The Noble Saluki
Gazelle Hound -- Persian Greyhound

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((Gazelle Hound)(Persian Greyhound)(Tazi)
Weight:35 — 65 lbs
Height: 23” — 28”
AKC Rank 2008: #116
Lifespan: 12—15 yrs
Group: Hound
Origin: Middle East

Dog Breed Info - The Saluki

Note the feathered coat on this Saluki
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Breed Overview

Origin: Ancient times. Original function: Coursing hare, gazelles. Today, Lure coursing, Companion. Colors: White, cream, fawn, golden, grizzle, black and tan, tri-color or any of these on a white background.

This is possibly the oldest of all the domestic breeds of dogs. Evidence of the Saluki can be found on Egyptian tombs dating back several thousand years b.c. The breed’s name may come from an ancient civilization called Seleucia. Arab nomads used these dogs to chase down gazelles, hare and fox in the arid deserts. The Muslin religion considered dogs to be unclean but this dog was vastly different and kept themselves so well groomed and clean that they were allowed to sleep in the tents with their masters. The Saluki was considered as el hor meaning “the noble one” so the exception was made and the dog was well pampered. After all, it was the dog that provided the food for the camp. This breed was introduced to the Western World in 1900 and was registered by the AKC in 1928. The numbers of this dog have decreased in the lands of their origin thanks to the hunting rifle and fast jeeps. The main role of this dog today is that of an exotic companion and he is in the show ring too. However, many are still used for hare coursing. The breed has had an interesting past and promises to have a good future as it remains popular in some parts of the world.

Saluki with a racing lure in his mouth
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The Saluki is another sensitive breed that needs firm, alpha leadership training but with a kind and gentle hand. Once they see the leadership role, they are happy to follow along and do the right things. Obedience training is mandatory. For this type of dog, clicker training with positive reinforcement is the best and most humane method. Loud noise, confused commands and any negativity will cause problems for the dog. Use the clicker to full advantage. This breed responds very well and is a good learner.

This dog, being so sensitive, can not perform under harsh corrections or sudden loud noise, hence, the clicker is ideal.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Saluki? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Saluki is not too difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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This is an amazingly fast dog and can chase down hare, jackal, wild boar and fox across the harsh land and desert. The Saluki is one of the fastest breeds alive, able to reach speeds in excess of forty milks an hour. The dog is quiet, timid at times, playful, affectionate but not especially demonstrative and extremely devoted to his family and home. He does well with older children but can not handle roughhousing and rambunctious kids. This is a clean, orderly, mild-mannered breed that was born to RUN! The Saluki will give serious chase to any small animal and any large car as long as it’s moving. They are kind, gentle, serious companion pets as well as talented sighthounds and hunters. Though sensitive, this is a pretty good watch dog but is not aggressive so is not a good guard dog. Like cats, they are very clean animals.

When outdoors, the dog will run fast in circles and if anything moves, will chase after it. He has no fear of automobiles and will run in front of moving cars or chase them too and he DOESN’T ALWAYS COME when called. The dog must be kept on leash at all times for his own protection.

It would be helpful for this breed to be heavily socialized as a young puppy starting at around 4 or 5 weeks by the breeder. Sensitive, timid dogs do better when they have grown up with lots of people, children, other dogs, cats and animals. If adopting one, or getting a puppy, make sure the puppy was adequately socialized at an early age. Then, train and manage your new dog with a firm but gentle “pack leader” attitude. Saluki’s are remarkably fine companions and house pets.

If you happen to get a Saluki with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."


Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Backs away from many dogs and can be submissive, wary and aloof. This is not an aggressive dog but he can be shy and hide from perceived danger.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

.The Saluki can co-exist with other household animals such as cats and dogs but must be introduced slowly. Let the dogs socialize and walk together on common ground to start out. Enclose the cat in a crate and allow the dog to sniff the cat in the house, off and on for a few days before allowing the two animals to run free together. Take it all slow. Remember, this dog’s instinct is to chase and kill small animals, especially rabbits.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Not good with strangers. Can be submissive, timid, wary, aloof. The dog bonds heavily with a few people in his family and hesitates to let “outsiders” enter his world.


Moderately playful. Fetch a tossed ball, run with the kids.


Moderately affectionate. He’s loyal to family and especially one person. Once this dog bonds, it’s for life.

Good with children

Yes, older children 6 or 7 and up. The Saluki is a slim dog and can not take the roughhousing and noisy, rambunctious play some kids can dish out. This is a dignified, well mannered animal that can be easily injured and easily frightened by too much childish activity. Also, this breed will probably not be playful enough to hold the interests of young children.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Needs too much exercise and might not be affectionate enough for a senior.

Living environment

House with medium to large fenced yard, farm or ranch okay.

The Saluki requires a warm, soft, padded bed to sleep on or calluses will develop. It should be kept away from drafts. If he ever once sleeps on your bed, you'll never get him off so set up a really soft place to snuggle and you will have a happy pooch.


Energy level

Moderate energy. Rate this about 5 bars our of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. Two good long walks a day OR better, take your Saluki jogging or bicycling on leash for a mile or so, then later take a quiet walk. EVERY dog needs to walk some for mental stimulation. If you live in the mountains, take him hiking. Then maybe a game of fetch the ball.
The dog can play in snow but can not be left out in the snow.


Good. The dog is alert and wants to protect his property and people.

Guard dog

No. Too timid.


Some shedding, modest amount.


Smooth coat version—Use a medium bristle brush several times a month to remove dead hair.

Feathered coat version—Needs comb two times a week to prevent matting.


The Saluki is naturally thin even when in good health. You can see his ribs. Some people think you are not feeding him. There are times when the dog is a picky eater and will skip a meal for no reason, but this is naturally a skinny dog, no matter what you do.



Suggested Reading For The Saluki
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

The book on the far right is fascinating even though a little pricey. It's well worth reading or giving as a gift.


Saluki Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Saluki puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that REALLY know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training.
Saluki Breeders with puppies for sale. NOTE - This is a very rare breed. Check online, as there may be others.

Saluki Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Saluki Rescue Group in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Saluki Rescue - (Nationwide) At this time, Petfinder has only 24 dogs listed for the USA. That number can change, of course. You might want to go online and search for Saluki Rescue or Clubs or kennels.

Dog Health Issues For The Saluki
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems as listed for the Saluki by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Bloat. “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. The stomach may not be firmly secured to the ribs and can break loose and rotate, sealing off both ends and trapping the contents of the stomach. Gas, liquids and food accumulate in the stomach causing it to “bloat.” The stomach enlarges and can twist on it’s attaching points. One point is the food pipe (esophagus) and at the other end is the small or “upper” intestine. With the entrance and exit closed off, the dog can not burp, belch, expel gas, vomit or in any way get anything out of the stomach. Blood flow returning to the heart is immediately blocked by the enlarged stomach. This triggers other negative responses in the body including breathing problems. The dog dies suddenly if immediate medical intervention is not made. quickly If your dog is prone to this, feed 3 or more small meals a day and don’t overload the stomach. DO NOT EXERCISE THE SALUKI FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR (or two) after eating a meal. This includes evening walks. Let food digest first. Surgery is often required so be sure to see an emergency vet immediately. Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse..

  • Hemangiosarcoma—An incurable tumor in the blood vessels. It is a highly malignant and aggressive cancer that lines the blood vessels. In the early stages, this cancer shows no signs, is painless and develops slowly. A lot of dogs die from internal bleeding before there is even a diagnosis. This is one deadly, stealthy disease.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the dog great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Cardiomyopathy—Disease of the heart muscle causing the heart to enlarge and not function properly. Cause is unknown. Older, bigger dogs , 4 to 10 years are usually affected. The prognosis is generally about 6 months to 2 years for a dog with this form of heart failure and only a matter of weeks for some severe cases.

  • Otitis externa—Ear infections—Inflammation and infection of the outer ear, especially dogs with long, floppy ear flaps. Dirt and moisture collect and breed yeast and bacteria. Ear hair and wax contribute to the infection environment. If left untreated it can become a serious infection. If at home treatments with cleaning and meds don't work and the problem worsens, surgery might be the last resort.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the Saluki’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision which if not treated properly can lead to total blindness.

Other health problems could occur with your Saluki. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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