Afghan Hound Times
(Afghan Hound Database and Breed Information Exchange)
DOGS of the DAY
Some Canine Eccentricities
By A Croxton-Smith
The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, August 2 1930
As it is the unusual or imposing thatís likely to impress itself most upon the memory, I am not surprised, in casting back a retrospective glance upon the dogs I have known, that one that comes most vividly before me is Mr. Barff's Afghan hound, Zardin, which I believe, first came out for the Kennel Club show of 1907. At any rate, it was either there or at Crufts round about the same year.
Zardin made such a sensation on his appearance that it is rather surprising efforts were not made to bring over more of his contemporaries, but Afghanistan is a long way east of Suez, and still none too accessible. However, in these later times distance and other physical obstacles no longer act as a brake upon the enterprise of exhibitors, and if there is a dog worth having in any part of the world we are almost sure to get him. It is not an easy thing to buy thoroughly representative Afghans in their native country, and Mrs Amps did a great thing for the breed when she brought over Sirdar of Ghazni, who soon became a champion. He always gave me the feeling that he was a smaller edition of Zardin, and Mr. Barff has confirmed that view. Put another inch on Sirdar's stature and he would be the ideal. As it is he is a great little dog.
Sometimes, when judging all-round classes in association with two others, I have been interested to note the impression made upon my colleagues by a sight of Sirdar, although their acquaintance with the breed may have been slight. One, who is a sound judge of horses as well as dogs, went into raptures over his structure and his movement. He didn't know whether he was typical or not of the breed, but at any rate he was convinced that he was a great dog. His influence has really been more potent than Mrs Amps or anyone else could have realized when he was brought over, for the number of good dogs that he has sired is remarkable. and he seems to have a way of stamping his individuality upon his progeny.
Mrs Robson's Ch. Asri-Havid of Ghazni, who appears on this page today in the company of his beloved mistress, is one of the best of his sons. At the Ladies Kennel Association show last May, Heer Han Jungeling, the Dutch authority who was judging, awarded him the Champion cup for the best head and expression, and as he had won it twice previously, Mrs Robson now becomes the owner. He received the cup the first time it was offered by Captain Champion, and again later on at the Metropolitan and Essex show last year under Mr. Hamilton Adams. At a North Country show he also won a delightful cup offered for the best in the show, which is a very unusual position for a foreign dog to occupy. To the best of my recollection he is the only black-and-tan being shown.
Mrs Robson, with a pride that may be forgiven, thinks him the most beautiful dog in the world, and in saying that she is taking into account other qualities beyond the merely physical. 'In all my long experience of dog keeping" she tells me, "I have never had anything like the absolute devotion of this Afghan. I never knew they were such one-person dogs." Well, it is very nice to be able to stay that, and it is a compliment to the breed, for I should not care to say how many dogs Mrs Robson has had in the course of her life. Fortunately for most of us who have kept numbers of dogs, we meet one or two of which similar things could be said, and if Mrs Robson and I get spinning the yarns about the virtues of Asri-Havid and, say for example, A Pyrenean that we once had, Pandora by name, I am afraid that a spirit of emulation might lead us to overstep the bounds of veracity.
I have placed emphasis upon these two dogs because they happen to be illustrated this week, and also on account of their eminence in the show ring, but we have now a number of other Afghans that are fully deserving of mention. In the younger school there is Lady de Courcy Wheelers puppy, Asman of Ghazni, another son of Sirdar that looks like doing big things. Captain T.S.Waterlow Fox, who owns a beautiful specimen in Ch. Taj Mahip Of Kat, brought out a puppy in Shah Of Wyke that was good enough to win the challenge certificate at Richmond, although he was only ten months old. He was bred by Mrs Nicholson. Then there is Mrs M.E.T. Harris's Ch. Buckmal, bred by Major Bell-Murray, that is well in the first flight. Mrs Bradshaw has some good ones, and so has Mrs Chesterfield-Cooke. Miss Alice Simmons has a charming bitch in Ch. Alfreda, there is Mrs A.B. Willan's Ch. Shadi and Mrs L Prude's Marika of Baberbagh took the bitch certificate at the Ladies Kennel Association. This little survey is not exhaustive and if I have omitted to speak of any that should appear in this gallery I hope their owners will pardon me.
It is obvious that we have material in abundance upon which to found an interesting future for a charming breed, that has the advantage of being entirely distinctive. I know of no dog in the world that resembles the Afghan in its entirety, the distribution of the coat being altogether unusual. Nature has a way of providing dogs with the sort of protection most suitable for their environment, and man, with his brain and ingenuity, encourages and develops the process.
DOGS of the DAY - What is the real Afghan hound type?
By A Croxton Smith (Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, Aug 6 1927)
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Early Afghan Hounds Section
The Origins Section
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