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Early Afghan Hounds - Chuku 1912

Owned by Major F W Barrett and the Hon Mrs Barrett
(By Steve Tillotson 2011,2018)

We first encountered the name Chuku in 2011 when we found her name amongst various breeds in the entries for the Any Other Variety class at Crufts 1912, which he won. Chuku was entered in the Any Other Variety class again at Crufts in 1913 which he also won. In 2016 Susan Sprung shared a photo of a painting she owns by Arthur Wardle dated c 1911 . By magnifying the writing on the painting we were able to read the word "Chuku"

Early Afghan Hounds - Chuku1912

In January 2018, we found a photograph of Chuku in the news archives
Early Afghan Hounds - Chuku 1912

The owners of Chuku were Major F W Barrett and the Hon Mrs Barrett who also exhibited Sealyham Terriers. The Major was an international champion polo player, and even visited the USA to play for England against the USA.The Hon Mrs Barrett was the daughter of the Duke of Kensington (London).. The Barretts lived at Wroughton Hall near Swindon, Wiltshire, England.


A report by the Yorkshire Post, 25th October 1911-
The annual show of the Kennel Club began yesterday at the Crystal Palace, and in spite of the miserable weather, the attendance ws one of the largest in the history of the club. There are no striking novelties in the foreign dog section, the only rarity descibed as a Soudanese dog, being outclassed in quite a small group. The first prize was awarded to the Hon. Mrs Barrett's Chuku, quite a good Afghan hound

A report by the Yorkshire Post, 22nd October 1912-
There was quite a good class of foreign dogs, which had not been provided with special classification, and though the team honours went to the Hon Florence Amhurst's gazelle hounds, the open clas was headed by a very typical Afghan hound, the property of the Hon. Mrs Barrett.

A report by The Scotsman, Will Hally, February 22nd 1913 -
In the foreign dog section at Cruft's Show in London, last week, the most uncommon exhibit was the gazelle hound (or Saluki Shami to give it its native name), benched by the Hon. Florence Amherst. Another Eastern exhibit at Cruft's, and also of the greyhound breed, although quite distinct from the Saluki Shami, was the Hon. Mrs Barrett's Afghan hound, Chuku. Like a greyhound in shape, and possessing long and pondulous ears, the feature of the Afghan it its coat, which is very much like a sheep's fleece both in quality and texture, Indeed the Afghan dogs have been aptly termed "dogs in sheep's clothing." Practically all the Afghans which have been seen in Britain have been descendants of the famous Zardin, a dog which created a sensation at the Crystal Palace Show in 1907, when exhibited by Mr Barff. The coursing club granted permission for British greyhounds to be crossed with Afghans in order to increase the stamina of the former, but even that has not made this Eastern breed popular in this country.

AHT Editorial note re the above press reports.Will Hally was a regular commentator on the breed for Our Dogs newspaper through the 1940;s. His weekly breed notes were syndicated to several national UK newspapers, including The Scotsman newspaper. Iin the third report above Will Hally writes that "practically all the Afghans which have been seen in Britain have been descendants of the famous Zardin". This statement is incorrect. We have uncovered records of breedings from Zardin but we only have photo's of two offspring (Fatima and Moti, see Zardin section for details).

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