Saluki – Everything You Need To Know About These Stunning Dogs

saluki dog

Are you thinking of adding a four-legged friend to your family? With so many different breeds out there – it can be hard for you to know which one is right for you. Have you ever heard of the Saluki – majestic, speedy & graceful?

These stunning purebred dogs are packed with personality & have been beloved by people around the world for centuries for their gentle nature & intelligence. These majestic-looking dogs have an ancient lineage – that dates back thousands of years & are still beloved today. 

In this blog – we’ll provide detailed information about the Saluki breed – what makes them so special, their unique traits & their needs so you can decide if this is the right breed for you.

Kid/Other Pet Friendly
General Health
Exercise Needs
Easy To Train
Vital Stats

Breed Group



24 to 27 inches


35 to 65 Pounds

Life Span

12 to 14 Yeara

What Is a Saluki?

The Saluki – previously known as the gazelle hound, Persian Greyhound, or Arabian hound – is regarded as one of the most ancient dog breeds. It is believed that Saluki & also other ancient dog breeds originated from the 1st dogs & traveled with their nomadic owners. They’re beautiful, skinny dogs that are fast and very graceful.

History of Salukis

Dogs resembling Salukis have been discovered in carvings on Egyptian tombs – that date back to approximately 4,000 years ago (2100 B.C.E.). Similar carvings have been found in the Sumerian empire – dating back to 7,000-6,000 B.C.E. – suggesting that Salukis have ancient origins. 

These sighthounds were favored by kings & pharaohs throughout history – including Alexander the Great. 

Salukis were used to hunt gazelles & hares in partnership with falcons and were often mummified after death. Despite dogs being considered unclean in the culture – the Saluki was permitted to share the Bedouin tents & were even called “El Hor” or “the noble one.”

Origin of the Saluki Name

The origin of the breed’s name is not certain. It may have been named after the old city of Seleukia in Syria or the city of Saluk in Yemen. Yet another possibility is that the name originated from the Arabic term for hound.

AKC Recognition 

Salukis first stepped in Britain in 1840 – however, it was only after the First World War that this athletic breed became popular in Great Britain (when British officers brought many of them from the Middle East).

In 1927 – the foundation of the Saluki Club of America (SCOA) was laid – which coincides with the year when American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed.

In 1929 AKC registered the first Saluki i.e., Jinniyat of Grevel. Though recognized by the AKC – the Saluki is still quite unpopular in the U.S. – ranking 116th out of 155 varieties & breeds acknowledged by the organization.

black and tan saluki

The Appearance of Salukis

These four-legged canines have captivated people for centuries with their elegant & graceful appearance. Although they may look like regular sight hounds – these elegant skinny canines are unique in many ways. These wonderful hounds possess the following typical traits.


  • This captivating canine possesses slender & elongated head with noticeable stops & a slightly domed, broad skull.
  • They have large, expressive & dark eyes – exuding an alert expression. The nose is prominent black & sharply pointed & feathered ears rest closely against their cheeks. 
  • Notably, their heads’ keen shape contributes to their overall alertness. Sporting a strong jaw – the Saluki boasts a perfect scissor bite – where the upper teeth fit neatly over the lower ones.
  • They have a graceful posture – that’s accentuated by a long, muscular neck & broad sloping shoulders – accompanied by straight, lengthy front legs. 
  • With a slim and elegant physique – Salukis possess long, broad backs & well-rounded ribs – reflecting their inherent agility. 
  • The Saluki’s feet are compact & large – featuring well-knuckled toes. When at rest – they carry their long tail low – but it rises higher as they move with grace & speed.

Coat Color 

The majestic Saluki boasts a sleek & velvety short coat that drapes gracefully over the body. While some Salukis have a completely smooth coat – others may possess subtle feathering on the backs of their thighs, on their legs, sometimes underneath their tail & on their shoulders. Their ears are long and adorned with silky hair.

When it comes to colors – Salukis can be found in a range of shades, including.

  • Fawn
  • Cream
  • Grizzle & tan
  • Golden 
  • Black & tan
  • White
  • Tricolor combinations of black, white & tan. 

The pigmentation of their noses can be liver or black-colored.


If you’re thinking of getting a Saluki canine as pet – keep in mind that they are medium-sized dogs that give the impression of being tall & extremely slender. Generally – males are slightly larger than females. As Salukis age – their long & dense coats may add some weight to their already lean frames. 

Gender Male

~27 inches

45-65 lbs

Gender Female 

~24 inches 

35-45 lbs

Varieties of Salukis

For thousands of years – breeding Salukis with non-Salukis was not allowed – which helped this skinny breed remain unchanged.

However – Salukis have always come in various styles due to their widespread distribution in the Middle East. Each tribe preferred dogs that were best suited for hunting different games in different terrains.

When Salukis were introduced to England in the early 1900s – breed enthusiasts ensured that all variations were included in the breed standard. Even today – the Saluki is available in various styles & all of them are considered correct.

saluki in grass

The Temperament of Saluki Dogs

If you are in search of a loyal & gentle canine companion – the Saluki is an excellent choice. Even with their family members – they can sometimes seem distant & tend to form strong bonds with one specific person.

These dogs have a demeanor that can be described as cat-like – they love to curl up on the couch, sunbathe & spend some quality time alone. But don’t expect them to follow you around everywhere or always come when called. They enjoy a bit of independence! 😇

Just be careful when taking them out for a run – these canines can really move & might end up on the other side of town before you know it.

A fenced-off area or protected space is the best option for this breed’s exercise needs. It’ll let them get their energy out without worry. You could also think about getting them a retractable dog leash to give them a bit of safe freedom.

How Fast Can Salukis Run?

So, we mentioned that Salukis can really move, but how fast are these pups exactly? Incredibly, Salukis can run up to 69 KMs per hour! That means it really is best if they’re kept on a leash or in a securely fenced-in area.

Are Salukis Good With Children?

If you have older children in the home – pet Salukis will do great as companions. But young Salukis are not ideal for young kids under the age of 8 – a kid’s energy level is too high & Saluki dogs have delicate skin and bones that can be easily injured if children are not cautious.

Do Salukis Get Along With Other Pets and Animals?

It’s important to understand that even though Salukis aren’t aggressive with people – they may still chase & kill non-canine animals. Their vision is remarkable – they can spot those speedy critters from a far distance!

Though you can train them – the instinctive hunting tendencies won’t disappear. So be mindful that if you have other family pets like birds, guinea pigs, bunnies, or squirrels – you’d be extra cautious when introducing a Saluki to your family.

If you have a dominant cat – they may get along – especially if brought up together – but even then, there’s still the chance that they may chase strange cats. So just be patient and take your time when introducing a Saluki to a house with other pets. Read our blog on the reasons why dogs and cats hate (and sometimes love) each other for more information.

Can a Saluki Be a Good Watch Dog?

Happily yes! Salukis have been historically used as watchdogs – as they are extremely alert & highly sensitive to their surroundings. This breed has excellent vision – making them naturally attuned to potential dangers. They’re effective at detecting suspicious activity before it happens – giving their owners a chance to react quickly.

However – they are not an aggressive breed – so, they may not be a great fit for someone looking for a guard dog that will take physical action if necessary. You might want to consider a scary dog breed instead.

Can a Saluki Be Left Alone?

The short answer is yes – but it’s not something that should be done for long periods of time. Saluki dogs are independent enough to handle some alone time – but they’re very social animals & will become lonely & anxious when kept alone for too long.

For this reason – they’d never live outdoors as they require the companionship of humans to thrive & be happy. 

When left alone for extended periods – Salukis become anxious, and depressed & may exhibit destructive behaviors out of boredom. Therefore – it’s important to provide them with the attention & stimulation they need in order to stay emotionally healthy. If you do need to leave for a time, try getting them a puzzle toy to keep them entertained. They’ll love having something to do whilst you’re gone.

cute saluki puppies

Training a Saluki

The Saluki dog is a sensitive pup – and they need someone who knows how to handle them gently. This breed is also highly intelligent – so you won’t have any trouble teaching it commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘roll over.’ Training can start as early as 6 weeks old!

Very impressive, huh? 🤔

To keep your Saluki’s attention – make sure that training sessions are short, enjoyable & stimulating. If they get bored – they won’t be interested in learning. Reward & encourage good behavior – never shout at or hit them. We recommend using healthy snacks as a reward, these could include chunks of pineapple, asparagus, or cucumber.

Socializing a Saluki

As mentioned earlier – Salukis are pretty independent yet fiercely loyal to their family. But when it comes to strangers – they’re usually shy – unless you socialize them early on and keep it up throughout their life! They tend to get along with other dogs but really love spending time with other Salukis or sighthounds or Saluki-like dogs.

These dogs are sensitive & can pick up on any tension in the home. To make sure your Saluki puppy develops into a balanced and well-behaved pooch, it’s important to introduce them to different kinds of sights, people, experiences & sounds while they’re still young and learning. That way, socialization becomes second nature for them.

Grooming Needs of a Saluki

This ancient breed has moderate grooming needs that should be taken into consideration if you plan on owning one of these gorgeous dogs. 


Salukis have minimal shedding & no doggy odor, making them very easy to keep clean. To spread the skin oils and remove any dead hair brushing the coat weekly is enough – also comb the feathering 1-2 times a week, too, just to make sure there are no tangles.


Usually, all you’ll need to do is give your Saluki dog a good wipe with a damp cloth – so there is no need to bathe him unless he’s really dirty.

Dental Hygiene

Give them a good brush two or three times a week – or better yet, daily – to help remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that can come along with it. 

Nail Care

Every month or so – trim their nails if they’re getting too long – you’ll know they’re too long if you can hear them clicking on the floor. Keeping their nails short helps keep you safe from the scratches when they jump to greet you, additionally, it also keeps their feet in good shape. 

saluki dog face

Feeding Requirements of a Saluki

Salukis are like the supermodels of the canine world—gorgeous to look at and with a reputation for being somewhat picky eaters. 

As an adult – your dog’s diet depends on its size, age, metabolism & activity level.

The quality of the food you buy is key, too; high-quality dog food will have more nutrients & require less in terms of quantity to fill your pup up. Fresh dog food is a really good option as many of the best fresh dog food brands pre-portion the meals depending on your pup’s breed and exercise needs.

If you’d like to feed them regular dog food, a Saluki should be fed with about 1.75-2.75 cups of premium quality doggie food divided into 2 meals/day. Fortunately, they don’t have any dietary restrictions & they can eat all kinds of foods, from raw & cooked meats to veggies or kibble. Check out the BarkingTalk Food Page for more healthy treat ideas (and foods to avoid).

Ideal Living Environment for Salukis

The Saluki is an active pooch that loves being outdoors. They need a yard that’s at least 300 by 400 feet & fences should be five or six feet high. Otherwise – they’ll jump over!

Apartment life isn’t advisable for this pup as they may easily become bored and depressed. But if you must keep them indoors – make sure they get ~30 minutes outside of their crate every day. Give them lots of indestructible dog toys & chew sticks to prevent furniture destruction when left alone. A large dog crate can also be helpful!

This breed needs a good amount of exercise – so make sure to provide daily playtime opportunities. With the right environment – your Saluki will be ecstatic! 

The Health of A Saluki 

You need to be mindful of any health issues that may come with owning a Saluki. Although the Saluki dog is typically a hardy pup & is not prone to many inherited diseases, it can still suffer from some common health concerns.

Cancer: According to the breed club – Salukis may be susceptible to various types of cancer, such as hemangiosarcoma (found in spleen & blood vessels’ lining), osteosarcoma, lymphoma & mammary cancers in female dogs. 

Hypothyroidism: A condition where their thyroid gland produces too little of the hormone. Symptoms can include:

  • Infertility
  • Weight gain
  • Mental fogging
  • Lack of energy
  • Irregular heat cycles

Bloat or Gastric Torsion: A Saluki, even if healthy, can experience this serious & life-threatening emergency if they engage in significant activity after eating. Therefore, it is crucial for responsible owners to ensure their Saluki gets enough rest after meals. You could also try getting them a slow feeder dog bowl.

Anesthesia Sensitivity: Low body fat of Sighthounds like the Saluki makes them extra sensitive to anesthetic drugs.

Cardiomyopathy: This heart muscle disease has two forms

  • One is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM): This happens when the ventricles – primary pumping chambers of the heart get bigger & bigger over time. 
  • The other form is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: It’s when the muscle mass of the heart increases drastically. 

DCM is the commonly occurring type & it mainly affects middle-aged and young males in larger breeds – like Saluki.

Life Expectancy of a Saluki

Salukis are one of the healthiest breeds around with a lifespan of ~12–14 years when well taken care of. Provide them with good nutrition & regular visits to the vet and they’ll be your four-legged canine companions for a long time! 👍

saluki dog breed

Buying a Saluki

To ensure that you buy a healthy doggie friend, look for a creditable breeder who can furnish you with health clearances of both parents of the Saluki puppy. These clearances demonstrate that the dog has been tested & found free of certain conditions.

For Salukis, it is recommended that you request health clearances from the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) regarding thyroid and heart diseases. A Saluki puppy typically costs ~$2,500. However – renowned breeders charge higher prices & their Saluki puppies can range from $3,500 to $10,000 per puppy.

Final Word- Should You Adopt a Saluki?

Saluki dogs are incredible and will bring a lot of joy & companionship to your home. They have an impressive history, unique features & diverse personalities – all things that make them the perfect breed for any dog-lover like you. 

If you’re looking for a four-legged companion who is loyal, affectionate & fun-loving, then the Saluki might just be for you. They’ll bring an unbeatable amount of joy to your life!