First of all I want to thank the Finnish Saluki Club for inviting me to judge their Specialty 2009 at Helsinki, I want also to thank the very kind ladies who supported me during my staying: Virpi, Minna, Sade and Katerina.


For every Saluki breeder Finland is a country to compare with. I wasn't struck by the average medium quality, but I was really struck indeed by the extreme high quality of some specimens. The BOB and the BOS of the two days are specimens of incomparable beauty as well as the winners of several other classes.

When you have a very crowded class it is easy to find some dogs who carry you away and I must say that looking at the two winner dogs, stacked and in movement, gave me a rare pleasure as a person who loves and breeds Salukis. Later on I discovered that both of them have won a great deal, I should add deservedly.


When breeding I use my fovourite type as a standard of selection  but judging I  look for the dog with less faults and with great points, apart from  type, so, in some classes, the line up was not so even in type. I prefer a dog with some faults but full of quality to a dog free of faults but mediocre. A judge should suggest breeders how they should work to eradicate major faults but it is difficult to work on if you have only  mediocrity.


Striking found qualities: beutiful conformation in skull/head proportions, beautiful expressions, dark eyes, elegant necks, smooth lines, generally correct feet, good developed briskets from all angles and, above all, typical light side movement for most of the entries with good reach and drive.

Most common faults : lack of pigmentation, weak underjaws, unbalanced angulation between front and rear and not parallel movement coming and going away. I should pay attention to the pigment. which is always linked to dog's strenght and health and to the underjaws, which, in some cases, were truly non-existent indeed. I have not seen completely wrong bites, just a few were out of bounds but the thinning of the underjaw could bring, in the long run, to serious bite's problems. I found very few correct movements coming and going  and, in my opinion, correct movement coming and going is so important as good side movement.


As for  the physical constitution I don't give it much attention providing it didn't prejudice the movement. The physical constitution is linked to a healthy dog and is very important but a judge ought to give "advice" to breeders and the physical constitution is an acquired and not transmittable character. Anyway I found a mostly satisfactory physical constitution  as well as the general handling, even if I didn't appreciate that the hind legs were drawn back too much, you don't need to do that as you already have well angulated rearquarters.

As for temperament I must say that I tolerate a little reserved Salukis and really I didn't find unapprochable ones.

Looking around the world one can found better females in comparison to the males, but it is not your case, I didn't notice substantial differences between them.