Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mystery Hound

I would have said Taigan myself, as did about 90% of respondents, here and on email But she is an Afghan- poodle cross-- a rescue, but unaltered. After three hours with her I can see nothing about her that isn't oriental sighthound- temperament, gait, structure, voice, even smell. Fascinating! (Yes, Jess, she has the "Afghan "boing").

I imagine she will shed in spring if she develops a true winter coat, which she may not as she lives in Dallas. She is only 8 months old (Chris?) now so we will have to wait. I know the northernmost one of Ataika's pups, a male, develops almost this much coat on his legs in winter.

Apparently all 5 litter mates were similar in coat and disposition, but two were (brindled?) gray.

The couple who owns her thought she looked taigan but wanted us to see her--- they only knew about taigans from us (Chris knows tazis well, as he is a friend of son Jackson's (Peculiar), and has been around tazis since his teens).

We will probably feature reports on "Bisy" as she grows older. She is coming out to run with us in the fall.

Incidentally the one breeder of real old- style fierce Afghans we know said that a some Afghans (not hers) were bred to poodles to "improve" them (?!) in the fifties.


Jess said...

Probably bred with Poodles to soften the temperament. Doesn't surprise me, there was/is relatively little respect for the Afghan as it was in the country of origin among fanciers, with all of their 'improvements.'

She will probably get a heavier coat if she spends a lot of outside in winter. One of my pure Afghans developed an undercoat last winter, and it wasn't even that cold here. This same bitch is patterned and tends to shed a lot in the summer. Most of my halfghans have a very obvious winter/summer shed cycle. It will be interesting to watch Bisy's development. I am glad to have seen her, even just in pictures.

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I had heard about the Afghan/Poodles in Texas! Thanks for the picture, and I hope she has a great life with her new family.


Anonymous said...

The rumor of "Poodle Improvements" actually came from one of the very early breeders in the US who made the accusation about a rival breeder who had both Poodles and Afghan Hounds. Not to "soften" temperatment at all, the effort was to produce coat and to refine heads as well. If one happens to look at the head of a "show quality" Standard Poodle these days and then compares that to *some* Afghan Hounds a person could wonder if the "rumor" was true.

I think that it is not true that there was relatively litte respect for the Afghan as it was in the COA, especially in the early days of the breed. I found that my early mentors who began in Afghan Hounds in the late 1930s in the US were absolutely determined to maintain the breed as they knew it should be, a very keen, and fierce hunting breed. Another early breeder (late 40s early 50s) used to opine to me that "these dogs are not fully domesticated and I hope they never will be."

Many people, myself included, still value the highly patterned dogs which have "pastern breaks" and "butt patches," and who produce absolutely natural clean necks and saddles. Although I've had dogs from certain bloodlines who produced very heavy coats, I think that many of the very heavily coated dogs in the ring today don't "coat out" that way unless they're bathed on average of every four days, and given some very strange and exotic dietary supplements to encourage coat growth ...

It is also a fallacy to say there is currently very little respect for the COA Afghan Hound today ... what you see in the show ring (today in very reduced numbers) is not necessarily representative of all the Afghan Hounds in the US ... Us what loves 'em exotic, keen and sharp don't often advertise the fact that we've got them - especially since the AR nutcases in California decided to go after those vicious sight hounds who would probably not be able to distinguish a running toddler from a jack rabbit.

I'm not sure this bitch (in the picture) will "coat out." So much depends on how strongly she carries the gene to drop puppy coat, and how much coat she'll loose after being in season. It would be instructive to continue to see photos of her progress as she "grows up."

ELH said...

Our Bissi has shed her puppy coat completely when we got her she was basically a ball of fluff. Since our climate in Dallas tends to be fairly warm in the winter and she doesn't spend a whole lot of time outdoors I don't know that she will get a different summer/winter coat. She also doesn't get bathed every 4 days and we won't be giving her anything exotic to create the Afghan hair.
As far as we know the reason she was in the rescue along with her siblings was due to an accidental breeding by a breeder with both Afghans and Poodles in Tennessee.
She is not particularly fierce and tends to prefer to lick small children as opposed to chasing them.

proclus said...

Yes, she'll be 8 months on August 1. Elaina's right that she hasn't demonstrated any aggressive tendencies toward animals or humans, although we have probably not seen her in any thing resembling a hunting mode. Actually, she does seem to pursue toys with an unusual amount of ferocity for a puppy--she'll pounce on a squeaky toy with a bark or growl, even though she's normally very quiet. In fact, her manner of playing is generally more like that of a cat than most puppies I've known; more overtly mimicking hunting, killing and fighting. Part of this last fact, we joke, may be due to the identity crisis we've inflicted on her by naming her "Bissi," which means "cat" in Levantine dialect Arabic.

About her siblings, the litter was an interesting study--I wish I could have seen the parents. There were nine pups in all, of whom only one was male (and significantly larger than the females at sixteen weeks, incidentally). All nine had, barring some slight variation in size, exactly the same shape and facial structure as Bissi. All were the same base color, with the exception of two that were a solid silvery gray (not brindled--Irbis is the only such I've seen). All but one were unusually stand-off-ish for puppies of that age--not fearful, but calmly wary until we'd been around them for a little while, with the gray ones being the most timid. There was considerable variation in coat length (ranging from somewhat shaggier than Bissi to basically flat-coated) but not type. From looking at them and having Bissi for several months, the only distinct poodle influences I can discern are (1) their hair, while much finer than a poodle's, grows in tiny corkscrews, a fact that really only becomes visible as waviness in their coats when they get wet (though I suppose for all I know some Afghans may have this characteristic), and (2) Bissi seems somewhat more biddable than I understand pure Afghans to be--she has a willingness to learn stupid pet tricks and whatnot, albeit one that's greatly facilitated by the use of treats, as one would expect of a sighthound. All in all, she's a very pleasant little dog, who acts mature beyond her age, with a calmness that makes her, among other things, a great traveler (we're in the middle of a week-long road trip, during which she has spent eight-hour stretches just snoozing in the back seat).