All about the Saluki

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  • Slim and rugged, the Saluki is an ancient sighthound much prized by the Bedouins as an elegant and light-footed hound of the Middle East. These swift and agile coursing hounds have been treasured as the royal hunting hound for millennia, cherished for both their athleticism and graceful beauty.

    As one of the oldest breeds, they have well-recorded pedigrees dating back centuries. The Sheikhs kept careful breeding records and recorded the hunting prowess of their hounds. Their quarry was typically hare, fox and gazelle and hunting, and they often coursed alongside mounted hunters, with the riders using falcons in combination with the hounds. Although greyhounds are generally accepted as the fastest dog breed, Salukis are often thought to be faster over longer distances. And in 1996, the Guinness Book of Records listed a Saluki as being the fastest dog (42.8 mph).

    Because of the different terrains in which the Saluki could be used for hunting there are is a variation of type within the breed: the desert type (also known as Sinai or Hijazi) and the mountain type.

    The name Saluki is believed to derive from the ancient Arabian city of Saluk or the Syrian town of Seleucia.

    Three Saluki dogs

    Saluki dogs come in 30 different standard breed colours

    Saluki breed: fact file

    Kennel Club breed group: hound

    Size: medium

    Daily exercise: more than two hours

    Coat: either smooth or feathered, relatively low-shedding

    Colours: 30 standard colours, with appealing names such as chocolate grizzle and black fringed gold. Just about the only colours not permissible are blue or brindle. Dark to hazel eyes

    Lifespan: more than 12 years.

    Bark: not vocal; rarely bark.

    History: archaeological evidence of the Saluki dates back at least 5,000 years. They feature on tomb paintings and mosaics in the Middle East and were sometimes mummified alongside their royal owners. They were highly prized by the nobility and royalty as a superb, graceful and speedy sighthound for hunting in the desert, and used to sleep inside the tent with their human family.

    Distinctive features: graceful and elegant. Their ears are long and covered with silky hair. They have “hare feet” (pads between their toes), which enable them to run in deep sand; this also helps them absorb the impact of the tremendous speeds at which they run.

    Temperament: reserved but not nervous or aggressive. Dignified and intelligent.

    Things to consider: due to their slim physique and lack of natural padding, Salukis benefit from a soft dog bed for restful kip.

    Training: Salukis won’t be satisfied with a walk round the block. They have a natural urge to run, so you’ll need to give them plenty of vigorous exercise, making the most of their stamina. Bear in mind they can run up to around 45mph and you’ll need to work hard on their recall before letting them off leash or they will be over the hills and far away!

    Salukis are high-functioning athletes that love a challenge, both mental and physical. They excel at coursing, agility, flyball and other sports that make the most of their exceptional speed and agility.

    Complete Guide To Salukis | Amazon.co.uk
    If you have just purchased a Saluki or want to train your little one, this guide will teach you how to raise your Saluki obedient, healthy and happy.

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