A Breed Standard is the guideline, which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare and soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website here for detail of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However, if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.
Gives impression of grace, symmetry and of great speed and endurance, coupled with strength and activity.
Great variation in type due to wide geographical area of origin. There are both feathered and smooth varieties. The expression should be dignified and gentle with faithful far seeing eyes. Light flowing movement.
Reserved with strangers, but not nervous or aggressive. Dignified, intelligent and independent.
Head & skull
Head long and narrow, skull moderately wide between the ears, not domed, stop not pronounced, whole showing great quality. Nose black or liver.
Dark to hazel, bright, large and oval, not prominent.
Long and mobile, not too low set, covered with long silky hair, hanging close to skull. Bottom tip of leather reaches corner of mouth when brought forward. Provided ear is covered with silky hair which may grow only from top half, the standard is complied with but longer hair also correct.
Teeth and jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e: the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Long, supple and well muscled.
Shoulders sloping and set well back, well muscled without being course. Chest deep and moderately narrow, when viewed from the front not an inverted V. Forelegs straight and long from elbow to wrist. Pasterns strong and slightly sloping. Not round boned, humerus sloping slightly backwards.
Back fairly broad, muscles slightly arched over the loin, but never roached back. Brisket long and deep, not barrel ribbed or slab sided, with good cut up. Sufficient length of loin important.
Strong hip boned set wide apart. Stifle moderately bent with well developed first and second thigh. Hocks low to the ground.
Strong supple, of moderate length, toes long and well arched, not splayed out, but at the same time not cat footed. Feathered between the toes (except smooth variety). Front feet may point outwards at a very slight angle when standing.
Set on low from long and gently sloping pelvis. Carried naturally in a curve. Well-feathered on the underside but not bushy. In adults not carried above the line of the back except in play. Tip reaching to the hock.
Gait / movement
Smooth, flowing and effortless. Light and lifting, showing both reach and drive without hackney action or pounding.
Smooth and of soft silky texture, feathering on legs and back of thighs, puppies may have slightly woolly feathering on thighs and shoulders. Feathering may occur on throat. In the smooth variety the coat is the same, but without feathering.
Any colour or combination of colours are permissible, other than brindle or blue, which are highly undesirable.
Dogs: 58cms-71cms (23-28 inches) at shoulder. Bitches proportionately smaller.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to the degree and its effect upon health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Last updated by the Kennel Club 2012
Information about The Saluki or Gazelle Hound Club Illustrated Breed Standard is available here.