Truly one of the oldest dogs in existence, the Saluki is a breed of antiquity, dating back to the Egyptian tombs of 2100 BC. The Saluki is widely depicted in engravings, paintings and records spanning its lengthy existence, making it one of the most historically referenced breeds. Mummified Saluki remains have been uncovered in the Upper Nile region, suggesting that these dogs, thought by many to be sacred gifts, were buried in the customary manner of the pharaohs. Spread throughout the Middle East and Europe by nomadic tribes, the Saluki eventually made its way to England in 1840. Capable of coursing gazelle, jackal and hare over difficult terrain, the Saluki established a shining reputation for itself as a game and fearless hunter. Officially recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1927.
Similar in appearance and structure to the Greyhound and the Afghan Hound, the Saluki boasts a lean and agile frame, with an elegant profile. Easily recognised by its athletic yet muscular build and elongated muzzle, the Saluki has a disproportionately large heart, a high percentage of fast-twitch muscle and a flexible spine for changing direction at full speed. A Saluki's fur is extremely short, maintaining a fine condition, and is commonly recognised in colour variations of white, fawn, cream, golden, tan, red, grizzle, blue (grey) and black. Differentiating between the Greyhound and the Saluki is easy - if there is feathering on the ears and tail, you can be assured you are looking at a Saluki!
Typically confident and aloof, the breed requires early training and gradual introduction to other family pets before it can adapt to the home environment without desiring to chase them. Highly compatible with children, however, the Saluki makes an affectionate and loyal family dog, socialising well with people and adjusting quickly to new situations. The Saluki is neither aggressive nor highly strung, but docile and dependable towards its owners. The average weight of the Saluki is 13-30 kg with discrepancies across gender, with a life expectancy of 10-12 years when cared for accordingly.
Generally healthy and resilient, the Saluki is not known to suffer from any genetic diseases. Documented cases of hip and elbow displasia, as well as various optical disorders have, however, been specifically associated with the breed. Cardiac-related illness and cancer, including lymphoma and liver cancer, are conditions prevalent in the Saluki.