Showsight Presents the Saluki


Let’s Talk Breed Education!


I t is useful to keep in mind that the 1927 Saluki standard was cop- ied verbatim from the 1923 British standard (which has since been altered many times). Preserved unchanged since its adoption nine- ty-four years ago, I’ve heard it discussed and analyzed by breeders, exhibitors, judges, fanciers, and novices. From these conversations, there are several points about the standard that are worth a closer look. Underline —There is no description of the underline even though the standard has the chest as, “Deep and moderately narrow.” We know from observing Salukis that there is a swooping rise from the point of the chest to the belly, and so the general understanding is that the underline is a curve that defines a deep chest and a comparatively narrow waist. Extreme underlines would be a straight diagonal from chest to belly or a flat line somewhat parallel to the ground. Parallel Planes —This is the concept that the lines of the muzzle and skull should be horizontal and parallel to each other—and broken only by the “stop not pronounced.” The solitary phrase in the standard pertaining to this geometry has the skull as “moderately wide between the ears, not domed ” (emphasis mine). So, as long as the skull is not bulging upwards and brachycephalic, the planes of the foreface and skull don’t have to be parallel. The muzzle itself is not mentioned, but either a “dished” or “Roman nose” would be considered undesirable. Gait —While not mentioned, the breed standard’s authors (who had experience hunting with Salukis in the desert) did give us clues about movement. Look closely at what it says under General Appearance: “The whole appearance of this breed should give an impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength and activity to enable it to kill gazelle or other quarry over deep sand or rocky mountains.” The key words grace, symmetry, speed, endurance, strength, and activ- ity must be our guides. If these are essential, then the Saluki gait should reflect these characteristics—or at least the ability to use them as needed. We look at muscle condition and fitness as external indicators of poten- tial speed and strength. When Salukis are trotted around the ring, we expect to see an athlete’s movement—balanced, agile, easy, and efficient, giving the impression that the hound’s inner resources are ready to go to work. An efficient gait is gracefully symmetric with no wasted move- ment from paddling, hackneying, mincing, weaving, or crossing. It should propel the Saluki forward, effortlessly.

Brian Patrick Duggan is the author of Saluki: The Desert Hound and the English Travelers Who Brought It to the West, and General Custer, Libbie Custer and their Dogs: A Passion for Hounds from the Civil War to Little Bighorn, as well as numerous articles about dogs in history. He is an AKC judge and the editor for McFarland Publishers’ Dogs in Our World series.



colors we see today—were not known and therefore not listed at that time. There are two things to keep firmly in mind: The stan- dard’s authors used specific language to encompass the spectrum of all Saluki colors known at the time; and no color or markings are disqualified. What does “ Grizzle & Tan ” mean and why weren’t variations like “silver grizzle” included? Well, in the early 20th century, dic- tionaries tell us that “grizzle” meant hair or fur that was gray—as in a grizzled beard. The phrase “Grizzle & Tan” was meant to describe the pattern colors we now call “grizzle” and this term didn’t start being used as the pattern’s description until the mid- 1930s, when descriptions like “rufus grizzle,” “deer grizzle,” and “silver grizzle” began to appear. Why is “parti-color” not there? This phrase describes colored spots or patches on white, but in the early 1920s, “parti-color” was only occasionally used in breed standards. Significantly, the Saluki standard’s authors chose “Tricolor (White, Black, & Tan)” as they believed that this embraced any pattern of the three colors, and included in this was parti, tri, and even “Black & Tan”—which may have bits of white. Interestingly enough, in the early days, any color or pattern outside the standard could be registered in both Britain and the States. Partis were simply registered as “golden and white” or “white, black, & tan,” and you can also find “red/gold,” “black and pale fawn,” and “white, silver, and fawn markings.” The Saluki standard was carefully crafted for flexibility so as to accommodate a range of correct types. We have only to under- stand both the intentions of the authors and how language has changed over time in order to see that our standard is really far more inclusive—rather than exclusive.

So, even though not described, there are concepts in the stan- dard for evaluating a Saluki’s gait—which should predict hunting ability from the grace and symmetry of their ring movement. Clear- ly, the kind of speed, endurance, and strength needed to catch a live hare or gazelle on varied terrain can’t be demonstrated in a show ring, but neither can prey drive, hunting savvy or the ability to spot game at a distance—the invisible qualities of a good Saluki. Disqualifications —It’s simple. There are none in the stan-

dard—not even for color or markings. WHAT DID THEY MEAN ABOUT…?

Some of the nearly 100-year-old British terms in our standard have slightly different meanings today, and this can be confusing. To grasp the standard’s intent, we look to other documents of the 1920s (dictionaries, other breed standards, and show reports) to see how the words were used. Teeth are described with only two adjectives: “strong” and “lev- el.” Clearly, strength is necessary in a breed whose standard calls for the ability “to kill gazelle or other quarry.” It’s pretty straight forward, but what about level? We find the answer in a contempo- rary British dictionary: “ Level = adjective – horizontal: even, smooth; even with anything else: in the same line or plane: equal in position or dignity. ” In standards of the 1920s, bites (under, over, scissors, and pincer) were described separately from the quality of being level (not crooked). The word “level” described the relationship of the indi- vidual teeth to each other. The scissors bite of the Saluki is not only perfectly fine, but precisely what you’d want in a hunting hound. Colors named in the standard are: White, Cream, Fawn, Golden, Red, Grizzle & Tan, Tricolor (White, Black, & Tan), and Black & Tan. In 1923, chocolates, red and white partis—and other



SALUKI STANDARD: WHY IS IT BRIEF, WHAT DOES IT TELL US, AND HOW DO WE SEE ITS LANGUAGE REFLECTED IN PHOTOGRAPHS? W hy is it brief? It is brief because, in the 1920s, there were multiple types of Salukis being imported from a wide region of the world, from North Africa to the Middle East and surround- BY DIANE DIVIN

ing countries—a huge geographic area. In order to ensure that the 1923 British breed standard encompassed the various regional types of Salukis without competing minutia, its description cov- ered all the types of Salukis at that time, and so it was brief. The American Saluki standard duplicated this in 1927. Does this mean every Saluki you see today is correct, just a different type? No, of course not, but it does mean that it is impor- tant to educate ourselves if we want to understand what is cor- rect and what is not. The Saluki standard is the oldest unchanged Sighthound standard in America and the oldest unchanged Saluki standard in the English language. The Saluki, feathered or smooth, needs to remain in its original forms, which means it needs to remain an athletic dog that is a successful hunter—especially known for its long-distance hunt- ing capabilities at high speeds. Their origins, in hot to temperate climates and from sand to rocky hills and mountains, meant they had to be quite versatile—and the dogs that were the most success- ful hunters in each of these types of regions were the ones selected for breeding. If a hound could not contribute to the cooking pot, it was not part of the breed’s future. This basic wisdom resulted in a variety of regional types, but there is some definite consistency among these in structure. Let’s look at the picture described in words below as well as the photographs included here. What does the Saluki standard tell us? The word you find the most in the standard is “moderate.” Being a judge myself, I have discovered that different breeds use the word moderate to mean slightly different things, so we have to get past that conun- drum and see what the word means in Salukis. Usually, flashy dogs—those that immediately grab your eye in the ring—are not the moderate ones. Extreme specimens may have sweeping rear ends or a majestic and unnatural periscope of an upright head car- riage or Tremendous Reach And Drive (TRAD) or some other exaggeration. The next time you are watching Salukis, try focus- ing on those dogs that are moderate, balanced, without exaggera- tions—and have easy, light movement at a trotting pace.





There are additional descriptions in the standard that can be dif- ficult to interpret if you have no references as to how these words are used in relation to Salukis. Photographs can assist by giving us an illustration of that language. This helps us to become familiar with the types of Salukis that were originally imported and bred—and their counterparts in more recent times. To demonstrate this, here are photos of Salukis from the first half of the 1900’s. There were different types in the original imports from the Middle East just as there are in the more recent photos, but let’s look for what they all have in common. For the more recent dogs (Salukis of the past 50 years) I’ve chosen Salukis that have either won frequently under well-respected Saluki breeder-judges or have been successful at open field coursing, or both. What do all their structures tell us? Square or just off-square, a tiny bit taller than long or a tiny bit longer than tall. Hip bones and scapulas are approximately the same dis- tance from the ground to reflect a balance front to rear. The “shoul- ders sloping and set well back, well muscled without being course” means the whole front assembly is set well back onto the body and the scapula lies onto the body. This, combined with a correct hip and rear structure, sets up a good topline. We do not want to see a

noticeably steep “ski slope” coming off the neck, which often means the scapula is not well laid back, the front assembly is too far for- ward, there’s a roached or flat back or, worse, a falling-off topline. Width to the first and second thighs showing good muscling is important, as are “…muscles slightly arched over loin.” What drives this hunting machine is power, and this takes muscles! A “long, supple and well-muscled” neck that is wider at the base is able to grab and carry prey on the run. Moderate angles in the front and rear legs reflect the words, “Hindquarters—Strong, hipbones set well apart and stifle moderately bent…” And then you look for the balance in front by the return of the upper arm. Feet are described as, “Of moderate length, toes long and well arched, not splayed out, but at the same time not cat-footed; the whole being strong and sup- ple…” This equates to a more hare-like foot with well arched toes that can take miles of punishment, which means the pads of the feet must be thick. Flat or splayed feet or thin pads cannot do this. An S-curve underline underneath a chest that is “deep and moderately narrow,” combined with a flexible spine, assists with the double sus- pension gallop for hunting prey. Although a group of twelve photos cannot show you every correct structure, it can give your eye a good



idea of how similar these types actually are (both in historical and in more recent times) and, thus, what to look for in the ring. For those of us who hunted live game for many years with our Salukis, watching great athletes perform from a hundred different bloodlines is an education. It gives one insight into why many Salu- kis perform exceptionally well at this type of hunting and some do not. Though this breed has been called “elegant,” this term can also be associated with the excessively thin or fragile—and these words absolutely do not describe a correct Saluki. No Saluki (or any Sight- hound) that hunts successfully for most of its life is fragile. Salukis need to be a lean and muscular, hunting at high speeds over difficult terrain for very long distances, type of dog. The standard specifical- ly calls this the “…impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength and activity to enable it to kill gazelle or other quarry over deep sand or rocky mountains.” Combining a physique equipped to do its job for a lifetime, with a natural instinct and great desire, you have the Saluki breed—suc- cessful for well over 5,000 years! This is the Saluki to preserve.

Diane Divin is currently Vice President of the Saluki Club of America, an AKC judge, an international business consultant, and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Dallas in their global supply chain master’s program. Diane has authored articles in the American Saluki Association newsletter, The Classic Saluki, Saluki International, and other canine publications.




WHY DON’T THEY ALL LOOK MORE ALIKE? B tion as the top criterion. In some areas that function was bringing down hare, desert fox and tiny gazelle; in others, larger animals, including wild ass. In some areas it was rocky, in others, vast expanses of open desert. The two most influential Saluki advocates in England had dogs that were very different. The first strain, Amherstia, were from Egypt and were smaller, lighter boned, lon- ger legged with less feathering. Then came General Lance, whose Sarona Salukis were from colder areas of Syria, Iraq and Iran. They were stockier, hair- ier, and heavier boned. When it came time to draw up a standard, the com- promise was to make it vague enough so both Amherstia and Sarona dogs were included. Saluki breeders prize the variety of styles as being a trait of the breed. From a judging perspective, that means your winners don’t have to look alike. There can be good dogs from a variety of dis- parate styles. The challenge of judging Salukis is both allowing variety while still recognizing when something is too far afield. Always keep in mind the General Appearance part of the Stan- dard: “The whole appearance of this breed should give an impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength and activity to enable it to kill gazelle or other quarry over deep sand or rocky mountains...” WHY IS THE STANDARD SO VAGUE? See above. It’s true, several things could be clarified. But at this point the Saluki standard is one of the oldest unchanged AKC standards, still in its original 1929 form. Saluki exhibitors are not only proud of that fact, but also ecause Salukis are more of a land race breed, created over the entire region of the Middle East with func-

fear that once opened, the line between clarifying and modifying might get blurred. Besides, once you read it, what more do you need? Here’s what it says about the Saluki physique and running gear: “Neck: Long, supple, well-muscled. Chest: Deep, moderately narrow. Forequarters: Shoulders sloping and set well back, well muscled without being coarse. Forelegs: Straight and long from the elbow to the knee. Hindquarters: Strong, hipbones set well apart and stifle moderately bent, hocks low to the ground, showing gal- loping and jumping power. Loin and Back: Back fairly broad, muscles slightly arched over loin. Feet: Of moderate length, toes long and well arched, not splayed out, but at the same time not cat-footed; the whole being strong and supple... Tail: Long, set on low and carried naturally in a curve...” Add some head points: “The expres- sion should be dignified and gentle with deep, faithful, far-seeing eyes. Head: Long and narrow, skull moder- ately wide between the ears, not domed, stop not pronounced, the whole show- ing great quality. Nose: Black or liver. Ears: Long and covered with long silky hair hanging close to the skull and mobile. Eyes: Dark to hazel and bright; large and oval, but not prominent. Teeth: Strong and level.” Some questions NOT addressed in the standard: What is proper body propor- tion? As a sighthound, this should be a long-legged breed. Short-legged dogs don’t run fast. It can be long-legged and long-bodied, or long-legged and short- bodied—just not short-legged! This means there should be plenty of “air” beneath the dog. Head planes? Most breeders agree the planes should be nearly parallel—

no down-faces, extreme Roman noses or triangular shaped profiles. Ear set? Not in the standard, but 99% of breeders want it high. Tail carriage? Tail SET should be low. Lots of disagreement about car- riage—generally, if it’s carried high, it should not be in a tight curl and it should be because the dog is happy. Angulation? Moderate means nei- ther S-shaped nor straight. Bone? Strong enough to bring down a gazelle, light enough to be carried on the back of a horse, and not a Clydesdale. Movement? Coming and going as in other long-legged breeds: sound and converging. From the side, lots of dis- agreement over how much reach and drive is good, but all agree it should be light and slightly lifting in the front. What about size? The height for males is from 23" to 28", and “bitches may be considerably smaller.” Here is a quick cheat: You will never, ever see an undersized Saluki in the ring. Most male specials are around 27" or 28"; most bitches from 24" to 26". HOW IMPORTANT IS FEATHERING? From the AKC Standard, the Coat is: • “Smooth and of a soft silky texture. • Slight feather on the legs. • Feather at the back of the thighs. • Sometimes with slight woolly feather on the thigh and shoulder. • Ears: covered with long silky hair... • Feet: ...well feathered between toes. • Tail: ...well feathered on the under- side with long silky hair, not bushy. • The smooth Variety: In this variety the points should be the same with the exception of the coat, which has no feathering.” Smooth versus feathered is deter- mined by one gene; feathered is the recessive trait. Smooths have totally shorthaired coats, with at most a bit of a stiff brush to the tail. Feathereds have a silkier texture because their body hair is generally longer and softer.


grizzles; even if brindle is an ancestral pattern, it is more likely at this point descended from crosses with Grey- hounds exported to the Middle East in the case of the Iranian dogs, and of Greyhound or Afghan Hounds used by “the gypsies” in the UK. The standard says: “Colors: White, cream, fawn, golden, red, grizzle and tan, tricolor (white, black, and tan) and black and tan.” So, no brindle. But also no parti-color and no chocolate, both of which nobody questions. As a judge, you need to be consistent in how you view this. ARE THEY MIXES? Possibly. Is it too late to do anything now? Definitely. When the parent club overwhelmingly voted to allow Coun- try of Origin (COO) Salukis to enter the AKC gene pool after three generations, with the criteria that somebody said they were Salukis, then it opened the door for new blood, whether pure or not. You can’t just point to the ones of a funny color and say those aren’t pure, but their cream or grizzle littermates are. You can’t try to close the barn door after the fact by getting rid of the only ones to bear a distinguishing pattern. WHAT DO SALUKI BREEDER JUDGES DO WHEN A BRIN- DLE IS IN THEIR RING? I asked this question in a survey sev- eral years ago, and found most who just judged Saluki and maybe a few others considered brindle a non-issue. How- ever, those who judged several groups were more likely to consider it a big issue, and possibly excuse the dog or leave it out of the ribbons. ARE SALUKIS SHY? HOW SHOULD I EXAMINE THEM? They shouldn’t be. But they are allowed to be aloof. You are best off nei- ther trying to baby nor befriend them; just examine them and get it over with. There’s no need for a full body massage or all sorts of measuring; most of what you need to know you can see. Keep a light hand, be aware than many don’t like the initial touching of the head, and allow the dog some room and time to stack if it’s having trouble. Most of all, enjoy yourself. Because Salukis are like a box of chocolates— you never know what you’re going to get!

Feathered Salukis should have feath- ering on ears, tail and between the toes. The length is not critical; only in connection with ears does it specify “long” and then that could just mean longer than the rest of the coat. Some have long feathering on the backs of their legs, some don’t. It makes no dif- ference. Some dogs grow neck ruffs. Some people like them and leave them, some don’t. They really don’t matter, but a short fuzzy one can make the neck look ewed. Some colors are associated with dif- ferent feathering lengths. Creams are known for abundant tail feathers (that can sometimes border on bushy) while black & tans tend to have scraggly tails. While some allowances can be made, if they are too scraggly or too bushy that’s not correct. Black & tans have the most abundant ears as a rule. Creams tend to have a more cottony fluffy texture com- pared to other colors. It’s important to remember that feathered Salukis are genetically long- haired dogs whose hair failed to grow long on most of the body. This means they have a (slight) undercoat and that their outer coat on their body can have guard hairs that are 4 or 5 inches long! They usually lay close so you don’t notice them, but these two factors tend to smooth the body lines and make a feathered Saluki look less ripped than a smooth one, which has genuinely short close hair. Conversely, a skinny smooth can look much rougher. Feathers can cover up bad feet better, but not really anything else. It also means that the feathered coat is under hormonal control, and that immature and spayed/neutered dogs very often have long body hair.

Even intact adults will often have some woolly fuzz on their chest, outer thighs and shoulders. Some people will shave it off, or stone it off, but sometimes they look worse, so especially in puppy and veteran classes (especially ones that allow neutered dogs) just ignore long body coat. In adults, inexperienced exhibitors will often not know to remove the fuzz and it can make fronts look nar- row when it’s between the elbows, or rears bowlegged when on the thighs. WHY ARE THOSE PEOPLE STABBING EACH OTHER? Listen carefully and you’ll probably hear the word “brindle” being shouted- er, discussed. No issue has divided the Saluki word in recent years like those stripes have. Some background: Over the past decade two general lines of imports have introduced brindle to the Ameri- can gene pool. The first line is from Iranian imports by way of Turkey. They have proven to be strong coursing/ lure-coursing competitors but generally don’t fit the image of show ring competi- tors. The second line comes from a litter “bred by gypsies” in the UK, which was then incorporated into one the world’s most successful lines in Australia, and from there to the US, where one even won BOB at the National under a French judge. Several non-brindle descendents of that brindle are now extremely suc- cessful show dogs here. The pro-brindle side says this: Brin- dle has always been in the Saluki; there have even been rare reports of western- bred brindles through the years. The anti-brindle side says this: The few reports of Salukis registered as brindles have all turned out to be mis-named



compiled by CAROLINE COILE

PAULA BOCKMAN-CHATO BAGHDAD SALUKIS, AUSTRALIA BIO Baghdad Salukis was established in 1965. I have bred some of the top-winning Smooth and Feathered Salukis in the world and top producers. I have judged Salukis since 1974 and now judge the Australian Toy, Hound and Non- Sporting Groups which cross over to many of the FCI and American Groups. I have judged on almost every continent. 1. There is a disagreement about brindle Salukis. How do you feel about them and should the parent club get involved? I have bred several litters of brindle Salukis and feel they are totally correct in breed type with one winning the Saluki Club of America National Specialty and additional Specialties under Saluki specialists. I don’t breed brindles anymore—just my preference—but I feel the Parent Club should accept them. Saying that I have seen some that are off type to my eye, but then, from what I have seen type varies throughout the modern Middle East. I feel the parent club should accept the color and judges should continue to judge on the standard as written as color should be ignored in assessing the overall quality of any Saluki. 2. What, if anything, do you feel all-breed judges get wrong about the breed? I find most all breed judges tend to look for the showiest Saluki and don’t necessarily recognize breed hallmarks. Saying that, there aren’t many Salukis being awarded that don’t display these hallmarks. I think the most untypical thing being awarded is movement—this being the TRAD [Tremendous Reach and Drive] style. There is certainly a difference between TRAD and the correct light, lifting, effortless movement with reach and drive. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Some handlers tend to move the Saluki too fast in the ring. I’m always asking them to slow down, no matter what country I’m judging in. My other complaint is over stretching the rear. This straightens the front and causes a sloping topline—very un-Saluki. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring.

I want a Saluki to look like it could leave the show ring and go out into the field and hunt successfully. I feel that conforming to the Standard in the form of moderation (for a Sighthound) is very important. 1. Balance is essential to start with. 2. Good condition including muscled. 3. Deep brisket is extremely important for heart and lung room. 4. Strong rear is important for the function of this breed. 5. And last, but not least, is strong pasterns and feet. 5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What is getting better? I was honored to judge the large ASA Specialty in Santa Barbara in 1991 with 210 Salukis. This was my last judg- ing appointment in the US, but I have been over many times and observed the breed improving in so many ways—starting with temperament. The soundness that was not considered when I started in Salukis in the 60s, fronts in particular. I think the breed has improved over- all since I became involved. The only thing that I would really criticize is the tendency of some Salukis to move too fast and then have TRAD movement. 6. What previously campaigned Saluki(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. I won’t name any of my own Salukis, although I’ve had some really super dogs. I think as a bitch, UK Ch. Bury- down Iphigenia was one of my favorites as well as UK Ch. Al Caliphs Elle and Am Ch. Jen Araby Zipparah. These three bitches from very different breeding exhibited type with moderation. I was fortunate enough to know all three. As for dogs, there are so many but one of the top would be Ch. Samoen’s Sodom. Not as moderate as I pre- ferred, but moved effortlessly. Another would be Ch. Mata Salamata Aga Khan; not as moderate, but screamed Saluki.

Left to right: Ch. Samoen’s Sodom and Ch. Mata Salamata Aga Khan (photo courtesy of J. Lauer).


7. Can you offer a comparison of Salukis in different parts of the world? Having judged and seen Salukis around the world I think the breed is very strong and we only have to stay on top of the health issues and make sure all our breeding stock are free of any of the health issues in the breed. I do per- sonally do thyroid and heart testing yearly. WENDY & BRIAN BIOS Kyzyl Kum has had Salukis since 1974; judging just under a decade; highlights: breeding the only smooth to win the national, winning vet sweeps at the national, running the dogs in open field events (when we were able). 1. There is a disagreement about brindle Salukis. How do you feel about them and should the parent club get involved? Speaking for Wendy, there is some historical evidence pointing towards brindles in the early days; my biggest concern is breed type and quality, not color. Good dog, good color. Bad dog, doesn’t matter what color it is! 2. What, if anything, do you feel all-breed judges get wrong about the breed? Movement. They want TRAD [Tremendous Reach and Drive] and speed and overreaching, showy but incorrect. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Stuffing bait down their mouths constantly; and overstretching. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. 1. Outline must say “Saluki” not “generic sighthound”. 2. Balance. DUGGAN KYZYL KUM, US

goes away from you crossing in the rear, well… toplines also need work. As for better, it’s actually hard to say. I see fads and trends—bad fronts, then breeders work on that, and they are better, but then rears let us down—it’s a cycle. 6. What previously campaigned Saluki(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. Ch. Srinagar Sakuna Indra and his descendent Ch. Ziba Indus. Stallions of dogs, balanced, sound and pretty. I know Indus could chase rabbits also, which is a big plus. Ch. Windstorm Shalom Cabaret and Ch. Issibaa’s Echo, both beautiful smooth feminine bitches (not smooth as in coat, smooth as in balance). As for overseas, Ch. Almanza Kafiat; a Swedish dog, Geshed el Gamir, that I saw in Sweden in 1998. There are plenty more, but those come immediately to mind.

BOB FROST KAROB KENNELS, US Left to right: Ch. Windstorm Shalom Cabaret and Ch. Issibaa’s Echo. Echo’s (photo by Sharon Kinney).

BIO I got my first Saluki in 1971 and haven’t been without one since. 1990 was the year I started judging our breed and now am approved to judge the Hound, Non-Sporting and Herding groups. I have judged throughout North America, Mexico, Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and believe it or not, in Guam. We have bred, owned, shown and coursed National specialty BOB win- ner, Futurity winners, Sweepstakes winners, Multi Best in Show winners, Multi Best in Field winners, Multi Spe- cialty winners, Dual Champions and ASFA Field Champi- ons, obedience and rally titles. 1. There is a disagreement about brindle Salukis. How do you feel about them and should the parent club get involved? First, I am surprised that this would be the first question for us to answer. When I see brindles I do not see type, making it very hard to judge them. If the Saluki people ever vote to allow brindles, then all changes.

3. Ease of movement. 4. No exaggerations. 5. Not barrel chested or slab sided.

5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What is getting better?

TRAD TRAD TRAD is racing around the ring again. For a few years that had somewhat died back and moderate Salukis actually had a chance, ones that moved with ease and power, but not looking like they were working hard to get around the ring. I see that coming back, sadly. Unfortunately I see a lot of rewarding of dogs that fly around the ring, but on the down and back are seriously out of whack. I’m not a fanatic for “perfect soundness”, but when a dog comes at you flapping its elbows and


2. What, if anything, do you feel all-breed judges get wrong about the breed? EXCESSIVE REAR ANGULATION, AND TRAD [Tre- mendous Reach and Drive]. The Saluki is a MODERATE breed, allowing it to work all day in the field. The over- angulated rears will break down long before it’s time to “bring home dinner”. Gait is to be an easy, efficient, moderate stride. With the excessive reach and excessive kick behind, having both the front and rear legs off the ground for so long at a time, efficiency is lost and again unable to “bring home dinner”. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Our breed is not a free stacking breed as are so many of the sporting dogs. The attitude of the Saluki is, ‘There, I gave you a quick free stack, but that’s long enough.’ We don’t need, nor do we want, a statuesque robot in the ring. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. I’m assuming traits to mean characteristics. 1. Overall picture of type 2. Soundness on the side gait 3. Moderation 4. Combination of topline to underline 5. Soundness of going and coming The expression should dignified and gentle. Without type you don’t have a Saluki. Actually type is a combination of all the other 4 points. 5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What is getting better? Going in the wrong direction… EXCESSIVE REAR ANGULATION AND TRAD. As for the right direction… temperaments and better grooming and conditioning. Not the heavily groomed, but the neat clean appearance that makes us all proud. 6. What previously campaigned Saluki(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. Am Mex Ch. Srinagar Sakuna Indra of Ken and Mary Ellen Gorske around the 70s and Ch. Ziba Indus of John and

Tracy Skupny about the early 2000s. Neither dog was specialed much, but both had the proper mix of the five traits I look for. 7. How do you approach the conundrum of having numerous correct styles in the Saluki? My response goes back to the five traits. In each of the styles, each of the points are there, a judge just needs to look through preconceived ideas and see them. VALERIE HAMILTON KHIVA, US BIO Having always admired their elegance and dignified spirit, we obtained our first Saluki in 1975; our kennel was established in 1964. We were very fortunate as our first Saluki became a Group winner, and multiple Group placer and Best of Breed winner. Valerie won her first Best in Show with a Saluki in 1981 and had a very suc- cessful specials campaign with Multiple BIS and Multiple SBIS Ch. Baklava’s Rafi Rasil of Khiva; he holds the record as the all time most winning parti-color in the breed. He was ranked as the Number 1 Saluki in America in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The Khiva Salukis have achieved multiple Best in Shows, over 50 Specialty awards, have been ranked as the top-ten Salukis in the nation for many years, and have been awarded many running/field and obedience achievements. We continue to show and breed Salukis under the kennel name of Khiva. Valerie is licensed to judge 14 of the hound breeds and junior showmanship. She obtained her judging license in 1996. 1. There is a disagreement about brindle Salukis. How do you feel about them and should the parent club get involved? I personally have no color bias, but the Saluki must display the type and characteristics of the breed. At this point, the brindle markings are not addressed in the Salu- ki standard. I think to eliminate confusion and to provide additional clarity, it should be addressed as a color and/or marking by the parent club. 2. What, if anything, do you feel all-breed judges get wrong about the breed? I feel that many breed judges do not take the original function of the breed in consideration when judging Salukis. I have often seen judges simply look at a class and select placements based on up-and-back move- ment. The breed is a graceful and avid hunter that should display the ability to chase game over long distances and difficult terrain. This translates into a dog that must be physically fit. Much emphasis should be placed on

Left to right: Am Mex Ch. Srinagar Sakuna Indra (photo courtesy and Ch. Ziba Indus (photo courtesy of J. & T. Skupny).


IAN RASMUSSEN AHMADI SALUKIS, AUSTRALIA BIO Having owned and bred Salukis for nearly 40 years I have been the owner and or breeder of top winning Salukis in Australia, Japan, Sweden and America. I have been judg- ing for over 20 years and I am an All Breeds judge with the Australian National Kennel Council. 1. There is a disagreement about brindle Salukis. How do you feel about them and should the parent club get involved? Whether or not brindle should be allowed is an argu- ment that I feel will never be agreed on. There are argu- ments for and against it and both sides of the discussion will never agree on it. In all the shows I have judged Salukis at around the world, I have never judged one myself. 2. What, if anything, do you feel all-breed judges get wrong about the breed? I feel that some judges forget that Salukis are a moder- ate breed and should not be extreme in any way. This also includes rewarding flat top lines, which are far from correct for the breed. When it comes to high awards, some judges also expect Salukis to show like Poodles and Terriers, not like the reserved, aloof Sighthound that they should be. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? We do not have handlers in Australia like you do in the US, but I think the only thing that non-Saluki people might do that they shouldn’t is remove whiskers. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. 1. Moderation

overall balance and details such as good feet and flexible pasterns. The feet should be strong and supple. As a breeder, my personal preference is to have large, strong and pliable feet. I do not prefer small, tight feet nor rigid pasterns (although a straighter pastern may appear to move straighter coming at the judge). Lastly, the expres- sion should be taken into consideration—it should be dignified and gentle with deep, faithful, far seeing eyes and never give a ‘startled’ appearance. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? I think there are many superb handlers who present Salu- kis well; however, some handlers may over stack/stretch their dogs at times. It looks dramatic, but certainly moves away from a balanced and functional look. 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring. 1. Type--it needs to look like a Saluki! 2. Balance 3. Effortless movement (you can see the complete struc- ture when on the move) 4. The details (good feet, lovely expression and head) 5. Overall soundness 5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What is getting better? As mentioned above, I often see very small, tight feet and straighter pasterns. Logic tells you that these dogs would have less endurance and the ability to maneuver over rough terrain. However, overall I think there are many lovely and functional Salukis today. 6. What previously campaigned Saluki(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. One of my own! Multiple BIS and Multiple SBIS Ch. Baklava’s Rafi Rasil of Khiva—he was a lovely mover, very balanced and had the beautiful details that are character- istic of the breed. He was awarded by both breed experts and all-rounder judges. 7. What is the overall showmanship of the Saluki?

2. Correct basic dog structure 3. Correct moderate movement 4. Overall condition 5. Temperament

5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What is getting better?

Some are lucky to have Salukis that LOVE to show. They are dramatic and dynamic in the ring; however, the Saluki can be aloof and not care about present- ing themselves. This should not be penal- ized; a good Saluki is a good Saluki.

It worries me that some judges are giving high awards to generic Salukis rather than ones that I feel are correct. This includes forward set upright shoulders with over angulated hindquarters. This generic style of Saluki is often an over-the-top show dog which to me is not cor- rect Saluki temperament. I think in general, overall temperament in Salukis is better than many years ago, but in regards to structural improvements, it depends which country you are look- ing at the breed in as some countries do different things better.

Valerie & Ch. Baklava’s Rafi Rasil of Khiva.



6. What previously campaigned Saluki(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. One of the best Salukis I have seen was Ch. Amiyat Anakin in Sweden. In 2013 as an old dog I awarded him Best of Breed at a Saluki Show in Sweden. He was a beautiful moderate dog that moved correctly around the ring showing the younger ones how it should be done. Another of my favorites that I saw many, many years ago was Mata Salamata Jadaan Khan; he was a beautiful dog as well in every way. 7. Can you offer a comparison of Salukis in different parts of the world? Having judged and seen Salukis in many different countries around world, different countries often have many different styles. I find that Scandinavia tends to try and keep the breed as correct and functional as they can more than other countries from what I have seen.

an incomplete list of colors/patterns and judges educa- tion should refrain from teaching that any color/pattern is incorrect. The Saluki Club of America adheres to that concept. 2. What, if anything, do you feel all-breed judges get wrong about the breed? Too many all breed judges are attracted to high head car- riage and flashy, big, fast side gait—in other words, the generic show dog. Enjoy the spectacle, but please do not reward it if incorrect for the breed. No game was ever caught using a flying trot. 3. What do handlers do in presentation that you wish they would not? Handlers tend to move Salukis too fast. Please, when showing the bite, lift the muzzle so the judge can see it and keep your head out of the way. You do not need to see the teeth, the judge does! 4. In order, name the five most important traits you look for in the ring.

1. Outline 2. Balance 3. Light, very easy movement 4. Strength 5. Power to capture game

5. What traits do you see popping up these days that are going in the wrong direction? What is getting better? Improvements: fewer over angulated rears and more stable temperaments; be mindful of heads getting too narrow with usually correspondingly low ear sets and too narrow across back and loin with too little rib spring. And of course the downfall of way too many breeds… a front that is placed too far forward. 6. What previously campaigned Saluki(s) come close to your ideal? Please explain. There have been so many gorgeous Salukis I have been privileged to see over the years. If I go farther than one, it would not be fair to so many others I have enjoyed. Very close to my ideal was a Champion bitch in Sweden (I hope I have the name right)—Ch. Barakisch Qabil Advie. She was feminine, but strong and muscular with a beauti- ful, curvy outline in which everything flowed together and so well balanced that no part was out of harmony with any other part. All the Saluki-specific details were correct as well. Then she moved and the picture remained the same. Her balance allowed her to float around the ring with an ideal but too seldom seen light, slightly springy trot that covered the ground with absolute ease and barely contained power.

Left to right: Ch. Amiyat Anakin and Ch. Bel’smbran Jaadan Khan.

LINDA SCANLON AARAKIS, US BIO I have judged the breed since 1986, including the National specialty twice as well as many Saluki specialties around the world; have bred specialty winners as well as those also titled in obedience, lure coursing, rally and tracking. 1. There is a disagreement about brindle Salukis. How do you feel about them and should the parent club get involved? From the very beginning of my 43 years in Salukis I was taught color, pattern and hair quantity were irrelevant. Judge the dog regardless of them. That has not changed. The membership of the parent club has voted not to change the standard and has a letter from the American Kennel Club stating that as the standard is written, it is



T he AKC Standard for the Saluki is an excel- lent breed Standard for exhibitors, breeders and judges. Th is state- ment though is predi- cated on the person utilizing the Stan- dard has knowledge of the basic original purpose of the breed. Th e Saluki Club of America (SCOA) was formed in July 1927. Th e Saluki was o ffi cially recognized by AKC in Novem-

By Edward M. Gilbert Jr. & Patricia H. Gilbert

ber 1927. Th e Saluki Standard has not changed since the SCOA introduced the Standard. With a stable Standard the breed has resisted the changes of fads and fashions—the breed has stood the test of time. The essence of the breed is found in the General Appearance paragraph which states: “The whole appearance of this breed should give an impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength

and activity to enable it to kill gazelle or other quarry over deep sand or rocky mountains. The expression should be dignif ied and gentle with deep, faith- ful, far-seeing eyes. Dogs should aver- age in height from 23 to 28 inches and bitches may be considerably smaller, this being very typical of the breed.” There are many styles in the Saluki and they all have breed type. Type is def ined by the Standard. Styles are determined on where the breeding

“With a stable Standard the breed has resisted

the changes of fads and fashions—


Saluki pastel by Dan Sayers. t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& . ": 

“The Saluki has two varieties, Feathered and Smooth—but in the conformation ring they are not separated by variety— AND ARE TO BE JUDGED ON AN EQUAL BASIS.”

stock came from and the individual breeder’s interpretation of the Stan- dard. As long as the style is within the confines of the Standard it has breed type. Th e Saluki has two varieties, Feath- ered and Smooth, but in the confor- mation ring they are not separated by variety and are to be judged on an equal basis. In the Smooth variety the points should be the same with the exception of the coat, which has no feathering. At the present time the writers consider that the Smooth Variety is more than com- petitive with the Feathered Variety— because they look di ff erent is no reason to overlook them. Th e height size variation, dogs 23 to 28 inches and bitches may be consider- ably smaller, this size variation is based on where the particular style of Saluki originated. We have seen mature bitch- es—never in the show ring—as small as 19 inches at the shoulder. Th e 5 inch size variation in males is the largest size variation of any Hound breed. Any dog over 28 inches is no longer a Saluki. Th e Saluki is a sighthound and chases and kills the game it pursues. Th e range of the Saluki was from the southern tip of Arabian Peninsula north to Syria, and east to Iraq, Iran, northern India, northern Pakistan, southern Afghani- stan, into China. Th ey were mainly kept by the nomadic tribes of Asia and the Bedouins in the Arabian Peninsula. In southern Arabia the gazelle is 20 inches at the shoulder. Th e environment is dry, hot and little water and food. As a result,

the tribesman, horses, game and dogs are small. In Northern Iraq much of the game is quite large as there is plenty of vegetation, water and large game and dogs. Th e environment in which the Saluki existed, and the game it hunted determined the conformation and size of the Saluki, or as previously stated its style. Some other style di ff erences are due to the feathering. Th e Standard states the ears are covered with long silky hair. In some styles the feathering is long and covers the entire ear yet the feathering is only on the top portion of ear and the bottom half of the ear which is covered by feathering has real short hair. Th is is acceptable, just as the ear that is fully coated with long feathering is accept- able. Di ff erent lengths of ear feathering exist, varying from just covering the ear to feathering extending four to five inches past the end of the ear leather. Th e amount of feathering is unimportant. The Standard is si lent on ear set. Ear set can vary from level with to skul l down to even with eye. What is important is that the ear is mobi le— meaning the relatively low set ear can move up to skul l level and the rela- tively high set ear can move toward the center of the skul l. Prominent eyes detract from the expression, while deep, faithful, far-seeing eyes are large and oval provid- ing the proper Saluki expression. Eye color is from dark to hazel which means there can be a very dark eye, a self-col- ored eye (matching the coat color) or a

lighter bird of prey eye on a dark or light colored dog. All are correct. Th e Standard calls for a head long and narrow with the skull moderately wide between the ears. Th e skull definition places a limit of the term “narrow.” Th e Saluki needs to kill the game, too narrow a head and it will not be able to fulfill the basic original purpose of the breed to kill gazelle or other quarry. When the head is too wide the dog loses the impres- sion of grace and great quality, but more importantly it will aid in reducing its speed and endurance. Th e dog must be light on his feet and appear agile. Th ey must also be in good running condition- ing with supple muscles and not carry- ing too much weight. Yet, a too thin dog with every vertebrae and rib showing is not correct either. We like to see the last two or three ribs (11th thru 13th) and the rest covered. Th e Standard calls for teeth strong and level. In the 1800s and early 1900s, level bite meant that the incisors are aligned in a level plane, not dropped or misaligned; it was not meant to mean that the upper and lower incisors met edge to edge. As the Saluki Standard was drawn up in the early 1900s level means aligned in a level plane. Th e term strong teeth, based on the basic original func- tion of the breed to kill its quarry, indi- cates the entire mouth is full and com- plete and properly aligned with a strong lower jaw. Based on function a scissor or pinscher bite is acceptable. A long, supple and well-muscled neck and deep and moderately narrow

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