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The Saluki: History & Origins

Early Man Needs Dog:
For centuries the dog (canis familiaris) and man (homo sapiens) have shared a unique relationship, a relationship which spans the globe and defies all attempts at satisfactory scientific and archeological explanation.  Clues to the puzzle are unearthed from time to time and indicate an vague outline to the dog's evolutionary past.  Just as the exact evolutionary process of the dog is shrouded in mystery, so is the exact nature of the relationship between man and dog in the early days of domestication.  Though the dog's primary role was probably untilitarian, strong bonds of affection were quickly forged, as proven by a fairly recent fossil find in Israel.  Here, well-preserved remains dating back 12,000 years reveal the skeleton of a man with his hand resting protectively on the head of the dog lying closely by his side.
 
Mesopotamia

Region of the Saluki's Origins

There are many theories on why man and dog developed this symbiotic relationship but whichever theory you choose to believe - the relationship between man and his dog has produced a multitude of canines suited to every person and purpose imaginable.  The Saluki holds the privlege of being one of the first selectively bred and meticulously lineaged canines to grace our presence.  

It is estimated that the beginnings of the saluki go back as early as  7,000 B.C. when early man had spread out across the Fertile Crescent also known as Mesopotamia.  Man had observed and desired to utilise the traits displayed by the native predators and so began the domestication of the small, local Desert Wolf (C.l. arabis) a lighter,  faster variety of wolf than its northern cousins.  This developing relationship enabled man to refine specific inherent behavioural and hunting traits in the wolf thereby producing, over time,  a canid capable of doing exactly what man needed.  In the harsh climate of the desert man needed a dog who was capable of coursing (chasing) prey and catching it.  
 
With this in mind they produced one of the first domesticated, purebred dogs:
The Saluki.  
Call him Saluki, Persian Greyhound, or Gazellehound, the dog we know of as the Saluki is nearly unchanged from those that existed centuries ago!
Early Man Needs Dog | The Ancients | Nomadic Peoples | Function & Form | Hunting Technique
Saluki Explorers | They Have Feathers? | Temperament | Salukis In Art | Resources & Breeders
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