After having read Sharon Saxon’s article, “Brindle Salukis? The Saluki world is full of controversy” I felt comment is necessary.
Referring to the comments in the above article concerning genetics and the appearance of brindle in the Silver Fox.
“With each new generation, foxes began to behave more like domestic dogs. But a side effect occurred that he did not expect: the normal pattern of coat color, which had evolved as camouflage in the wild, altered. The foxes developed piebald and brindle patterns, colors never seen in wild foxes”.
While a pattern or color can be masked or hidden, as genetics has proven, this action does not make this pattern or color correct or acceptable within an American Kennel Club purebred dog.
In reading Dr. Sheila Schmutz’s “Saluki Coat Color Study” <http://homepage.usask.ca/~schmutz/SalukiColor.html> a telling story is revealed. When presented with data one has to understand what that data is saying. While the number of samples in the study were limited, the cross section is representative. It remains to be seen how many readers have actually seen and understood some of the data concerning “brindle”. Every chart tells a story. That story can be an eye opener.
Because brindle (tiger striped pattern) can appear and does exist in many other breeds, is brindle in, or accepted in, all pure bred dogs? The answer of course is no. Many written standards for pure breeds do not have the brindle pattern listed as an accepted pattern. These standards do not have color disqualifications for brindle and yet you would never see a brindle of that breed. If a brindle Chinese Crested walked into an A.K.C. show ring what would a judge do with it? Brindle is not in that standard nor is there a color disqualification. This brindle Crested could and should be excused for lack of merit. By being brindle this dog is exhibiting Lack of Type. (Type: Sum of qualities that distinguish dogs of one breed (breed type) or dogs from one kennel (kennel type) from others) (American Kennel Club, (2010) Glossary http://www.akc.org/about/glossary.cfm )
The Saluki standard does not list brindle. (Official American Kennel Club Saluki standard: http://www.akc.org/breeds/saluki/) It does list colors and combinations of colors. It lists grizzle. When this standard was written and accepted in 1927 brindle was a pattern that was understood by breeders and the general dog fancy. Basically the founders of the Saluki Club of America (S.C.O.A.) accepted the approved 1923 English standard with the exception of one word, “wide” between the hips. These English writers were also familiar with the pattern brindle and chose not to include brindle in their 1923 standard as evidenced by standards in place before and accepted around the same time as the Saluki standard.
The S.C.O.A founders also had a sound understanding of the brindle pattern and chose not to alter the accepted 1923 English standard to include brindle. The Honorable Florence Amherst (Great Britain) who penned the original 1903 British standard was also familiar with brindle as she had seen brindle Greyhounds and brindle in other breeds where brindle was considered a norm. Hon. Amherst had also seen Sloughis and Tazis in the Middle East and referred to these sighthounds in general as “Oriental Greyhounds”. Sloughis, Azawahks and Tazis come in brindle. Hon. Amherst was very specific concerning what she felt to be correct Saluki colors. Brindle was not among those patterns and/or colors Hon. Amherst felt were correct. The Honorable Florence Amherst accepted the 1923 British standard as well and never questioned the lack of mention of brindle. Honorable Florence Amherst is considered to be one of the founders of the breed Saluki in the West.
In a recent survey I ran concerning the pattern brindle, One hundred percent of those breeders responding from what we call the Country of Origin (COO) for the breed Salukis all stated that the pattern brindle was not in the Saluki. This “tiger stripped” pattern is considered, in the Saluki, to be a sign of mixed blood or impurity.
Often you hear the phrase, “A good hound is not a bad color”. Apparently this is not true as many hounds containing the phrases “any color” or “any acceptable color”, within their written standards, have specific color lists per their American Kennel Club standards. These lists do not contain the pattern “brindle”.
I beg to differ with Sharon Saxon, “The Saluki standard has no opinion on brindle”.
The Saluki standard has an opinion on brindle. Brindle is not listed. Just as brindle is not listed in many standards where the pattern is not seen or accepted. If you are a historian of this breed you would understand this fact. Historically understanding a breed is the key to understanding it’s standard. Reading other breed standards as well as those breed’s histories can give real insight as to how and why standards are worded the way they are written.
Sadly there should be not be a “brindle” controversy in the breed Saluki. The Saluki standard is quite clear.
I would have been more concerned over the content of my subject matter than fear of receiving a black eye from a passionate English breeder.
“One English breeder told me, “If we have been breeding all these years and never gotten brindle, that means that brindle DOES NOT EXIST in the Saluki gene pool. Because I wasn’t in the mood for a black eye, I didn’t contradict her”.
This breeder comes from a country where sighthounds are stolen on a regular basis. These sighthounds are used for illegal racing and hunting. These stolen dogs are also used to cross breed lurcher stock. This lurcher stock is then used for illegal sports and also registered with illegally procured papers for a profit.
The English first brought the Saluki into the West. We should look to the English for guidance. They are basically responsible for the development of the Saluki in western civilization.
As a breeder of over thirty-six years, I am disturbed when individuals write articles concerning breeds and issues they are not familiar with. You always tend to get a cheesy rendition of the reality of the actual subject matter.
Breed standards are written with great care. These standards are not difficult to understand if you just simply read the written words and gain the knowledge from history to truly understand their meanings.