Saluki Dog Breed

  • 23/11/2010
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Description: The Saluki is a large breed of dog, it measures 23-28 inches, in height, yet weighing between 29 and 66 pounds, are obviously a slender dog. Their overall appearance is greyhound like, with a narrow long head, a little wider between the ears. The ears Hang close to the head and are often quite mobile, with its long neck stretching down to its deep chest and narrow front legs. Between the toes is fairly thick hair, which protects their feet on rough terrain. The short coat is accentuated by long silky feathering on the tail ears and, commonly, on the upper legs. There is a variety, with a smooth course coat that has no feathering, although this variety is quite rare and not usually seen.

History. Salukis are native to the area between Turkey and Eastern Turkistan, and are believed to be a close relative of the Afghan hound. They are an ancient breed and were the Royal dog of Egypt, thus placing them as one of the oldest domesticated dogs in existence. The name is derived from the Arabian city of saluki, which is no longer in existence. Bodies of these dogs have been found mummified in tombs alongside pharaohs. Drawings have also been found in Egyptian tombs dating as far back as 2100B.C. As they were considered a gift from Allah, by the Muslims, these dogs were never sold they were only ever given as gifts of honour and friendship. Some salukis have a patch of white on the forehead; this was believed by some of the Bedouin to be the kiss of Allah.

Temperament. They are devoted and even tempered with a friendly and gentle disposition, although they can seem aloof even to family members. They are loyal dog and tend to become attached to a particular person. Whilst they are most commonly good with children, they do not enjoy rough play. Training needs to be firm whilst gentle and calm; they are sensitive and can become upset by severe discipline. They tend to get on well with other pets, especially of their own breed, but do be wary of small animals as their natural instincts lead Salukis' to the hunt. They are non-aggressive in nature and tend to mix well with people.

Health issues. Salukis are prone to eye problems, they can also contract cancers. Care must be taken on sunny days as this breed can suffer from sunburn, especially their noses. They have a reasonable life expectancy of between 10 and 12 years.

Grooming. The breed is classed as average shedders, and their coat, which is normally free of odour, is easy to groom. A simple brush and combing, taking particular care of the long haired areas is adequate, and does not need to be done particularly frequently.

Living conditions. Preferring the warm these dogs are better suited to living indoors. However, they're very athletic and require a great deal of exercise. Exercise is probably best when they are kept on a leash, or it is conducted in a large secure area. They can become distracted by small animals and decide to hunt them, calling them off is often not possible, and with a top speed of 40 miles an hour, chasing them is out of the question, unless you have a quad bike or similar. There have been unfortunate incidents as a result of this. A large secure garden is safe the dog to run free in, is a good compromise for it's off leash exercise. This breed is definitely unsuitable for apartment life.

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