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Saluki

Updated on September 15, 2011

The Saluki is a a hound considered to be the oldest known breed of domesticated dog.

Resembling in general shape the English greyhound, it has large oval eyes and long ears, covered with long silky hair.

The male saluki stands 23 to 28 inches (58 to 71 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs 40 to 60 pounds (18-27 kg).

The saluki has a long narrow head with deep-set eyes and long ears that hang close to the head.

The neck, shoulders, and thighs are well muscled. The tail is long, set low, and well weathered on the underside with long, silky hair. The coat is smooth, soft, and silky. It may be a solid color of white, cream, tan, fawn, golden, or black, or a combination of colors. Its coat is soft, silky and smooth, with light feathering on the backs of the legs, and long feathering on the underside of the tail. There is also a short-coated variety.

The saluki, also called a gazelle hound, is a sight hound, relying more on its keen eyesight than on its sense of smell when hunting. It is very fast and has been used to hunt gazelles, hares, and other fast-moving animals. Very sturdy and sure-footed, the saluki can run over all kinds of rough terrain. It is graceful and flourishes in the English climate without difficulty. Females are often considerably smaller.

Carvings depicting dogs that appear to be salukis have been found in excavations dating from 2100 B.C. and possibly even centuries earlier.

The saluki was the royal dog of the ancient Egyptians and was prized throughout the Middle East. It is known to have been brought to England in 1840

The Saluki, or gazelle hound, has been formally recognized by the Kennel Club as a separate breed since 1923.

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