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Salukis: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Saluki temperament, personality, and behavior.

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Saluki dog breed

Saluki Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Saluki Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

One of the swiftest and most graceful of all breeds, the aristocratic Saluki is possessed of a quiet dignity and independence.

Once past the destructive puppy stage, he is docile and quiet indoors, a creature of comfort who prefers soft beds and sofas on which he can lounge and survey his domain.

However, his fragile appearance is deceiving: At full gallop he is so incredibly fast (up to forty-five miles per hour) and has such strong chasing instincts that he must not be let off-leash except in a safe, enclosed area. And he is an agile jumper, so fences should be at least six feet high.

Salukis are aloof (often cautious) with strangers and require early socialization to encourage an outgoing attitude.

Generally sociable with other dogs, he will pursue anything that runs, including small pets, and he can react with lightning reflexes.

The Saluki is an independent thinker, yet sensitive to correction, so he should be trained calmly and coaxed with food and games. However, this breed does need firm boundaries or he will be quick to take advantage.

Many sighthounds are touch-sensitive, tending to startle if touched unexpectedly and uncomfortable when cuddled excessively. A verbal correction is more effective than a physical one, because it is less upsetting and distracting to the dog.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is tall, slender, and elegant
  • Has a soft easy-care coat that comes in many colors
  • Is extremely athletic and graceful -- can run swiftly and jump great heights
  • Carries himself in a calm, dignified manner
  • Is polite with people
  • Doesn't bark much

A Saluki may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • Providing a safe enclosed area where he can gallop
  • Shyness or suspiciousness when not socialized enough
  • Emotional sensitivity to stress and abrupt changes in schedule
  • Strong instincts to chase other living creatures that run
  • Slowness to learn and an independent "what's in it for me?" attitude toward training -- can be very stubborn
  • Slowness to housebreak

A Saluki may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


More traits and characteristics of the Saluki

If I was considering a Saluki, I would be most concerned about...

  1. Providing enough running exercise in a safe area. Salukis don't need miles of running, but they MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy through all-out galloping a few times a week. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by destructive chewing.

    Salukis need access to a large fenced area -- fenced because these independent dogs are likely to take off and not come back. If there is a dog club in your area, get your Saluki involved in lure coursing (chasing a mechanized lure around a track or across an open field). This is an appropriate outlet for the full-speed galloping behaviors that are "hardwired" into his genes.

  2. Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Salukis need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become true timidity, which is difficult to live with.

  3. The independent temperament. Salukis are not Golden Retrievers. They are independent thinkers who don't particularly care about pleasing you. Most Salukis are stubborn and can be manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

    To teach your Saluki to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Saluki Training Page discusses the program you need.

  4. Chasing other animals. Most people do not realize just how fast and agile sighthounds are -- or how strong their instincts are to chase and seize fleeing creatures. They could seriously injure or kill your neighbor's cat or toy dog. In today's society, the legal liabilities should be considered.

  5. Emotional sensitivity. Be honest...is there tension in your home? Are people loud or angry or emotional? Are there arguments or fights? Salukis are extremely sensitive to stress and can end up literally sick to their stomachs, with severe digestive upsets and neurotic behaviors, if the people in their home are having family problems. Sighthounds are peaceful, sensitive dogs who need a peaceful, harmonious home.

  6. Housebreaking. Expect four to six months of consistent crate training before you see results.


book cover To learn more about training Salukis to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.

It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Saluki the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.

Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.



book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Saluki. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.


If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Saluki might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.


book cover Once you have your Saluki home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.

My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.

Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.



Please consider adopting an ADULT Saluki...

When you're acquiring a Saluki PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.

But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Salukis who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!

Save a life. Adopt a dog.

Adopting a Dog From a Dog Breed Rescue Group

Adopting a Dog From the Animal Shelter

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