Saluki Breed Magazine - Showsight

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


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