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Discussion between Mrs Drinkwater (Geufron) and Dr Porter (el Kabul) regarding differenes in type (Bell-Murray and Ghazni) As recorded in the Afghan Hound Association (England) Newsletter 1966,
(The article below was copied from Charles Harrisons book "The Afghan Hound" (5th Edition, 1979, page 39)


Discussion between Mrs Drinkwater (Geufron) and Dr Porter (el Kabul) regarding differences in type (Bell-Murray and Ghazni) as recorded in the Afghan Hound Association (England) Newsletter 1966, an extract with comments is included in Charles Harrisons book "The Afghan Hound" (5th Edition, 1979, page 39)

"I (Charles Harrison) am indebted to Mr Ronald Adams (AHA archivist and breed historian) for placing at my disposal for this book his record of a discussion on this subject (differences in type) between Dr. Betsy Porter and Mrs Eileen Drinkwater, which appeared in the Afghan Hound Association Newsletter of 1966. As both these ladies had direct personal experience of these two early strains this discussion is of great interest to all Afghan hound enthusiasts, and I therefore include it in full.:


Neither Mrs Drinkwater nor Dr. Porter was much impressed with the Ghazni heads and Ch sirdar of Ghazni, it appears, had a somewhat heavier head than we are accustomed to seeing nowadays (by "nowadays" I think both ladies had in mind the current state of the breed at the time of the discusssion. Undoubtedly this is what I intended to convey at the time I originally wrote it. In the mid-fifties some very coarse and heavy heads were stil to be seen - and seem to be reappearing here and there at the present time - 1966). He was, incidentally, rather a small dog, at least by modern standards, a fact which is certainly not apparent in his photographs which, almost without exception, provide no idea of scale.

Bell Murray hounds on the other hand, had beautifuly modeled skulls, being finer in the head alltogether, although by no means lacking in power. They had long cleanly chiselled forefaces, rather Roman-nosed, and possessed strong, powerful underjaws. As to eyes, the Bell Murrays excelled in this department - not only in colour, shape and placement, but also in expression. Both ladies assured me that the hounds of this strain had a most particular expression in the eye, and that this particular characteristic has now completely disappeared from the breed. Geneally speaking, ths typical Bell Murray head combined elegance with power and was very oriental both in type and expression.

Both strains were said to have had rather straighter stifles than are preferred today although, of the two, the Ghazni had probably the better angulation. Nevertheless, although the Bell Murrays were straighter in the stifle, they had very well sloped pasterns and Mrs Drinkwater was convinced that nothing could touch those hounds for speed and turning power.

They also had long and beautifully sloped quarters, and very log tails. set on low and ending in good strong rings. No comments were made on Ghazni tails - unless my notes are at fault - but most of the photographs in my possession indicate that these were probably not very good.

Apparently the Bell Murray hounds also scored in neck and shoulder, the former being long and arched while the latter were generally fine and well laid. Mostly they had excellent head carriage and good fronts. Ghazni necks, it was said, were quite definitely shorter in comparison and the fronts of the strain were inclined to be narrow and straight.

Feet? The Bell Murrays had very long arched toes and stood with their pads absolutely flat on the ground. They were notable for their tremendously long hind feet. Not that Ghazni feet were by any means bad, although they did, in general, tend to be a little smaller. Terrier feet were virtually unknown in either strain and throughout the early days of the breed: this undesirable feature seems first to have made its appearance during the thirties.

Both ladies were of the opinion that the Ghazni's had the better temperaments - the Bell Murrays being aloof, dignified and quite distinctly unfriendly. Not, on the whole, that the Ghaznis could be said to be overfond of strangers either. (It is, perhaps, only fair to note here that Ch Sirdar was frequently described as being a very friendly character by various writers of his time.)

For sheer quantity, the Ghaznis had by far the better coats and the profuse hair we are accustomed to seeking nowadays is a part of their legacy to the breed. However, although in comparison the Bell Murray coates tended to be on the sparse side, they were very much silkier. Both strains had well defined saddles and were far superior in this respect to the general run of modern hounds.

Viewed as a whole, the typical Bell Murray hound could be said to have been a tallish, very racy dog, having something of the "houndiness" of the English Greyhound. It had a fair length of back, a good deep brisket and was rather long in the loin. On the move, it could give the impression thjat it was just floating over the ground and its action was exceptinally clean and springy. The typical Ghazni hound was inclined to be smaller and built on altogether squarer lines. It was very well coated, short backed and was much shorter coupled than its Bell Murray opposite number.

In conclusion, both Mrs Drinkwater and Dr Porter expressed a decided preference for the Bell Murray hounds, although Dr Porter felt that the breed had definitely been improved through the inter-breeding of the two strains. As far as I can remember, Mrs Drinkwater did not express an opinion on this point, although she did say that most of our present day hounds were rather more along Ghazni lines than Bell Murray. The two ladies were agreed, though, that not all the changes in the breed were the result of interbreeding; some being undoubtedly due to climate and environment. Mrs Drinkwater was firmly of the opinion that environment was of very great importance to Afghans and that freedom was an essential requirement of their nature

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