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  • Temperament: Gentle, Dignified, Independent-Minded
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 125 of 194
  • Height: 23-28 inches (male), considerably smaller (female)
  • Weight: 40-65 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-17 years
  • Group: Hound Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Saluki standing in three-quarter view
Saluki head and shoulders facing left
Saluki lying in three-quarter view
Saluki tan
Saluki 3 color profile
Saluki 3-color front
Saluki 3-color front

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The whole appearance of this breed should give an impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength and activity to enable it to kill gazelle or other quarry over deep sand or rocky mountains. The expression should be dignified and gentle with deep, faithful, far-seeing eyes. Dogs should average in height from 23 to 28 inches and bitches may be considerably smaller, this being very typical of the breed.

HEAD

Long and narrow, skull moderately wide between the ears, not domed, stop not pronounced, the whole showing great quality. Nose black or liver. Ears Long and covered with long silky hair hanging close to the skull and mobile. Eyes Dark to hazel and bright; large and oval, but not prominent. Teeth Strong and level.

BODY

Neck: Long, supple and well muscled. Chest: Deep and moderately narrow. Loin and Back: Back fairly broad, muscles slightly arched over loin.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders sloping and set well back, well muscled without being coarse. Forelegs Straight and long from the elbow to the knee.

COAT

Smooth and of a soft silky texture, slight feather on the legs, feather at the back of the thighs and sometimes with slight woolly feather on the thigh and shoulder.

HINDQUARTERS

Strong, hipbones set well apart and stifle moderately bent, hocks low to the ground, showing galloping and jumping power.

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About the Saluki

The beauty of Salukis has been a thing of wonder for thousands of years. They’re slim and leggy, but very strong and perfectly balanced, like a great athlete or dancer. Males can stand between 23 and 28 inches at the shoulder; females can be much shorter. They come in a many colors and patterns. Their large, oval-shaped eyes are warm and intelligent.

Salukis are highly adaptable, able to live and work in any climate. They’re magnificent animals, but owning them comes with many special challenges.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Saluki

Find a Puppy: Saluki

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Care

NUTRITION

The Saluki’s breeder and veterinarian can suggest a health care program that includes diet recommendations. Many owners feed a mix of high-quality dry and canned food. A kibble based on lamb and rice (rather than corn or wheat) can help avoid potential food allergies. A dollop of cottage cheese (for calcium) and yogurt (for digestive-tract health) on their food are healthy supplement options that the hound will enjoy. Saluki appetites can range from the skimpy to the gluttonous. Dogs with the latter will often eat other dogs’ food as well as their own, so they may have to be separated at mealtimes to prevent becoming overweight.

GROOMING

Salukis have two types of coats—feathered and smooth—and both are easily groomed with weekly brushing, although if they have long ear or tail feathering, that may take a bit more attention. Many Saluki owners will use a snood to keep their ear feathering out of the food bowl (smooth Salukis do not have that problem). They are very clean dogs and known for not having a “doggy” odor. Bathing need only be done if they get dirty or before a dog show.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

Salukis need regular exercise to keep fit, and daily walks (always on a leash) will help both hound and owner stay in shape, both physically and mentally. They love to run and should have a well-fenced yard to keep them safely away from traffic. Public dog parks may be a good option as long as they are all getting along. Like other dogs, Salukis can be escape artists or destructive chewers when bored or unhappy at home, so good fencing and safe toys and chew-bones are a must.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

The Saluki will benefit from three types of training: (1) Crate training is recommended for those times when the dog needs to be safely confined in the home or while traveling. (2) Basic obedience training will help the dog learn manners in the home and community. Well-behaved dogs are welcome almost everywhere. (3) For mental stimulation and exercise, canine sports such as lure coursing, flyball, and agility are all fun options. Lastly, if you start when they are young, it is possible to train them to hold still for nail trimming and daily teeth brushing.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

As a breed, Salukis are free from serious genetic diseases. Some may develop heart conditions such as valve disease or arrhythmia, and enlarged hearts are not unknown. Certain cancers such as hemangiosarcoma or bone, lymph, or mammary cancers (the latter is prevented by early neutering) can occur, and some autoimmune and blood conditions have been reported. Vigorous running and playing after eating can cause bloat, or gastric torsion (which is a life-threatening emergency and needs immediate intervention). Generally, however, Salukis enjoy a healthy, active life from birth to old age.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  • No recommended health tests
Saluki
Saluki
Saluki

History

The Saluki is among the oldest dog breeds. Experts tell us Salukis might go as far back as 7000 b.c. Like other sighthounds, Salukis were special favorites of kings: Egyptian pharaohs, Alexander the Great, and on through history. The breed today is remarkably similar in shape and personality to its ancient ancestors. We can still marvel at the same sleek lines and natural dignity that thrilled royal families of the Middle East, Egypt, and Asia since before the Pyramids were built.

Did You Know?

The Saluki, royal dog of Egypt, is perhaps the oldest known breed of domesticated dog, identified by some historians as "a distinct breed and type as long ago as 329 BC when Alexander the Great invaded India."
The Saluki was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1927.
Having tremendous speed, the Saluki was used by the Arabs principally to track and bring down gazelle, the fastest of the antelopes.
Salukis were widespread and appeared in Egypt, where they were held in such great esteem that their bodies were often mummified like the bodies of the pharaohs themselves.
Salukis were first brought into England in 1840.
The Saluki's sight is remarkable, as is his strong constitution and ability to withstand very harsh conditions despite an aristocratic appearance.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The whole appearance of this breed should give an impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength and activity to enable it to kill gazelle or other quarry over deep sand or rocky mountains. The expression should be dignified and gentle with deep, faithful, far-seeing eyes. Dogs should average in height from 23 to 28 inches and bitches may be considerably smaller, this being very typical of the breed.

HEAD

Long and narrow, skull moderately wide between the ears, not domed, stop not pronounced, the whole showing great quality. Nose black or liver. Ears Long and covered with long silky hair hanging close to the skull and mobile. Eyes Dark to hazel and bright; large and oval, but not prominent. Teeth Strong and level.

BODY

Neck: Long, supple and well muscled. Chest: Deep and moderately narrow. Loin and Back: Back fairly broad, muscles slightly arched over loin.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders sloping and set well back, well muscled without being coarse. Forelegs Straight and long from the elbow to the knee.

COAT

Smooth and of a soft silky texture, slight feather on the legs, feather at the back of the thighs and sometimes with slight woolly feather on the thigh and shoulder.

HINDQUARTERS

Strong, hipbones set well apart and stifle moderately bent, hocks low to the ground, showing galloping and jumping power.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BLACK Check Mark For Standard Color 007
BLACK & SILVER Check Mark For Standard Color 016
BLACK & TAN Check Mark For Standard Color 018
BLACK TAN & WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 030
CHOCOLATE Check Mark For Standard Color 071
CHOCOLATE & TAN Check Mark For Standard Color 072
CREAM Check Mark For Standard Color 076
FAWN Check Mark For Standard Color 082
GOLDEN Check Mark For Standard Color 093
RED Check Mark For Standard Color 140
SILVER Check Mark For Standard Color 176
WHITE Check Mark For Standard Color 199

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
GRIZZLE MARKINGS Check Mark For Standard Mark 064
IRISH MARKED Check Mark For Standard Mark 115
IRISH MARKED GRIZZLE Check Mark For Standard Mark 123
IRISH MARKED SABLE Check Mark For Standard Mark 125
PARTI-COLOR Check Mark For Standard Mark 038
PARTI-COLOR GRIZZLE Check Mark For Standard Mark 124
SABLE Check Mark For Standard Mark 026
SABLE PARTI-COLOR Check Mark For Standard Mark 126

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