The Saluki is calm and makes a fine watchdog. They benefit from obedience training, but owners have to remember this sensitive breed responds best to gentle handling. This ancient dog is revered for its beauty, speed and quiet nature.


Also known as the Persian Greyhound, this breed is revered by Muslims, who refer to it as El Hor, The Noble One. It has been used since ancient times to hunt hare, fox and gazelle.

The Saluki is one of the oldest breeds, dating back thousands of years. It is claimed that it even pre-dates ancient Egypt, carvings of it from 7000 BC having been discovered during excavations in Sumer. In Egypt itself it was known as the Royal Dog and was depicted in carvings and on many painted walls, dating from as early as the third millennium BC. When one of these treasured hunting companions died, its Egyptian owners went into deep mourning and frequently had their beloved dogs mummified, wearing their ornate collars. In the tomb of Tutankhamun, the king is shown with his favourite hounds, which appear to be Salukis.

Some Islamic sects consider dogs to be unclean animals, but the Saluki was the exception and allowed to live in the house with the faithful. Moreover, prey caught by the Saluki, even if it were an unclean animal, were allowed to be eaten. The lack of interchange among tribes led to the development of different types of salukis. It was in 1923 that the first comprehensive standards including all variations of salukis were designated in the United Kingdom. This breed was officially recognized by the AKC in 1927.


In temperament the Saluki is a loyal and courageous servant, affectionate without being demonstrative, vigilant but not aggressive. It has an independent spirit and is aloof with strangers. It enjoys the comforts of home when it is resting, but when working is prepared to hunt at high speed over rough and difficult terrain. It is an unusually intelligent breed and demands to be treated as such. If it is ill-treated it will retaliate.

Its intelligence and independence are essential because of the way it is used on the hunt. A small pack of the dogs (two to six individuals) is sent off against game and has to act with cunning and skill to effect a capture. The dogs are required to pursue the prey, racing at incredible speeds, take it by the throat and hold it down until their master arrives to perform the required ritual kill.


The healthy Saluki should have ribs showing on its flanks. It has a V-shaped head and big pendant ears. This breed has two coat types.

A good Saluki combines a symmetry with type of outline. It should give the appearance of possessing both great speed and stamina. In fact, it should look as if it can work in deep sand or in rocky mountains. The Saluki’s expression, unlike that of other Greyhound-like breeds, has a “far-off” look. Most importantly, it should have a hard, well-conditioned body – this remains the key and is the reason why it was originally bred.

Height: 58-71 cm at the shoulder

Weight: 13-30 kg

Coat and Grooming

Colours include black, tan, fawn, white, cream, gold and red. The two coat varieties are smooth and feathered. The smooth requires grooming once a week to remove dead hairs whilst the feathered requires grooming twice a week.


The Saluki is fundamentally a very sound dog, having been raised for centuries according to the principle of the survival of the fittest. Because of this practice, this breed possesses very few health problems. However, like all sighthounds with low body fat, the breed is susceptible to problems with anesthesia. When the need arises great care should be taken.

Lifespan is generally 10-14 years.

Environment and Exercise

This breed requires a large, fenced-in property. They also require lots of exercise. Along walk each day on the leash is recommended.

Compatibility with Kids and other Pets

The Saluki is quite independent and may bore some children. The Saluki's instinct is to hunt animals but it may be friendly with a cat if raised together. Smaller mammals will be viewed as prey. They get along best with another Saluki.

Puppies and Training

There are five to seven puppies in each litter. If handled at an early age, puppies will not grow nervous.

Gallery of Saluki