Breed Profile: The Saluki

The majestic Saluki is known for its aristocratic bearing and independent mind. This dog is quiet and loyal. However, his kind persona hides his true passion and skill: he has some of the most incredible speed of any dog. Salukis can race up to 45 miles an hour! The dog is made for speed and relishes the chase, so people should only have a Saluki if they are up to the challenge. Let’s get to know this unique dog.



The Saluki appears to have originated in the Arab world. There are ancient wall paintings showing a dog that looks remarkably like the modern Saluki purebred dog. In fact, archeologists have evidence that Salukis were around as long ago as 6000 BC. The dogs are sometimes known as the Persian Greyhound. Salukis are sighthounds (which are also called gazehounds) – dogs which hunt by sight and speed, rather than by scent and endurance. (Scent hounds like beagles hunt by scent.) This image is of two Salukis, painted by the Xuande Emperor of China (1398–1435).

The dogs have been kept by Bedouins who prize them for their speed and hunting ability. These characteristics have been prized by Kings. The Salukis were given as gifts and considered so valuable they were often traded for horses – or even wives! In modern times, the dogs served a similar role in Europe, where they were often given as prized gifts.

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