Critter Culture
Understanding Your Saluki

Understanding Your Saluki

Critter Culture Staff



The saluki was bred thousands of years ago as a hunting dog for kings and nomadic people. They were developed from sighthounds, dogs that hunt by sight rather than smell. The breed originates from the Fertile Crescent, and depictions of them can be found in medieval art. They are energetic, loyal, and have a high prey drive, which made them very good companions to royals. Today, they offer their owners lots of love and quiet companionship.


The saluki is a tall, lanky breed

Saluki, Persian Greyhound stands, turned his head in the autumn background, bright colors of autumn, in the background forest, trees, lake

Male salukis can grow up to 27 inches tall, and females typically reach 24 inches. Males can range in weight from 45 to 65 pounds, whereas females range from 35 to 45 pounds. The weight ranges are rather large for this particular breed because they are slim, fast hunters, and picky eaters. It's common to see a healthy saluki's hip bones, some ribs, and some vertebrae.


Intelligence and trainability

Saluki dog chasing a lure in the grass at a lure coursing trial

These hunting dogs are very intelligent, so giving your saluki various training can greatly benefit them and your home. Three types of training are recommended for this breed: crate training, basic obedience training, and sport training such as lure coursing and fly ball.

This royal breed can be stubborn and won't do what they don't want to. Start training them young to get them accustomed to manners and crating.


Energy levels and living needs

Close up of a saluki's profile

Saluki dogs are known for their high energy and high prey drive. This means that they cannot resist chasing after wild animals. It's imperative that this dog is leash trained and is given a large spacious yard to exercise in. Adding a high fence will help keep your dog in place. This breed tends to become diggers and chewers when bored, so exercise them frequently to preserve your furniture, shoes, and yard.

Henry Horenstein / Getty Images


A quiet companion

Two saluki dogs sleeping together.

Many people consider the saluki to be quiet and reserved. They are very calm and quiet dogs and don't sound off frequently. They are shy by nature and will need socialization and training at a young age to help them get accustomed to social life.

For thousands of years, people admired this ethereal, quiet, and graceful companion, lauding it as a noble dog. They prefer sitting beside you rather than on your lap.


Grooming needs

Saluki portrait (head only) on blurred background

There are two types of coats for the saluki breed: feathered and smooth. Both types require once a week brushing. If your saluki has a feathered coat, they may need a snood for their ears during mealtimes to keep their hair out of their food. This breed is known for their cleanliness and lack of dog odor. They will need regular nail trimming and can be trained to sit still for it.


Common health issues

Saluki dog show champion portrait

Unlike other purebreds, salukis enjoy a mostly healthy genetic disposition. Long-distance running dogs like the saluki can develop cardiovascular problems such as valve disorders and heart enlargement. Some dogs can develop bloat from excessive exercise. Ensure that you take your saluki for regular vet check-ups and get cardiac exams and thyroid exams to ensure their heart and hormone growth is normal. A healthy saluki will be happy and very active well into their old age.


Friendliness with others

Two saluki dogs running together in a field

The saluki is a single-family dog. They are loyal and committed to the people that raised them and are very gentle with children. They can tolerate another dog in the family well. Salukis are not good with strangers and tend to get quite shy when new people are introduced. If you are accustomed to having friends and extended family visits, ensure your dog has a safe quiet place to relax away from the bustle.


The saluki's adaptability

saluki breed in a sweater, Persian greyhound, closeup portrait, in a snowy winter, in the background a forest strewn with snow

This breed is not extremely adaptable. They are highly sensitive dogs and will take even a stern look to heart, let alone a reprimand. Train your saluki's with positive reinforcement, and crate train them when they're young to help them have a safe, quiet haven. The saluki can tolerate moderately hot weather but is not a fan of the cold. They don't like being left alone, so give them plenty of attention and time.


Leash life and wanderlust

saluki runs through the grass at dawn

Salukis are naturally agile and bred for the hunt. Their high prey drive also gives them a side effect of wanderlust. Even a well-trained saluki may not always come back to their owner if released without a leash. They will chase after birds, squirrels, and even bugs if allowed. Leash training is imperative to this dog's well-being and safety.


The speedy saluki

autumn portrait of adorable saluki persian hound

One saluki broke the Guinness Book of World Records for being the fastest dog in 1996. They held the record there at 42.8 miles per hour. Though greyhounds are known as the fastest dog, salukis are known to be fastest over long distances. The large pads on their feet absorb the impact of their bodies and give them the stamina to run for very long distances. Sport training is great for these fast-paced dogs.


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