For Muslims, the elegant Saluki is a “gift from Allah” – it has been common in oriental countries for thousands of years and is revered by people. In the huge distribution area, many different breeds have developed, which have different colors and coat structures. So there are a few things to consider when buying.
External Characteristics of the Saluki – A Sighthound Full of Grace
The Saluki is a noble greyhound that appears sporty and agile and measures up to 71 cm at the withers (standard for males 58-71 cm, females slightly smaller). The weight is not specified in the FCI standard but is usually between 18 and 27 kg. The entire body should be evenly shaped and approximately equal in length to the height at the withers. The types are divided into long-haired and short-haired, and there are also slight differences in terms of physique and coat color among the regional breeds.
Important proportions and identifying features
- The head should be long and narrow, with no forehead bulge or pronounced stop. Only the strong jaw is strongly pronounced and gives the face a noble form.
- The color of the nose should be black or liver in all types.
- The eyes are large and oval, not prominent, and are described as “bright”. They are dark to hazel colored.
- Flexible hanging ears, which are set high and to the side of the head, are among the most distinctive characteristics of the breed. With the long-haired Saluki, they have fine and very long feathers.
- The long and flexible neck merges into the broad back. The loins are slightly arched and well-muscled, and the hip bones are widely spaced on the croup. The ribs are neither barrel-shaped nor flat, on the whole, they are rather narrow, long, and deep, they stand out well against the well tucked-up belly.
- The shoulder blade and upper arm are of equal length and well laid back. The knee joint is slightly bent and the hock joints are set low. Feathering grows between the long toes.
- The low-set tail is quite long and is almost never carried over the back.
Fur and colors
There are more long-haired than short-haired breeds. The short-haired Saluki has very short, silky hair without any feathering. Long-haired variants sport medium-length, straight hair that still conforms to the body shape and does not hang down. Only the slightly wavy feathering on the ears, the backs of the legs, and on the tail hang down long.
In Europe, all the beats from the various Persian regions meet and are mixed with each other. So there are almost all existing colors in puppies from breeders in Germany:
- Black: In places (sometimes entirely) with a brown tinge, corresponding to the original wild markings
- All shades of gray
- All shades of chocolate
- Blue with Light Eyes (Dilute)
- Sable (Sable) – Red with interspersed black hair
- All shades of red
- Fawn to off-white
- Black and tan or blue and tan (tanto cream markings on muzzle, eyebrows, and underside of body)
- Wild Color (Aguti)
- Grizzle: Agouti coloration with red or cream tan markings
- Very rarely plain white (extreme white markings)
- The only unacceptable coloring is brindle.
Markings and spotting
- White markings are small on the tip of the tail, paws, and chest.
- The markings come in all sizes, so that coat patches and white fur with black spots also occur.
- Spotted fur also occurs.
August: The special wild coloring
- Fur color is black-grey to reddish-grey
- A pattern like a wolf
- Agouti hair is banded, meaning it has red and black zones.
The Gift of Allah from the Middle East – History of the Saluki
Little is known about the origin of the Saluki since similar dogs have been widespread in the Persian region for thousands of years. As early as 6000 years ago, Sumerians (now Iraq) depicted them on ceramic objects. Genetically, they are much closer to wolves than Siberian huskies or Australian dingoes. Each Middle Eastern region produced its own variations of Saluki, which are found in those areas to this day:
- Short-haired types were used by Bedouins.
- Lighter colorings (fawn and cream) were used in desert regions of the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.
- The Norse and feathered types were most common in Iran, Iraq, and Syria.
- By hunting independently, they made a significant contribution to feeding entire families. That is why they have always been highly regarded and are allowed to live in the house, which is not usual in the Arab world.
Salukis in Europe
The first Salukis came to Europe as part of the Christian Crusades but were not specifically bred there. In times of peace, individual puppies were also given away to Europe. Salukis came from the entire Arabian region in all coat varieties and colors, for which a breed standard was defined by English breeding clubs for the first time in 1923, which includes all colors and coat variations.
- Independent rabbit hunt
- Gazelle hunting (he is also called gazelle dog)
- With an average top speed of around 60 km/h, they are among the fastest racing dogs