About Saluki

From this page you will find some information about saluki as a breed, brief decription of its history and the breed standard. This part is mostly ment for people who are interested in salukis but who may not have one yet. The following chapters are not ment to give answers to all your questions but rather help you to start a fascinating expedition to the world of salukis.

Muumi and baby Fiona on a nap.

A Brief History

Saluki is an ancient hunting dog which has been, to our luck, preserved quite unchanged till our days. Both the general appearance and the drive for hunting are still left in modern saluki. This breed could be characterized as an independent, self-respecting and determined hunter who however has an apparent lust of comfort and who above all wants to be a companion of life to his/her owner.

Through several milleniums saluki has been an essential part of Bedouins life in Northern Africa and Middle East. Each Bedouin tribe had their own type of salukis which were proven to be the best hunters for the game in that particular area. Bedouins had a great regard for their salukis and a saluki could never be sold but could only be presented as a gift of honour.

The first salukis were brought to England in the end of 19th century and the first official breed standard was published in 1923. The current breed standard is still very much based on that first standard. From England salukis gradually spread to the continent and all over the world. From the Links page you can find your way to an other interesting web site namely "The Saluki - History and Origin" which deals the subject in more detail.



Today salukis can be found all round the world. They are respected specially as companion and show dogs but there are also other activities one can do with salukis. Saluki is an ideal companion for someone who likes outdoor living but it is also worth of mentioning that salukis do not like rain or cold weather.

Elvis and Satu in a show ring

Besides showing also racing, lure coursing or even agility are activities you can participate in with your saluki. In the beginning it is not always easy to get saluki to do things your way but if you are patient you will have lots of enjoyable moments with your saluki. Never use hard training methods with salukis because they are very sensitive and will be offended at if they feel they are mistreated. By learning to communicate with and to understand your saluki and by being a positive and determined leader you will achieve good results.


One could say that salukis often are stubborn but besides that they also have an unique blend of dignity and gentleness in their character. Often these qualities can be seen more clearly in grown up salukis. In a way salukis are also very independent for which reason it is often said that salukis are similar to cats. Salukis don't fuss around and they don't like people to fuss over with them either. When saluki wants to show his/her friendship and love to you he/she can do it in extremely charming and subtle ways. Salukis usually like children as well as elderly people.

Growth and development

Puppies and young salukis, like any other breeds, are usually lively and active. They may chew at furnitures and other "forbidden objects", especially when their teeth are changing. You have to be prepared for other unwanted surprices too for example when you leave your young saluki alone at home. Beeing left alone for the time of working day may cause a lot of stress to young saluki but with appropriate training they often gradually learn to behave nicely during the day. Saluki as a breed matures mentally as well as physically quite late. Most salukis can be regarded as adults at the age of 3 years although some individual variance may of course occure.

Veera and Fiona playing

Saluki will reach his/her final height mostly by the age of 1 year, bitches usually a bit earlier than dogs. As already mentioned 3 year old saluki can be seen as grown up but sometimes salukis are in their full bloom not until the age of 5 or 6 years. Good care and food together with regular and adequate exercise will most likely keep your saluki going till his/her old days. Saluki normally reaches the age of 12-15 years.

Fille at age of 13

Breed standard

ORIGIN: Middle East / FCI Patronage.


UTILIZATION: Hunting and coursing hound.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I.: Group 10: Sighthounds. Section 1: Long-haired or fringed Sighthounds. Without working trial.

Nordwart Filbert

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Salukis vary in type and the variation is desired and typical for the breed. The reason for the variation is the special place held by the Saluki in the Arab tradition and the immense size of the Middle East area where the Salukis has been used as a hound of the chase for thousands of years. Originally each tribe had Salukis best suited for hunting the particular game in its own area, but by Middle East tradition, Salukis are not bought or sold but presented as marks of honour. It follows that those presented as such to Europeans and brought to Europe came from a wide variation of terrain and climate and vary accordingly. The British 1923 standard was drawn up to cover all these original types of Saluki.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: The whole appearance of this breed should give an impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength and activity. Smooth variety: the points should be the same with the exception of the coat which has no feathering.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The length of the body (from point of shoulder to point of buttock) is approximately equal to the height at the withers, although the dog often gives the impression of being longer than he really is.

BEHAVIOUR TEMPERAMENT: Reserved with strangers, but not nervous or agressive. Dignified, intelligent and independent.

HEAD: Long and narrow, the whole showing nobility.

Skull: Moderately wide between ears, not domed.
Stop: Not pronounced.
Nose: Black or liver brown.
Jaws/Teeth: Teeth and jaws are strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite.
Eyes: Dark to hazel and bright, large and oval, but not prominent. The expression should be dignified and gentle with faithful and far-seeing eyes.
Ears: Long and covered with long silky hair, set on high, mobile, hanging close to the skull.
NECK: Long, supple and well muscled.


Back: Fairly broad.
Loin: Slightly arched and well muscled.
Croup: Hipbones set wide apart.
Chest: Deep, long and moderately narrow. Neither barrell ribbed nor slab sided.
Underline: Well tucked up.
TAIL: Long, set on low and carried naturally in a curve, well feathered on the underside with long silky hair, not bushy. In adults not carried above the topline except in play. Tip reaching at least to the point of hock.


Shoulders: Well laid back, well muscled without being coarse.
Upper arm: Approximately equal in length to the shoulder blade and forming a good angle with it.
Forearm: Long and straight from elbow to wrist.
Pasterns: Strong and flexible, slightly sloping.
Front feet: Feet of moderate length, toes long and well arched, not splayed, but at the same time not cat-footed; the whole being strong and supple; feathered between the toes.

Strong, showing galloping and jumping power.
Upper and lower thighs: Well developed.
Stifle: Moderately bent.
Hocks: Well let down.
Hind feet: Similar to front feet.

GAIT/MOVEMENT: Smooth, flowing and effortless at trot. Light and lifting showing both reach and drive without hackney action or pounding.


Smooth and of a soft, silky texture, feathering on the legs and at the back of the thighs, feathering may be present on the throat in adults, puppies may have slight woolly feather on thighs and shoulders. The smooth variety has no feathering.

Any colour or combination of colours is permissible. Brindles are undesirable.


Height at withers: Average between 58 - 71 cm (23-28 inches), bitches proportionally smaller.

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.