Sunday, August 07, 2011

They knew it then...

... so why don't "They" know it now?

Writing in the Lonsdale Libary volume Hound & Dogs in 1932 (ed. A. Croxton Smith), Brigadier-General F, F. Lance said: "The Saluki varies in type according to the country from which he comes. He covers a very large area, extending from Northern Africa to India and from Arabia to the Steppes of Siberia."
(Emphasis mine, as seems to be needed if not for my regular readers.

He also mentions the existence of both feathered and smooth varieties, and seems to rightfully consider the country Afghan of the day just another variety (good examples of them and first- hand accounts of using them with saker and goshawk on gazelle elsewhere in the book).

The Lonsdale Library was the official voice of the English sporting establishment, which still knew something back then, at least about dogs...


Dave said...

A lot of the early books really illustrate how people changed in the way they view dogs from types to individualistic breeds.

Jess said...

"Great variation in type due to wide geographical area of origin. There are both feathered and smooth varieties."

They enshrined it in the standard.

Florence Amherst apparently did not consider dogs from India and the Steppes of Siberia to be Salukis. She called them Khirgiz Greyhounds and thought they shouldn't be bred into the Persian Greyhound. Judge for yourself:

If you read old accounts by British soldiers and travelogues, you will often find that Salukis and Afghans were lumped together under 'Persian Greyhound.'

I have been collecting old photos of Salukis lately and there is a wide variety of type from compact little dogs low on leg to very tall leggy looking dogs. People are very, very selective in their perceptions. Very entertaining from an outsider point of view. Of course, a great deal of the 'it's not a Saluki' has to do with the people who own the dogs, and not the dogs themselves.