So you've decided to share your life with a Saluki. Congratulations! You've chosen probably the oldest breed in the world, the Eastern sighthound that has been the hunting companion of its peoples for millenia. Qashani Saluqis are direct descendants of these wonderful hounds, endevouring to carry the torch into the future. The hope is to breed Saluqis that look and function like their cousins in the the many countries of origin, Saluqis that Tutankhamun, Moses, Alexander the Great and Saladin might recognize.

Qashani Saluqis descend from these legendary sighthounds, but their close blood relatives also still hunt in the same rugged terrains. They are hounds that bring meat to their masters' tables and that are praised in Arabian poetry through the centuries. They were called Drinkers of the Wind and were said to hunt their prey to the stars and beyond. The 7th century poet Abu Nuwas wrote beautiful lines about this timeless breed, companion to the poorest of Bedouins and the richest of princes - the brave Saluqi with a tail like that of the brown scorpion, ears like the petas of the purple iris, a hound without equal - lightning in a cloud.

Farha, Muhafhaf, Lublub & Asheerah


The Saluki naturally needs plenty of good exercise, but it need not overwhelm the owner. Best of all is naturally free running when especially the young Saluki will run for the pure joy of it. A Saluki cannot be allowed off the leash just anywhere though. It is very fast and will cover a mile in the blink of an eye, and any movement in the distance can trigger its prey drive and prompt it to give chase. It is independent and stubborn and though it may have obeyed previously in a similar situation, in may not do so every time, so it is imperitive that any running place be carefully chosen, far from traffic.

Sami de Hamadan - Muhafhaf

Dog parks are a good option for the city dweller, and are good not only for exercise but also socializing the puppy and getting it used to other breeds early on lest it become a bit of a racist. In small parks though keep a close eye on your Saluki as the fences are usually not very high and your Saluki may decide to jump them if it deems the park too boring. Once they realize they can get over a fence it can be quite tricky trying to persuade them not to jump it all the time. Not all Salukis enjoy dog parks however, and are more likely to enjoy running in woods, fields and sand quarries.

My first saluki Akasha and I used to visit the abandoned race track in Kilo and Akasha soon took to jumping over the fence to chase skiers and bikers, even teaching her young Borzoi pal the same trick. Sometimes a change of venue will help, at least until they jump that fence too... Unfortunately the high jump proved fatal to Akasha when she jumped straight into oncoming Christmas traffic...

If a you have a yard of your own, unless it is very isolated, it should be carefully enclosed with a fence at least 150 cm high, though I know several Salukis who jump 2 meter fences with no problems. If your yard is sufficently large daily walks of about an hour on lead or in a safe place makes for sufficent exercise, though more is of course better!

For a Saluki living in an apartment daily outings should entail at least one 1½-2-hour walk and 2-3 half-hour walks. If these are on a lead the Saluki will nonetheless need to run properly a minimum of three times a week, preferably more. In between competition or hard runs it's good to take a day off here and there to recuperate. The important thing is to learn to read your dog and what it needs. more about this in the training manual attached to the puppy package.

Qashani Hurrat al-Sina


Naturally every precaution should be taken prior to suitable vaccinations, but it is also important to begin your puppy's socialization early on, letting it meet different people and dogs (preferably dogs you know and can be sure have been inoculated) and taking it to new and strange places. Puppies are exercised on their own terms, keeping a close eye so they don't tire themselves too much yet being sure not to overprotect them. If lead walked several short walks are in order. An energetic puppy will usually walk beside you or ahead of you, while a tired puppy will sit or lag behind.

If you have a yard of your own the puppy can regulate its exercise and decide for itself when it's had enough. In such cases excursions beyond the yard are more exploratory than anything else, beneficial for socialization. These kind of preparations for life are of course vital for any breed of dog but perhaps especially important for Salukis that are sensitive and quick to react. This will prepare them for urban life as well as many hobbies you may wish to participate in. Around 6 months of age your puppy will be ready for gradually longer jaunts and around 1 year it can be exercised like an adult.

Qashani Hosha Badawiyya


The Saluki is very versatile and provided you can read and motivate your dog you may be able to participate in almost any sport, particularly if you aren't out to win. Open field coursing is ideal but available to very few. Most of us are limited to artifical lures in lure-coursing and racing, although not all Salukis will chase the artificial lure. Always buy your dog as a pet first, with the activities a nice plus if possible. Some like shows, agility, obedience... I will enclose training tips and contacts in the puppy package.

Qashani Habwa Min Farha


The Saluki is sensitive to its surroundings and the moods of its owner. It is intelligent and a quick student, so teaching it things is easy. Whether will it choose to display what you've taught it any given time is another matter entirely ;) Certainly nothing pleases it more than when the desires of itself and its owner happen to coincide and it will rejoice in praise.

Losing your temper with a Saluki is highly counterproductive and will only make matters worse. It is sensitive to a certain "etiquette" and may lose faith in you, deciding to leave you to cool down. In my experience COO (country of origin) Salukis are more co-operative, more in tune with the owner and working as a team, no doubt due to the breeding criteria aimed at working ability. Still, it is obviously not a German Shepherd - different rules apply. It is important to find the right way to motivat your dog. I use treats, though not all my Salukis are nuts about them, but they consider it a fair trade ;)

Our Zia would bend over backwards for a treat, Asheerah couldn't care less, unless she's inside or on lead. She enjoys doing tricks for treats then, since she knows she can't run and so has nothing better to do at the time ;) My desert Salukis are more concerned with teamwork, but treats aren't half bad and will prompt co-operation when it might otherwise be slow in coming. They are more responsive and like to do things TOGETHER with me, rather than IN THE GENERAL VICINITY OF ME, hich is usually the case with my Western Salukis ;)

Salukis can be demanding and nerveracking at times and is not suitable for a person who expects instant and complete servitude. It can at times inflate your ego in its willfullness ;) On the other hand it is faithful and bonds closely with its owner if he or she can handle it correctly. There is a Syrian poem which loosely paraphrased tells of a woman who says she wants no lazy glutton for a man who will cling to her like a Saluqi... This doesn't mean that you will constantly be tripping over your Saluki while it trips over itself trying to please you... far from it. It is loving but independent and is content knowing that you are around while it minds its own business. This is in fact one of its redeeming qualities.

Sami de Hamadan - Muhafhaf

Although the Saluki will be affectionate to all in your household it usually chooses one particular person as its master/mistress. Usually the one in charge of caring for it. It has a charming way of approaching you, head tilted to one side, a paw offered demurely. Of course there are those, like my Asheerah, who sometimes prefer a more direct approach: jumping on my back, and when I turn there she is, rump in the air, inviting me tp play. Or there's Lublub's cannonball approach: a swift attack to my midriff knocking the wind out of me, followed by lots of kisses while she smiles broadly and squints at me. Both like making people laugh. The saluki is a study in contradictions: wild outside, calm inside, faithful but not servile, proud but hunorous, intelligent but selfserving, elegant yet strong.

Although most Salukis remain playful and willing to run into their golden years, some may tend toward being couch potatoes in their old age, preferring comfort before sport. A doggy friend will usually help light the spark in your oldie. Any breed will do, though Salukis prefer the company of likeminded souls, and of course other Salukis are best of all. Living with two or more Salukis is usually easy to keep since they are inconspicuous indoors and exercise each other outdoors. As long as they get plenty of exercise your apartment or house need not be big, Salukis fit snugly into smaller rooms once they've blown off some steam.

Asheerah & Radda


The young Saluki can get up to a lot of mischief both in- and outdoors. It has an unending supply of energy which, if allowed, it will gladly expend on making firewood of your furniture. This breed is not a wise choice if you just want to adorn your living room with it. Chances are it will have its own ideas about the decor.

I confess our Salukis all did their bit to remodel my old cottage: Akasha removed the stuffing from the sofa, Zia cleaned out the pantry, Asheerah rounded any sharp-edged furniture and gave the window sill a quaint worn look, Farha ate the dining room chairs, Muhafhaf peeled the wallpaper in the kitchen and Lublub has done her bit to refine each of the previous efforts, as has Habwa. Basma has specialised in shredding paper towels. All will demolish mattresses in efforts to get comfy. Zia was a food thief, as many Salukis are. It could be that you Saluki will leave the Sunday roast untouched when you answer the phone. Then again, why take the chance?

A Saluki may also protest bad treatment by tearing up the house or peeing indoors. A firm yet gentle hand, patience and understanding and lots of exercise make a peaceful Saluki home. It pays to make the effort to reach a mutual understanding based on respect and love rather than intimidation and fear. The latter is sure to ruin a good Saluki.

Sami de Hamadan - Muhafhaf


Compared to many other breeds the Saluki is quite healthy, but it does have its problems which unfortunately seem to be on the increase. The biggest threat to the breed are the family of auto-immune diseases where the dog's immune system is severely impaired and attacking itself. The most feared of these diseases are the blood-realated thrombocytopenia and AIHA (auto-immune hemolytic anemia). These and other related problems seem to exist in the breed as a whole but certain families seem particularly stricken, and in- and line-breeding can only worsen the situation. According to the health survey conducted by the Finnish Saluki Club in 2004, the most prevalent health problems in Salukis are autoimmune diseases, heart problems, allergies and cancers, with an incidence of about 6-7%.

One reason for my importing desert Salukis is the health issue and the decreased vitality in Western hounds. I sincerely hope that breeders will dare to utilize the outcross potential of these imports  and thereby hopefully counteract diseases that thrive on narrow gene pools. Desert Salukis have survived in very harsh conditions for generations and the sick and inept have fallen by the wayside. Only healthy and functional hunds have been allowed to propagate.

This does not mean that they do not carry deletrious genes just like all other living creatures, or that they are impervious to disease, but it is certainly a more effective safeguard against disease than we can hope to duplicate and the hope is that continual use of country of origin hounds will benefit the health situation in the lines that dare to take the plunge. There are never any guarantees in organic populations, naturally, but wider gene pools are a significant step in the right direction.



How you feed your Saluki is of course a very personal decision, but I would prefer that they get at least half home-cooked. My own are fed according to the BARF-diet: 60 % consists of raw meaty bones and all the other ingredients are fed raw as well, although I do feed some cooked rice a few times a week. The dogs get one meal a day, except for one day 2-3 times a month which is for fasting. I will enclose details of this diet in the puppy package, but here's roughly how my own dogs eat - fresh water is naturally available at all times.

- Thrice a week the dogs get raw meaty bones, usually chicken wings which are easily digestible and have the right meat-to-bone ratio (50/50). Raw, unseasoned chicken wings can usually be ordered via local butchers or grocers. The adults get 6-7 wings per meal. Sometimes they get other kinds of bones, anything they can consume entirely, such as lamb ribs or chicken or turkey carcasses, whatever.

Qashani Hiba bint Farha

- Four times a week they get a "soft meal". This consists of 1/3 cooked rice, 1/3 raw meat/tripe/heart/liver etc. (it varies from day to day) and 1/3 a mix of fruits and vegetables with sour milk or goat's milk and raw eggs with the shells, all mixed together in a blender and then mixed with the meat and rice. Any vegetables and fruits can be used except tomatoes, paprika and raisins/grapes, which can induce liver failure in some dogs.

- Once or twice week the soft meal will contain raw salmon instead of meat. About once a month I give sea meal for a week as a supplement, and daily I supplement with garlic, honey and coldpressed vegetable oil. Sometimes they get salmon oil as well. This is how we feed the pups from 8 weeks on. As babies, when they don't get enough bones, I supplement with Citro-Oska (a vitamine and calcium supplement, but I only in small doses) .

H-litter eating

I have to admit that though we follow the BARF principles (minus the masses of extra vitamins and strict percentages some use), mostly I feed by feel, looking at the individual dogs and how they grow and thrive. The important thing with BARF is to vary the ingredients as much as possible during the week so the dogs get all the nutrients they need and to give meat and bones raw so they get the enzymes they need. I prefer it if dogs aren't fed solely on commercial foods, as I believe they have much to answer for as regards increased health problems. Still, if you do use commercial foods, use high-quality foods with no additives, based on real meat, and use brands meant for ADULTS for pups as well.


There are of course other diets, such as the serial-based ones (for example Yrjölä-porridge, I'll enclose a recipe in the puppy package), but even then please add raw meat to the finished product and supplement with Cirto-Oska or better yet bones and/or egg shells, including during the growth period, but with adult dosages. If you feed half commercial and half home-cooked it's better not to supplement. Heavily feathered Salukis can wear snoods to keep the ears out of the feeding bowl. Feed your Saluki from a raised surface, a chair or bench or something. A Saluki in good condition is lithe, strong and well-muscled with a gleaming coat and only a couple of ribs barely showing.

The young pup eats four times a day, at 4 months I feed twice a day. The pup may leave out a meal occasionally.



Teach your puppy to tolerate the grooming process early on. Handle it every day and as you do examine its ears, eyes, teeth, feet one toe at a time, brush it lightly. Now is a good time to teach it to tolerate brushing the teeth if you like, although chewing on raw bones is easier, healthy and more effective. If the puppy squirms or screams just hold it gently but firmly, talk soothingly and let it go when it has been calm in your grip for a while. And keep practising! About once a week clip the nails if necessary, careful not to cut to the quick.

Grooming the adult Saluki is a simple process, comb through the feathering once a week and wash four times a year or when dirty. Wash before shows too but if you show often just wash the feathering so as not to dry the skin. The smooth Saluki can be polished with chamois or a soft brush, I usually just brush through them in the spring and autumn when they tend to shed.

Qashani Haqiqi al-Sina

Besides the obvious grooming benefits these handling sessions will deepen your relationship with your dog and will also facilitate trips to the vet, shows, etc. ask guests to go through the pup as well: handle it, look at its teeth etc. If you plan to show training can begin now with lead walks and teaching the puppy to "stand" for a moment every day. Lots of praise and treats!

Nea & Qashani H-pentuja

If you're interested in racing/coursing, start practising with a fur on the end of a fishing line or fishing pole, pulling it for the puppy and teasing it, encouraging it to chase the fur. Only a moment at a time and stop while the pup thinks it's fun! I will enclose training articles in the puppy package.

Qashani Hiba Bint Farha

Now is a good time to teach your puppy basic good manners. A Saluki puppy enjoys doing things with the owner and learns fast - good things and bad! It's especially important to teach your puppy to come when called. For example, at meal times, show the puppy the food and tell it to "come". It will associate the command with goodies and fun. It's a good idea to keep treats in your pockets at all times, so that when the puppy comes, good things follow: treats, games, a cuddle, whatever your pup enjoys the most. As they get older, sometimes I vary the prize or just praise, just to keep things interesting for them.

Around 7-12 months of age they usually decide to test your authority by ignoring your calls. Don't stay around holloring (again a reason to choose secluded, safe places for runs), instead walk away ignoring the pup but make sure he sees you leaving. When the pup looks YOU up, praise it generously, give it a treat, and let it go. And repeat: call it and if it doesn't come go over the same thing. It's important that the puppy doesn't equate your calls with being leashed and scolded and/or taken home. Naturally, sometimes it does mean being leashed, but not every time!

Qashani Hurrat al-Sina

And always praise! Always use the same command for the same thing and make sure others in the household use those commands as well, to make sure the pup knows what you want it to do. At about 4 months your pup will begin to change its milk teeth for the permanent ones. Give him plenty of things to chew on lest he find ones you don't want him to, and check that the teeth fall out and grow in as they should.

The Thing

Housebreaking is another primary concern. Some learn this quickly, others take their time. Much depends on the vigilance of the owner. Don't scold the puppy for making a mistake, just a firm "no" and then take the pup outside so it has a chance to get it right. When it does, praise lavishly. Take the pup out often, particularly after sleeping, eating and playing. If the pup is left for hours at a time leave a newspaper for it near the door and show it how to go on that.

Qashani Habibat al-Qalb

It is also important to teach the puppy to be left alone at home. Otherwise it may take to redecorating or howling while you're away, which might not delight your neighbors. So, teach the puppy to be left at home, for very short periods at first, gradually increasing the time. Praise it when it's been good! Soon it will realize that though you may leave you will come back.

Physical punishment does not go down well with Salukis. I use a spray bottle with a sharp spray of water in their face, accompanied by a sharp NO, to discipline them. This is very effective but needs to be timed correctly.

Finally in the words of Abu Nuwas: "May Allah allow my lord the prince to enjoy him long! May he continue happy with his hound."

Qashani Habwa Min Farha



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