SALUKISPESIALEN 2012. Dommerkommentar
Starr White
Starr White, Windstorm Salukis. Foto: Salukiutvalget

I have been asked to write some thoughts on the specialty and the dogs in general. First, I would like to thank the Norwegian Saluki Club for inviting me to judge your 2012 specialty show. It was an honour and a privilege, and it was a great deal of fun.
I enjoyed the sportsmanship and the enthusiasm of the exhibitors, and the spectators at this show, and the whole atmosphere was positive and enjoyable. In general, the salukis were lovely.

was excellent. There were some weak toplines, but in general depth of chest, smooth toplines and good underlines were the norm. In other parts of the world where I have judged I have found a consistent problem with front assemblies that were set too far forward on the body – this was not the case in Norway. Although there were some, but in general fronts are well set, allowing a good length of neck and smooth transition into shoulders.

I was pleased that many dogs had moderate angulation. Most dogs were quite balanced front and rear. When they were not it showed up in sidegait as well as in stacked profile. Hocks were set low. Sickle hocks, where the dog is unable to extend through its hock, is a problem in Salukis everywhere and are something else that breeders must watch for. A few dogs were slightly cowhocked.

were good. A few were too straight. Many had good fill between the front legs. There were a few straight pasterns and a few small feet, nothing stood out as a general trend.

I was disappointed to see loose front movement (generally elbows) on some otherwise very nice looking dogs. A Saluki must have sound movement. If a dog I like standing still moves poorly in front or rear it will fall out of the placements. Some of the rears were very close moving. Side gait was generally pleasing. The dogs were balanced they used themselves well and covered ground well. I would have liked to see more effortless sidegait – dogs whose feet appear not to need to touch the ground – lightness that is so typically Saluki. Soundness in all directions is something I always look for and take very seriously when judging. My final choices in each class came down to movement. The most beautiful Saluki standing still is not worth much unless it can also move soundly and lightly and efficiently.


in general are something that I would suggest breeders pay attention to. There were many dogs with heavy backskulls, short muzzles, heavy brows and heads that on a different body could suggest a different breed of dog. Salukis do not run on their heads, but heads are an important part of breed type and are one of the things that make our breed exceptionally beautiful. You look at the head everyday when you feed your dog, make it a head that you find attractive. (I have included a photo of a dog with exceptional underjaw. I hope this will make my comments more clear).

My critiques may have sounded repetitive but the only faults I found consistently were lack of underjaw and lack of typical headshape – and there my critique went on and on. Lack of underjaw is unsightly, it can prevent a dog from doing its job, and it does detract from breed type. There were very few dogs that I felt had sufficient underjaw, and there were a few whose bites were affected, this becoming a major fault. I wrote about underjaw on several dogs. Underjaw did not affect my final placings (except where bite was affected). I frequently noted it in my critiques.

My BOB winner, Volante's Bizzarini,
first came in in the Veteran dog class. I was immediately drawn to him. He is a handsome dog with a lovely outline. His head is beautiful (he was my Best Head winner as well). He was smooth from the top of his head to his tail, an excellent topline and a good underline to go with it. Everything fit together very well. He had good feet, good pasterns. When I asked him to move I hoped that everything would hold together and it did. He was sound moving in all directions and had very good side gait.

My BOS winner, Elsto Afareen-Khariz.
A very pretty parti-coloured bitch. She had a very nice head well set on a lovely neck that fit smoothy into her well laid back shoulders. Her front was well set on her body - not too far forward. She had good feet and a balanced moderate rear. She moved well coming and going and had good balanced side gait. If I were to fault her I would say she was a little long in loin.

I will cherish the memories of this adventure and thank you again for the opportunity and the hospitality.

Starr White
Windstorm Salukis
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