Pet Fun

Top 8 interesting facts about Salukis

Slinky Salukis

Salukis are a fascinating breed. If you've ever met or owned one you will know what funny creatures they can be with their intelligent and sensitive nature and silky soft fluffy ears! 

Here's our top 8 facts about Salukis:

1. An ancient bloodline

The roots of the Saluki breed can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt and Persia. The Egyptians held them in the highest regard for their ability to hunt in desert heats and were considered worthy of being preserved in the afterlife. Mummified remains of Salukis have been found in the Pharaohs tombs in Egypt and evidence has been recorded of the breed as being dubbed as the 'Royal Dog of Egypt'.

2. A heavenly creature

As well as being adored and highly prized by the Egyptians, Arab tribesmen in ancient times greatly valued Salukis as a breed. There is even evidence to suggest that as much care was put into the breeding of Salukis as in the breeding of Arabian horses. It has been said that the Arabs believed the Saluki to be a gift from God and named the hounds 'el hor' which translates as 'the noble'.

3. A stella breed

If you were to take a trip down the walk of fame you might not see a Saluki as according to Hollywood Reporter they are not considered one of the top 10 most popular dogs in L.A.

However, this doesn't mean you can't find Salukis on the big screen! In fact, in 2018 there was a recent short documentary made about the Saluki entitled 'El Hor' which honours the reverent title the Ancient Arabs bestowed on the breed. 

4. Popularity 

Where the Saluki was worshipped in ancient times in Egypt and the East, the breed only began to gain popularity in Europe the West in more modern eras. According to 101dogbreeds.com the Saluki was introduced to England in 1840 and were called 'Slughis'. A similar hound, the 'Sloughi' was considered to be of the same breed as the the Saluki until later genetic tests proved this to be false. British Salukis were exported to America and the 'Saluki Club of America' was formed in 1927 gaining AKC recognition in 1929. In the aftermath of  WW2 the numbers of Salukis declined but in recent years it has been acknowledged that the breed has been regaining a popular status in the USA and Europe.

5. Temperament

The mind of the Saluki is a mysterious place. To observe a Saluki is often akin to observing a bird or a butterfly - they can be skittish but curious, easily spooked and a little sensitive. They could be considered a quite highly strung but more commonly than not, Salukis are a friendly and intellegent breed and with the right care and attention to their particular needs they can be a real pleasure to handle. 

6. Cosiness matters

These slinky sensitive dogs love the luxury of a soft surface. Don't be surprised to see a Saluki spending a good amount of time arranging itself carefully in it's bed...or on yours. Thanks to their physical build and lack of natural cushioning a Saluki may find getting comfortable a challenge if not provided with something nice and padded to rest themselves on. Some Salukis may even persistently use their paws to dig at soft furnishings in an effort to create a kind of cosy nest for themselves. Sofas, throws, bedding may be at risk in a home where a Saluki sleeps! 

7. Energy and drive

Salukis are bred for hunting prey. Naturally they have an instinct to chase small creatures such as rabbits, squirrels and mice...and sometimes cats. A Saluki is best kept on the lead in unsecure areas such as near roads or steep ditches as they may decide at any moment something is worth the chase regardless of the space they are in.

For such a slim breed, Salukis have an astounding level of stamina and energy so required a great amount of outdoor time. Where possible a Saluki should be allowed to run off lead. Being an intellegent and energetic hound means that Salukis need the right handling which includes mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. If these needs are not met a Saluki may develop destructive or unwanted behaviours which make them a challenge to live with.

8. Silky Salukis

The coat of a Saluki can be either rough or smooth. Smooth coated Salukis tend to have more 'hound-like' closer coats and less feathering around their tails and upper legs. Rough coated Salukis have a fuller coat which is more dense around their necks and their upper legs and tails tend to be much more feathery.

Of course one of the most distinguishing features of a Saluki though is their long silky feathery ears. It's hard not to love those pendulous fluffy appendages and being the delicate things that they are they should be treated with the utmost care. When grooming a soft brush is advisable on a Salukis ears and perhaps the more angular parts of their slender frames too.