Aust Ch Taejaan Erin Brokovitch & Rachael Shaw (Left)
Aust Ch Bahgdad At The Oasis & Margot Keast (back)
Baghdad A Missdemeanor & Millissa Fox (right)
The Saluki is perhaps the oldest known breed of domesticated dog. A study published in the May 21, 2004 issue of Science confirms the Saluki's antiquity through DNA analysis identifying it as one of the earliest breeds to diverge from wolves. Like elsewhere in the Fertile Crescent region, Saluki-like animals appear on the ancient ceramics from Susa and Sialk of 3500 BC in Iran, as well as on Egyptian tombs of 2100 BC. The breed had been occasionally imported to England before 1840, however there was no serious interest until the Hon. Florence Amherst imported a breeding pair of Salukis from Lower Egypt in 1895 and began working to popularize the breed. The American Kennel Club recognized Salukis in 1923.
Widely admired for its beauty, speed and endurance, the Saluki is a sighthound and historically traveled throughout the Middle East with nomadic desert tribes over an area stretching from the Sahara to the Caspian Sea. As a result, different Saluki subtypes, varying mostly in colour and coat, can be found across this widely scattered area.
Although the greyhound is the fastest dog breed with a top speed of around 45 mph (72 km/h), the Saluki's strength lies in its great endurance and stamina. They may not be the fastest sighthounds, but they can run for much longer than the sprinting breeds.
They are 58-71cm and 13-30kg in weight. The overall appearance of the Saluki is one of grace and symmetry. Salukis are "sight" hounds which means they sight the quarry, run it down, catch and retrieve/dispatch it. The impression given should be one of the ability to hunt efficiently. While on the coursing field the impression becomes a reality with the addition of an intense desire, drive, and focus that is not seen in the show ring. Combined, these qualities comprise undeniable Saluki breed type and function.
There are two coat types evident in the Saluki gene pool: smooth and feathered. Smooth is a short coat over the entire body, and feathered is long hair on the ears, backs of the legs and tail. This hair can be of varying lengths and sparseness is not to be penalised. Both coat types exhibit the same qualities. In both varieties males may range from 23 to 28 inches at the top of the shoulder with females measuring somewhat smaller.
A true Saluki retains the qualities of hunting hounds and may seem reserved and aloof. They learn quickly but can get bored with repetition, so training sessions should be short and varied. Sensitive and intelligent, the Saluki should never be trained using force or hard-handed methods.
Salukis need regular exercise, but can behave quietly indoors. They are usually quiet and don't bark unless there is a reason, but they will "sing" (a high pitched howl, with oscillating volume) when they feel that something is wrong or when a member of the family is away for a long period of time. This "singing" can also be for bonding in the family (pack) group. There are salukis that have been taught to "sing" on cue. Salukis can get along well with children and can become protective, but the family must respect the dog's need for quiet and peaceful time alone to rest. Salukis have a fairly long life span, living an average of 13-16 years.
According to the National Veterinary Scholars, Salukis should not be allowed off leash. Salukis can have a strong prey drive as they are sighthounds and have an ancient heritage of hunting by sight (over 7,000 years). However, this does not mean that they cannot get along with smaller dogs, cats, or other small pets. Training and understanding of the individual saluki comes into play when integrating a household of mixed species. The Saluki Club of America recommends a fence of at least five feet tall, as a Saluki can very easily jump anything lower than that.
The Saluki has historically served as a courser, a speedy hunting dog that operated in packs. They often hunted in tandem with falcons which locate the prey and for the dogs to run down.
Salukis appear on Egyptian tombs from 2100 B.C. The dogs were so esteemed that they were often mummified like the bodies of the Pharaohs themselves. Numerous Saluki remains have been found in the ancient tombs of the Upper Nile region.
In Muslim cultures, dogs are often seen as unclean. A saluki, however, is given a different status by the Arab culture. The Bedouin value them, breeding them for both beauty and hunting qualities. A saluki, instead of being viewed as unclean, often sleeps in tents with their owners, to be protected from the heat of the day and the cold of the night.
Satine & Melody are both our Show Salukis. Many thanks to Paula Bockman-Chato from Baghdad Salukis for entrusting both these angels with us. Their antics never fail to amuse us and they are both loved dearly. They lives in the same "indoor Greenhouse" with their Feline Cousins. Catch Satine & Melody at the nearest Dog Show in KCC park or Bulla Showgrounds on most weekends.