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Perhaps you are training for a marathon and you would like a dog who can help you keep your pace. If so, the Saluki is the dog for you. These dogs actually have a larger, slower-beating heart to enable them to run at a steady speed for long distances.
Salukis are noble, graceful dogs who are always alert. They are extremely speedy, tireless runners who will need frequent opportunities to exercise. Treat this dog gently and politely because he can become skittish or timid in chaotic environments.
The Saluki makes more of a quiet companion. He is not effusive with his affections, but he will bond closely to his family or to one family member in particular. Salukis can seem aloof and almost cat-like. They can be skittish or overly timid if they are not accustomed to socialization from a young age. Salukis do not go out of their way to greet strangers or to make friends, so you will have to help them become comfortable around strangers. They are tolerant of children but they do not take much interest in them, so if you are looking for a dog who will be an involved playmate, look elsewhere.
These dogs are speedy, graceful runners. They will chase anything that moves, including cars or larger prey. It is absolutely critical that they stay indoors without supervision and are only allowed to run in fenced-in areas. Salukis are independently minded, so training can be a challenge. They are easily distracted and prefer to watch for small prey out of the corner of their eyes. Establish a dominant, trusting relationship and use a patient, consistent approach with the Saluki.
Salukis are available in smooth and feathered varieties. The feathered Saluki is much more common. Both varieties have short and smooth body coats that should be silky to the touch. The feathered variety has slight feathering on the legs and the backs of their thighs. Their tails are usually feathered and the long ears are covered in soft, silky hair. These dogs also have extra tufts of fur on their paws. Salukis come in light colors like white, cream, fawn, golden, grizzle and tan. Some also come in light shades of black. Salukis are a low-shedding breed with low-maintenance grooming needs. They like to stay clean and they will usually try to avoid getting dirty.
Brush their coat to remove dead hair and help distribute skin oils that will keep their thin skin healthy. The feathering, especially around the ears, needs to be brushed gently to remove tangles.
With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.
Breeds with combination coats should be bathed seasonally, or about every three months. Naturally, it can be done more often if needed. The coat should end up fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Coat should be fresh smelling, with no loose or shedding hair.
Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.
Dogs with combination coats generally require routine trimming. It lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. There is no set timetable. Judgment should be made on an individual basis, depending on functionality and owner preference. There are a wide array of trimmers available that will make each snip a snap. It’s a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him. Thoroughly brush the coat to remove tangles and mats. Use trimmers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Trim with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.
It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Small dogs, like Dachshunds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Papillions and Japanese Chins, and dogs with hanging ears like the Saluki, have sensitive ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Papillions and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.