Are Salukis Aggressive?

Most prospective dog owners fear that a dog tends to become aggressive towards other people, other pets, or even their owners. In a sense, that is a valid fear because dog breeds are more prone to aggression than others. But is the Saluki one of those breeds? Are Salukis prone to aggression?

The Saluki is generally a gentle and quiet dog. Salukis do not tend to become aggressive towards people, but you should expect them to have a shy and aloof demeanor. That means that Salukis are more likely to stay away from people they don’t know, but they generally will not act aggressively towards them.

It is often said that aggressive dogs become aggressive only because of how their owners raised them. The Saluki is not prone to aggression and may not even develop a hint of aggression unless it was raised to be aggressive. So, with that out of the way, it is time for us to get to know more about the Saluki and its personality as a capable family dog or companion.

How aggressive are Salukis?

Many people fear dogs, probably because they had a poor experience of a dog acting aggressively towards them. In a way, that fear is quite valid because there are very aggressive dogs or, at the very least, very protective and territorial. So, in a sense, if they don’t like certain people or animals or if they feel like they are being threatened, these dogs can quickly become aggressive.

Of course, there are also dog breeds prone to aggression because that is how they were bred and raised historically. Such dogs were more likely bred to become watchdogs that can defend a particular territory and act aggressively towards other people when their territory is infringed upon. Other aggressive dogs were primarily bred to be aggressive so that they can participate in dog fights. And while rare, there are searching dogs that hunt people not only for the authorities to track them down but actually to attack whoever they are hunting.

In a sense, the aggression of a dog depends on how humans bred and raised it. After all, humans are responsible for fostering the dog species as thousands of years ago; they bred docile and less aggressive wolves to bring about canines that are more likely to be obedient to humans than their wolf cousins. 

So, going back to our main topic, you might be wondering if a certain dog breed such as the Saluki is bred to be aggressive towards humans. And this is a valid query because of Saluki’s history, as we would talk more about as we proceed. But, basically, you should know that the Saluki is not an aggressive dog, which we will now dog more about in detail.

Historically, the Saluki is one of the oldest dog breeds globally as there is no certainty as to when it was first bred. However, we can be sure that it has been around for thousands of years, and it first appeared in the Middle East, where ancient Arabs or Muslims or even the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt were known to own Salukis. And for the Arabs, they regarded the Saluki as a gift from Allah due to how seemingly regal and noble this dog is.

That said, back in those ancient times, the Saluki was known to be a sight hunter that the Pharaohs of Egypt used alongside falcons to hunt wild game such as gazelles or even for something as small as a rabbit or a hare. This points to the fact that the Saluki is a working dog bred to be a hunter. And what is surprising here is that the Saluki is generally one of the purest dog breeds in the world because of how it was prohibited for people for thousands of years to breed them with other dog breeds. As such, the Salukis we have today are more likely the same as the ones the Ancient Egyptians had thousands of years ago.

The Saluki was meant to be a sight hunter that ancient humans used as hunting companions whenever they needed their senses to track down prey that people found challenging to hunt. And the ancient people of yesterday regarded the Saluki as a regal gift from the heavens to the point that these were the only dog breeds that the ancient people of the Middle East allowed to sleep together in tents. That shows us the kind of relationship that this dog had with humans as early as thousands of years ago.

Concerning the Saluki’s general temperament and personality, its history as a hunting companion allowed it to bond well with humans to the point that it treated humans as a family because humans also treated this dog breed well enough to the point that they respected it. This has allowed the Saluki to develop a gentle side that will enable it to bond with a human in a kind of master and servant relationship such that it may end up becoming too attached to one human. Nevertheless, this allows it to be a loyal and gentle dog that will always find a way to try to please its family.

Because the Saluki was never used for hunting down people and was more likely used only as a sight dog that could chase after smaller animals and game, it never developed an aggressive nature towards humans. It generally tolerates the presence of humans even if they may be strangers to the Saluki. 

Nevertheless, because of how aloof the Saluki is, it is expected to be quite shy around people it hasn’t gotten used to. It doesn’t have the friendly and easygoing nature that some other dog breeds have around strangers, but that doesn’t mean that the Saluki will act aggressively or defensively.

In short, the Saluki is a gentle, sensitive, and kind dog breed that is unlikely to act aggressively towards people. This is a dog that you won’t expect to develop an aggressive nature unless you specifically raised it to be aggressive. But if you are a caring dog owner who loves being around dogs, you’d have to be completely irresponsible to raise a kind dog such as a Saluki to be aggressive.

When will a Saluki show aggression?

Nevertheless, Salukis are still generally similar to most dog breeds because they may have moments when they can act aggressively. And here are some of the instances where your Saluki may show aggression:

When chasing prey

As sight dogs, Salukis were bred to be hunting companions inclined to hunt their prey on sight. That means that they probably won’t do well around smaller animals that aren’t dogs because they will naturally think of them as prey. This can include cats, rabbits, and other smaller domesticated animals. Of course, your Saluki will also most likely act aggressively towards the occasional mouse in the house or the squirrel in the backyard.

If it isn’t socialized

We cannot overstate how important socialization is for a dog. Any dog breed must be socialized at an early age to begin to learn how to act friendlier towards other people and animals. That means that you should expose it to other people and even other pets as early as possible if you don’t want it to act aggressively towards them. A Saluki that wasn’t socialized might not be an aggressive dog, but there is a chance that it would try to act aggressively in a defensive manner if it feels threatened.

Bad experience in the past

If you adopted your Saluki and it came from an abusive owner, there is a chance that it might develop an aggressive personality. Any dog from an abusive owner will always have an aggressive side because of how its painful past was something it didn’t enjoy. As such, it might have trust issues towards people and may act aggressively towards them if your Saluki had such a painful past.

When they are in pain

It is natural for any animal to act aggressively when it is in pain as it is merely trying to defend itself. So, if your Saluki has injured itself while running or jumping around or if it has an illness that is making it feel lots of pain, there is a chance that it will try to act aggressively in defense when someone tries to get too close to it. In such a case, the best thing you need to do is approach your dog slowly while making it understand that you are not trying to hurt it but are actually trying to help it. After all, even a person in pain will develop an aggressive or angry side due when approached by another person.

How to rehabilitate an aggressive Saluki?

So, if you somehow have an aggressive Saluki because it was previously owned by a neglectful person who abused it or raised it to be aggressive, here are some of the things you should do to help rehabilitate your dog:

Give it time and space

As they say, time heals all wounds, and this includes the wounds your dog has. Giving your Saluki the time and space to recover and get used to its new environment and the people around it will allow it to feel more comfortable. When it feels comfortable and realizes that there is nothing to fear in its new home, it might act less aggressively and begin to show its gentle side more and more.

Training it

It might seem odd to try to train your Saluki before it has even begun trusting you but training it can be a good way for you to bring out its obedient side and make it forget about its aggressive habits. And the best way for you to train it without first establishing trust is by using treats. Dogs will always be suckers for treats regardless of whether they trust the person or not. So, if you can properly train your Saluki by making use of treats, you may be able to teach it how to be more obedient and respond to specific commands that will make it stop acting aggressively.

Feed it by hand

In some cases, it might be dangerous to try to feed an aggressive Saluki by hand, but this is a good way for you to establish mutual trust between each other. By giving your dog treats or by allowing it to eat its usual meals from your hand, it will begin to understand that you are not someone it needs to act aggressively towards because it knows that you are a benevolent family member willing to open your hand out to it to feed it. And once it associates your hand with a good experience such as eating food, it will begin to learn to trust you more and act less aggressively towards you.

Love your Saluki

Regardless of whether or not your Saluki is aggressive, the only thing you should do is to love and enjoy it. Dogs of any breed are meant to be loved and cared for by the families taking care of them, and this includes your Saluki.

So, as long as you give your Saluki the love and care it deserves, you should eventually see it reciprocating the same love towards you by showing you some affection and acting gently towards you. After all, dogs are more likely to act according to how they are treated and raised than act according to their nature. And if you know how to love your Saluki the right way, there will be close to zero chances to develop an aggressive side.

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