The saluki is a dignified, intelligent and independent dog. It is known to be reserved with strangers, but it is not fearful or aggressive. This dog is a sight hunter and is elegant and has a harmonious look. Its long narrow head and long legs give it its dignified look. On an average the height of an adult saluki is around fifty-eight to seventy one centimeters. The skull should not be rounded, and the stop should not be too pronounced. The ears are long, lowly inserted and covered in long silky hair. The eyes should be either dark or a hazelnut color and should look lively, oval and big but they should not stick out. The neck should be flexible and long, and the chest should be long and somewhat narrow. The shoulders should be well inclined back; the front legs straight and the prominent hipbones should be well separate, and the hind legs should have a moderate angle to them. The hocks should be low and the paws should be long and well arched. The body build of a saluki allows for it to move around swiftly as if it did not have to work at it much; when this dog runs, it lifts its body from the ground and it should be able to do this easily without any effort. The coat is straight, except for the hair on its ears, extremities and hind part of its legs where there should be strands of silky hair. In the variety that has a short coat there shouldn’t be any strands. This dog can be white, crème, tawny, and reddish gold, silver, grey, tricolor, and black with any of the other combinations.
This dog needs to have a very special owner; this is a very old breed that is very aristocratic, has insuperable elegance and an exotic charm. This dog walks with the grace of a cat; the funny thing is that it also curls up like a cat when it sleeps, and cleans itself like a cat does. It can very easily live with its own breed as well as with other breeds. It is very intelligent, reserved and is not too demonstrative, but it loves making its family happy and entertaining them. Some of them have a tendency to be nervous if they are not trained and educated correctly.
The weight of this dog and its growth rhythm varies at birth, although the puppies do tend to grow very quickly during the first months. The size of an adult saluki also varies, as there are some lineages that are bigger than others. If you are looking into getting one of these make sure to find one that has good bone and body structure and that is balanced, but most importantly pay special attention to its behavior. If you were able to it would be a good idea to ask the breeder to let you see the parents of the puppy, at the least the mother, to see what the behavior is like. Keep in mind though that a female saluki often times loses her hair after birth. This is a breed that matures slowly and it could take up to four years. This dog needs its space to allow it to grow, and it should not be locked up in a dog for an extended amount of time. Puberty often times lasts for two years. Adequate training and socialization is essential in this breed. It is known that a young saluki is very clever and that it can try to test its owner, as well as turn into a tramp if it is allowed to. This dog needs to live in a home that has a pleasant atmosphere, this is actually essential for this dog to live and grow happily and in a balanced way.
The fact that salukis are relatively free of hereditary diseases that affect the domestic dog is due to centuries of highly selective breeding in its natal country of Arabia. Even hip dysphasia and Cryptorchidism are rare. However, this breed is one of the few that have a tendency to develop psychosomatic diseases. These diseases tend to affect the skin and or the digestive system and it is believed that they are stress related. Socialization and companionship are both vital for this breed to live healthy. Salukis cannot be locked up or left alone, nor can it be around another dominating or nervous breed. Another very important thing to know about this dog is that it needs special bedding since its skin tends to form calluses, even on their chests if they do not have a nice soft . This dog can also be a picky eater and it is important to feed it a well balanced diet. The owner must also be aware of its sensibility to anesthetics due to its lack of body fat, as well as its susceptibility to anti parasite baths and to barbiturics. Some very few incidences of cardiac problems, progressive retina atrophy, and cancer has been informed as well. A saluki that is well taken care of has a life span of around thirteen to sixteen years.