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JUDGING SALUKIS

     The few words of the Saluki standard describe a powerful endurance animal, an intelligent highly-bred independent hunter who is built and moves like no other hound. The Saluki should be moderate, never exaggerated, as the standard calls for the Saluki to be balanced and powerful. Saluki movement is light and effortless, sometimes described as having a "dance-like" quality.
     The clean, dry aristocratic head is held atop a long, muscular neck which flows smoothly into the topline. The back is fairly broad and the loin muscles are strong with a slight rise, showing suppleness and galloping power. The croup is smooth and flowing and the tail is set on low.
     Although not specifically called for in the Saluki standard, Salukis generally measure square, or within 1" of square. This statement is made from historical research and nearly 40 years of measuring Salukis. Although Salukis can appear slightly longer, this "trick of the eye" is because of their long heads and necks, and their somewhat sweeping rears. However, if the body proportions are actually measured from a point horizontal with the withers straight down to the ground, and from the point of shoulder to the point of buttocks, almost all Salukis measure square, or just slightly under/over. Any deviation more than this causes the dog to lose "balance & symmetry". This method is the official AKC method of measuring dogs. The Saluki is not angular like its cousin, the Afghan Hound, but gracefully made and symmetrical, with a powerful rear and hocks low to the ground for the jumping and turning ability needed in a top coursing hound.
     The head is that of a noble aristocrat and has the "look of eagles". When viewed from the side, the planes of the head are parallel, with a slight stop. When viewed from the front, the head forms a balanced, chiseled wedge, moderately wide at the backskull and tapering toward the muzzle.
     The ears are set high on the head and are very mobile. They hang naturally close to the skull. The Saluki should have strong jaws and tight, dry lips. The eyes are oval and bright, and can be hazel to dark brown in color, with a keen, intelligent expression. Ear feathering varies greatly in length, but regardless of length should be soft and silky to the touch. The amount of feathering is unimportant.
     The feathered Saluki also has feathering on the back of the legs and the underside of the tail, which is carried gracefully in a curve when moving. The amount of feathering is unimportant.
     Saluki movement is light, effortless and totally balanced front to rear. The Saluki should be moderately angulated so the movement is powerful and collected. This is an endurance hunter and the movement should look like the dog could move for hours without tiring.
     There should be no extreme angulation on either end, the standard stating: "The whole appearance of this breed should give an impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength and activity...."
     The Smooth variety is judged the same with the exception of the coat, which has no feathering. This variety, although more rare, is perfectly acceptable and greatly valued. Both varieties are judged together in the same classes. There are no longer divided Open classes.
    The Saluki comes in many colors, from cream, gold, red, chocolate & tan, black & tan and can be parti-colored (extensive white) or grizzle (a dark "jacket" over a lighter undercoat). However, there is no brindle, merle or dapple in the purebred Saluki.
Information written by Marilyn LaBrache Brown

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