“So that’s the Saluki: exotic and exasperating, snuggly and snobbish, KNOWN FOR ITS BEAUTY BUT A HUNTER AT HEART.”
di ff erence in body coat often gives the smooth, with its tighter coat, the illusion of being more defined and muscular. But get a feathered Saluki wet, and the di ff er- ence disappears. Feathered Saluki puppies often grow long fuzzy hair all over their body. Th e fuzz gradually disappears with maturity, with the last to go on the chest, thighs, elbows and top of head. Th is is normal and should not be faulted. Spayed and neutered feath- ered Salukis usually re-grow the longer body coat, often leaving only a short saddle. Keep this in mind when judging veteran classes at specialties! Again, it’s normal. Judging When judging the Saluki, you’re usu- ally better o ff not talking. Many Salukis aren’t comfortable with strangers, and few have any desire to be your friend. Talking just makes it worse. And unless you come up with a truly original noise, the same old clucking sound is more likely to piss them o ff than to evoke a curious expres- sion. Don’t demand a Saluki to bait. Sure, baiting makes showing fun but it should never be an essential for Salukis. Don’t expect cookie-cutters! Our stan- dard is broad to include dogs that hunted di ff erent quarry (from rabbits to wild ass) over di ff erent terrain from a wide region of the Middle East. Th e height standard for males is 23 to 28 inches and “bitches may be considerably smaller.” Most males in the ring hover around 27" to 28"; most bitches are around 25". You will never see a Saluki that’s too small. Th ey were supposed to ride to the hunt on the backs of Arabian horses—not Clydesdales! Th e standard mentions a wide range of colors: solids, sable (black-fringed), black & tan and grizzle. Although neither parti-colors nor chocolates are men- tioned, they’re equally accepted. More controversial are the recent brindles, some of which come from Iranian imports, and
others from a purportedly gypsy-bred dog by way of Australia. Some breeder-judg- es will excuse a brindle whereas others will embrace it; in fact, an Australian- bred brindle won the National Specialty two years ago. With one of the oldest unchanged standards in the AKC, there’s little chance the SCOA membership will vote to open it to clarify colors. Clubs & Rescue Th e breed has two national clubs: Th e AKC parent club, the Saluki Club of America (SCOA), which holds the nation- al specialty every year in Kentucky in June; and the open-to-all American Saluki Asso- ciation (ASA), which holds its annual event every year at Lompoc in July. Th e ASA was formed in the 1960s when the SCOA was largely inactive and unreceptive to new members. Th e ASA is still the largest source of Saluki information and activities, but the SCOA’s National has surpassed the ASA’s and it has also become more open to new members (applying is now only slight- ly more intrusive than adopting a child). Th e two clubs once had a slightly adver- sarial relationship, but now work together to create big Saluki weekends. Rescue Salukis are uncommon, but may be located through STOLA (www. stola.com). Other groups are importing rescues from the Middle East. So that’s the Saluki: exotic and exas- perating, snuggly and snobbish, known for its beauty but a hunter at heart. After 38 years with them I still find something new to ponder every day. I’ve watched in breathless awe as they skimmed over fields, and cursed in unprintable words as they kept on running into the distance. I’ve been filled with excitement watching them run the lure, and filled with dread watch- ing them run a deer. And I’ve considered myself the luckiest masochist around as they steal my bed, snub my meals and ransack my heart.
so many di ff erent ways (handler standing or kneeling, beside or in front, dog free stacked or hand stacked) and had just enough coat to flu ff without constantly brushing. Smooth & Feathered Salukis come in smooth and feathered coats. Th e smooth coat (which results from one dominant gene) is close and short. Some may have a brush (not feathering) on the tail. A sparsely feathered Saluki is not a smooth. Feathereds are longhaired dogs in which the non-feathered areas fail to grow long. Th e body coat is silky soft, with an undercoat. Guard hairs may be several inches long, but lay close to the body. Th is
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