Just when you thought you knew everything about different breeds of dogs, you hear of a dog that is so smart and resourceful, he can open the refrigerator as well as most types of kitchen doors. Does this dog need training? Yes, but he will need a special kind of training. You are not dealing with a dog that is not a typical dog. The Saluki is a dog that is almost like a human in some of his thinking. At least, he thinks he is almost human.
The Saluki definitely needs training, but not all training methods work with this dog. The Saluki needs firmness and an owner that will show him who the boss is and what is acceptable behavior and what is not acceptable. The difference with this dog, however, is that they are very intelligent and intuitive animals that want to feel that they are in control of the situation. They will balk at learning something unless they feel it is in their best interest to learn it.
The Saluki needs lots of patience and understanding. They need a calm atmosphere as well as owners that are calm and have patience with them. They are very gentle dogs that respond well when their owners respond the same way. The training methods that are used on the Saluki, if they are to be successful, have to be gentle and very consistent. This is the only type of training that this dog will respond to consistently.
Many owners use the aid of treats as a means of training this dog. The Saluki tends to be shy and aloof with people they don't know well, but bond with family members. They often choose one person to cling to and bond with more than the rest. Training by this particular person may prove to be the most successful. As stubborn and independent as the Saluki is, they often become well behaved as a way to be closer to the owner with whom they've bonded.
Many owners of the Saluki dog say their dog is never as obedient as they would like. There are certain parts of the dog's independent personality that refused to succumb 100% to their owner. As close to completely trained as the dog can be, there are still certain circumstances where the dog will not respond, regardless of the training.
The Saluki is a hunting dog by nature and in his mind will always be. The dog should never be off the leash when outdoors because if they see a small animal that they consider prey, they will take off running after them, regardless of how many times you call them. They do not feel they are misbehaving, but rather just following their instinct and they feel that's important to them and in their best interest at that moment. It is important to not yell at the Saluki at times like this or it could set their training back as they don't respond well to harsh words. Remember to always be gentle, consistent and patient for the best long-term results.