salūqī / Persian:سلوکی,سگ تازی
also known as the Royal Dog of Egypt or Persian
Greyhound is one
of the oldest known breeds of domesticated
There are petroglyphs and
rock arts in Golpaygan and Khomein in central Iran that
hounds and falcons accompanying hunters chasing preys
(ca. 8000–10,000 BCE).
Also on the potteries found in
Iran (ca. 4200 BCE) are images of
saluki-like hounds chasing ibex or lying next to pools.
And from the
period of the
onwards, Saluki-like animals appear on the
of 2134 BCE. They have connections to the
Modern breeding in the west began in
1895 when Florence Amherst imported a breeding pair of
Lower Egypt and began working to popularize the breed.
The first registered
Salukis in the western studbook were Cyrus and Slongha
from Iran and registered with the DWZRV. DWZRV also
records the first
litter in 1922. Salukis were recognized by
The Kennel Club
and by the
American Kennel Club
in 1929. The breed is also the mascot
Southern Illinois University
Saluki is a
and historically traveled throughout Iran and
through Silk road with caravans and nomadic tribes over
stretching from the
They have been
used to hunt quarry such as
(mostly in North Iran).
Shaped like a typical
they come in two varieties, smooth
and feathered. Though they are an independent breed that
training, they are gentle and affectionate with their
owners. Health issues
in salukis include cancer and cardiac problems but it is less common
in countries of origin.
Salukis are considered to be one of the oldest dog
breeds in existence.
The name Saluqi has no clear origin and many theories.
the word Saluqi in Arabic is an adjective referring to
where an individual
was from. Sir Terence Clark reports on four possible
the place Saluq including today's Yemen, Iraq and Turkey.
dog is referred to as Tazi, which means to run and in
Kurdish areas Tazi
is also used. Also there are two more places with
similar names in
Northwest Iran near to the other four locations
mentioned in Clark's report.
Modern science tells us the
origins of all dogs are to the east in China,
but we do not know where the origin of the Saluki is located. All
along the Silk Road his presence was known for almost as
long as the
dog has been domesticated, a testimony to his function
as a hunter and
his beauty as a companion. His image is found in many
are petroglyphs and rock arts in Golpaygan and Khomein
in central Iran that
shows saluki-like hounds and falcons accompanying
hunters chasing preys
(ca. 8000-10,000 BC)., recent excavations of the
estimated at 7000-6000 BC have saluki like finds.
Saluki-like images adorn
pottery found in
And are found appearing on the Egyptian tombs
of 2100 B.C. The nomadic tribes spread the breed across
to as far east as
and as far south as
were considered to be the "Royal Dog of Egypt". Salukis
on Egyptian tombs increasingly commonly from
The Middle Kingdom
(2134 BC – 1785 BC) onward, and have often been found
alongside the bodies of the Pharaohs in the Pyramids. It
Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt
that Salukis rose to their place of prominence,
(thought to be similar to modern
or a generic term for a dog).
breed is thought to be the type of dog mentioned in
Salukis have appeared in
paintings regarding the birth of
The Adoration of the Magi
(also known as the Adoration of the Kings), currently
located at the
London. Veronese also painted the breed into
some of his other religious work, including
The Marriage at Cana
The Finding of Moses.
examples of the breed were painted by the fifth
Zhānjī, known more commonly as the
(1368–1644). The inscription on the painting reads
"playfully painted [by the] imperial brush" in 1427.
Additional red seals
were added in later years by owners of the painting,
which also reveals
that the painting was in the Imperial Chinese collection
in the 18th century.
has a long and rich visual history with the Saluki, from
representations on pottery found in Susa, miniatures
painted by Master
Kamal Uddin Behzad, book illustrations By Abd al-Wahhab
'Abd al-Fattah ibn 'Ali (1516). It is an illustration
from manuscript of Khamsa
(Quintet) of Nizami, metalsmithing from the reign of the
Jamal al Dine Abu Is'haq, created between 1342 and 1353.
One of the
more amazing pieces of art in Iran is the
Canyon Relief, carved
around 1800, commissioned by Fath Ali Shah Qajar to
commemorate his hunting exploits.
Today, the breed is still held in
high regard throughout the Middle East,
and have been hunting dogs for nobles and rulers around
They are considered clean by the
and are allowed to be in
women's quarters, while other dogs must be kept outside.
Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa,
King of Bahrain
during the 1930s, was known
for a pack of Salukis that accompanied him throughout
the Arab world on
hunting trips. Following his death, his son
Salman ibn Hamad Al Khalifa
attempted to keep the lines pure-bred but they became
other breeds. However, the pure-bred lines of the royal
kennel were saved
by the efforts of
Dana Al Khalifa
who was given two pure-bred puppies
by the King, and about a decade later had around
registered with the Kennel Club of Bahrain.
Introduction into the West
The breed was first
brought to Europe in the 12th century, with troops
returning from the Crusades in the Middle East, as
living proof of the
pilgrimage. A dog noted as being a Gazelle Hound is
a painting of Henry IV, Duke of Saxony, painted in 1514,
Cranach the Elder. The dog wears a collar decorated with
shell, which was the badge of the pilgrim.
It was not until 1840, that the Salukis were first
brought to England.
Referred to as Slughis, they and the modern Sloughi were
the same breed, however in recent years genetic tests
that the two breeds are not interbred. The first
breeding line of Salukis began in 1895, with Florence
(daughter of the 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney). Having
seen Salukis on
a Nile tour in that year, she imported a breeding pair
Al Salihah area of Lower Egypt. A champion of breed
she struggled alone for nearly three decades, and real
popularity did not take hold until the early 1920s, when
returning from the war in the Middle East and the
Arab Revolt brought their pet Salukis home with them.
One of these was Brigadier General Frederick Lance of
the 19th Lancers,
and his wife, Gladys, returned to Britain with two
Salukis from Sarona,
where he was stationed during the post-war occupation.
The Lances were
both keen hunters, and rode with their pack of dogs,
Salukis and terriers, to course jackal and Dorcas
stationed in the desert. They imported a male, called
who became an influence on the breed in the West.
Together, the Lances and Florence Amherst mounted a
recognition of the Middle Eastern breed, that coincided
phenomenon of "Tutmania" caused by Howard Carter's
Tutankhamun’s tomb in late 1922. In 1923, the Saluki or
Gazelle Hound Club was formed, and the Kennel Club
official recognition to the breed. Popularity of Salukis
dramatically increased, and the Saluki Club of America
founded in 1927, with recognition by
The American Kennel Club following in 1929.
Imports to England during the inter-war years were
areas of British military influence and commerce:
Transjordan, and Iraq. Both Florence Amherst and the
breeding stock from the latter two countries. Despite
populations of Salukis in Germany, the Netherlands, and
none of these were imported to England.
English Salukis (chiefly descendants of Sarona Kelb)
to many countries, but by the mid-1930s, interest
and with the outbreak of World War II, breeding and show
almost entirely stopped. The number of litters was
just enough to keep the breed alive. Food rationing
all edible meat for humans, and to prevent the Salukis
from starvation or being killed by bombs, some owners
entire kennels. A small number of Saluki kennels
survived the war,
and along with fresh imports belonging to a second wave
returning from the Middle East, the slow process of
the breed began again.
The popularity of the Saluki in the United States,
the American Kennel Club, has remained relatively stable
the past decade, with the breed ranked 107th in 1999,
to 118th in 2008, but by 2008 had increased once again
Between 2000 and 2009, 1215 Salukis were registered with
The Kennel Club in the UK, while this does not approach
numbers of the more popular breeds, it is in line with
breeds in the Hound Group such as the Borzoi, which had
registered in the same period. In September 2007,
The Kennel Club Art Gallery's 12th exhibition celebrated
The Saluki in Art showed a range of exhibits including
and bronze works, along with contemporary artists and a
of trophies from Saluki breed clubs.
"sight" hounds, which means they hunt by sight, run the
quarry down, catch it, and kill or retrieve it. The
normal size range for
the breed is 23–28 inches (58–71 cm) high at the
pounds (18–27 kg) in weight, with females being slightly
smaller than males.
The Saluki's head is
long and narrow with large eyes and drop ears.
The tail of the breed is long and curved. It has the
long legged body of the
Their coats come in a variety of colors,
including white, cream, fawn, red, grizzle and tan,
black and tan, and tricolor
(white, black and tan).
appearance of the Saluki is one of grace and symmetry.
are two coat types evident in the Saluki gene pool,
smooth and feathered.
The feathered variety has light feathering on the back
of the legs and thighs.
The fur on both varieties is silky to the touch, and is
compared to other breeds.
Historically, Salukis were used by
nomadic tribes for hunting. Typical
hares, foxes and
In one Bedouin method
of hunting hares, the hunter rides close to the quarry
holding the Saluki, which he throws towards the prey
while at speed, giving
the dog a running start. Another method, primarily used
in hunting gazelles,
involved the use of a hawk to gouge out the eyes of the
prey, so that a Saluki
can then bring down the blinded animal.
A true modern Saluki retains the
qualities of hunting hounds and may seem
reserved to strangers. An independent and aloof breed,
but gentle and affectionate,
they can be difficult to train and any such training
should be gentle and patient.
They can get bored easily, and should not be left
at home unattended for
long periods. Sensitive and intelligent, the Saluki
should never be trained using
force or harsh methods, and typically does not enjoy
rough games or typical dog
games such as chasing sticks. Early socialization is
required to prevent timidity
and shyness in later life. Given their hunting
instincts, they are prone to
chasing moving objects.
is credited as being the fastest dog breed up to
of around 800 metres (2,600 ft), both the Saluki and
thought to be faster over longer distances. The 1996
edition of the
Guinness Book of Records
lists a Saluki as being the fastest dog, reaching
a speed of 68.8 kilometres (42.8 mi) per hour. Due to
its heavily padded
feet being able to absorb the impact on its body,
it has remarkable stamina when running.
is uncommon in Salukis, with the breed ranking joint
a survey by the
British Veterinary Association
in 2003. The breed scored an
average of 5 points, with a score of 0 being low, while
106 is high.
In a 2006
breed specific survey conducted by The Kennel Club and
the British Small
Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee,
several health issues. The primary cause of death
identified was that of
being responsible for 35.6% of deaths, with the most
common forms being that
The secondary cause of death was cardiac related,
with forms such as
or unspecified heart defects. Old age is listed
as the third most frequent cause of death.
and other cardiac issues were present in 17.2%
of responses while
conditions such as
reported by 10.8% of responses. Salukis have an average
lifespan of 12 to 14 years.