The Saluki, Royal Dog of Egypt or Persian Greyhound is one of the oldest known breeds of domesticated dog. There are petroglyphs and rock arts in Golpaygan and Khomein in central Iran that shows saluki-like hounds and falcons accompanying hunters chasing preys (ca. 8000–10,000 BCE). Also on the potteries found in Susa, Iran (ca. 4200 BCE) are images of saluki-like hounds chasing ibex or lying next to pools. and from the period of the Middle Kingdom onwards, Saluki-like animals appear on the ancient Egyptian tombs of 2134 BCE. They have connections to the Avesta, Bible, Koran and Imperial China. Modern breeding in the west began in 1895 when Florence Amherst imported a breeding pair of Salukis from Lower Egypt and began working to popularize the breed. The first registered Salukis in the western studbook were Cyrus and Slongha Peri imported from Iran and registered with the DWZRV. DWZRV also records the first litter in 1922. Salukis were recognized by The Kennel Club in 1923, and by the American Kennel Club in 1929. The breed is also the mascot of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The Saluki is a sighthound and historically traveled throughout Iran and through Silk road with caravans and nomadic tribes over an area stretching from the Sahara to the Caspian Sea and China. They have been used to hunt quarry such as gazelles, hares and ibex (mostly in North Iran). Shaped like a typical sighthound, they come in two varieties, smooth and feathered. Though they are an independent breed that needs patient training, they are gentle and affectionate with their owners. Health issues in salukis include cancer and cardiac problems.
Salukis are 'sight' hounds, which means they hunt by sight, run the quarry down, catch it, and kill or retrieve it. The normal size range for the breed is 23–28 inches (58–71 cm) high at the withers and 40–60 pounds (18–27 kg) in weight, with females being slightly smaller than males. The Saluki's head is long and narrow with large eyes and drop ears. The tail of the breed is long and curved. It has the typical deep-chested, long legged body of the sighthounds. Their coats come in a variety of colors, including white, cream, fawn, red, grizzle and tan, black and tan, and tricolor (white, black and tan).
The overall appearance of the Saluki is one of grace and symmetry. There are two coat types evident in the Saluki gene pool, smooth and feathered. The feathered variety has light feathering on the back of the legs and thighs. The fur on both varieties is silky to the touch, and is low shedding compared to other breeds.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saluki
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