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  • Salukis

    Tell me the good, bad, and the ugly, farm and off farm.

  • #2
    Saluki = somewhat hairless Afghan = dingbat when turned loose. They are hard to train (think lying down and screaming like a toddler in a tantrum), short attention span, and so thick that slow repetition is the only way to teach them Once they DO figure out that they can learn, you got them to a point. Remember, they are sight hounds, bred to run and chase and if they get away, they can cover miles before you find them. If you have no experience with sight hounds, they are not for you.
    Unlike greyhounds, who will stay in an unfenced area, these desert dogs will not (unless they have improved the brain power over the years) and when they leave, they do so at roughly 40 mph, a speed they can maintain for a long time. You will need fences, 8 foot at least as anything less is just something to jump over (I had nighmares for a long time after helping chase down a runaway Afghan who just sailed over a 6' fence and took off; got 10 miles before we saw him again). They don't seem to have a homing instinct like Greyhounds either.
    Lovely dogs, in a tightly controlled environment but they don't make good farm dogs, purely decorative.
    They don't do well in obedience trials, although they can be taught to stand still in a show ring and for daily brushing - yep, those ears mat but at least the rest of the dog has little hair. Those ears also need a snood at feeding time so they dont get full of food or bitten accidentally by their owner.
    Don't get me wrong, I like them (and other sight hounds) but they are odd critters, sensitive to strange things and very hard to train; as I said, they are tougher to deal with than the dimmest Greyhound alive, only thing worse is an Afghan. I would never try either a Saluki or Afghan again, too much work, and they must be penned.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles


    • #3
      Don't have Salukis but have had other sight hounds, Basenjis, for many moons. They are not for everyone. All of our Basenjis would chase pretty much everything and I never trusted any of them off leash until they were old enough that I felt I had a chance of running them down (that means in their mid-teens )

      There is plenty of brain power there, these dogs simply choose to use it for "evil" as opposed to doing whatever some mere mortal human would like them to do.

      As one of my sister's friend said when told my sister was getting a litter mate to one of my Basenjis; "why do you want a dog that gives you the finger all the time?" A tad extreme but I swear there are times when mine have done just that. All said, I love them and can't imagine having another breed.


      • Original Poster

        I'll have a roommate that wants one, I have no idea why. Everything I read about them makes me appreciate my mellow $30 CL mutt more and more!


        • #5
          they are tougher to deal with than the dimmest Greyhound alive, only thing worse is an Afghan. I would never try either a Saluki or Afghan again, too much work, and they must be penned
          I raised and showed Afghan Hounds and Salukis for some years (way back when). I do agree these dogs are not for everyone, as they are typically quite independent and require a lot of positive interaction with their person, esp. as pups and young dogs

          That said, my two show Saluks were wonderful. Got them both as pups, showed them to their AKC championships, took them lure coursing on occasion, etc. Although the male could not be turned loose unless in a fenced area (yes, he was the type that would run like the wind and be 2 miles away before he stopped to look around and see where he was), the female could be taken ANYWHERE off leash and be totally dependable. I did spend a TON of time with mine as youngsters, though - took them lots of places to socialize them (dog shows, parks, etc.), and taught them basic obedience - heel, come, sit, down, stay, etc. (they were darned good at it!). They easily adapted as adults to life in an apt. with 3-4x daily walks, and also got to go to the farm or to unused ball parks to run. They also quickly learned as adult dogs to accept the stray cat I took in, and were tolerant of my cockatiel - even when she was loose in the house with them. They were sweet, sweet dogs - have been gone for over 20 years and I still miss them.

          Have to also add that one of my Afghan bitches was a SUPER obedience dog. She was top of her class from day 1 (in a class that included Standard Poodles, Labs, etc.), and I always regretted not competing her in AKC obedience classes.


          • #6
            Originally posted by DownYonder View Post
            Have to also add that one of my Afghan bitches was a SUPER obedience dog. She was top of her class from day 1 (in a class that included Standard Poodles, Labs, etc.), and I always regretted not competing her in AKC obedience classes.
            Excellent point! After my first Basenji and I barely made it through obedience class, all subsequent dogs were #1 or #2 in their class, mainly because I started work with them the day they came home. This amazed the instructor who showed Shelties. It's a big compliment that she told me she actually recommended a Basenji to someone asking about a dog the size of a Sheltie but without the hair.

            Breeding also has a lot to do with it. The current pair of B's are 1/4 pure African, much calmer and more tractable than my previous ones.


            • #7
              Afghans are not dingbats. I had the pleasure of owning and showing several of my own and several clients. One of the client bitches won a Dog World award of distinction in obedience, meaning she won her obedience title in 3 straight shows with scores above 195. (out of a possible 200) I am not sure this award is even given out any more. That said, Salukis are a nice but very aloof breed. They have been bred for thousands of years to chase and chase they do. They were also bred to be independent hunters, which means they are not the quickest to respond to a command. When they are zerod in on their prey, that is all they focus on, hence they have no car sense. You can not undo thousands of years of DNA, so I feel they do not make good farm dogs. They are fabulous dogs (as are Afhans) for people who appreciate their long history and admire the traits they were specifically selected for. Because they dont stand around with baited breath waiiting for you next command does not make them stupid, in fact they are rather intellegent, they just don't always give a rats ass about what you think. It is one of the wonderful things about purebred dogs, there is something for everyone, and not all people find the same traits fascinating or livable.


              • #8
                Originally posted by tradewind View Post
                They are fabulous dogs (as are Afhans) for people who appreciate their long history and admire the traits they were specifically selected for. Because they dont stand around with baited breath waiiting for you next command does not make them stupid, in fact they are rather intellegent, they just don't always give a rats ass about what you think. It is one of the wonderful things about purebred dogs, there is something for everyone, and not all people find the same traits fascinating or livable.
                Well said. And at least when you go with a purebred dog, you have a general idea of what you are getting.....
                We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!


                • #9
                  I currently have four salukis that live with me and really must echo what others have said about fenced yards. Number one cause of death is "hit by car".

                  I know of one saluki that does go to her owners farm every day and is fine and another who runs with the horses on her owner's fenced property. Not I know of another owner who didn't keep his salukis on lead a lot of the time around their property. This individuals' third saluki did make it past one year old and is still alive and well, as are those this individual has later aquired. Don't know if their attitude toward leashing their dogs has changed.

                  I believe most of the salukis who hunt out west are trained to come to a whistle from an early age.

                  I love the breed, but they are not for everyone. I do have plans to take my puppies, now 7 months, out to the barn (on leash- 3 board fencing) and down to the hunt kennel (may let them off lead- wire mesh fencing).

                  Salukis aren't stupid, they just have their own opinions and tend to want to follow their own program, not yours! Personally, I wouldn't let my dogs run loose somewhere with only board fencing without wire mesh behind it, as the boards would be too easy to go over or under. But hey, some people in the breed would say I shouldn't have salukis since I only have 4' fences.

                  Feel free to PM me as I have some saluki friends in Washington State and one of my puppies is even there.


                  • #10
                    Would you say a Saluki is less trainable than a whippet? I am a life long whippet owner and have always been curious about the more exotic sighthounds.
                    Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club! RIP my dear Avery ~3/21/1995-9/21/2011~

                    Extreme Cat!!! 2006 OTTB
                    Magic Cat - Final Demand


                    • #11
                      There is a local Saluki who shows in agility. Owned by a gal who also has a MACH Dachshund. The Saluki is gorgeous to watch jump, but he does have a mind of his own and usually does the course his way. That said, I always stop and watch him as it is always takes your breath away. This is indoors in a building. So athletic that I cannot imagine how it would be if one was out in the open running loose. I think you need to be the 'right' person. I know of a person on an obedience list that has one.


                      • #12
                        I have had experiences with Salukis twice in my life--once in the 70's when I lived in NYC and commuted to ride in Ridgefield, CT. My Ophelia went out with me over field, fence and stream as I conditioned my horses for eventing.
                        The roads were mainly dirt and there were few cars. It was jusr splendid for everyone concerned- horse, dog and me. Ophelia and I had such a relationship that she actually read my facial expressions and was completely attuned to what was required behavior, all the while exulting in the runs that she got three days a week.
                        Our second experience was less successful 15 years later in Bronxville, NY, in the '90s. There we had a male and a female that we eventually had to return to the breeder when I fell seriously ill.
                        I would never recommend a Saluki as a farm dog as much as I loved and enjoyed my Ophelia. The circumstances must be absolutely optimal and that is hard to guarantee.
                        Sakura Hill Farm
                        Now on Facebook

                        Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.


                        • #13
                          I love sighthounds. I've had ridgebacks for over a decade. I love my ridgebacks. I love sighthounds. But you must keep in mind certain traits among sighthounds:

                          1. Prey drive. Loose cats and sighthounds are not a good idea. Of course there are exceptions, but generally speaking their eyeballs are hardwired to their ass muscles. They will chase and kill.

                          2. No traffic sense and will chase (see above). This means you need a secure fence. Invisible fences do not generally work because the prey drive will supersede any pinging or zapping. They'll break through the invisible fence, get the rabbit/cat/bird and then realize they can't get back in. They will chase into traffic and get hit by a vehicle. They will chase wildlife.

                          3. They are very independent. If you want the kind of dog that checks in with you all the time and wants to know what you want, then don't get a sighthound.

                          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).