Is a Saluki for you?

Is a Saluki right for you?

If you are a Saluki person, a Saluki is one of the easiest and most rewarding dogs to live with.  If you are not a Saluki person, you will probably find them very challenging.

So how do you know if you could be a Saluki person?  

A Saluki is very much like a 23 kilo cat: they are independent, have their own ideas and are emotionally quite self contained.  If a dog did a Myers Briggs test, most Salukis would score as introverts.  If you have already had another independent dog breed or a cat, and you loved life with them, you will likely also form a great relationship with a Saluki.

Salukis do not give their loyalty and respect quickly or easily, but once they have decided you are a worthy companion, you will have a unique and rewarding relationship for life. 

What’s great about a Saluki?

Salukis are beautiful athletes and they turn heads wherever they go.  If you have a Saluki, you have a museum quality work of art on your lounge every day.
Salukis are generally very clean, with very little dog smell.  
Salukis are not big barkers and providing they get free running regularly in safe fenced areas they are not a “busy” dog.  They are happy to curl up with you and watch TV.
If you are looking to do a dog sport that is more about fitness and conditioning than old school obedience training, a Saluki is a great option for the dog sport of lure coursing.  
A sound, well bred Saluki is an excellent jogging or walking companion as an adult.
While the breed has some health related issues that need to be managed in breeding programs, generally speaking they are a breed with very few health problems and low vet bills.

What’s challenging about a Saluki?

Salukis were bred to hunt hare and gazelle by sight and have been bred for that purpose by nomadic peoples for literally thousands of years.  That means that they are not a good option if you have free range chickens or other small pocket pets.  People who are unprepared for the hunter in their back yard can find themselves shocked and upset that such a beautiful dog could kill a bird, rabbit or chicken.  People who love cats and can cope with their little gifts” of dead mice on the doormat often manage a Saluki better than people who are not used to their dogs being hunters.

Unlike a Gundog who waits for his owner’s signal to go and get the bird, or a Whippet who worked at close quarters with his master in the English countryside, a Saluki’s original working range was about 3 miles in the open desert away from his master.  This means that Salukis are not a good option for offlead exercise unless trained effectively when young and only walked off leash in low distraction environments.  They have no road sense and they can get away from you very fast if they spot a cat or a rabbit to chase.  Once they take fright or pick up a chase and run, they can be very difficult to find and bring home, and even if relocated will lose recognition of their people very fast and can be hard to recapture.  Excellent 6 foot fences and good containment together with recall training are a must if you own a Saluki.

By Anita Langford on behalf of The Saluki Club Inc (NSW)

Contact Details

The Club Secretary
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Phone : 0419484914
Email : [email protected]