All Saluki dogs are purebred


The brindle color

among the Xigous, descendants of the Persian Tazis


Hardly any topic about the Saluki has heated the minds as much as the dispute over the color brindle. One party is convinced that it is one of the colors of Salukis as well as grizzle, piebald, red, black & tan etc.

The other party vehemently rejects this color as a pure color in Salukis. They think these brindle Salukis are mixed breeds. But where does this assumption come from?

First of all, England is in the lead here, and that is quite understandable, given the traditions there. In England, dogs are still used to hunt if the landowner allows it. However, many people still poach their dogs. Some of these people steal salukis from gardens and even houses to breed with. In doing so, they mix races, it can be Gray-Saluki hybrids, and terriers are crossed in because they hope for even better hunters. In this way, of course, trumpeted dogs are created that look like pure-bred Salukis, but are not. It is understandable that serious breeders have their hair on end.

The influence of greyhounds in the Saluki population in the countries of origin is often used as an argument when the English were colonial masters there.

All of this certainly has its justification and is understandable. In order to get to the bottom of this controversy, only a look at history helps. And to that we go back about 5,000 years.

There was evidence of Salukis in later Persia 5,000 years ago. They are not documented in other countries of origin that we consider as such today or not yet. These are today's Arabia, Emirates, Turkey, to name a few. Countries of origin, which we do not yet define as such within the FCI, are India, Central Asia and China, in order to single out countries / regions here as well.

Trade routes for caravans were established around 4,000 years ago. In the middle of the 19th century, the geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen gave this trade route the name of the Silk Road, under which it became famous. Of course, a number of other goods were also exchanged. However, the traders did not travel the entire 7,000 km, but only certain stages there and back.

The first 4,000 km led through China. Caravans were put together with countless camels in Xi‘an, moved to Lanzhou - Anxi - Hami - Turhan - Kashgar - Tashkent - Samarkand - Bukhara - Ashgabat - Tehran - Tabriz - Ankara - Istanbul and back. There were still a number of side routes, one would say feeder today. It was a huge trade route, along which, in addition to all exchangeable goods, there was also an exchange of cultures. People were multicultural and benefited from each other without having to retaliate against those who thought differently. The dealers only moved their respective stages there and back, not the entire route. Salukis from Persia were also taken along, either to hunt with them on the way or as gifts.

Darius I ruled the Greater Persian Empire from 522 - 486 BC. At the Chinese border, however, it was over, the Chinese first sealed themselves off with their wall. The current boundaries are shown in white.

The greyhounds became at home along the Silk Road in the course of time up to China, they changed to new breeds, variants of the Persian Tazi by adapting to their new habitat, by the potential prey and the contemporary tastes of their owners.

The first written mention of the following dogs was in the Tang Dynasty, whose members ruled and were in power from 618 to 907. It is thanks to them that we have opened up to the West. The Sogdiana, which belonged to the Persian Empire and later annexed to the Turks, lived in the area of ​​today's Tachikistan, far east of the Caspian Sea, relatively close to the Pamir Mountains. They gave the first Persian Tazis to the nobles of the Tang Dynasty after they were allowed to trade.

The then Chinese main town of Xi’an is located in Shanxi Province, from where many Chinese dynasties ruled, and where the gathering place for traders and the beginning of the Silk Road was.

Today there is the feathered Shanxi Xigou, and the smooth-haired Shandong Xigou. These variants are bred separately. The brindle color also occurs in both.

Brindle? Yes, since it first existed in China around 1400 years ago. This dog is extremely black tabby.

But what was happening in England at the time? Two hundred years earlier the Romans withdrew and Germanic tribes, namely Angles, Saxons and Jutes, invaded the country. They drove away the Celts and spread out. Incidentally, some of them came from what is now Schleswig Holstein. 1400 years ago Irish and Scottish monks brought Christianity into the country, coins were minted and people learned to read and write. So there is still no talk of colonization of other countries, and certainly not of brindle greyhounds that mingle somewhere.

brindle Shanxi Xigou

One recognizes without a doubt the close relationship to the Persian Tazi. Xigous are on average significantly higher than other oriental races, namely usually over 70 cm to the withers, thus square, open in the elbows with a steep shoulder. But most noticeable are their narrow heads, which have a straight forehead - bridge of the nose up to the "Roman nose", a convex line from the occiput to the nose. This expression was surely brought out selectively by the taste of the Chinese.

These three little ghosts are two months old here. The small Shanxi Xigous only have a convex bridge of the nose.

If you look at these dogs today, you would call them a separate breed with an undeniable origin in Persia. This gives food for thought, because the influence of the Persian Tazis on the Arabic Saluki took place over 1000 years earlier, and yet these variants are now mixed up in Western countries.

Colors are also white, red, black and ruddy. Below are some of these impressive dogs.

white Shanxi Xigou with a pronounced convex profile

A beautiful Shanxi Xigou with little stop and a relatively straight bridge of the nose.

Another beauty. It can be clearly seen where the size of these greyhounds comes from, namely through the very steep, elongated shoulder. This noble male definitely has a head like the one we find in Persian Tazis.

This bitch is bright red sable.

Black lacquer and breathtakingly beautiful, in my opinion.

What I wrote about the red male also applies to this big bitch. However, it is very dark gray. And no, these dogs don't have too short a lower jaw either, the appearance is deceptive because of their sometimes quite round upper head profile.

It is noticeable that in Persian Tazis there are also gray, silver, black and silver, and also red and bronze colored wild colors in differently intense shades, the genetic decoding of which is not yet available in 2012. So this color does not have an official name yet. In the western world it was not known until 1989. However, the further east one discovers the relatives, the more common it occurs. In cat breeding it is called aguti. Their color, which has not yet been scientifically defined, is only found in Persian Tazis and their descendants, in no other breed.

Here are almost all the colors together. Black & tan, piebald or grizzle are not found in this breed.

Conclusion, if the brindle color was brought from the Persian Tazis 1400 years ago, then it already existed in Persia before that. That's logical, isn't it?

Thank you very much to Chaoxian Chen for allowing me to upload these pictures.



Carvan Hound

the Indian cousin of the Persian Tazi


The Greater Persian Empire was founded by King Cyrus II (Cyrus II). He defeated the mighty Medean king Astyages, which earned him many other lands. During his reign, his empire comprised 559-530 BC. The area of ​​today's Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Arabia, Israel, Sinai, Armenia, Turkmestistan, Uzbekistan, parts of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, parts of Afghanistan and parts of Punjab, India. The empire went as far as the Chinese border. Cyrus II wrote the first charter of human rights, the so-called Cyrus cylinder. He released slaves, allowed religious freedom, and was very social towards the poor.


The Caravan Hound is an Indian cousin of the Persian Tazi. Here, too, one can assume that the first representatives of the race came to the country at the time of Cyrus II, because the Persian Empire also included the region in the eastern Iranian highlands, in the south of Afghanistan and in the north of Pakistan. This area was formerly called Balochistan.
Further north is Punjab, this area also belonged to the Greater Persian Empire. Depending on the climatic conditions, these dogs had sometimes developed strong feathering, and sometimes even had woolly hair on the back of the legs.

In the centuries that followed, India maintained a brisk trade with Arabia and other countries. Goods were loaded onto camels, and Persian Tazis also came here with caravans. The Indians called them Karwani, from which the British colonial power made Caravan Hounds in phonetic terms in the 20th century. It is obvious that they also received short-haired Salukis from Arabia, because in India there are short-haired, and more or less lightly feathered greyhounds.

Carvan Kurzhaar bitch named Mental, she goes back to the Arab Slughi Nedj.

The Umayyad dynasty of Sunni caliphs gained influence in north-west India, and here too there is a possibility that Arab Salukis were also brought to India.

Another indication of the migration of Persian Tazis and Arab Saluki is Islamization in the years 661-750.

At least this bitch represents a transition type to Xigou.

Another advance was made by the Samanid General Sebuktin, who founded a military state in northern Afghanistan. His successor Sultan Mahmoud 998-1030 made Gazna the basis for his holy war against India, integrated the Persian culture and celebrated brilliant victories. In 1002 he successfully repulsed an invasion of a Turkish-Chinese alliance, only to give himself up completely to proselytizing India with the result that he became the richest monarch of his time.

These contemporary events reveal a constant interaction between Persia and China and India, mostly under the rule of Persia. Hunting with the Persian Tazis they had brought with them was common among the nobility and higher-ranking personalities and was gladly adopted by the Indian nobility.

In India, on the other hand, there are other names besides Caravan Hound. These names are pashmi, based on the term pashm, which means long-haired. Pishuri, means from Peshawar in the northwestern border province of Pakistani on the Afghan border. The name Lahori is also known and means coming from Lahore in Pakistan. The reason for this lies in the fact that several languages ​​are spoken in India, sometimes a different one only a few hundred kilometers away.

In the 13th century, Persians and other Muslims settled in the northern part of Hyderabad (Haiderabad). The official language became Persian. They also brought their Persian Tazis with them to go hunting. There are some hunting scenes from this period that the painters recorded.

In the course of time, another branch of the Persian Tazi developed again. Some dogs seem unchanged, the majority, however, have become stockier, but still very noble. The wild-colored dogs are not uncommon, brindle and piebald dogs also fall alongside the other typical colors.

The piebald color is mandatory for feathered and short-haired dogs.

I would like to thank Aalok Sthapak for the permission to upload Mentals pictures.


The Arabic Salukis will follow shortly, which are divided into Slughi Shami, Slughi Nedj, Slughi Yamani and Slughi Omani.

The spread of the Persian Tazi is therefore logical, just as it later influenced the Arab Saluki through his son Cambyses II. In the following 2400 years, further strikes developed, which adapted to their new habitats and changed environmental conditions from Central Asia to India and China.








Quo vadis, Saluki?


If you look at Salukis in 2010, who are at the front in the show ring, these dogs only have a distant resemblance to the hunters from the area of ​​origin.

Dogs with overloaded feathering, or none at all, with angled joints and a different, Saluki-untypical character are very much in vogue at Europe's exhibitions.

Which oriental is looking for his hunter after the dressage horse-like gait? Which oriental gives a thought to a dog that shows absolutely no interest in hunting?

Dogs stand in front of exhibitions, trotting through the ring like sleeping pills without a fire, but stretching far out in front. The fact that, as in a case that I have not observed for the first time, a dog stood with its front paws strongly inward, was also extremely flexible in the forefoot joint (incorrectly called the knee), was given BOB (best of breed), is again a coffin nail more about the wonderful breed. With this dog one was amazed that he was anatomically able to stand without falling, let alone trot.

That the personal taste of a breeding judge can often be decisive for dogs of equal value is, in my opinion, completely legal. Unfortunately, "the other end of the demonstration line" is also often judged. Or else, the breeding show judge himself has a breeding relationship with exhibitors, and puts their dogs forward, which are related to his own and are related to his own. Or else, dogs are cheered up, win, and their closest relationship with another kennel name falls behind because for some reason this is currently not in vogue.

Well, none of this is new. But at least there was a counterbalance in greyhound races. The dogs standing in front here all corresponded to the original type of Saluki, or better Persian Tazi, which existed here unmixed until the end of the 80s.

From a quarter of a century of racing, I do not remember a single successful racing dog that showed such a strong angulation as many show dogs do today. Quite simply, you CANNOT run fast at all. Furthermore, they cannot run smart coursings because they cannot even master these sometimes extreme curves without any long-term health effects. The reason lies in the power transmission, which takes too long at extreme angles and "rebounds". The result is falls with possible injuries, including stretching of the cruciate ligaments, i.e. tendon damage. This can mean a tendon fiber tear or even a tendon tear. It is not uncommon for such dogs to be overrated on coursings, as the judges can assign the dogs to their friendly owners very well. I myself stood next to a field judge who already certified a bitch with the highest number of points for his area, without that she was even close. I also saw how a bitch stopped in the middle of the field, occasionally made timid bumpy gallop jumps in the direction of the seriously hunting partner, but her radius was no more than perhaps 50m. But she won the title coursing! During her run I asked the owner what was wrong with the bitch, whether she was injured? She was also very uncomfortably touched and worried. Such courtesy ratings are aimed at maintaining the quality of a breed. Unfortunately, such phenomena are commonplace.

Here I have only named the anatomical excesses, as well as the courtesy ratings, which make a Saluki unusable for its original task. But that's not all.

It happens very quickly that dogs can be bred away from their original mentality. Properties that have been cultivated for thousands of years are genetically lost after a few generations. Exactly as described in epigenetics, changes adapted to the environment can be genetically manifested. B. serve to complement a task or fur equipment. In the same way, important features can be neglected or even prevented.

But what do we have then? We have decals of a once admirable breed that has been bred, admired and respected for the symbiotic purpose of hunting for the hunter for thousands of years. A dog that doesn't even seem able to chase a tissue that has been carried away in the wind is ridiculous. Oriental people are sure to have only a weary smile and astonishment about what we are pushing to the fore here today.

In view of the many new breeders who are all emulating the same two or three show breeders, I wonder whether they are even aware of their actions and their responsibility.

Either we create a European (Western) Salucoid here, or we accept the challenge of respecting, honoring, caring for and preserving a living cultural asset that is thousands of years old.

In my opinion there is only one honest way.

This male won an exhibition as the most beautiful Saluki. If one looks at his gait, it is noticeable that he "throws his hind quarters backwards contemptuously". This is exactly what you would like to see with Afghans, but definitely not with Salukis!

The same dog, with forepaws turned inwards, with the forefront joints sagging forward. This is a serious anatomical flaw.

Paws have to be turned slightly outwards so that the dog can keep better balance when hunting. It can be compared to a sports car in which the tire track has been widened in order to achieve better grip in corners.

This male trots energetically, space-saving, powerful and economical. His hindquarters also come down earlier and he has a good boost from the hindquarters. His ratings range from so-called V to CAC Reserve.

There is a standard to be followed. The breeding judges have a great responsibility. It is in their hands to preserve the millennia-old Saluk type, not the breeders! One cannot necessarily assume that breeders will receive the original type if they almost only function as a gap filler in a show. Nobody wants to be frustrated. A reticent being is also typical of our breed, but such dogs are often enough rejected or devalued by the judge. Stoically standing monuments, on the other hand, have been upgraded. And so many newcomers unrestrainedly breed together what the judges like. And that is exactly a serious danger for our breed, it would not be the first to be bred to death within a very short time. The Afghans, Grays and sometimes Whippets have already been ruined and split into camps.

The winning male on the left shows the dressage horse-like floating trot. His angled joints, his long, soft back are indubitably an indication of this.

The male on the right has a beautiful head and expression, but what can be seen from the front looks like an attached piece of another being. The short back is reminiscent of the back of a carp, and the dog has a severed croup, is steeply angled at the border at the back, and is therefore overbuilt.

But how does it come about? Looking at both dogs, they represent the approximate respective limits of permitted angulations from ... to. Now focus your attention on the hips of both dogs and then draw an angle towards the ischium, then you will see an open angle on the left, a narrow angle on the right. This angulation entails all other anatomical occurrences. The top and bottom lines no longer correspond to the standard.

The first dog is a descendant of a show breed, the right one partly as well, and it is related to the judge’s breed.

My criticism is to be seen from the point of view of a breeder of this breed, in no way should the amiability of these dogs be diminished. The one has nothing to do with the other. That's why I don't mention the names of the dogs, the owners, the place and date of exhibitions. Furthermore, the photographs only represent a snapshot.


History of the German Saluki breed since World War II

I've been "in Salukis" for 25 years. In 1985, 2533 dogs had been bred in Germany since 1922, i.e. a manageable population. If you go back 8 years from this date, you were at the studbook number 1842. That was exactly 691 Salukis bred in 8 years. During this period there were few big breeders, namely el Riad, Mata salamatas, Bigalla's and Min Ma Sha. The other breeders did not have many litters or died (el Ghazal, TA Dr. Peter Faulstroh - Mumtachir ar rih, Marianne Hessing - el Saraje, Theodore Knussert). Assuming an average litter size of 6.9 puppies, you can easily work out how manageable everything was!

Some Salukis became pets, others were active at races and exhibitions, they and each other were known as a small Saluki family. If a Saluki died, the scene was rushed over the phone, and the reason for death was rarely made a secret, and people usually took part.

Not all dogs were healthy, some suffered from epilepsy, were unicorn or had heart and dental defects. At that time they were all somehow related to el Saraje, because these errors or diseases ran through this penitentiary. If descendants then came together again in other kennels, these errors occurred again. This continues to this day, and the current huge Saluki breeder population has long since lost track of the overview and the context.

Now I don't want to point my finger at el Saraje. In 1945/46 distemper was rampant everywhere and pulled away from Theodore Knussert all Salukis except for two littermates, at that time it was almost a genocite among all dogs.

These two littermates arose from an inbreeding relationship, and Th. K. bred 4 litters with these dogs. At that time it was difficult to travel through the zones in post-war Germany, and there were hardly any Salukis in D. Ms. Knussert was active in breeding for about 30 years, during that time, as far as I can remember, she only had a handful of outcrosses, although these mostly closed 50% were due to their breeding. In her poor gene pool she bred absolutely beautiful and attractive world champions, but also Salukis with all of these diseases mentioned above. Many of their dogs were also absolutely shy.

Peter Faulstroh became her partner, but because they had different views, they separated again. He wanted to bring direct imports into breeding, she didn't want that. So he took his Imp. Bitch Aini, borrowed from Prof. Knopf, for the male Raqqas el Saraje under the name Sayyadin al Jesira, until he later got his own kennel name el Ghazal confirmed and continued to breed under this name. Adad and Arsak Sayyadin al Jesira went into breeding because they had dental defects. Our former breeding manager Hermann Bürk took one of these males and raised Bahram el Batal. His parentage: Adad Sayyadin al Jesira (Raqqas el Saraje x Aini) and E 'Nisaba el Saraje (Abdullah el Shamar x Peribanu el Saraje).

Bahram was quite successful on the racetrack and at shows and at that time he produced 10 litters in Germany and the Czech Republic. That was an unbelievable amount with the population at that time, and so you can hardly find any litters that do not have this male in their pedigree somewhere. If he met other descendants of el Saraje, the probability of these and other inherited diseases was a sad probability. The el Tazi Mo kennel, which is no longer active, was hit particularly hard. Andscha suffered from autoimmune disease (3/4 el Saraje), died early. The B litter was a father-daughter connection, Arsak mated his daughter Oriafa el Ghazal. Two males, Baasram and Balash, fell in the litter. I think that it was Baasram who also suffered from autoimmune diseases and was constantly lame, wearing bandages. This litter with the rental dog Oriafa was a repeat of an accident litter that was not registered. The dogs of the previous litter were all very beautiful and noble, but suffered from epilepsies and died young.

The D litter had el Saraje blood from the father's side as well as from the mother's side and the bitch Dehschat had a lower jaw that was too short, which is not a disease, but a blemish.

The E litter was a connection in which two grandfathers on the father and mother side were litter brothers. These litter brothers had Bahram el Batal as father in their pedigrees. Some of these dogs were active in racing, others were lost sight of because they were family dogs and not active in greyhound events. Enzohrossa suffered from epilepsy and sometimes had three attacks a day until he was released.

It was only here that a connection was revealed to some breeders. You just didn't have the knowledge you have today and you certainly didn't want to breed sick dogs. Pointing at the breeders with the finger is definitely the wrong way, because you only contribute to the concealment of such failures, and that certainly does not benefit the breed!

But the fact is that, in order to protect themselves from smear campaigns, many breeders do not talk about hereditary diseases in their breeding, new breeders throw themselves into breeding without background knowledge, import wildly from abroad, where almost nothing is known, and thus contribute to the spread of hereditary diseases .

In the late 1980s it became fashionable to import dogs from the USA. These (short hair) imports brought several dead people and also epilepsy to this kennel. Now Scandinavia is in fashion. Scandinavia is literally riddled with sick dogs, so I mean to say that as far as I know there are no longer any pedigrees where some ancestors or their littermates have not died of autoimmune diseases or were epileptic. Right now a bitch is perhaps in foal to a male from Scandinavia who has both diseases in his pedigree, namely via the littermates of Ibn Ibiz and Rayyan Hilal.

It is now becoming unmanageable, and thus our Saluki population also gradually descends the brook, the brook becomes a fast flowing stream, then a waterfall.

My Mamnounas are definitely free from heart diseases and epilepsies, have no cryporchism or deaths in my breed or other hereditary diseases. My dogs are a (in D probably the last) genetic reservoir of genetically healthy dogs, which is luck, but which can also be ruined with only one suspicious choice of partner.

Diseases do not mend themselves so easily, they reappear even after decades if the breeding partners are carriers of the responsible gene. Attachments also reappear after 8, 10 or more generations, but usually faster.

The United States has big problems with heart disease and other diseases. How reckless to use dogs from there in the local breed without the greatest possible certainty. And if you already do it, then you should definitely have two litters with the bitch, with the other breeding partner from here and really having to be flawless.