The Saluki, also known as the Royal Dog of Egypt and Persian Greyhound (Persian: سلوکی, Arabic: سلوقی) is perhaps the oldest known breed of domesticated dog. A study published in the May 21, 2004, issue of Science confirms the Saluki's antiquity through DNA analysis identifying it as one of the earliest breeds to diverge from wolves.

Like elsewhere in the Fertile Crescent region, Saluki-like animals appear on the ancient Egyptian tombs of 2100 BCE. The breed had been occasionally imported to England before 1840, however there was no serious interest until Florence Amherst imported a breeding pair of Salukis from Lower Egypt in 1895 and began working to popularize the breed. The Kennel Club recognized Salukis in 1923.

The Saluki is a sighthound and historically travelled throughout the Middle East with nomadic desert tribes over an area stretching from the Sahara to the Caspian Sea. As a result, different Saluki subtypes, varying mostly in colour and coat, can be found across this widely scattered area.

Although the greyhound is the fastest dog breed with a top speed of around 40 mph (65 km/h), the Saluki's strength lies in its great endurance and stamina. They are not the fastest sighthounds, but they can run for much longer than the sprinting breeds.

Golden saluki


They are 58–71 centimetres (23–28 in) and 13–30 kilograms (29–66 lb) in weight. The overall appearance of the Saluki is one of grace and symmetry. Salukis are "sight" hounds which means they sight the quarry, run it down, catch and retrieve/dispatch it. There are two coat types evident in the Saluki gene pool: smooth and feathered. In both varieties males may range from 23 to 28 inches at the top of the shoulder with females measuring somewhat smaller.


A true Saluki retains the qualities of hunting hounds and may seem reserved and aloof. They learn quickly but can get bored with repetition, so training sessions should be short and varied. Sensitive and intelligent, the Saluki should never be trained using force or hard-handed methods.

They will "sing" (a high pitched howl, with oscillating volume) when they feel that something is wrong or when a member of the family is away for a long period of time. This "singing" can also be for bonding in the family (pack) group. Salukis have a fairly long life span, living an average of 13–16 years.


The Saluki has historically served as a courser, a speedy hunting dog that operated in packs. They often hunted in tandem with falcons which locate the prey for the dogs to run down. Salukis appear on Egyptian tombs from 2100 BCE. The dogs were so esteemed that they were often mummified like the bodies of the Pharaohs themselves. Numerous Saluki remains have been found in the ancient tombs of the Upper Nile region.

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