onsdag 22 september 2010


©Gerd Andersson

Saluki people in the Western countries do not possess a superior of knowledge to the people in the Middle East, who have hunted, bred and owned the Saluki in the traditional way for many, many generations and centuries.

I'm very fortunate to have friends, collegues, students and neighbours from the regions where the Saluki originates. In my profession of teaching Swedish to immigrants and refugees for more than 30 years, I've met a lot of people from those regions. Further more I live in the neighbourhood outside Stockholm in Sweden, where most of the foreigners have settled down. So there have been a number of occasions where I could learn and still learn about the traditional and original Saluki.

I can understand why certain Saluki colours and patterns are rare to the extinct in the Western countries. There are simple explanations. A rare colour, pattern, a special coat or trait are often looked upon with suspicions and some times believed to be a sign of impurity. The smooth coated Saluki still has believers who think it's impure. Even though mutations of smooth coated Saluki has been proven from feathered parents. So are the case with the selfblack or bluegrey Saluki even though you can trace the pedigree back to the original imports.

And now the brindle patterned Saluki must be impure because the Greyhound is brindle and as the Greyhound was mixed with the Bulldog from which it got the pattern some centuries ago, it's a mixed breed and therefore a brindle Saluki must be impure. However, the brindle pattern existed in the Middle East before the Bulldog was even created.

England has a long tradition of breeding lurchers and longdogs, which are mixed breeds. This is an explanation why Saluki people in England always have been suspious of the brindle pattern as a sign of impurity. So I guess, that's why the Honorable Florence Amhearst didn't favour the pattern and bred further on with her homebred brindle or that was not good enough for breeding or very simply, she didn't like the pattern. Like Vera Watkins, breeder of the Windswift Salukis, didn't like black Salukis so she never kept one from her breeding. People were prejudiced as they are nowadays.

That tradition of breeding lurchers and longdogs didn't exist in the regions where the Saluki originates! In Turkey and Iran, there can be accidental breedings but the outcome is never bred from and it's is called by another name other than Saluki so one will know that it's not a true Saluki.

At my very first visit at the von Iransamin Salukis in 1989, I was also ignorant, as I told Cyrus Sattarzadeh that he must have had a mixed bred Saluki. He was very polite and answered that his wife, who didn't know too much about Salukis had brought that selfblack with her from a trip to Iran. (Contrary, she knows a lot about Saluki and one of her ancient relatives was married to a Shah of Iran.) Cyrus Sattarzadeh was brought up with Salukis in Miandoab in Iran, where his father was a famous hunter and breeder of Salukis, later on he moved to Teheran where he was working for the UN and involved in the dog scene also competing with a Grand Danois at dog shows. After the Iranian revolution he came to stay in Hamburg, Germany.

Back home I told about my visit to the old ladies Sigrid Norman and Maj Benthammar of the Ibinore prefix, who started the post war Saluki breeding in Sweden. You can imagine how ashamed I felt when they told me that they had selfblacks as well as a donkey grey in a litter in 1961, sired by Zorro el Saluk out of the black and tan BIS winning Int Ch Ibinores Fatima. In his book "Vinthundar", Bo Bengtsson, describes Zorro as a bluegrey. His pedigree goes back to the first imports and this very small strain of the selfblacks/bluegreys is coming down from Ch Hassan el Bahrein (Ch Sarona Kelb - Hosha el Bahrein) imported to Germany by Gullan Lindroth, kennel el Saluk. Zorro el Saluk was owned by Gullan Lindroth's dear friend Vivan Bonander, kennel Gana, who bred the very first Saluki litter 1926 in Sweden out of Sarona Shuna, a grandchild of Ch Sarona Kelb, and sired by Ch Timsa el Sollum, who originated from Egypt.

There was no more breeding of selfblack and bluegrey in Sweden from that line. Why? Because the selfblack has a dominant gene and if you don't chose to breed a selfblack, the colour will go extinct. The Ibinore ladies kept a creme bitch from that litter and her 3 litters never contained any selfblack or bluegrey. But, this old strain of selfblack and bluegrey is still bred in Germany and also successfully introduced to Finland in the last two decades.

The year 2001, my dream come true, Osjan von Iransamin, a lovely Saluki bitch whose parents, the Racing Ch Arash von Iransamin and Sagi az Miandoab were imported from Mahabad and Miandoab in Iran by her breeder Cyrus Sattarzadeh. The purpose was to improve my old line breeding with a complete outcross. Later that year, Derafsch, the sweet gentle male, also Iranian from Bokan, came to share our lives. Both had unusual colours and pattern compared to the Western bred Salukis of modern time, but not for the region where they originated!

The Western bred Saluki has traditionally been line bred and therefore the recessive colours and patterns are more common like in the Arabian peninsula and Anatolia in Turkey. Contrary to the mountainous parts of Eastern Turkey and North Western Iran, where outcrossing is more of a tradition, and there you will find a broader variation of type, colour and pattern. Selfblack, bluegrey and their variations are rather common but the brindle is more unusual. They are from dominant colour genes which will not easily be hidden under the e/e yellow or going extinct as often can happen through linebreeding.

Five years ago, and 44 years since the very first litter with selfblacks in Sweden, Derafsch and Osjan von Iransamin produced a litter of four puppies. A selfblack female and male, Racing Champion Dar el Hindiyas Amira and Amir, a black shaded or maybe brindled with tanpoints female, Amina and a very dark shaded bluegrey, probably brindled female, Anisa.

Derafsch was a black brindled tanpoint with a black spotted white chest and Osjan was a very dark shaded grizzle. Her dark shaded grizzle parents had produced brindle pattern in both of the N- and O-litters von Iransamin. Those dark shadings are not analyzed like the selfblack and brindle pattern in the Schmutz investigation. So there is more to learn about the genes involved.

Osjan's grandchild through her daughter Pary von Iransamin (dark shaded red), Dawidan's az Rubah (e/e yellow) produced a selfblack puppy to a black tan bitch. Another Osjan grandchild through her daughter Dar el Hindiyas Jariya (brown shaded grizzle), the bluegrey Grassland SJ Shadow produced 5 selfblacks to a black and tan bitch.

Some people are talking about dividing the Saluki into two separate breeds! The recent imports from Iran and their offspring should be put in a different KC box called Tazi. Tazi is the name of the Saluki in farsi, the Iranian language. Iran was Persia before the revolution 1979. The Saluki was from the 19th century called Persian Sighthound and in some countries like Sweden, 'persisk vinthund' and and is still called 'lévrier persan' in France. The very first registered imports to Germany came from Teheran in Persia.

So there has never been a thought of different breeds from the beginning so why on earth are people coming with such ideas now? And what would be the outcome and the benefit from such a decision? Has the Western bred Saluki become truer than the recent arriving traditionally bred Salukis from Iran? Do the Iranian Salukis deserve not to be called Salukis in the West but by Arabic speaking people in their country of origin Iran they are still named Saluki?

2 kommentarer:

Anne-Line sa...

Very interesting article! I hope you will continue breeding and preserving the self-black and blue-grey lines!

With best regards,

Dar el Hindiya sa...

Thank you! My aim in Saluki breeding has never been focused on colour or pattern. The essential is the inside of the individual, which will manifests in performance and behavior. The look is just something extra.