Afghan Hound Times
(Afghan Hound Database and Breed Information Exchange)
This section on Kalagh Tazi's is based on articles originally published in Ruth Weddle's "Our Afghans". The OA articles included a translationion by Ortrud W Roemer-Horn (Germany) of an article published in the Swiss magazine "Der Windhundfreund" No 20, March 1996 by Frank R Wahlen, Publisher. Photographs have been provided by Ortrud W Roemer-Horn and Mrs Danuta Spaeth-Thomaszewska (Switzerland) who has preserved this rare strain to this day. Our thanks to all of the above for making this section possible.
THE KALAGH TAZI
Translated from German by Ortrud W Roemer-Horn. This translation was published in "Our Afghans", July 2000 with the kind permission from the Swiss magazine "Der Windhundfreund" No. 210, March 1996 by Frank R Kwahlen, Publisher, and is reproduced here with the kind permission of Ruth Weddle, Publisher, "Our Afghans". We acknowledge the copyright of the original article by Mr Kwahlen and thank all concerned for allowing us to reproduce the translated version here.
A Bell-Murray Afghan, Archive photo taken 1929.
By way of introducion" The Kalagh Tazi is the desert type Afghan Hound known to us as the "Bell-Murray" type which was introduced to Europe in 1920 by the Scottish Colonial Officer, Major G Bell-Murray when he brought three dogs and four bitches with him from Afhanistan, where he had been posted. These dogs were all subsequently bred, and already pictured in a drawing in H R Moore's book, "All About Dogs" in 1920, showing a male, "Shahzada", who was clearly a desert type.
A Swiss breeder, Danuta Spaeth-Tomaszewska, originally from Poland, has done her best to perpetuate this strain of Afghan Hounds and showed five Kalgh Tazis from her "Registan Kennels" in Yverdon in 1995, where she was interviewed by Mr Zwahlen for an update on her breeding program. Here is her story.
A group of Registan Kalagh Tazi, Photo 1989
In 1971, she imported a female, "Sheila Karia" to Poland where she grew up. This female went back to two dogs given to Kruschov by the Afghan Kind Mohammed Zahir in 1964. (note: The July edition of OA also included a Russian Afghan Hound profile). These dogs had been living in the Russian military kennel Krasnaja Zwiezda, near Moscow. "Shelia Karia" was mated in 1974 to a dog imported from Afghanistan, representing the same desert type. Incidentally, the name Kalagh Tazi is a story in itself: Tazi means sighthound, and Kalagh is the name for wind rushing over the steppes and the desert, which is the name of the desert sighthound in his native country.
In the past 21 years, Danuta Spaeth used this line to breed a total of 9 litters. In fact, she is the only known breeder of this strain and has 16 Kalagh Tazis living at her Registan Kennels. So far, the FCI has not accepted them as a seperate breed, however in accordance with the Swiss Stud Book articles (Schweizer Hundesstammbuch) they are registered in the book's appendix in an attempt to preserve an already existing breed.
Danuta Spaeth wants to preserve the old desert type Afghan Hound which differs so greatly from today's Afghan Hounds. She feels that a seperate standard is required as the Kalagh Tazi cannot be judged objectively in accordance with today's Afghan Hound standard. In line with this thinking, she also does not believe in selling one of her hounds to people who are mainly concerned with obtaining national and international champion titles, but are imbued with an enthusiasm for the breed and its original characteristics and purpose. Her hounds can be shown at Swiss shows and judged and plaed, but are not eligible for points (CAC's). They also excel in coursing trials, and can be found not only in Switzerland, but in Poland, France, Germany, Spain, Brazil and the U.S.A.
A German psychologist and former owner of four Afghan Hounds, who now has three Registan mates, provided an interesting comparison of the Kalagh Tazi temperament vs the "usual" Afghans. According to him, the Kalagh Tazi is a keener hunter and yet a more obedient dog.
While Ms Spaeth has found that as in Afghan Hounds, Kalagh Tazis display a wide range of temperaments, depending on breeding background and individual characteristics, she looks back upon her 21 years of involvement with the desert hounds with great passion and respect for their temperament. She truly doesn't care if her strain will ever become "fashionable", in fact, believes that it would be best if that never happened. However, she is pleased when sighthound enthusiasts appreciate the functional beauty and hunting capabilities of her hounds. It gives her the strength to keep "doing it her way".
"Der Windhundfreund" No 20, March 1996,
"Our Afghans" (Translation) Vol #33 No 27, July 2000
All Photographs, unless otherwise stated, Mrs Danuta Spaeth-Thomaszewska
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