Saluki - The Persian Greyhound

We are all too familiar with the very distinguished and highly prized Persian cat. Even though the Persians have very little to do with this modern day esteemed breed of cat, the name lends to it the grandeur that the Persians are known for. They do nothing in half measures!

How interesting then to find the Saluki or “Persian Greyhound”. The origin of the name is unknown but they were bred in the Fertile Crescent and hunt by sight, running their prey down to kill or retrieve and they were exclusively used by the Bedouins. They are depicted in Iranian art from the 12th Century in poetry, miniature paintings, metal work and even rock reliefs, such as those at  “Savashi Canyon Relief, carved around 1800, that was commissioned by Shar Fath-Ali Shah Qajar to commemorate his hunting exploits”. Thanks to Silk Road trade they even made their way to China with some Imperial Paintings depicting the Saluki. There are many examples of the European paintings showing Salukis that are believed to have arrived in Europe through the hands of returning Crusaders. The King of Bahrain up to the last century owned a pack of pure-bred Salukis and after his death, the “pure-bred lines of the royal kennel were saved by the efforts of Dana Al Khalifa who was given two pure-bred puppies by the King, and about a decade later had pure-bred Salukis registered with the Kennel Club of Bahrain. Today, the breed is still held in high regard throughout the Middle East and are hunting dogs for nobles and rulers around the region. They are considered clean by the Bedouins, and are allowed to be in women's quarters, while other dogs must be kept outside.”