The Saluki is breed of dog that is a member of the sighthound family, that is, hounds that hunt by sight rather than scent. more...
The Saluki is one of the oldest dog breeds known, and originally came from the Middle East, where it was used (and is still used to some extent) by the Bedouins for hunting hare and gazelle. Recent DNA analysis confirms the age of the breed.
Modern Salukis retain the qualities of hunting hounds. They may appear reserved and uninterested. They learn quickly but can get bored with repetition, so training sessions should be short and varied. Salukis need regular exercise, but behave quietly indoors. They do not bark much but "sing" when they feel that something is wrong or when a member of the family is away for a long period of time. They get along well with children, but must be respected when they want to be left alone and rest. Salukis have a fairly long life span, living an average of 12-13 years.
Saluki hounds often hunted in groups and killed the hunted animal. Arabs valued their Salukis highly and wanted them to be beautiful and to possess hunting qualities. Salukis slept with their owners in their tents to be protected from the heat of the day and the cold of the night. They were not allowed to mate with other breeds.
As is the case with some other pedigree breeds in the United States, including the Basenji and Portuguese Podengo, the current population of Salukis is descended from a small number of founders introduced into the country within the last 100 years, and must be carefully mated to avoid inbreeding.
The Saluki is used as the mascot for the Southern Illinois University Carbondale sports teams.
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