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AKC Meet the Breeds: Saluki

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Although the breed appears graceful and fragile, don't be fooled -- the Saluki is an avid hunter and possesses the strength and endurance to chase quarry over long distances and difficult terrain. Today, this sight hound is popular at lure coursing events and in the show ring. Salukis can be coated (with feathering on the legs) or smooth. In both varieties, colors include white, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle and tan, tricolor, and black and tan.

A Look Back

The royal dog of Egypt, the Saluki is perhaps the oldest known breed of domesticated dog. They were held in such great esteem that their bodies were often mummified like the bodies of the Pharaohs themselves. The breed was originally used by the Arabs to track and bring down gazelle, the fastest of the antelopes. When the Saluki was first imported to England in 1840, they were used primarily to hunt hare.

Right Breed for You?

Independent and cat-like, the Saluki is a typical hound - he can be taught obedience, but requires patience and consistency from his owner. The breed will instinctively run after anything that moves, so they must be kept on leash or in a fenced area during their daily exercise. A clean breed, Saluki coats shed little, but they still require weekly brushing and occasional bathing.

  • Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1929.
  • Ranging in size from 23 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder; females are smaller.
  • Gazelle hunter.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.