Saluki Standard - Filling in the Gaps - Part 2
OUTLINE the most successful hunters were taller than long, with some approaching
square. This is a VERTICAL breed. Longer bodied dogs have earlier
initial speed but usually cannot maintain that speed over great distance and have
more trouble reoxygenating their muscles, so need longer rest periods. Longer
bodied dogs with more angulation look better trotting in the show ring but are
incorrect historically. It is very important that the saluki have enough leg under
them. Your 1st impression should be that this is a leggy dog There
is a fairly broad range of acceptable, functional outlines with length measured
from point of shoulder to point of rear.
- The standard is silent on this point. The hip bones should never be lower
than the top of the shoulders. The Bedouin felt it was highly desirable
for them to be higher. It is not necessary that the hipbones protrude but
if they are showing, they should never be so extreme as to look like you could
hang a hat on them! While the neck should blend smoothly into the shoulder,
one should not see a "ski-slope" wither with the backline falling considerably
below the highest point of the withers. This has nothing to do with shoulder
layback & some of these non functional dogs are extremely smooth & the
parts seems to "flow" when going over them. There will be a small
hollow behind the muscling which follows the shoulder blades, where the spires
change direction but this does not excuse a slack back. Then the rise begins
at the attachment of the last rib and follows over the loin.
neck should be powerful with a nice crest and great flexibility. Excessive length
is not useful. A thin neck is weak.
should be a good spring of rib - more so than in the borzoi or Deerhound, for
example. Looking down on the back from behind, it should be fairly even
in breadth from the shoulders to the hip bones. The fineness of the loin
comes from a very good tuck-up and a narrowing below the muscles which wrap laterally
across it. The loin should never appear narrow when looking down upon it.
In profile, the loin should not appear flat. There are varying degrees of
rise over the loin which are acceptable. Rarely will you see too much.
A "stegosaurus" topline, with the spines protruding along its length
usually indicates a saluki lacking the proper breadth of back, spring of rib and/or
muscle. The breadth becomes narrower as it descends to the keel. The
ribs should be carried well back but we don't want an excessively short a loin
as there must be enough to flex strongly when the dog is in the double suspension
gallop. Ribbing is oval or "heart" shape to allow the rear "knees"
to pass when the saluki is in the tucked stage of the double suspension gallop
- his working gait. Weakness of the loin & back is a definite impediment
Leg length from elbow to
ground should be somewhat more than from elbow to top of withers. In length,
the pastern may be moderate to long but must be strong and flexible. Seen
in profile, they may be straight or very slightly sloping while the dog is standing.
Straight pasterns are perfectly useful as long as they are flexible while the
saluki is moving. If a pastern is stiff it will result in a jarring motion in
that area as the dog moves toward you. A pastern which slopes too far from perpendicular
is weak. The front feet may toe out slightly when the saluki is standing.
They should never toe-in either standing or moving.
in profile, the brisket should be deep, with the greatest depth coming at
or near the elbow. It may be deep enough without reaching the elbow as that
is a function of the angle and length of the upper arm. There should never be
a prominent prosternum nor should there be excessive forechest in front of the
point of shoulder. Such construction is an impediment to speed and agility.
Viewed from the front there should be
good muscular definition coming down from the point of shoulder. While you
should not see a completely inverted "V", neither is it necessary, functionally,
for the front to be completely filled. There is room for variation here.
Moderately narrow does not excuse pinched nor should the bottom of the brisket
be extremely narrow laterally.We will
continue filling the gaps in the next column.
Scanlon, guest columnist