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The Desert Saluki – Israel, homeland of the Negev Saluki.

Added by: Michaella Okon, Ruah Midbar kennel, Israel
Коментарии: 0
The Desert Saluki – Israel, homeland of the Negev Saluki.

The Saluki hound, a machine built for speed and endurance. Bred for its unique hunting abilities by the desert nomads for thousands of years selected for their speed only, barely touched by human’s hand. A true creation of nature.

The Desert Saluki – Israel, homeland of the Negev Saluki.

The Saluki hound, a machine built for speed and endurance. Bred for its unique hunting abilities by the desert nomads for thousands of years selected for their speed only, barely touched by human’s hand. A true creation of nature.

The Saluki, originally bred in the deserts, making the middle east it’s original home, bred for hunts in desert terrain and traveled through history to Europe and along to the USA, changing along to the fit of needs of owners and breeders. It is well documented that the first salukis in the UK arrived from the Middle East. The "Amherstia" salukis were founded on salukis brought from Egypt by Florence Amherst in 1897. The "Sarona salukis" were brought from Syria by Brigadier Lance in the early 20's, as were the "Nablous salukis" which arrived in England from British-ruled Palestine with Miss Mitchell who served as a nurse in the Nablus hospital.

In the year of 1967 the Sinai desert was occupied in the swift of the 1967 War which was the turning point for the Israeli salukis. The magic of Sinai is the breathless combination of high granite mountains, majestic canyons, peaceful beaches and for us, sighthound enthusiasts, there were Salukis! Plenty of Salukis. With every camel caravan that moved along the trails there were a few salukis...
The Sinai Salukis were a bit different from the few European imports to Israel in those days. They were stronger, somewhat coarser, and usually short coated. They had endurance and stamina and very good hunting qualities.

As mentioned before, the Bedouin community is the base of breeding of this breed when the urban Israelis are the minority of breeders and owners of those hounds.
The Bedouin population in Israel is rather small, only some 130,000 out of a total population of close to 6 million people. Most of them live in the Negev, more than half of them live in villages, and the rest in few Bedouin cities built specially for them by the government. The Bedouin society in Israel has gone through dramatic changes in the last 20 years. The house replaced the tent, the Subaru replaced the camel and the city replaced the village.

Although this is true, a trip to the Negev for a visit will discover a whole new world that is not seen from the outside. The surprise is to find so many good Salukis bred by some of the Bedouin breeders. Although they have no written pedigrees they know each dog's lineage by heart.

Although hunting with dogs is illegal in Israel they do practice active hunting and their Salukis hunt everything, hares, gazelles and ibex. This illegal hunting causes them endless collisions with the wardens in charge of the protection of wild animals who, at times hunt and shoot the Salukis, although sometimes they just catch them and deport them to boarding kennels.
There are Saluki populations in different areas, such as in Rahat, Tel Sheba, Segev Shalom, Hawashlla tribe, in the Arava, and also in some non-Bedouin Arab villages in northern Israel. All of them are bred for functionality and performance and not for shows so the best hunter is the most popular stud. And the Bedouins still follow ancient traditions today, and sit for hours, drinking coffee relating stories about the famous dogs and their hunting prowess.

The poor socio-economic status does reflect in high puppy morbidity and mortality, but once the puppy has survived, he is very healthy with good bone, good bite and extremely light movement. The natural selection makes these dogs suitable for their job which is to hunt. This is really the survival of the fittest. No artificial insemination, no defective bites or dentition, no other hereditary problems.
Today, in the show ring it’s clear to see the difference between the two types of the Saluki hound, those who are bred for hunt and those who are bred for show. Today there are only four registered breeders in Israel (Spector El Razal, Arava, Idan Atiq and Ruah Midbar kennels) which all use the local desert lines in their breeding though not all keep a clean breeding program for the desert type only.

In conclusion, the desert bred Saluki is a healthy hound, bred for it’s qualities of work and not show or appearance. It is stronger by build and has its unique looks which attract many fans. Rarely a genetic default is found as they are naturally selected; only those who are healthy and strong survive.
The desert bred Salukis slowly collect more and more enthusiasts who import them to Europe and USA and combine them with the local show bred hounds as in meaning of returning to the original type of hound which stayed almost identical to the hound existing thousands of years ago.

Dr. Sirik’s writing about the Israeli Saluki was used to enrich this article.

Batshevah Mascot Ruah Midbar, second generation to desert origin Salukis, owner Lewis Chris and Bill.

Iqaab M'El Aasam, a pure desert bred Saluki, first hound in Ruah Midbar kennel

Saluki in Israel on 1969

Saluki hounds in the tent of breeder Idd Abu Ganeb

Akilah Ruha Midbar, a second generation to desert origin parents.


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