Saluki is an ancient Sighthound that originated in the Crescent region – todays Egypt. This hound breed is, according to some historical evidence, more than 7.000 years old and is definitely one of the most ancient breeds of dog. It is included in the group of 14 ancient dogs, together with the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Shar-Pei, Pekingese, Chow Chow, etc. These breeds are considered the oldest and purest of all domesticated dogs. Salukis were depicted on the Egyptian tombs of the Upper Nile region, dating back more than 4.000 years ago. Besides, archeologists found the mummified remains of Salukis next to mummified Pharaohs in tombs. This just proves how Pharaohs held the Salukis with the highest esteem.
Unlike many other dogs in Arabia, which are considered unclean and evil, the Saluki was actually prized as a gift from Allah by Muslim nomads. That’s why these dogs were allowed to stay in their tents and eat together with their masters. They were even carried on camels to keep their feet off the hot sand. However, they were not allowed to breed with other dogs, which greatly helped in keeping the breed almost unspoiled through all these centuries. Bedouines prized Salukis for their speed and tenacity and used them together with falcons to hunt gazelles, antelopes, hares and jackals. They never sold their dogs. Instead, they only gifted them as a sort of special gratitude.
The modern Saluki has retained qualities of hunting hounds and may seem reserved to strangers. The often independent and aloof breed may be difficult to train. Training methods should always be gentle and patient. Salukis may bore easily and are not an ideal breed to leave unattended for long periods.The Saluki does not typically enjoy rough games or activities such as retrieving balls. Early socialization will help prevent timidity and shyness in later life. Given its hunting instincts, the dog is prone to chasing moving objects.
Gracious, elegant and noble, the Saluki will definitely draw the attention of many people in the street – a true star of the show. Saluki is indeed a jewl that will make you proud for many reasons. Unfortunately, the breed is quite rare and hard to come by, but if you imagine your quest as a treasure hunt, I’m sure it will all pay off in the end.