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3rd World Afghan Congress Report #5
G. Jipping (Netherlands)
"WHAT'S THE RIGHT TYPE?"
(The following is a copy of the notes by G. Jipping for his presentation to the Congress on June 20 1997 . These notes are reproduced here with the kind permission of G Jipping. We also thank Wilma and Jan Van der Wey in Holland for providing the copy and for obtaining permission for reproduction on our site).
Dear Afghan Hound friends,
I was very surprised the fact that I was invited to give a speech at the world congress. The speech wasn't the problem but my bad English is. In spite of that I accepted the invitation because in my opinion The Netherlands plays a great part in the history of the Afghan Hound, and even today we still keep a type that is close to the origin of the first imports in Holland. I also think we need to talk more to each other in the Afghan Hound world and in all frankness. To the organisation of the Afghan Hound World Congress, thank you very much for the invitation which I accepted with great pleasure.
I would like to apologise for my bad English and I hope that you will say at the end of my speech "his English was not so correct but his message was straight, open and clear".
In the beginning our country knew only two types, the mountain type and the desert type. The desert type doesn't exist anymore in our country, but the almost pure bred mountain type was kept by the breeders as good as they could. At this moment our country has breeders which stick to their ideal image of the already mentioned type, but there are also some breeders who breed a different type Afghan Hound of which they think is ideal. These last breeders use dogs mostly from America, England and Scandinavia and have a lot of show success.
Most Dutch people think that serious breeders must be free in their choice of type, as long as they fit in the FCI breed standard.
In the Netherlands the interest of the Afghan Hound is served by the Netherland Club for Eastern Sight Hounds, known as N.V.O.W. They also serve the interest of Saluki's, Sloughie's, Azawahka, Pharao, Podenco and Cimeco dell Etna. The N.V.O.W was founded on the 21st of July 1935 by Mrs Jungeling-van de Berg, mother of the well known breed specialist Han Jungeling. At this moment the N.V.O.W. has 400 members and only 10 breeders of Afghan Hounds. The number of puppies bred each year is about 60 against 700 in the seventies. The Netherlands has 16 judges for Afghan Hounds. Probably you already met one of them. We have about 15 international shows each year and one of them is the well known winner show in Amsterdam and about 75 little. The N.V.O.W. has a yearly speciality show, the CC you win here counts double and the reserve counts for 1 CC.
Because if there is anywhere on the world a discussion about the Afghan Hound, it's mostly about the type. That's logical for a breed that has so many type's at the moment. Earlier there were only the mountain type and the desert type, today there is the Dutch type, German type, French type, American type, and so on. As you hear almost every country has it's own type. And within the country borders they have their own struggle for a particular type, but that is mostly about kennel types.
Very often I ask myself the question what's the reason that so many breeders and judges think so differently about the right type of Afghan Hound. At every time I go back in history and I end with the first imports of the Afghan Hound by Mr Bell Murray, supporter of the so called desert type and Mrs Amps supporter of the so called Mountain Afghan Hound. Those two people and of course their supporters provided the discussion about the right type. There even was a discussion about the possibility of two entirely different breeds, the mountain Afghan Hound (Ghazni type) and the desert Afghan Hound (Bell Murray type). Also the well known Dutch specialist Mr Jungeling of the Barukhzy's kennel was convinced that they were two different breeds.
Me, I'm not completely convinced that there were two different breeds. I do not think that there were different types within the breeds in Afghanistan. But I don't believe they bred pure desert Afghan Hound or mountain Afghan Hound in Afghanistan. Because if they really did, how can it be that in earlier well known bloodlines, which were of pure mountain types, all types of problems appeared which were not typical for mountain Afghan, or how is it possible that there were typical mountain Afghan Hound puppies and desert Afghan Hound in one and the same nest?
Everyone who knows something about the dog's original country Afghanistan, can tell you that they have mountains and deserts over there, that's why I can imagine that in earlier days in the crossing between those areas there were mongrels between the mountain Afghan Hound and the Desert Afghan Hound, or even maybe with other sighthounds, who can tell? The top priority of breeding breeding Afghan Hound would not be the purity of the breed, no it was more important that the dog was suitable for the work he had to do. In my opinion Mr Bell Murray and Mrs Amps and all the others from the earlier days took the best Afghan Hound to their opinion. One could choose the more Saluki like Afghan Hound (desert type) or choose for the compact and strongly build dog with much coat (mountain type).
In these days in Holland the "Barukhzy's kennel of the famous Jungeling, and almost at the same time one of the best known kennels of the world the "Van de Oranje" owned by Mrs Eta Pauptit, bred dogs of the so called mountain type. It was mainly the Van Oranje Manege kennel which kept this type through strict selection, and preserved this type for us today. In my opinion these dogs resemble the real type the most of the earlier Afghan Hound from all the types in the world. I'm happy that even today there are still breeders in Holland as well as in other countries who breed this particular type.
I hope we will never lose this type.
What's the right type. You already have understood that this type has my preference. But I can imagine that there are other people who like a different type of Afghan Hound. And all these different tastes are possible within the breed standard. And I can tell you honestly that I know some very beautiful dogs from the type I love, as well as within the other types.
You can ask your self why bother about the right type, if so many types are OK within the breed standard. You could think live and let live. But I think it's important to preserve the type of the first imported Afghan Hound for the next generation.
Again I would like to say that I respect every other type as long as it fits within the breed standard.
And then there is the matter of quality which is as important as the right type. I would like to go through some issues of the breed standard which I think it must have every one's attention, no matter what type they like. I will not get into the differences between the standards used in different countries because of my little time for this speech. I can only highlight the main issues to get your attention, and I hope we all think this over together.
The HeadNegative developments of the head are:
- Too much narrow heads, these cause problems with the teeth and also the eyes can no longer stand correct, next to each other.
- Too weak an underjaw, this is not only ugly but also incorrect for a dog because he could never do the work he is supposed to do.
- Stop, if an Afghan Hound has insufficient stop the head looks like a Borzoi head.
- Too large eyes, this causes an untypical expression
- A down falling skull makes the head totally out of balance and is definitely not typical for any type so ever.
These problems appear in all kind of types, also by the European bred Afghan Hound and are a threat for the so much beloved eastern expression of the Afghan Hound.
As we read the standard you will see it leaves much room for interpretation. Terms like moderate length, fairly short, quite pronounced, a fair spring of ribs and a good depth of chest do not give us a clear picture. I wont dig too deep in the phenomenon of the run down back, because we will agree that that's not the correct back of our Afghan Hound. As Chairman of the American Cocker Spaniel Club I can tell you that this problem used to be one of the differences between owners of the English Cocker Spaniels, which lead to the second breed the American Cocker Spaniel. I give this as an example in the hope that this negative change won't get into the Afghan Hound.
I also know there are some exhibitors who stretch the hindquarters too much and give us a wrong picture of the back and I would name this inexperience of the exhibitor. Very important is a deep and capacious chest, and the ribs should be fairly well sprung. This is essential for the health of the Afghan Hound, because there should be enough room for the organs.
I will not go into the quality of the coat although I think it has changed through the years. The standard says the coat should develop in a natural way, but it doesn't say it should reach the ground. I never understood why some breeders breed long coats. Can it be that they want to hide something, or is it just a fashion. I see many Afghan Hounds at shows who's necks and backs are shaved. Although we can accept a little grooming and haircare, I hope that judges don't accept shaving. I don't think color is important for an Afghan Hound because the standard accepts all colors.
Our F.C.I. standard asks; Smooth and springy with a style of high order. In my opinion it means a Free moving, strong drive and with great style. The dog has great freedom of action seen from all sides, the hindlegs have strong propelling power. You don't see this kind of movement a lot anymore in the showrings.
A number of Afghans move more and more in a wide open style, close to the ground, they often slip their feet over the ground, maybe this is a very spectacular but it has no power. And they still become champions.
Please remember that once we lose this typical Afghan Hound movement you can't get it back.
I hope we will not lose points, which are important for this old breed.
Before I end my speech I would like to read a message from the now 83 years old Mrs Eta Pauptit. As everybody knows, Mrs Eta Pauptit bred Afghan Hounds under the Van de Oranje Manege affix. She is one of the people who preserve the original type with the first imports in mind. Because of her breeding program the Afghan Hound became known all over the world. Many of the Afghan Hounds round the world are descendants of her breeding. This is what Mrs Eta Pauptit writes.
"Now I want to ask new judges and breeders to keep this very special breed in the same way as it came to us. Please be sure they have a free temperament. Please look for a sloping line from occiput to the dip and slightly up and over a strong back to the tail. Please see that they have a well coupled body with plenty of room for lungs and heart. That means a fairly large well let down feet, bred with strong toes nowhere straighless. Hindlegs with a nice turn and long distance from knee to heel. In this way only you can keep that very special gait. Do not overdo points like f.c. couts. Too much hair hides good points and so less good ones sneak in, and because of the glamour your original Afghan Hound will disappear"
"An imitation is the result and that kind I do not admire"
So far for Mrs E Pauptit.
Ladies and Gentlemen, dearly respected Afghan Hound lovers. Although it was not possible to engross the material. I've tried to give you my opinion about type and quality. If we want to sort out our problems in the future, we have to do this all in the open. This is only possible if we can accept criticism and be objective to positive and negative points of one and another. I'm strictly open to this.
I would like to end my speech with the following words." Don't deny the origin of our Afghan Hound, there is only one".
G. Jipping June 97