The Saluki has the characteristic tall, elongated, Greyhound-like silhouette of most sighthounds. However, it differs from its cousins in that its ears, legs and tail are usually adorned with long, lovely feathering. On first glance, Salukis give the impression of gracefulness, slenderness and overall balance. On closer inspection, their potential for strength, stamina and speed become evident. Salukis are beautiful animals with gentle, wise and sometimes distant expressions that radiate from large, intelligent, deeply-set eyes. Their heads are slightly broad between the ears, tapering to long, slender muzzles. The Saluki’s tail is long, low-set and naturally carried in an attractive curve. It is well-appointed with silky hair on the underside, but should never be bushy. This is a fairly narrow breed when viewed head-on or from behind. When viewed in profile, however, the Saluki is decidedly powerful, with a deep chest and a noticeably muscular body that carries little if any fat. Salukis are incredibly aristocratic and exotic in appearance, and they clearly are built for speed.
Size and Weight
Mature Salukis typically range from 23 to 28 inches in height, measured at the withers. It is common for females to be shorter than males. A Saluki’s weight depends upon its gender, genetics and bone structure. Regardless, its weight should be well in proportion to its height. Most modern Salukis weigh somewhere between 35 and 70 pounds by the time they reach adulthood.
Coat and Color
The Saluki’s coat is smooth, silky and incredibly soft. Most have long, thin feathering on their ears, legs and tails. The feathering on the back of the thighs tends to be particularly prominent in this coat variety, which also will have feathering on the back of the front legs and maybe under the throat. Salukis also come in a smooth-coated variety, which is the same in every way but lacks feathering. This breed is recognized in a number of attractive coat colors, including white, cream, fawn, gold, red, grizzle-and-tan, black-and-tan and tricolor (white, black and tan). The most common colors are the fawn and golden-tan. The UKC standard discourages but does not disqualify brindling (striping) on the coat. The Saluki’s nose can be black or liver and stays the same color throughout the dog’s life. Their large, bright, highly expressive eyes range from deep brown to light hazel.
The Saluki is not a high-maintenance breed. It is a fairly light-shedder most of the year, but does shed a bit more in the Spring. Salukis probably will benefit from a weekly brushing, both for their own pleasure and to minimize any potential tangles or mats in their feathering. Regular brushing will also help to control the inevitable accumulation of dog hair around the house. People showing their Salukis competitively may trim them to enhance their naturally distinctive silhouettes. This breed is virtually odor-free and doesn’t need to be bathed frequently. Of course, if they take off on a chase and become covered in dirt and other debris, a good brushing followed by a shampooing will be in order. Occasional baths when they are puppies will help Salukis get used to the process, so that bathing them when they are older will not be a struggle. Regular nail clipping and routine dental care are the same as for other breeds. All in all, these magnificent animals do not require enormous grooming time or expense. Their owners’ energy is better spent on exercising, playing with and loving-on their dogs.