Saluki Breed Magazine - Showsight


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


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