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Classed as the royal dog of Egypt, itís thought that the Saluki is the oldest domestic dog breed in the world. While it has a long history of being a hunting dog specifically for gazelle, the most interesting historical point relates to its links in Egypt. The Saluki was held in such high regard in Egypt that just like Pharaohs, the breed would be mummified when it reached death. The breed can be seen in many ancient Egypt artifacts Ė once again emphasizing their importance in the country. The name originates from an Arabian city, although that particular area now does not exist and has vanished beneath the sands. In more recent times, hunters have utilized the Salukiís immense speed and agility to hunt animals such as gazette. However, the Saluki is also used as simply a companion for many owners.
In terms of appearance, the Saluki simply oozes athleticism and grace. Standing between twenty three and twenty eight inches it can be classed as quite tall, while its weight can vary immensely between twenty nine and seventy pounds. With that said, the size of the Saluki can diminish dramatically for that of a bitch. Its athletic physique means that it can be likened to a Greyhound, with its narrow head and tall legs being of great similarity. The coat is smooth and sometimes silky, coming in a variety of colors including white, cream, fawn, red, grizzle and tan. The ears are long and hang down the side of the head, while a special feature of the breed is the hair between the toes which is meant to act as protection for hunting in the desert.
Despite possessing such a strong and powerful physique, the temperament of the Saluki is of complete contrast. They are an exceptionally loyal breed and have the tendency to get extremely attached to their owner. They get along fine with older children and generally with other dogs, although potential owners should be warned not to mix them with any non-canine animal. The hunting instincts of this breed mean that they do not react well with other animals and will attempt to chase and quite probably injure or kill them. This also means that any household keeping a Saluki should have a fenced yard. Their quiet nature means that any training must be done in a calm nature and they will tend not to respond to harshness.
As well as being one of the oldest breeds out there, the Saluki is seemingly one of the more healthy ones. It has very few common problems and the main concerns that owners are faced with are eye problems and cancer. The average life expectancy for this breed is around twelve years.
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