Ulmarra – I have had this prefix since arriving in Ireland but bred under Beklyn when in Australia
What age were you and how did you become involved in the world of Dogs?
We have always had dogs as pets then as a youngster my Mother showed a Corgi for a year or so. I first became interested in showing when I worked for a vet at age 17. The following year I bought my first showdog.
As I am not a very ‘sporty’ person I loved the way I could actually show my own dog and participate in a sport. I have been showing since 1974 but did have about 3 years break in the mid 80’s when the two-legged family grew!
I did not judge in Australia but was involved in Breed and local clubs as secretary and newsletter editor. I have started judging in Ireland as I have noticed many people who have not been in dogs many years doing so and thought that it is not right to complain if i am not willing to join them!
What Breeds of Dogs have you had over the years?
I started with an Irish Setter and had these for many years, along with an English Setter and Irish Water Spaniels. I also had Irish Terriers, owning the only one to go Best in Show in Queensland.
What Breeds of Dogs have you got now?
I have had Salukis for 15 years with my current old man being nearly 12. He came with me from Australia and is my foundation dog.
What would you consider to be your main Breed and the one people associate you with?
Definitely the Saluki, I moved a lot in Australia and was not a big breeder so even though I was quite successful would not have been well known there.
What attracted you to this breed?
My eldest daughter wanted a Saluki for many years, I was quite concerned that I would get left with this active, destructive dog when she went to university so instead we stayed with the gundogs and bought an Irish Water Spaniel. Years later she came home from studying and we decided to buy one. I had always like the look of the breed but was concerned re exercise and fence jumping.
What advice would you offer to anybody that is interested in becoming an owner of this Breed?
For anyone who is thinking of buying a Saluki I would suggest talking to other owners, reading and even joining a facebook group to find out what they can be like. A word of warning please be careful that the breeder is registered with the Kennel Club and that the puppies are pure. It is not unheard of for pups to be sold as Saluki that are really a lurcher.
Does the Breed have any specific requirements by way of exercise & grooming?
Grooming depends on if you have a smooth or feathered Saluki, then as to the line as some Saluki drip in coat and others have very little. Obviously with the smooths there is little work required. With feathered a weekly brush is good and a good hound mitt to get rid of the dead hair. This is a breed that does need to live with the family ie in the house so if you don’t like dog hair then forget it!!!!
Exercise is an interesting issue with Salukis, i remember the gundogs and if you got up they would automatically get up as well, however with these they look at you as if to say “Are you going somewhere i want to go?”
The Saluki does need a good bit of exercise but would be quite happy with a decent walk each day, however the beauty of this breed is watching them run free, so if it is possible to take them to a safe place for running then do it. Most importantly though is to remember that sighthounds do not do a recall easily so it is extremely important to teach them from a puppy. My own dogs run free in the fields near home that we all know however I would never let them off lead in an unfenced, unfamiliar area. As an ancient breed they have a strong hunting instinct so love racing or lure coursing.
Does the Breed have any specific health tests that should be done before a Dog or bitch is used at stud or bred from?
Health issues are not a big problem in the breed, however some lines have reported heart problems and others osteo sarcoma. It is not common but it is worthwhile asking the breeder about the lines and if testing has been done.
Finally, how would you sum up the characteristics of this breed and what type of household would they best be suited too?
This is a breed that basically can suit anyone, I have seen them living with 80 year old adults and 8 month old children. They are a breed that bonds with a family and can be very protective, in fact they are the only breed allowed under Muslim faith that are not considered a Pariah dog. The breed used to hunt and return with the game alive and then at night sleep in the tents with the families. They are not a breed that does well in kennels but having said that they will adapt to being in a kennel say when you are at work, as long as they are with the family at night.
For more information abou this fascinating ancient dog breed check out Linda’s web site dedicated to the Saluki
Linda will be on hand both days at the Breed Village at this years Pet Expo which being held in the RDS on the 16th & 17th November