a gift from Allah.

Even though it might be a bit challenging to train a Saluki, once you are there, this dog will be devoted to your family its entire life, especially to your kids.

Let’s see what makes this beautiful dog so special.

Saluki Puppies – Before You Buy…

A white Saluki standing in the snow
Saluki is among the oldest dog breeds in the world.

Like with any other breed, before you decide to welcome a puppy to your home, there are some things you should know.

For example, you need to see if the price of the puppy you want to buy fits your budget? Can you find reputable breeders?

Is there something specific you should know about? Let’s check the answers to these questions when a Saluki is concerned.

What price are Saluki puppies?

Before we get to the actual price tag of a Saluki pup, you need to know an interesting fact.

Ages ago, Beduins considered dogs to be, well, let’s just say, an unclean animal and they didn’t like them so much.

However, when it comes to Saluki, they made an exemption. They found this animal to be exceptional and started breeding them.

Thus, this is one of the oldest breeds and that means it doesn’t come cheap.

If you find a reputable breeder, you can expect a price tag range that will set your budget behind from $2000 to $2500.

But, for that money, you will be getting a puppy that is considered royalty in the dog world.

How to find reputable Saluki breeders?

A Saluki running fast
Saluki chases pretty much everything that crosses its path.

When it comes to finding reputable Saluki breeders, our suggestion would be going through breeder referral programs.

Or, you can also check if rescue organizations offer Saluki pups or older dogs for rescue.

But, what is important to highlight is that if you do decide to purchase a Saluki or any other breed for that matter, you have to do it with a reputable breeder.

You should avoid pet shops as they often offer puppies from puppy mills.

This means that they aren’t bred properly and that these “factories” exist only to put out a large number of puppies, with no quality and temperament control.

This means that you will be getting a dog that doesn’t have a pure-blood origin and is highly likely to have health issues.

Also, avoid buying from breeders that are not willing to stand behind their pups, or have bad reviews that mention dogs with poor temperament and health problems.

This is not the case with respectable breeders that offer champion origin puppies and always stand behind the puppies they offer.

For example, they will always show you health clearances for both of the pup’s parents.

The existence of this clearance means that the parents have been tested and cleared from any condition.

Furthermore, this is important to know because some health issues with dogs cannot be detected before it’s fully matured, and that is why such clearances are issued after the dog is at least two years old.

In Saluki’s case, what you need to pay attention to, are the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals health clearances for thyroid and heart diseases.

3 Little-known facts about Saluki puppies

Here are the 3 facts about Saluki that not many people know, and we thought you should be aware of before deciding to get one.

  • Saluki’s delicate and graceful appearance doesn’t mean it lacks strength and stamina

Not many people know that this dog was bred to chase prey. And, not just chase it across soft meadows, but over some of the world’s most difficult terrains, and for long periods.

Needless to say is that even though this dog appears fragile, that is not the case. For example, it can reach speeds of up to 35 mph!

Yes, the Saluki is that fast, and no wonder the Arab tribes had used this breed for gazelle hunting.

  • Even though they were bred for desert conditions, Salukis prefer a life of luxury

Yes, they were bred to chase prey through a desert, however, they lack mother nature’s soft padding.

This means that they are much happier when lying on soft surfaces instead of hard ground or rocks.

After a good day’s running in the park, your Saluki will be very happy to rest and watch TV with you from a comfortable sofa or an easy chair.

But, the very important part of the previous sentence is “after a run!”

This means that you should keep in mind that these dogs require physically and mentally challenging activities since they are natural-born athletes.

They will be very happy with a session of Flyball or exhibition jumping training or even lure coursing, which will challenge both their brain and their strength.

  • The Saluki is a sighthound

The Saluki is a member of a slender dog group, which is named the Sight Hounds. Just as the name suggests, dogs in this group are famous for their exceptional vision.

Also, thanks to their dolichocephalic heads, their field of vision is 270 degrees! Yeah, nothing can get past them without being noticed.

The elite members of this group are the legendary Greyhound, the Saluki, the elegant Borzoi, and the sad eye whippet.

Physical Traits of the Saluki

Two Saluki dogs standing together
Saluki is an elegant dog that is as slim as a supermodel.

It’s time to “get physical”. In this section, you will discover what size to expect if you buy a Saluki.

Also, you will get an insight into how long can you expect the dog will be a part of the family and don’t worry, it will be with you for quite some time.

How big is a full-grown Saluki?

We are sure that you already expect your Saluki pup to grow into a big dog. But, how big exactly can Salukis grow?

Well, the answer is – pretty tall! For example, the males can grow up to 28 inches, at the shoulder!

On the other hand, the females are significantly smaller and you can expect up to 23 inches of height, at the shoulder.

As for weight, since they are famous for having a “Supermodel” type of build, the range goes from 35 pounds, but in the case of a male, it can go up to 70 pounds.

What is the life expectancy of the Saluki?

If coming from a good family, and being trained and taken care of properly, a Saluki will have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

But, there are plenty of registered cases where Salukis lived for up to 17 to 18 years!

Therefore, you don’t need to worry because your Saluki will be found on many pages of your family photo album.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Saluki

Even though a Saluki appears all reserved, it is quite a family devoted type of a dog.

This is a gentle breed that prefers quiet companionship and in most cases gets emotionally attached to one family member, which can cause separation anxiety issues.

When it comes to strangers, Saluki will be shy if socialization hasn’t been introduced from the earliest days.

Early socialization makes sure that your puppy grows into a well-rounded Saluki.

Also, in general, they do get along with other dogs quite nicely and won’t bark or chase smaller dogs or even cats in their own household.

However, they do prefer the company of their own breed or at least another member of the sighthound group.

On the other hand, if you already have other pets such as mice, birds, hamsters or rabbits, be prepared for problems because Saluki will be highly tempted to chase them.

As for how well Salukis go along with kids, they generally love kids and have the patience for them. But, they are more suitable for older children, for example, 8-year-olds, or older.

Due to their activity levels and their physical constitution, smaller kids that are curious and clumsy with feet can easily hurt their thin skin and bones.

The Saluki’s Diet

When it comes to how much your dog will eat, as with any other breed, it mostly depends on age, size, activity level, and metabolism.

Like us, each dog is an individual and not all of them eat the same amounts of food. Needless to say that a lazy, sofa loving dog will eat less than a dog that loves running the entire day.

The Saluki’s recommended daily food amount goes from 1.75 cups in the younger days, to 2.75 cups of high-quality dog food, every day.

But, it is best to split that food amount into two equal portions and serve twice a day.

Furthermore, the amount of food also depends on actual quality. The higher the quality, the more nourished will your dog be, and you will need smaller portions.

But, keep in mind that the Salukis are “Victoria’s Secret Models” in the dog’s world and that they are supposed to be slim looking, so, don’t stress out if your dog is picky when it comes to food.

How much Exercise does a Saluki need?

First of all, a Saluki is not meant to live in a small apartment as it needs serious physical challenges, daily.

What they do love, and what is a much better solution for them is a large home with a large, high fenced yard.

Ideally, they should have an area for running that is about 400 feet in length.

We said high fenced yard on purpose because, with their speed, they can easily generate momentum to jump over a fence that under 5 feet tall.

Now, when you plan on taking your Saluki for a jog or a walk and run session in the park (at least 40 minutes each day), make sure that it is ALWAYS on the leash!

Seriously, we cannot highlight the importance of this enough. Salukis are hunting dogs and it is in their DNA to chase prey.

So, if it spots a small animal like a squirrel or a bird, if it’s not on the leash, Saluki will chase it forever, and you won’t be able to catch it.

Now, in most cases, their burning desire to chase can be suppressed with proper training.

But, you need to keep in mind that, even though they are intelligent and will learn quickly, Salukis tend to get easily bored with repetition.

Therefore, to keep your Saluki interested in the training, make sure the session is interesting and fun, and most of all, make sure it doesn’t last long.

If the training is too long, the Saluki will refuse to learn. In this case, you should positively encourage it and never use physical or harsh verbal measures of correction.

Saluki Health and Conditions

The Saluki is a breed that is not famous for genetically inherited diseases. Usually, Salukis are known as a healthy, resilient to diseases breed.

However, there are some illnesses and health issues you should keep in mind and pay attention so that they do not occur:

  • Anesthesia Sensitivity

Due to their lack of high body fat levels, Salukies can be extremely sensitive to anesthesia and other pain relief drugs.

However, modern medicine offers drugs that are sight hound compatible and bad reactions are far less possible.

But, it is never a bad idea to check with the vet if he is aware of how sensitive your Saluki is. This will allow for proper therapy and anesthesia levels if your dog is being operated.

  • Hemangiosarcoma

Unfortunately, sometimes, this malignant cancer can be found in the spleen and the lining of blood vessels can also develop with Salukis.

  • Cardiomyopathy

This is a disease that attacks the dog’s heart muscle and it can take two forms: hypertrophic or/and dilated.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an illness that causes a drastic increase in heart muscle mass and can result in a heart attack.

On the other hand, the Dilated cardiomyopathy comes as a progressive enlargement of the heart’s main pumping chambers ventricles.

This is the form that is most common with the Saluki breed, and it attacks young to middle-aged males.

  • Hypothyroidism

For those of you who are not familiar with this infamous disease, hypothyroidism a state where the body has an extremely low level of the thyroid gland produced hormone.

In some cases, the Saluki can suffer from this illness, and in some cases, a symptom that points out to this is infertility.

On the other hand, when the condition is more serious, the dog can become obese, mentally dull, have low levels of energy, and have irregular heat cycles.

Also, the fur can become brittle and coarse and start falling off, and the skin can become dark and tough.

Luckily, there are drugs that can take care of this state and if treated daily, your Saluki can live a long happy life even with hypothyroidism.

My final thoughts on the SalukiA Saluki with long ears

We have reached the end of today’s article.

Now you have a much better insight into what makes the Saluki so interesting, and what’s more important, you know if this breed is the one you want.

If you do decide to get one, keep in mind that this elegant Supermodel of the dog world might seem calm and reserved in most situations, it is fast as lightning and should be kept closely on a leash at all times.

Also, remember that it needs regular physical challenges, as well as mentally if you want your Saluki to be properly trained.

Likewise, early socialization is highly recommendable, so that you don’t end up with a Saluki that chases pretty much everything that crosses its path.

Other than that, you will get a dog that is devoted to you and your family, and that loves lying on the sofa or the bed when indoors.

So, in our book, the oldest dog breed in the world, the Saluki, is a great pet for both families and people who live an active lifestyle.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3