The following will need little comment, but it is unusually illustrative. The little red tazi with the gray face is Larissa, an Almaty dog in origin, Ataika’s daughter and we hope the next mother- to- be. The cream male is Tavi, the intended father, a mix of Kazakh genes and Russian.

What to notice is how the greyhound types dominate at first– I used to say that if a hare was caught at or before a quarter mile it was my late Plummer lurcher– but gradually the salukiformes’ endurance wins out– a catch after a mile needs tazi genes I think.

Please double or right click– these are worth enlarging!

Of course, dominating the hare doesn’t mean you are a social lion– it was his big old housemate Gaddi the Afghan who brought the hare to hand!

UPDATE: a friend thought I meant tazlukis are superior coursers, or that longdogs have no stamina. Not at all– I think that a mixed pack is the way to go., and ran one in my and my hounds’ time. Good grey crosses regularly take jacks closer than most “oriental sighthounds”; if a course goes to four miles, which happens in this country, they will still be in the race, but their Asian relatives may well be ahead. I have never owned a dog of either type to quit, though for all I know some may. These longdogs catch plenty of hares and one has tazi genes; they have speed and stamina.

(Track greys are still another story– very fast and very quick to burn, run like hell in a straight line, and break easily. Many don’t have the wits to come back. Great crosses, sweet pets, dumb as a bag of rocks…)


More relatives; Daniela’s boys in part, Shunkar, showing the permanent damage the rattler did; thank God he did not lose an eye. Then, Monnie’s new pups, from John B and Vladimir; sweet Kyra, Tigger’s daughter, with her GSD protector Eden, and (the little red)  feisty Aeris, Taika’s neice and already a tiny tyrant who knows she was born to rule the world.

Kyra is already pointing pheasants 
 Really– I hunt with Ataika as a bird dog, though nobody believes it!

More images; Tazis east of Turkey

If  (as I think) “Tazi” and “Saluki” are linguistic rather than biological distinctions, reflected where Arabic turns to the Turkic and Persian tongues, the title is redundant.

The pics are not, and even clinal change admits some differences. Iranian tazi, stolen weeks ago, returned to its horse archer partner this week, a friend of a friend (“it”  only because I do not know “its” gender).

It is BLACK, not tanpoint, as is this one on the other end of the Salukiverse, in Xinjaing, taken by Sir Terence Clark. You don’t see real black in the Arab countries, only east of the tazi line.

Even in the early 19th century some Afghan tazis had BIG coats.

Lahav RIP

Daniela Imre’s Lahav, one of the greatest dogs I have ever known, is dead at 15. He was her constant companion, a coursing champion, a hunter, a defender and guardian. He distrusted most male humans and would threaten them for their presumption if they got near Daniela. She called him the Munchkin: I, “The Muncher of Kin.” He was huge for a saluki and he delivered a credible threat if he wanted to, though he was the most lovable of dogs to friends

He was sometimes a clown. I was one of the exceptions to his  dislike of males, as was John Burchard (probably less any personal virtues, and more like our smelling of saluki and talking their language), and when they lived here I would often walk up the dirt road to Daniela’s house. He would hear me from hundreds of yards away, and start yodeling the distinctive Salukoid greeting– I guess he knew the sound of my steps. I knew my role was to howl back until I reached his fence. What the neighbors thought is not recorded.

In his old age he was sire to other splendid dogs, like (with our Lashyn) Daniela’s Shunkar and John’s Jengiz. I am sure that if more exist Daniela will let us know. Meanwhile our condolences to her. Here is a small portfolio, including Herb Wells’ famous  shot of him diving in front of (good) greyhounds to snatch up a hare.

With his son, Shunkar

Old and still beautiful

Tigger’s Pups #1

Courtesy of John Burchard, who bred them, and Daniela Imre, a co-
“grandparent” of the human species: the wonderful rainbow litter of
Tigger, bred here, and Prince. Multicolor, smooth and feathered, Kazakh
& Arab; all progenitors hunters: the ultimate Silk Road US

I am tempted by the little brindle girl and the
feathered tri(s?), but health, poverty, and the desire to have a pup
with Taika’s genes say no.. as I say, tempted.

There will be more photos.

Say it again, John

Dr John Burchard on “Oriental sighthounds” (and breeds in  general):

“I think we have to remember that the breed subdivisions within the “oriental
sighthound” group are to some considerable extent a Western artifact which does
not accurately reflect the reality on the ground. On the ground there are
several regional populations, each with a considerable range of phenotypic
variation, grading more or less insensibly into one another. The extent of gene
exchange among them is probably considerable but thanks to “breed politics”
(also a Western invention) I fear we are unlikely ever to get honest and
accurate sampling that would permit DNA analysis of the situation. Almost
everyone involved has some kind of agenda and most of those agendas are either
Western-inspired or based on a desire to have a “national” breed. Most of these
dogs are called “saluqi” in regions of Arabic speech and some variant of “tazi”
elsewhere. To me it appears that the phenotypic “fault lines” – to the extent
that such actually exist, which is far from obvious – do not particularly
coincide with the linguistic ones – nor, alas, with the “breed political” ones.
Introducing the Western “purebred” model, derived from 19th century notions of
human racial “purity”, into this situation has IMHO not been beneficial.

“In other words, when we speak of “different breeds” here, it is probably a good
idea to use quotation marks .”