The Saluki is among mankind's oldest domesticated dog with history dating back to 7000 BC from the Fertile Crescent1. Used to aid mankind in hunting, this streamlined dog, which lends characteristics to today's greyhounds, became tamed from wandering wolves.
Salukis held the title of Royal Dogs of Egypt and shared a distinguished place among an Egyptian household. The death of a Saluki caused mourning throughout the Egyptian household and many of these animals were mummified with their masters.
As a hunting animal, Salukis rode with their masters on camel and horseback before being freed to chase their prey. Training allowed the dog to snag the hare or fox firmly by the neck but only to hold it. The Saluki's master performed the kill.
In the early 1900s, the Saluki breed found its way out of the Middle East and into England. Breeders there are responsible for the widespread introduction of the Saluki to the rest of the world. Today, the Saluki remains a loyal hound and can be raised as a good family pet. They crave social attention and activity. Instructional training can be difficult with Salukis, though they are able to learn behaviours easier than specific commands.
The Saluki is the mascot of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. This region is known as Little Egypt and the college selected the Saluki as a symbol of Egyptian pride and strength.