The Saluki is a dog of many talents, but mostly he is a hunting dog. As with most hunting dogs, they have two important gaits - the trot and the gallop.
Of the possible gaits, the trot is the most important gait for a hunting dog like the Saluki, especially during the actual search for game. Many times the game was hard to find so the dog really had to work hard to get it. He needed a gait that would cover a lot of territory in the shortest amount of time as possible, while still being slow enough for the dog to actually get a good view of the land.
The Saluki has the perfectly structured body to perform the trot in rough terrain as well as flat ground. The different body characteristics include a strong pattern with the correct amount of bend, a lengthy sloping shoulder blade and long and flat muscles that can be stretched without tiring or hurting the dog. Without a strong and perfectly conformed body, the Saluki would not be able to absorb the shocks their feet may get after performing this gait for a long stretch. The sturdy pads on the bottom of their feet help with this. The feet also help the dog when he's moving in the faster gait, which is the gallop. The Saluki also has good lung capacity to allow him to continue this gait until he is ready to quit.
The vision of the Saluki also is a contributing factor to their success hunting at the trot. They are a far-sighted animal that does not watch the ground as it moves along. Their long necks allow them to see above the weeds and brush to sight game many yards ahead. The hunt may begin at the trot and advance to the gallop if he spots some game ahead.
Not many dogs have the capacity, strength and agility to hunt as successfully at a gallop as the Saluki. The dog has the strong muscles and long arched neck that allow it to be off the ground and, at the same time, reach down to grab its prey. The excellent bites from the strong jaws as well as the strong neck allow the dog to shake the prey to break its neck or back.
When the Saluki is at a gallop, he can cover anywhere from 6 to 9 feet, often running as fast as 30 mph. At times, while at this gait, all of his feet are completely off the ground. Only a dog such as the Saluki with excellent agility is able to run at full speed and still change directions suddenly as well as not run into any obstacle, which may hurt the dog.
Once again, the huge lung capacity helps the Saluki to continue at this gait and still maintain the oxygen the body needs.