Saluki (səlōˈkē) [key], breed of tall, slender hound whose origins may be traced back to the Sumerian empire of 6000 B.C. It stands between 23 and 28 in. (58.4–71.1 cm) high at the shoulder, although females may reach only 18 in. (45.7 cm), and weighs between 45 and 60 lb (20.4–27.2 kg). Its smooth, silky coat is short except for fringes of longer hair, or feathers, on the ears, back of legs, and tail. It may be colored cream, white, fawn, red, golden, grizzle and tan, black and tan, or black, white, and tan. Possibly the oldest breed of domesticated dog, the Saluki has been used down through the centuries as a sight hunter of gazelles, boars, jackals, foxes, and hares. Still used to hunt hares today, it is also commonly bred for racing on a round or oval track equipped with a mechanical rabbit. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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