The Saluki was considered to be a sacred breed and the white patch in the middle of its forehead symbolized this dog to be kissed by Allah. Even some of its representatives were found mummified alongside with the Pharaohs in Egyptian tombs. Besides, some claim that this breed is the oldest one, which was domesticated.There are a great number of ancient paintings and manuscripts from all over the world, demonstrating the Saluki in all its charm.
The Saluki breed is almost 5 000 years old, therefore no one can give the precise information about its origin. The most common theory claims the Saluki to be developed in Egypt. According to the belief of modern scientists this breed was developed from the first canines and travelled through the world with its nomadic masters. Dogs that showed strong resemblance to the today’s Saluki are portrayed on Egyptian tombs built somewhere in 2 100 B.C. The depictions of a lean and elegant canine with typical feathering on the legs, ears, and tail were found on carvings from the Sumerian empire (around 7 000 – 6 000 B.C.).
The Saluki had and still has many names, for example the Gazelle Hound, the Arabian Hound, the Persian Greyhound and many others. According to the etymology of the name, Saluki is derived from the ancient Arabian city Saluki, which no longer exists today.
The Saluki is believed to be a close relative of the Afghan Hound. This breed was used by the Arabs to hunt fox, hare, jackal and gazelle in vast level of the dessert. In fact it was in such esteem that its specimens had often the honour of being mummified and buried alongside its noble owners. Mussulmen, who mostly defied canines as filthy animals, perceived the Saluki as a present from Allah and often named it the El Hor, which is literally translated as the Noble.
The breed enjoyed wide popularity in such middle-eastern countries as Persia (presently Iran), Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Arabia, and Anatolia. In 40s of the XIX century first Salukis were brought to Britain although its systematic breeding in this country was initiated only after World War I.
Many centuries later, in 1929, this royal breed got its official recognition thanks to the American Kennel Club (AKC). The World War II had a terrible effect on its number but luckily its full extinction was prevented by its loyal breeders. The United Kennel Club (UKC) accepted the members of the Saluki for registration in 1956.
The Saluki is still utilized as a hunting one; it also participates in different dog shows or just lies on the comfortable sofa, letting the master to scratch behind its ears.
The Saluki is a nice, clever, strong-minded, friendly and even-tempered dog. It’s prone to become exceptionally staunch to one member of its family so it may be considered as a one-person dog. It commonly demonstrates patience in interaction with children but it’s completely intolerant of any form of misuse including too rough games.
This breed can be a good watchdog, though it’s polite with strangers. At the same time the Saluki doesn’t like to be fondled by unknown people and often even fears their touch. Shyness and nervousness in strange situations are the most typical behavioural issues for this dog although it can be successfully eliminated with early socialisation. In general, it won’t make a decent guardian because of its non-aggressive demeanour and lack of territorial instinct.
Salukis are not usually aggressive with people, but they chase non-canine animals and pets, such as birds, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs and so on. Some of these dogs will never be able to control their hunting drive even in relation to those non-canine pets with which they have been brought up since the puppyhood. Despite its propensity to dominate among other canines it rarely exhibits open aggression towards them. This breed is ok with other Salukis as well as with dogs with similarly vigorous disposition.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· eye problems;
· nose sunburn.
The Saluki’s grooming is short to describe. First comb and then brush especially the long parts of its coat and clean ears. This dog sheds minimal amount of hair so it can make a perfect choice for those who shudder from the thought of cleaning up the canine fur.
Other than that your dog is going to need very standard care that should consist of regular nail trimming and weekly teeth brushing.
The Saluki is a naturally intelligent breed and is also a well trainable one. Salukis are sensitive, what means that the master should be gentle, calm and firm at the same time during each training. You should be that pack leader, not your pet. Trainings have to be consistent and brisk.
The Saluki is well-known for its wilful character and propensity to selective listening so don’t except it to be an obedience champion. Furthermore it expresses eagerness to learn only if its efforts are encouraged by something more tangible than a simple praise. Pay attention to socialization from the very start, since this will prevent destructiveness and train submissiveness to other people and animals.
The Saluki can’t help existing without much activity. That is to say, your pet will need a lot of exercising. You should daily walk, jog, run or hike with the dog. As one of the fastest breeds it will appreciate running next to your bike. Just don’t drop behind!
It’s also would be great if your pet would have a permanent access to a spacious, but well-fenced yard where it can spend time off-leash. Without extensive amount of physical activity from an early age this dog won’t grow correctly and may acquire lifelong health issues.