Salukis in My Life is the title of a book written by Sir Terence Clark, who was the British ambassador in Iraq and Oman where he came to know and love salukis. Like him, I too have had salukis (four of them so far) and I could not imagine being without one of these elegant, aristocratic creatures in my life.
Salukis are said to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, dating back about 9,500 years on the Arabian Peninsula. The Bedouin, who used them to hunt gazelle and other prey, believed that they were a gift from Allah and anything they hunted or touched was clean. That is why salukis were welcomed into the tent and beside the fire in desert camps. As is apparent from their lean and lanky appearance, salukis can run VERY fast and are even faster than a cheetah over short distances.
Despite their athletic prowess, salukis are surprisingly docile and gentle, but they definitely do not like loud noises or sudden bangs. They are best in a quiet household without too much noise. They like their creature comforts and soft dog beds, as their bony structure offers little padding for a hard floor.
While most dogs have a smell when they get wet and can leave a palpable odor in the home, salukis don’t. Neither the long-haired (feathered) or short-haired variety smell. They do not shed like other dogs either; short-haired salukis are no different from a fox terrier in terms of not shedding.
But salukis are certainly not for everyone. They require long walks, are extremely strong, and a fenced backyard is an absolute necessity. They get on great with most dogs, but can be nervous around German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Bulldogs. My current saluki, Rishan, goes absolutely ballistic when he sees one of these breeds, even at a distance. So, if you take a saluki to the park to play with other dogs, you need to be aware of other people’s pets that might be in the park at the same time.
Salukis are best in a calm household on their own or with another dog that is of equal size. They love to play and meet other dogs on their daily walks. They love people, but they are aloof and do not like to be touched on the head, unless they know you.
I have found from personal experience that an older pup or dog is preferred, when they are past the teething stage when they are over their desire to chew the Persian rugs, your shoes, the furniture, etc.
A saluki’s nature is to hunt, and they will happily chase and kill rabbits, squirrels and other small game that dares to enter their domain. Try as you might, you will not be able to train a saluki to ignore this predatory nature. My Rishan will even launch into the air and bring down crows! That said, one of my friends has a saluki that happily shares his home with a cat.
They also love to dig. If you are going to be reprimanding your saluki for digging up your grass, then, maybe a saluki is not for you.
Generally, if salukis are cared for, get their annual veterinary shots, flea and worm medication, have their nails trimmed and ears kept clean, they should be well. Once in 6 months, I might give mine a curry comb, but they require very little grooming.
If you would like to read more about Salukis, see Salukis a Gift from Allah. Also, a beautiful book on salukis suited for younger readers is Saluki Hound of the Bedouin by Julia Johnson, with watercolor illustrations by Susan Keele, which tells the story of a Bedouin boy, Hamad, and his saluki, Sougha (the Gifted One).
I was recently contacted by a friend at the British Business Forum Oman, who told me about a litter of salukis currently in Oman who need to find new homes. I am not personally familiar with the pups, but I do know the owner of Tayyar, their father. The pups are seven months old and are now ready for their new home. The pups are not registered but all are micro-chipped and have current vaccinations. Their muscles are developing well, and they are getting plenty of exercise on their morning walks. If you are interested in one of these pups, please contact Rebecca at email@example.com. Rebecca has provided the following information.
Maken is lean, tall, and most like his father in temperament. He is boisterous and fun-loving, always ready to engage with people or other dogs. Loyal and very expressive. He is the most communicative of the litter and the current owner has a real soft spot for him. A real mommy’s boy.
Keya Kareef (L) and Maki are stunning in appearance and are the best of friends. They are not dependent on each other, by any means, but very content and happy in each other’s company and the owner would like to see them adopted as a pair if possible.
Keya Kareef is very sharp, adjusts easily to requests and is very adaptable. She seeks connection with humans and is eager to please. She likes her comforts, a soft bed, and quiet hideaways under tables and similar cubby holes.
Maki is strong, loyal and a good learner. He’s the first in line for a cuddle, is gentle and likes to keep close.
Bascila (Cilla) is the last of the litter and is very even-tempered. She is quiet and prefers to curl up on the sofa or in a quiet corner away from the bedlam of her siblings. She would be best with young children or a single lady. Of all the pups, she would be most suited for an apartment or minimal space living if given substantial exercise in the morning and quick relief breaks throughout the day.