The elegantly built Saluki with its long legs and slender frame is one of the larger sighthounds with a rich history going back thousands of years.
Bred to hunt and chase prey by sight, Salukis regularly need to wear themselves out by running or racing. Once they bolt after whatever squirrel, cat, or other small animal has crossed their path, you might as well be shouting the recall command into the void. For that reason, keeping them leashed during walks and only letting them race within secured or fenced-in areas is imperative to their safety.
While they are both robust and enduring in their desire to run, Salukis are not averse to a fair bit of luxury in their homes. Their low body fat makes them fierce appreciators of well-cushioned sofas and comfortable (dog) beds.
Despite them being equipped with a sense of independence, Salukis are still capable of forming strong bonds with their owners. While not that affectionate towards strangers, their loyalty and love for their owners run deep – a fact that every Saluki owner can wholeheartedly confirm.
The Saluki’s rich history reaches back to Ancient Egypt and the Middle East, coining their nickname as The Royal Dog of Egypt. Historians place their existence as far back as 7000 BC, which would make them one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.
Hunting gazelles, foxes and hares under the harshest conditions, Salukis provided food for the nomads and were beloved by the nobility and the pharaohs for their elegance and endurance. Excavations in the Upper Nile regions have even uncovered mummified Salukis, a practice believed to help preserve the body for the afterlife, emphasising the high regard in which they were held during their lifetime.
Salukis are generally a healthy breed. However, it is recommended to check for cardiovascular conditions, like valve disease or arrhythmia. Due to their low body fat, Salukis don’t react well to barbiturate anaesthetics. Veterinarians are usually aware of this, but you can always double-check with them should the need for anaesthesia arise.
Running accidents can also cause injuries, but that risk can be reduced by making sure the environment is appropriate for the Salukis’ speedy endeavours. To avoid gastric torsion (extremely dangerous bloating and twisting of the stomach) Salukis should not run excessively for a few hours after eating.