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Close up of a Saluki

Breed overview

  • Breed group – Hound group (American Kennel Club)
  • Height – 23-28 inches
  • Weight – 35-70 pounds
  • Coat length & texture – Short and smooth
  • Coat color – Coat colors include white, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle, tan, black and tan, and tricolor: white, black, and tan. In puppies, the coat is indicative of how they will look as an adult.
  • Exercise needs – Daily
  • Intelligence – High
  • Barking – Not frequent
  • Life span – 10-17 years
  • Temperament – Affectionate, friendly, playful family dog
  • Hypoallergenic – No
  • Origin – Egypt

Saluki fun facts 

👉 Coming up with a pet name can be fun but tricky. Search no further! According to PetScreening’s 2024 database, the majority of our users name their male Salukis Cooper; Duke is the 2nd most popular male name. Meanwhile, most of our users with female Salukis love Luna, then Sandy.

  • Another name for the breed is a gazelle hound.
  • Salukis are a breed from ancient Egypt that royalty frequently mummified upon their death.
  • They get along with dogs equal to their size but prefer the company of other Salukis.
Saluki color chart

Saluki temperament and personality

Saluki dog posing on a rock.
Chastine Wyatt | Cascade Dog Works

An excellent dog for the family or the runway, Salukis are sensitive to your absence, tolerate kids, and can easily keep up with an active family with older children.

Salukis were bred to hunt, making them an excellent choice as working dogs. All around, Salukis have a good temperament for dog-only households.

Common Saluki health problems


Overall a healthy breed, Salukis enjoy a long life with relatively few health conditions.

Vitamins, regular vet visits, and being proactive in their day-to-day care goes a long way with this breed. Little things, like dog food formulated for large dogs, and an exercise regimen designed for bigger joints, can help prevent problems as your Saluki ages gracefully.

Caring for your Saluki

A group of dogs playing in an alleyway.

Caring for this independent, intelligent breed is easy when you’re prepared.

For example, new pet parents may choose to set up a dedicated space for play and daily exercise, with training equipment and other nice-to-have items that will help a Saluki feel at home. Grooming is relatively easy with regular brushings of the coat and those long, silky ears.

Buying vs adopting your Saluki

A closeup of a light blonde Saluki.

You might be able to find a Saluki through a rescue group, but this isn’t a common breed. When you want to welcome a Saluki into your home, you should typically expect to find and wait for a reputable breeder, travel to that breeder, and pay for this exotic breed.

Explore ways to adopt or shop for a Saluki to bring home.

Training your Saluki

Saluki with medals.
Chastine Wyatt | Cascade Dog Works

Thanks to their independent nature and high intelligence, Salukis require a patient amateur trainer or a professional hand. They respond best to positive reinforcement and boundaries, which can be difficult for new pet parents, let alone inexperienced trainers. Still, Salukis do well in most situations once trained.

Read more about how to train a Saluki.

Our favorite products for your Saluki

Saluki laying in a dog bed in the living room.

Love shopping? How about shopping for a Saluki? We’ve got vet-approved dog products that a Saluki will love.

Browse top gear recommended by other Saluki owners for this elegant, graceful, and driven dog breed.

History & origins of the Saluki

The Saluki is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world — if not the oldest. Keep reading to learn more about this ancient and esteemed breed.

Origins of the Saluki

The Saluki breed traces back to Mesopotamia, but the breed became especially popular in ancient Egypt. Egyptian tombs dating from 4,000 B.C.E. depict the breed in artwork and amulets from the region. They were the royal dog of Egypt, kept by Egyptian pharaohs.

👉Anubis, the god of the underworld, has the head of a dog. Scholars believe it’s either a pharaoh hound or Saluki.

Salukis, along with the greyhound, Afghan hound, Basenji, and other sighthound breeds, were bred for speed and their ability to hunt prey despite the heat and conditions in the desert region. This made them invaluable to nomadic populations for survival and prized by kings across the Middle East and Asia.

How the Saluki has changed over time

For the most part, scientists and scholars do not believe that the breed has changed much over time. There are two prevailing theories concerning this.

One is that Salukis, along with a handful of other breeds, were excluded from the list of dog lineages that began blending to form the pets we have today. The other theory involves selective breeding where the Saluki line , while widespread and varied, largely didn’t blend with other breeds and was kept purer than some of the breeds we know today.

In terms of popularity, however, the breed has seen some changes:

1840: The first Saluki is known to be in England. The breed’s popularity remained low.

1910s-1920s: Officers returned from the Middle East after World War I with Salukis as pets, causing a rise in their popularity.

1927: The Saluki Club of America is founded.

1929: The American Kennel Club recognizes the Saluki.

1956: Salukis are recognized by the United Kennel Club.

Where this distinguished breed is today

In 2021, the Saluki was No. 127 out of 197 ranked dog breeds for popularity, beaten out by other sighthounds like whippets, Rhodesian ridgebacks, and Italian greyhounds. Despite this, several clubs are dedicated to the show-stopping breed, including the Saluki Club of Canada and the Saluki or Gazelle Hound Club in the United Kingdom.

Breeds similar to the Saluki

Not quite sure that a Saluki is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Afghan hound. A fellow sighthound, these dogs have a similar build and temperament but with a longer coat.
  • Greyhound. Although very similar, the biggest difference between these sighthounds is in how they greet strangers — greyhounds tend to be more open.
  • Basenji. These small sighthounds have many traits of a Saluki but without the size or quite as much energy.

Frequently asked questions

Are Salukis good family dogs?

While Salukis tend to be more reserved with strangers, they are quiet, devoted family dogs, gentle despite their size, and can keep up with the kids’ outside playtime energy.

Can Salukis be aggressive?

Despite a Saluki’s size and behavior when they are actively hunting, Salukis aren’t typically aggressive. There are exceptions within every breed, but Salukis are usually only shy and aloof with strangers, not hostile.

Is a Saluki a rare breed?

In the Americas, Salukis are rarer than in other parts of the world. Here, they are often kept as family dogs and can be seen at dog shows around the nation. They are, in fact, excellent hunters, which is what they were bred to do, and very loyal companions.

What are Saluki dogs known for?

An ancient breed once loved by kings, Salukis today are known for their slender, sighthound build. They run incredibly fast, are amazing hunters, and are gentle, loyal companions as pets.