The Saluki

The Saluki is one of the first known domesticated dog breeds. Long ago, he used to help track down gazelle, foxes and rabbits. Later, when he was imported to England, rabbits became the primary game.

The Saluki was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1929.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 35 to 65 lbs.
  • Height: 23 to 28 inches
  • Coat: Two kinds — some have a smooth coat with a little feathering on the ears, legs and thighs; others have a smooth coat but with no feathering
  • Color: White, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle and tan, black and tan, or tricolor
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years

What’s the Saluki like?
The Saluki is a very independent, calm, and even tempered dog. His desire to run outdoors is offset by his relaxed demeanor inside. Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t follow your every move or give you “kisses” all the time. He is generally very comfortable spending some alone time on the couch.  

The Saluki can be rather reserved with strangers but has the perfect demeanor for calm or shy children. You should start training and socializing your Saluki right away or he’ll consider himself the alpha dog. Make sure he knows you’re in control but always use positive reinforcements.

Because the Saluki can have two different coat types, one needs more attention than the other. If your Saluki is smooth coated, you’ll only need to brush him weekly or as needed to remove dead hair. If you have a feather coated Saluki he’ll need to be combed at least twice a week; including the feathering on his legs, ears, tail and feet; to prevent mats and tangles.

The Saluki is generally a healthy breed, but the following conditions are occasionally seen:


Progressive retinal atrophy

  • An eye condition that worsens over time and could lead to loss of vision.

Corneal dystrophy

  • An inherited eye condition that affects both eyes and can cloud vision 


  • A heart muscle disease indicated by an enlarged heart that isn’t functioning properly. It can eventually lead to congestive heart failure (CHF)


Von Willebrand’s Disease

  •  A hereditary condition caused by a lack of adhesive glycoprotein in the blood that is needed to prevent blood clots.

Takeaway points

  • The Saluki is a perfect dog for an independent person.
  • The Saluki may not be a good fit for a family with energetic children.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Reviewed on: 
Wednesday, December 31, 2014