found their mummified remains in the tombs of the Pharaohs
Now find a more recent history of this ancient breed in
The Classic Saluki
The Saluki is considered to be one of the oldest pure breeds of
dogs in the world. Greyhound type dogs were found on tombs dating back to 2100 B.C. Recent
excavations of the Sumerian empire (7,000-6,000 B.C.) have unearthed carvings of dogs with
a striking resemblance to the Saluki.
Originally from regions of the Arabian Peninsula, European
travelers brought Salukis back with them. There is evidence of Salukis in Belgium during
the Middle Ages, but their popularity became most evident in the late 1800s in England.
The Saluki or Gazelle Hound Club was formed in England in 1923 and the Saluki Club of
America was formed four years later.
Salukis come in two varieties - Smooth and Feathered.
Although we see mostly the feathered variety at shows in the United States, evidence shows
that in their countries of origin smooth and feathered were equally desired and were
normally bred together. Some tribes only kept the smooth variety, and all the Salukis were
used for hunting, selected as breeding stock based on hunting abilities and stamina.
In 1919, the National Geographic Society's The Book of Dogs
had this to say about Salukis: "This ancient race is one of the most peculiar,
most beautiful, and most puzzling of dogs. His graven image comes to us as one of the
earliest of man's essays in art, and is so easily recognizable that there is no doubt
possible as to the archaic artist's model.
Possibly no dog known has changed less from our earliest
knowledge of it to the present day. The first peculiarity to strike is the curious
combination of short, close body hair, with silky flowing fleece on the ears and long
silken feather on the stern. Otherwise, he looks at first glance like a Greyhound. But,
unlike other coursing dogs, the Saluki is short and straight in the body, though very long
and rangy of leg. As he stands in profile the outline of fore legs, back, hind legs and
ground form an almost perfect square. A fact tending to show the antiquity of the Saluki
is that no combination of known dogs seems to be capable of producing a creature just like
Several features set the Saluki apart from the other Sighthound
breeds, including their heads, outline, feet and movement.