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Adopt a Saluki (or Gazelle Hound)

Saluki (or Gazelle Hound) Dog Breed

Picture: Robert Dowling/Corbis


sighthound, Southern (sighthound)

Area of origin:

Middle East

Original function:

coursing hare and gazelles

Average size of male:

Ht: 23-28, Wt: 35-65

Average size of female:

Ht: 23-28, Wt: 35-65

Other names:

Gazelle hound, Persian Greyhound

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Saluki (or Gazelle Hound) Dog Temperament

The Saluki tends to be aloof and reserved with strangers. He is extremely devoted to his own family, but is not particularly demonstrative. The Saluki is very gentle with children. Extremely sensitive, he does not take to rough-and-tumble play or deal well with harsh corrections. Some Salukis can be shy. This breed is very quiet and sedate indoors, seeking out a soft, warm spot. Outside, he runs in great circles at tremendous speeds and will chase any small running animals or fast-moving objects. The Saluki may not come when called.

Saluki (or Gazelle Hound) Dog Care

Daily exercise is essential, preferably in the form of free running in a safe, enclosed area. The Saluki's needs can also be met with long leash walks or jogging. Salukis should sleep inside and they do best as indoor dogs with access to a yard. They can play in snow and cold weather but should not be expected to spend extended time in the cold. The Saluki must have a soft bed, or he could develop callouses. A Saluki in proper weight is naturally thin; however, this breed tends to be a picky eater, which can result in a very thin-looking dog. Many people not familiar with the Saluki wrongly assume that the dog is not being fed properly! The smooth coat needs only occasional brushing to remove dead hair, but the feathered coat needs combing once or twice a week to prevent matting.

Saluki (or Gazelle Hound) Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: cardiomyopathy
Suggested tests: none
Life span: 12-14 years
Note: sensitive to anesthesia

Interested in the history of the Saluki (or Gazelle Hound) dog breed?

The Saluki is perhaps the most ancient breed of domestic dog. Evidence of the Saluki can be found on Egyptian tombs dating several thousand years before Christ. The name Saluki may come from the ancient civilization of Seleucia. Arab nomads used Salukis to run down gazelles, foxes and hares in the desert, often with the aid of falcons. Although the Muslim religion considered the dog to be unclean, an exception was made for the Saluki, which was referred to as el hor, the "noble one." As the provider of meat, the Saluki was allowed to sleep in the tents and enjoy the tender attention of its Bedouin master. Salukis were not allowed to breed with non-Salukis, which accounts for their purity throughout the centuries. Because Salukis ranged with their nomadic owners over a wide area of the Middle East, they became widely distributed with great local variation, resulting in the breed's variability today. The Saluki came to the attention of the Western world around 1900 and was recognized by the AKC in 1928. Their numbers have decreased in their lands of origin as a result of the advent of hunting with guns from jeeps. The primary role of the Saluki today is as an exotic companion and show dog, although many of these dogs are still used for hare coursing. The Saluki is also called the Persian greyhound, gazelle hound or tazi.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Saluki (or Gazelle Hound) Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Saluki (or Gazelle Hound)s ready for adoption:

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