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A Saluki running with other dogs

The essentials

  • Salukis are rare in the U.S. — You may need to travel to buy or adopt a Saluki. Saluki buying vs. adopting is a personal choice. We’ll walk you through both options.
  • They are an expensive breed — While their daily care is relatively inexpensive, the upfront cost can be high.
  • A new home takes time — Helping a Saluki puppy or adult adjust to a new home requires patience, persistence, and time.

How to adopt or buy a Saluki

Salukis are more common in the Middle East and Asia, which means there aren’t a lot of opportunities to buy or adopt a Saluki in the U.S. However, within America and abroad, pet owners with their hearts set on this agile breed can find opportunities to bring a Saluki into the family.

Adopting a Saluki from a rescue

Because they are a less common dog overall, it can be challenging to find a Saluki at your local rescue. Below are a few suggested resources to help in your search for a Saluki to adopt.

Popular adoption services. Sites like petfinderAdopt-a-Pet, and Puppy Area are all good options for finding Salukis that need a new home.

Saluki-specific rescues. Some rescues are solely for Salukis, including the Saluki Tree of Life Alliance and Gentle Giant Rescue also specialize in Salukis. Internationally, numerous rescues in Europe and the Middle East are either dedicated to Salukis or sighthounds as a whole.

Social media. If adoption services and rescues aren’t helpful, you may want to consider social media. Numerous groups exist on Facebook, for example, for Saluki enthusiasts that might be able to provide up-to-date guidance on Salukis that need a new home.

Buying a Saluki from a breeder

When purchasing from a breeder, you’re paying for more than a puppy. You’re also paying for training, socialization, numerous health screenings, and a lineage of healthy, well-tempered Salukis that aren’t likely to develop health problems or pose a risk to your family. The American Kennel Club provides valuable tips for finding and working with a responsible breeder.

How much does a Saluki cost?

Salukis are a rarer, more exotic breed. However, they aren’t any more expensive than other exotic breeds. At a rescue, pet parents should expect to pay between $50 and $500 for a Saluki. This cost often covers vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and some basic idea of their personality gleaned from their time at the rescue or in a foster home.

With a breeder, costs can range from $1,000 to $4,000 or more for a Saluki puppy. Several factors determine the cost, including AKC papers, whether the Saluki is a pet or a working dog, shipping costs, and whether the puppy is being rehomed. Responsible breeders also provide detailed health reports, training, and socialization for their puppies, which is the bulk of the higher price.

Introducing Salukis to the household

Like with any new dog, create a safe space for them, provide them with their favorite things, and be accommodating in those early days. Such an abrupt transition into a new environment will often cause stress for dogs, so it’s important to alleviate that as much as possible.

Bringing a puppy home

Bringing home a Saluki, particularly if you are inexperienced with puppies, can be overwhelming. If you aren’t sure if your puppy has received veterinary care, take them to their first vet visit for a checkup and their vaccinations. It’s also important to puppy-proof your home and get ready for teething.

Saluki puppies need time to feel at home. It takes puppies around three weeks to settle in with a new family. At this early stage, interact with them and help them learn their name by calling and offering praise when they come to you.

Here are a few tips to save you and your new puppy some stress:

  • Avoid punishment — When it comes to housetraining your puppy, accidents happen. Avoid negative reinforcement by keeping them away from valuables until they are trained.
  • Start crate training — The crate should be a safe place that’s warm and comfortable. When crate training is done correctly, it’ll be a haven for your dog throughout their life and make traveling that much easier.
  • Be patient and consistent — Guiding puppies into well-behaved dogs isn’t a one-time task. Be prepared to spend months gently training puppies. For more willful dogs like a Saluki, training is longer, but the benefits are undeniable.
  • Consider a professional — Raising a baby, regardless of the species, can be overwhelming. There’s nothing wrong with seeking professional trainers to help you raise a well-adjusted Saluki.

Adopting an adult Saluki

In addition to a safe space, adult Salukis benefit from their favorite things. For your Saluki, it might be a bed well past its prime but invaluable to your new dog. Their entire world is different now, so humor them with the things that bring them comfort. Additionally, if they are crate-trained, be sure to make that accessible.

You’ll also want to watch for certain behaviors, like these signs of stress, that could indicate they need more help. This is especially important as your dog ventures into the home and yard more or you’re introducing them to a multi-pet household.

Introducing your Saluki to other pets

Whether you’re combining households or introducing your Saluki to an established home with pets, the same rules apply. Patience, consistency, and vigilance are all essential to introducing any dog to any other pet.

With Salukis, that’s often a slightly more delicate task. Because of their high prey drive, this is a stressful period if the other pets are smaller. Overall it isn’t recommended that Salukis come into a home with small pets such as cats, ferrets, or small dogs.

Regardless of the species or breed of the other pets in the home, make sure all introductions and the initial “get to know you” phase of integrating your Saluki is supervised and leashed. Some Salukis do fine with other, smaller pets, while others can’t be in the same space.

Frequently asked questions

How do you entertain a Saluki?

These intelligent, athletic dogs do very well with agility courses in particular. These activities allow them to practice hunting techniques as well as exercise their body.

Is the Saluki dog breed closely related to the Azawakh?

Azawakh and Salukis are both sighthounds and both originate or were cultivated in Africa. Salukis are believed to originate from the Middle East, but they play a significant role in ancient Egyptian history with many hallmarks of the breed shaped by the Egyptians. Azawakhs originated in the Azawagh Valley, in another region in Africa.

What are the experiences of Saluki owners?

Adult Salukis tend to be mild and though quite independent, they are loyal to their owners. They require open spaces that allow them to run, but not run free when their prey drive kicks in. These intelligent dogs also require some patience with training, and they aren’t likely to listen when on the hunt, but they make excellent companions for the right family.