They think he’s an Afghan Hound


I own a Saluki.  I got him when he was  about 17 months old from his breeder, Nancy Badra, who was going to keep him forever if the perfect home hadn’t come along.  My first Saluki, from Bill Brown, had just died of cancer, and there was a big void.  I had just spent about $3000 on cancer treatments for Sadiq, so I could really only afford a dog from rescue, but we worked it out, and Dazzle, as I call him, has been a wonderful pet.

He was quite shy & very overwhelmed when I took him away from everything he knew, but he learned to trust me.  About a year after he came to live with me, Bebop, the Whippet, was offered to me (his owner had died, and he was in rescue).

People  think that Dazzle is a Greyhound or an Afghan Hound.  I rarely bother to correct them.  Let them think whatever they want.  I am not looking to make the Saluki breed more popular.  The only ones who  recognize that he is a Saluki are the people who attended  Southern Illinois University, in “Little Egypt”  at the southern tip of Illinois.

I remember seeing one of Jayne Harpling’s older, black & tan Salukis that had as much coat as an Afghan.  Sometimes it happens, especially when they are spayed.

As a groomer, I see many dogs that people tell me are one breed, and I can see that they are another, or….I had a client with a young Puli, & she wanted him in cords.  Both the breeder and I told her that he was going to go through an ‘ugly’ stage, but to be patient.  Unfortunately, she boarded the dog & asked the kennel staff to groom him. They though—I am not making this up—that he was a matted miniature Poodle. They shaved him & we had to start over.

I currently work at a kennel that boards 2 Lakeland Terriers on a regular basis.  This is a relatively rare breed. They claim these 2 dogs are—get ready—Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers.  If they are—they are the worst Wheatens with the worst coats I have ever seen (but they are mighty fine looking Lakelands!).

I was working with a friend, and  she told me to groom a particular dog, and I remarked that you don’t see many Australian Terriers. She  laughed & said, “Robyn, that’s a Norwich!”  I laughed and said, “It is not!  Look at the shape of his head!  & his ears! Hes not even a Norfolk!”

But my friend told me that this  dog’s owner  went to a pet shop and paid $3500 for this dog.  I said, “I know exactly what happened.  He wanted a Norwich, and they handed him this pup and gave him Norwich Terrier papers.”  We had a good laugh about that.

Usually I can tell the breed of the dog by the head.  In my neighborhood, there are some giant Italian Greyhounds and some teeny weeny Whippets, but  I can generally tell.

It’s very hard to tell the Silky Terriers from the Yorkshire Terriers…at least the poorly bred pet dogs.  Don’t get me started on the Shih Tzu that are actually Lhasa Apsos and vice versa. In the 1970s, there were a lot of them.  Very few of the  novices in the breed had any integrity.  Now, the  well bred ones are very distinct in head type, body, and coat texture (as well as temperament), but we still see ‘Shih Tzu’ from puppy mills that I will bet are not purebred Shih Tzu.  DNA test?  They are not  such distinctly different breeds that anyone  doing DNA testing could really tell.

I have seen many French Bulldogs that looked like Bostons—and I am sure they were mixes of the 2.

Except for their heads, I can’t tell the difference between an American Pit Bull & a Staffordshire Terrier, and it’s getting to the point that there are so many poorly bred Papillons that many look like Long-haired Chihuahuas, with ‘apple’ heads instead of flat topskulls.  I’ll bet the breeders of Manchester & Toy Manchester Terriers are happy everyone thinks they are Miniature Pinschers.

I will always find it hard to tell the difference between a Black Russian Terrier & a Giant Schnauzer.

I’ll bet the GreaterSwiss Mountain Dog owners are glad their breed looks like a mix, and I know people who got Tibetan Terries because they look like unclipped ‘cockapoos’.

Does it matter?  Well, if it’s YOUR BREED, it matters.  But be a bit thankful that the person who is attracted to the ‘look’ or your breed, & who doesn’t want to know anything about the temperament, will go looking for another breed.

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One Response to “They think he’s an Afghan Hound”

  1. Tali Says:

    Staffordshire terriers ARE pit bulls, that may be why you have trouble telling them apart. People tend to call any dog that resembles a Staffie a pit bull, hence the confusion. I too am a dog breed expert, because I have loved them from a young age. Lhasa Apsos have longer muzzled, almond eyes, and a”dog” shaped skull. Shih Tzu have round eyes, domed skulls, no muzzles, and are much smaller than Lhasas.
    Salukis, in my opinion, look nothing like greyhounds or Afghan hounds. They are beautiful, but you never see any. Its a delicate balance between having people become passionate about a breed, not popular or almost extinct. My top favorites are Lhasas, German shepherds, and Chihuahuas. I don’t like pit bulls, or any terriers for that matter. I’ve always thought Salukis were beautiful, though.

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