Buying A Saluki Puppy
Puppy & Selection Information
Most Saluki breeders sell puppies by reservation in advance, which works well for breeder and buyer. As a buyer, you will find you can enjoy the suspense of waiting for the litter. Read SCOA’s: "What To Expect From A Responsible Breeder" and AKC’s: "What Is A Responsible Breeder?", before you start your puppy search in earnest. There you will find a list of things to look for, or to be wary of, and some excellent advice.
A responsible breeder has put considerable time, study, work, and money into the little lives they have helped create, and they know the puppy will depend on you for the quality of its health and happiness for its entire life. The responsible breeder carries on the work of centuries of careful breeding to preserve this most esteemed of creatures. When you purchase your puppy, you are paying for this expertise. Listen carefully to them, heed what they tell you, and your life and the dog’s life will be much more enjoyable!
6 week old feathered saluki puppy
8 week old smooth saluki puppy
Eight to twelve weeks is a good age at which to buy a puppy, who should come from a mother who is at least 2 years old. A pup at this age should be inquisitive, a little chubby-looking, and have a shiny coat and clear, bright eyes. Soon after, Saluki puppies begin to grow rapidly, and may look big but very immature, an awkward stage which may last anywhere from a few months to more than a year. A mature Saluki should not look "bony". The hipbones should be discernible, but still covered with firm flesh so that the body outline is relatively smooth. Salukis become more and more beautiful with maturity and begin to come into their prime as late as three or four years of age. Their life span can range from 10 - 16 years.
10 week old smooth saluki puppy
A visit to a breeder and experiencing the bloodlines that their pups come from will often give the prospective buyer a feel for the temperament or personality traits that may show up in a puppy. Visits to more than one breeder will offer a broader view of the range of personalities, which could lead to a more informed decision as to which bloodline fits your family.
Some breeders sell all puppies for the same price. Some sell pets for less than "show quality" pups, but to choose a future show winner from a young litter is risky. The pup will go through many changes while maturing and there is no absolute guarantee that he will be a success in the show ring. Do not be afraid to purchase a mature Saluki, especially if you are uncertain about coping with a lively and demanding young puppy. If possible, spend time with the dog before you bring him home, then follow the advice below on bringing any Saluki into your home.
There are Salukis available to meet a variety of interests and needs.
Salukis come in both smooth and feathered varieties. Feathered Salukis are short coated, but have longer hair on their ears and tail and between their toes, and sometimes a bit of wispy hair on the backs of their legs and elbows as well. Smooth Salukis are entirely short coated.
If you purchase a female Saluki and do not intend to show or breed her, we suggest you have her spayed, which will eliminate the problem of having a dog "in heat" about twice a year and also the chance of finding yourself with an unwanted litter. If you buy a male dog, and do not plan to show or breed him, we suggest you have him neutered to avoid his siring unwanted puppies. In both cases, follow your vet's advice as to when to have the operation done. Although you cannot show neutered dogs at AKC dog shows, they are eligible for all other AKC sponsored activities, as well as other organizations’ events, including obedience, agility, open field coursing, lure coursing and tracking. There are so many great activities to do with your dog, you won't have time for them all.
Home At Last
It will take some time for a puppy to feel at ease in his new home. Play with him, talk to him, call him by his name, but let him come to you. Do not go to him when you call him, but make coming to you a fun game in which he gets praise when he hears his name. Earn his love and respect; do not demand it. Do not punish the puppy during this time unless it is absolutely necessary. Avoid situations that may result in his needing a reprimand, such as soiling your best carpet (a little white vinegar will clean most carpets in case of accidents). Keep the pup confined to the kitchen or play room except for short, supervised excursions through the house (after he has relieved himself). Confine him at night, perhaps in a crate or his own bed with a blanket and a warm hot water bottle or electric heating pad under the crate (don't let him have chew access to an electric cord). Never confine him in a crate for punishment. It won't be long before you will see his confidence building.
From that point on, it will take several months of constant, gentle, loving discipline to produce the desired result, an enjoyable canine companion. It is hard work, but well worth the initial time and effort. Any good puppy can easily grow into a nuisance dog if his owner does not care enough to invest time in simple early training. Some cute puppy antics evolve into behavior problems, so start teaching him good habits now. When training him, accentuate the positive and keep reprimands to a minimum. In spite of their independent natures, Salukis are very sensitive to punishment.
Puppy Kindergarten is a wonderful way to socialize your puppy, and Salukis, being a bit more reserved than other breeds, need that socialization when they are small to make them less fearful of new experiences as an adult.
Simple obedience training (come, sit, and walk quietly without pulling on the leash), will help to build a strong bond between you and the puppy. Great patience is needed to train a Saluki. Encourage, praise, guide, "curve" his will to wanting to do what you want, and make sure the pup recognizes in a positive way that he must obey you and will always be praised when he does. If he does not come when you call, do not scold him when you finally get him; praise him when he DOES come. If by accident your Saluki escapes you and does not respond to your call, make a loud noise to get his attention, and then quickly run in the opposite direction as if playing a game, even "fall down" to get him to come to you.
Puppies need a lot of exercise and seem to vacillate between being boundlessly energetic and sound asleep. It is important to allow them to be both. The area your puppy lives in must be safe, and spacious enough for play. Left alone all day, they can come to develop bad habits such as barking or being destructive. If you are at work all day and the puppy is by himself, we suggest you hire someone to come over and give your puppy some exercise and interaction during the day for at least an hour or two. Neighbors or dog sitting services are usually available.
Before you leave this website, read: "Responsible Ownership of a Saluki", which will answer many additional questions you might have.
Books & Videos: Whether you plan to get a puppy or an adult dog, you might find the following helpful:
If you have trouble finding any of the above or other books concerning your dog, try contacting: Direct Book Services Catalogue - http://www.dogandcatbooks.com or 1-800-776-2665.