Breed History

Duties of a Responsible Breeder

Salukis are special dogs for responsible owners. Buy a puppy from a responsible breeder. A responsible breeder will encourage you to visit his or her Salukis in order to get to know the temperaments and personalities of their dogs. A prospective purchaser should see the conditions in which the breeding stock is living, and the facilities. An ethical breeder will be willing to offer references. Most reputable breeders require a contract with owners. Such a contract includes a provision for the return of the dog, if the buyer is unable to keep it.

A responsible breeder should show you the dam and sire of the puppies. A complete three generations pedigree is essential, if you are buying a purebred Saluki. Before buying a Saluki puppy, you should be well informed about possible health concerns in the breed. Occasional health problems can crop up in any line. What is important is what the breeder has done to screen his dogs for potential problems and to genetically improve the breed with every litter produced.

Saluki Evolution

Arabian Bedouins have been breeding Salukis for thousands of years. These desert hounds, known for their exceptional stamina, intelligence and loyalty are highly prized by the Bedouins. Known by the Bedouins as Wind Drinker, Daughter of the Tent, Son of the Desert, Desert Eye, the Bedouins even allow them to share their tents.

Sadly today, however, times are changing and along with it the deserts and Arab lifestyles that created the circumstances in which the Arabian horse and the saluki flourished, now no longer exist. The Saluki may be lost to our future generations unless steps are taken to preserve it now.

To understand the Saluki breed, it is important to understand the background and history of the breed. Saluki history is closely tied to the history of early man. The Arabian Desert, the cradle of many civilisations, produced two famous breeds of animals -the Arabian horse that was used for transport and war, and the Saluki gazelle hound for hunting.

The beauty of the Salukis cannot remain unnoticed. Built on lines that govern speed and endurance, Salukis have slender limbs with fine, but strong bones and, like race horses, posses extraordinary elegance and power.

Salukis can be traced back to 7,000 BC – 11,000 BC, when man spread out across the fertile lands known as Mesopotamia. In order to catch game, from necessity, early man began the domestication of the local wolf. With selective breeding they produced the first domesticated dog: the Saluki. The Saluki breed was bred to assist man in chasing prey and catching it in the harsh desert climate.

Not variable in shape, Salukis appear in different colours, ranging from pure black to red, sandy and white. Salukis have extremely strong hearing and their farseeing eyes range in colour from deep brown to amber.

Through the civilisations, the saluki maintained its importance as a coursing (chasing) hound. The Egyptians called them the Royal Dogs of Egypt, and only the nobility were permitted to have them. Mummified remains of Saluki hounds have been discovered in tombs with their masters. From the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia, traders carried the Saluki throughout the Middle East where they became the treasured hounds of the nomadic tribes – the Bedouins. The Bedouins carefully bred Salukis for thousands of years with speed endurance in mind, and they presented them as gifts to kings and nobles in other lands.

The Arabian Bedouins still hunt with the Salukis in packs of between two and six hounds, and they train their Salukis to hunt with falcons as part of a team. Their intelligence and independence enables them to successfully operate in the hunt without direct supervision of their masters. The Saluki is more affectionate towards his master than a father is towards his son, and truly can be regarded as man’s best friend. The Salukis ate what their masters ate, sharing their tents and their food. Milk headed the diet list, followed by rice, dates olives chicken and meat. A Saluki never drink dirty water and will refuse stale food or milk if someone has put his hand in it.

Salukis need a lot of exercise however they do not run mindlessly like Greyhounds. This inbred intelligence makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have Salukis run in races with Greyhounds. On the course, the quick thinking Saluki will cut across the racing track ring to grab the mechanical rabbit, whilst the greyhound will continue to run round and round the track never catching the elusive robot rabbit.

There are two types of varieties of Saluki, the smooth and the feathered types. The ears, long tail and legs are feathered in the feathered variety. Both varieties have a ‘hare foot’ that is thickly feathered between the toes giving them the ability to run in deep sand.

We organize and fund rescue operations for Salukis throughout the country. Contact us to sign up as a volunteer, read about the organization, or find out about previous rescues.