Travels: Germany and South Africa July-August 2006Photos Coming Soon!
© 2006 Gail Goodman
After finally getting out of the earth’s cauldron, Mesa Arizona, and getting settled in as close to paradise as I’m likely to get, Los Lunas, New Mexico, I could think about making the long trip to South Africa to visit my son and his family. I have two granddaughters, the youngest one I hadn’t even met yet. When you have a number of dogs that live as family members, it’s hard to leave the house let alone travel halfway around the world.
But at last I had everything arranged for the dogs, my ticket, transportation to the airport, suitcase, camera, film….ready to go when my son calls and tells me South African Airways is on strike! I needed to call them and find an alternative carrier to get me to South Africa. Just what I needed….more stress. Since I had one foot out the door, I was determined to leave and it would be on the day I had planned to go.
After about five hours on the phone, round and around and around from one airline to another, each with different ideas about what I could and couldn’t do with my ticket, I finally got a customer service person at South African Airways who said, “Listen to me and I’ll tell you exactly what to say and how to get the ticket you want.”
Since it would be impossible to get a flight to South Africa until the next Monday, I had decided that I’d visit friends in Germany and fly out of Germany to South Africa. My friends had been inviting me for several years….so I just called when all this flight stuff blew up and asked each one, “How about if I come to Germany tomorrow?” Some things are simply meant to be, and each one could get off from work on the dates I wanted to visit! There was even a sighthound specialty show in the north of Germany the days I had scheduled for Hamburg! Of all the luck.
The South African Airways rep. told me that all I had to do was say that I wanted to be re-routed through Germany and everything would fall into place. He also told me that they would not reissue a ticket over the phone. I had to go to the airport to the ticket counter and it would be taken care of there. My problem had been that I kept asking for “a stopover” in Germany.
Since I had a direct flight I was not entitled to a stopover. But, I learned, international law requires air carriers to keep their passengers moving, even under strike conditions, so I could demand to fly on the scheduled date and I could demand to be rerouted through a city that would have flights out to my original destination. In case this happens to you, now you know, too. The magic word is “reroute.” No other will get you a new ticket.
For the past 25 or so years, the German Kennel Club had allowed the importation of Salukis (with proper documentation) from the Middle East, including Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, and there had been a steady stream of hounds from these regions brought in. I had wanted to see them in the flesh for as long as I can remember. Finally I was going to get to do that. Fate, just fate.
I arrived in Frankfurt and my friend Jutta Rubesam was right there in the arrival area, easy to find because she had the only Saluki in the crowd! It’s rather a blur now exactly what the schedule was but I know Jutta didn’t let me experience jet lag. She had me going every minute. We drove all over the beautiful farming areas surrounding Frankfurt, with quaint old villages perched on hills above fields of oats so thick it didn’t look like you could even walk through them.
We visited several Saluki owners with hounds descending from Salukis imported from different regions. First we visited Hermann and Brigitte Schmitt-Faust, El Taschara Salukis (elTaschara@yahoo.de). In their lovely garden were four generations of El Taschara breeding, which was originally based on Turkish and Iranian imports, and they continue to build on the Iranian lines.
They have had great success racing, however, their primary concern is "good character" they called it because in Germany most Salukis live as family members and must be civil in society. They have certainly been successful with their objectives because all of their Salukis were outgoing and several had done well racing and showing.
I was able to measure all of their adults, from 13 year old Horus and Hediye, to the three 7 year old littermates: Jasir, Jamara, and Jalima. I didn't measure the puppy because I only measure adult Salukis. None of these northern descent Salukis was longer in body than it was tall. Though Horus looked very short coupled, his measurements showed him to be 28" tall and 27.5" long. His littersister looked very different, but proportionately was similar, measuring 25" tall and 24.5" long. Jamara measured 25.5" square. Jasir measured 26.5" tall and 25.5" long.
The Schmitt-Fausts made us a delicious lunch that we ate watching Jasir try to romance his littersister who was in season and was to be bred in the near future. This front garden was a wonderful setting to watch this family of salukis run and play with each other.
From the village of Rodenbach we travelled to Schotten to visit the Metzler family (info@fardos_el_arab.de) who had acquired and imported littersisters Nofre and Cleo from Egypt. The ancestry of these bitches is unknown and they pose quite a puzzle to anyone who has an open mind to the value of "desert bred" Salukis for Western fanciers. Jutta has become the guardian angel of the litter from Cleo and she has made sure that each pup is in a home where it is loved.
Since I’m interested in all kinds of running dogs, I have made a point of seeing a lot of really fine longdogs, many of which have high percentages of Saluki blood. It was seeing my first longdogs, actually, that taught me years ago that nobody can tell whether a dog is purebred by looking at it. You must know the breeder and trust that the dog has an accurate pedigree.
Of course this attitude is heresy in purebred dog circles, and of course some dogs are apparently pure and some not….but the real truth is, you simply MUST know the dog’s true history to maSaluki were presented for registration, there were "problems."
It was really interesting to see the seven year olds, Cleo and Nofre, and five of Cleo's pups. Nofre, the chocolate, measured 24.5" tall and 23.5" long. The cream, Cleo, measured 23.5" tall and 24" long. Most of the pups that I measured from this litter, except Jutta's Nhubia (23.5" tall and 22.5" long) and brother Nuri, measured longer than they were tall. This was an interesting family to see and a real puzzle.
The feathered pups ended up being registered but the smooth pups were rejected. This of course is ridiculous because either the entire litter is purebred or it isn’t, but that’s what happened. There was only one breeding, only one male dog on the property, and that was a western bred Saluki, so there was no question about a multiple sire litter. Anyway….it was very interesting to see that particular litter.
We were invited to lunch with the Kowalski family who live near Frankfurt and own Nuri (25" tall and 24.5" long), a smooth litterbrother to Jutta's Nhubia, as well as two German bred pet quality Salukis. Each of these Salukis is cherished. The Kowalskis served us the most delicious Eastern European delicacies: "rote beete" soup, duck, potato salad, home-made pastries and coffee. With such great food and interesting conversation, it was hard to take leave.
The next day we were able to visit the famous Hamasa Arabian Stud, the Olm's farm at Treis nr. Giessen. The farm manager, Mrs. Muller, showed us around, showed us the magnificent Arabian horses and the two resident Salukis bred by Priscilla Balles while she was living in Bahrain. The Salukis descend from Saudi stock, originally. They are about six years old, brother-sister littermates. They were not willing to be handled or measured. They were in lovely condition.
Mrs. Muller offered us coffee and cake and we sat out on the terrace overlooking rich, green pastures where the Olms Arabians grazed in their paddocks. We looked out into a beautiful valley of quilt like patterned fields and in the distance a village rose in terraced layers around hills topped by a church with a great black steeple pointing toward heaven. We then walked down the road and around to the pasture where Mrs. Muller's stallions were grazing. They came to the fence immediately for a pat and out of curiosity. They were showy, handsome Arabians.
Our next stop was the village of Ebsdorfergrund-Rossberg where Ursela Lehr, her husband and Salukis live. The Lehrs have several generations of El Taschara breeding and a yearling bitch Gerami Iranschah aka Hexe who has littermates in the USA. The weather by this time was very grey and cool but this did not deter the Salukis from their daily exercise in the acre behind the house where there is a garden, a garden house, and a pond. We sat and watched the Salukis running for some time then returned to the house to measure them and study old photos and pedigrees. The three 11 year old El Tashara littersisters measured as follows: Izat, 26" tall and 25" long; Itina, 25.5" tall and 25.5" long; Isani, 25.5" tall and 24.5" long. The 14 month old bitch, Shauaf al Bait aka Calila [who I believe has recently won the European Racing Championship] is 25.25" tall and 23.5" long. The 18 month old grey Hexe is 26" tall and 25" long.
Seeing these northern blended Salukis was instructive because a few in this group were tall and short coupled, a characteristic that I had associated only with hounds coming from southern desert regions like Saudi Arabia and Israel. But here was the same shaped hound descending directly from northern ancestors. Since there have only been two Turkish imports to the USA in the past 30 years, and I’d never seen them in the flesh or any of their offspring, seeing these very different gene pools was really interesting for me.
Returning to Lich, it was a marvelous summertime evening, gorgeous weather, so we could dine in the courtyard of an old hotel which stood opposite the hundreds of years old Arnsburg cloister, parts of which were destroyed during WW II but parts of which were still in use. The remaining massive stone walls of the destroyed cloister tower high above as one walks through the ruin, which surrounds a graveyard. Jutta told me the story about the last days of the war and how the slave laborers were shot in the courtyard just as they might have been freed and how they were buried there along with the Nazis who shot them. Jutta reflected, "so, we have the murderers and the murdered together."
Before the cloister walk, however, we toasted Jutta and Fritzy’s 21st wedding anniversary and ate the most delicious meal in celebration. Returning home we watched videos of Salukis in Kirgizstan (called all sorts of different local breed names like Tazi and Taigan) and I slept like a stone.
Bright and early I flew off to Hamburg to meet Astrid and Christian Moegling and see Midbar Kesem Nefertari for the first time since she left the USA at 8 weeks old! Also adored by Christian and Astrid are the beautiful elderly littersisters, Fatouma and Farascha. The weather was simply awful: cold and rain and damp. Torture if you have arthritis. But, actually, the first two days were very nice and warm and I got to visit two Iranian brothers who have lived in Germany for decades. Though the brothers are no longer on speaking terms, they live only around the block from each other and they both import, breed from, and sell Salukis from Iran and surrounding regions. They have been doing this for about 25 years and are well known for their hounds on the racetrack, and even in the show ring on occasion. So I was really looking forward to meeting them and seeing their current hounds.
I wasn’t disappointed. First I met Iraj Sattarzadeh (Sattarzadeh.Iraj@web.de), the older brother. He graciously invited Astrid, who was also our fabulous simultaneous translator, and me in and served tea. Iraj Sattarzadeh has developed his own ideas about Salukis, reflecting a typical sort of convenient "indoctrinated" European dog-show thinking. Of course, the oft heard party-line is that smooth Salukis are not purebred. And admittedly, some attitudes are simply good for business. Fortunately I was wearing the beautiful gold medallion given to me by Mrs. Danah Al Khalifa when The Saluqi: Coursing Hound of the East was finally completed and published. It has the Tepe Gawra seal from the book cover on it depicting two smooth Salukis and a jackal. I showed this 5000 year old image to Iraj. One never knows when someone might see the light. Iraj did conclude that he did not find me to be the "old witch" he had been told to expect.
Of the Salukis he had, first we met Rashid, an elderly import measuring 29.75" tall and 27.5" long, with the typical cropped ears often seen in village hounds in Iraq, Iran, and Syria. Cropping Saluki’s ears seems to be predominantly a Kurdish custom though it also occurs in North Africa occasionally. Iraj thought Rashid, imported as an adult, was eight years old, but he had that hoarse bark of a very old dog, at least 10 if not 12 years old. He also had a slightly wiry coat. He was an interesting old hound.
We also saw all of the younger hounds, all very pretty hounds, some appearing to have lots of athletic potential, some looking very western and showy. I did not measure the youngsters but I did measure two other adults. Sabuk, a handsome alert black-grey dog measured 25.5" tall and 23.5" long. The black-grey reddish shaded bitch, Fargun, measured 23.75 tall and 22.5 long.
There is no live game coursing in Europe so hobby racing is popular for all running breeds. The Sattarzadeh brothers’ Salukis do very well on the track. It really was interesting to meet Iraj and see the hounds he has now. Since the EU importation regulations have apparently become insurmountably difficult, future imports are uncertain. [This has proven not to be the case. Since importing cropped dogs was banned, uncropped Salukis now seem to be available, and importations have continued.]
We left Iraj and went to Cyrus Sattarzadeh’s, where we were served a wonderful Iranian meal, complete with saffron rice, which I hadn’t had in too long. Afterwards, Cyrus showed us each generation of his current breeding including some pups. Cyrus (firstname.lastname@example.org) imports and breeds Salukis and when his mature Salukis have finished racing and breeding, he sells them. He had six adult hounds ranging in age from 5 years to 20 months and some pups from his last litter.
He, too, had one very substantial dog, the four year old Qeyser, standing 27.5 inches at the shoulder and 26.5 in length. The five year old bitch, Perysa, 2nd generation of Iranian descent breeding whelped in Germany and dam of the current litter was 26.5 tall and 26" long. The three year old import from Iran, the black-grey Shahed (so similar to the dog at Iraj's place, Sabuk, I thought they were litterbrothers but this was denied) was 25" tall and 23.5" long. The two year old 3rd generation Iranian descent German bred Rian was 27.5" tall and 26.5" long. The 20 month old littersisters, Roshan and Roya measured: Roshan, 25.5" tall and 25" long; Roya, 26" tall and 26" long. This Saluki family group glistened with good health and care and it was a real pleasure to finally see these Salukis originating from the region that was once ancient Persia.
We ended our day visiting Professor Monike Dahnke (email@example.com), a German woman who had lived in Iran for many years and also bred Iranian descent Salukis. Like the Sattarzadeh brothers, her Salukis did well racing, too. She had three seven year old littersisters and a black and white puppy bitch. Two of the sisters were black and one was cream with a thick, wavy coat. The sisters measured: Faras, 26.5" tall and 26" long; Farschaad, 27" tall and 26" long; Farsien, 26.5 tall and 26.5 long. One of the bitches had had a litter by one of the imports of Iraj Sattarzadeh and a solidly built puppy played around our feet as we chatted and drank more tea and ate delicious pastries. I never thought of great food when I thought of Germany, but I had great food everywhere!
Of all the good luck, Saturday was a sighthound specialty show but wouldn’t you know, it turned cold and poured rain. Astrid had planned on going and entered Tari weeks before we had a clue I would be there! And, there were periods of no rain and the show was such fun compared to all the pretense and formality of American conformation shows. All the Saluki people and hounds were packed together under the large tent of Dagmar Hintzenberg-Freisleben. Everyone was welcome and gratefully huddled together, people and hounds. So that was really nice from the start.
Though the Saluki entry wasn't big, there was plenty of variation and quality with both smooth and feathered variety present. It was most interesting for me to see many hounds with American pedigree threads blended with European family groups. Generally it appeared to me that those entered were more substantial than is common in a single entry in the USA and all hounds were handled by their owners.
Also present in the entry, in the working dog class, was the three year old World Racing Champion bitch, Jawharah Al Safi. She measured 23.75" tall and 23.5" long. There was also a three year old Czechoslovakian racing bred dog entered in the working dog class, Vascones Sannatis. This dog measured 26.5" tall and 24.5" long. He only received a "very good" rating so could not compete for best dog. I thought he was well put together.
Of all the incredible things, Astrid's Tari was awarded the bitch CAC, her 2nd. The Best Sighthound in show was won by a champion Saluki dog, the first Saluki owned by this family. So despite the awful weather, there were smiles all round!
I also saw so many interesting dogs. There were some terrific looking racing bred Afghan hounds there; they were simply bursting with energy, powerful looking, just full of themselves dogs. They clearly had some of that fire left in them that Afghans were once so famous for. Charismatic is what they were, to me. There were various different groups of sloughis being shown; the German bred and French bred hounds were quite different from one another. And there were some breeds I’d never seen before.
But the best part, in addition to my breeding winning 1st place in bitches, was the relaxed and pleasant atmosphere of the show. Despite the rain, one group of exhibitors whose tent flaps didn’t extend out quite far enough to cover their table, opened their umbrellas and ate lunch! That I’ll never forget for great attitude.
Overall, my German Salukis tour was a fascinating magic carpet ride. The only deep disappointment was seeing the Salukis of Edgar Berghaus, whose hounds I had generations of pictures of. In the images they appeared well cared for, in good coat and condition, but were, when we visited, in tragic condition. Hopefully this has been remedied, for the sake of these poor Salukis!
Thanks to Jutta and Astrid, my long held dream of seeing Salukis descending from the northern regions of the breed became a reality. The measurements I was able to take reveal a consistency across regions, north and south, of basic body proportions. Hence, it is clear, when the breed standard says: The whole appearance of this breed should give an impression of grace and symmetry and of great speed and endurance coupled with strength and activity to enable it to kill gazelle or other quarry over deep sand or rocky mountains, it is describing the entire range of the breed SALUKI, northern and southern regions.
On to South Africa. My arthritis was so bad by the time I left Hamburg I was really in a world of pain. The tiny seat on the plane and the long flight had me vowing never again. But two days in the dry weather and sunshine of Johannesburg and the pain was gone.
I had spoken on the phone a few times to a fellow named Gerry Brand who lives in Johannesburg and who had done quite a bit of hunting in years past with greyhounds and longdogs. He had agreed to take me to see some of the hunting hounds being used by local South African hunters on jackal, hare, and buck. I was really looking forward to seeing this new group of hounds and felt so fortunate to have met someone willing to take a day to just drive around.
And what a fascinating day it was. We covered quite a bit of territory, or so it seemed to me because it was simply full of hounds, hunters, talk, and sights, and great hospitality. For this I must thank Gerry Brand, Sarel Van Niekerk and his family, Philip Strydom and his family, and Theuns Minnaar and his family.
Gerry picked me up at my son’s house and first we went to see his nice greyhound bitch, Custard. From Gerry’s we traveled northwest about 40 kms to Sarel Van Niekerk’s holding in Sunrella near Lanseria airport where his business, home, kennel and dream house are all located. The Niekerks’ dream house is under construction. It’s an impressive, spacious stone building with high ceilings and a traditional South African thatched roof. The thatch is at least a foot thick and Sarel’s wife explained the whole elaborate process of making it, all of which has left my memory, I’m sorry to admit. But I can still see the beautiful Jukskei river valley fanning out below the dream house; what a gorgeous setting.
Sarel bought his first hunting dog in 1979 for 10 rand and now has a variety of hounds (as you can see in the photos) which he uses on varied game or for racing. Sarel commented that crossing in Salukis has changed the abilities of the South African hunting dogs over the past five years. I have found that measuring the dogs I see, when possible, adds a dimension for me and the reader because it’s often difficult to guess the size of a free standing dog. Also, Salukis tend to be short-coupled hounds whereas greyhounds are generally the true longdogs in terms of measurements, comparing height at the withers to body length. So, it’s interesting to measure Saluki crosses, too, because often they look so much like purebred Salukis most people would think they were.
Sarel’s 13 year old son Andries, who loves rugby and hunting, brought several handsome dogs out of their pens for me to photograph and measure. All of these dogs were easy to handle and clearly liked Andries. When I asked what big bitches like Patrys (show greyhound x Boerhond, 31” tall) were used for, Sarel said that they don’t really have a special use when hunting but they are good on jackal and lynx. Big dogs, however, do need more intensive training, from about 8 months old, than other crossbreds.
Sarel’s handsome black littermates Striker (29” tall) and Princess (26.5” tall) can each catch buck on their own. Their sire was a coldblood greyhound x Saluki and their dam, Midnight, was what in Afrikaans is known as a Boerhond. Midnight comes down from 25 years of selecting for “the best” and she is well known for her speed and stamina.
When looking at greyhounds or hunting dogs, generally, Sarel considers several qualities. Speed is essential, as is stamina. They need the heart to outrun the quarry over 2 to 3 km, like the African wild dog is capable of doing. They need good feet (in this area Salukis have made a positive contribution) and a nice smooth coat. Due to the heat, wooly coats simply don’t work in Africa.
Sarel uses two main types of dogs: dogs not weighing more than 30 to 35 kg and dogs weighing up to 60 kg. The first type, the leaner dog, has a sprinting speed of not less than 60 km per hour. He wants the dog to be able to make three runs a day, which may be as far as three kilometers each run for antelope such as Springbok, Steenbok, and Duiker. Each of these antelope can reach a speed of 80 km per hour but they can’t keep it up for 3 km.
The main use for the heavier dogs is to catch pigs, lynx, and jackal. They are normally strong and aggressive dogs. The general breed term for this type of dog is “Boerdog,” developed by South African farmers over the past 100 years. The farmers crossed in anything available to them to create these dogs. According to Sarel they used both cold and hot blood (sprinting dogs) greyhounds, Scottish deerhounds, Irish wolfhounds, and members of the terrier family. These dogs can weigh up to 60 kg and are still used for their original purposes.
Sarel did note, using Patrys (Fly x Klaartjie) as an example, that with the larger dogs it takes longer to develop their breed ability. Had Patrys been trained steadily (up to 8 kms three times a week) from the time she was 8 months old, she may have been up to two inches taller than she is.
Sarel also observed that from time to time a breeding will produce something special, a special nick. He likened it to people when neither parent is an athlete yet their son will weigh 110 kg and run the 100 meters in 10.4 seconds. When this happens with their dogs, they identify these unique individuals and breed with them in hopes of preserving their special qualities. He also noted that when it comes to dog shows, judges put too much emphasis on show specifications and too little on the working abilities of the dog. But, Sarel noted, they can’t “officially” judge their dogs on what they were bred for without having “the Green-people on our backs.”
From Sarel’s place we drove to the city of Krugersdorp which is east of Sunrella. The Strydom family, along with their dogs and racing pigeons live in this clean and uncluttered city with wide streets and beautiful views. Philip Strydom is well known throughout South Africa for his fine hunting dogs. He has been building his distinct bloodline since the early 1970s. A brief interview, done as we were driving through the countryside to the kennel where he keeps most of his dogs, ends this write up.
At the Strydom home were several dogs. Greeting us at the gate was a typical South African Boerboel followed by a German Shepherd. I can’t imagine a soul would enter that gate uninvited! However, both dogs were quite willing to let us in once Philip came out. We went into the backyard where there were two longdog bitches and two young Saluki litterbrothers. All looked very fit and well cared for.
Philip joined us and we headed north to Rustenburg, where many of Philip’s dogs are kenneled. We passed a beautiful recreation area called Hartbeespoortdam with a large lake for water sports and several golf courses. We drove past numerous restaurants and open markets full of African craft items and sculpture and all sorts of stuff I would have loved to look at more closely, but, no time. This trip was dogs!
We drove north about 110 km to Rustenburg. We pulled into a driveway and heard the alert of many dogs barking our arrival. And dogs there were….all sorts of crosses and blends as well as several purebreds of different breeds. There was even a dog that was part Boerboel and part greyhound. I don’t think anybody could have guessed how that cross would come out, but the dog was a handsome, racy looking dog.
Many of the blends had produced dogs that looked very much like the various types of Salukis, particularly the North African variety called Sloughi. There were so many interesting and fit dogs of all ages, I quickly became overwhelmed.
All the dogs were easy to handle and all seemed very used to children, even quite young kids. Even Theuns’ 6 year old son could handle several of these strong dogs. And as the various dogs, sometimes a few littermates, sometimes kennelmates were let out they would take off like bullets to race around the turnout area. Each group just shot by me so fast I got dizzy! One group of three that had been trained to fence came shooting out, ran around the perimeter once and then simply flew over the fence and ran around to the front of the house. This happened faster than I could even focus my camera!
By this time I was on information overload. Just looking at the various crosses and all of the very athletic longdogs and lurchers and trying to get a few decent pictures was all I could manage. Measuring and detailed notes on each group of dogs will have to wait for my next visit. There were certainly several dogs I would have loved to take home. And due to the fact that the climate in South Africa is generally mild, like Los Lunas or Roswell, NM, heat tolerance is important since courses can be very long in relatively high temperatures. Philip has acquired an unusually athletic and aggressive Saluki from a South African breeder and this dog, Saloon, is currently a popular stud. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Saloon on this trip.
The time flew by and we had to say goodbye to Theuns and his family and make our way back to Krugersdorp. This time, because Philip was with us, the Boerboel was very agreeable to our entry and even wagged his stub of a tail. Gerry and I were invited to dinner, most welcome because I was starving from such a long and stimulating day. Joined by Philip’s children and wife, we talked a bit about the various kinds of coursing hounds there are in the USA, and the dogs that belong to people I know in this area.
I have no idea what time it was when we parted from the Strydom family who had offered us such warm hospitality. It must have been fairly late because the roads were empty as we made our way back to Johannesburg, which used to be the murder capitol of the world. But since Gerry is a native South African, I was confident that he knew how to handle any situation so I just chatted away until we arrived at my son’s house.
And so went one great day….totally to the dogs!
A brief overview of how Philip Strydom built his bloodline
Philip’s dad was a farmer and he grew up in the 1960s with the original old Boer hunting dogs. They hunted everything, what was known as vermin: jackals, lynx, hares. They weren’t allowed to hunt “game” (any kind of buck) because the farmers would shoot dogs running buck, but they did it anyway.
When Philip began to breed dogs he selected for aggression, stamina, and speed. His dogs must be able to take a good scent---follow a hot spoor. If they lose sight of a jackal he expects them to find it by tracking.
To get this scenting ability, beginning around 1973, he began a series of crosses and inbreedings between Alsatians, pointers, track greyhounds and farm greyhounds. He bred Alsatians to track dogs and pointers to trackdogs. He then took the offspring of these and bred to farm greyhounds.
Some of the offspring were not fast, so based on courses he selected for speed then inbred with the original line and crosses. He bred brother to sister for seven generations, always keeping the fastest pair for inbreeding. However, if the fastest didn’t have good noses he would then use the next fastest ones. The reason for this inbreeding was to fix the qualities necessary for hunting in the veldt.
With these dogs Philip hunted everything including all kinds of antelope: springbok, impala (larger than springbok), duika (small), and steenbok---all of which have plenty of stamina. If he caught a lynx or jackal alive he would put it into a cistern with a dog. If the dog wouldn’t kill the jackal he wouldn’t keep the dog.
He began to introduce Salukis into his breeding in about 1981. His brother found a Saluki discarded and exhausted by the roadside. His brother picked the dog up and brought her to Philip. His brother had never heard of a Saluki and had no idea what she was. She was clearly pretty old and it was assumed she’d never hunted.
Philip fed her and she regained her health so he took her to the veldt. Instantly she began to hunt with the other dogs. Then one day they flushed a nesting koorhan that flew away from the nest to lure the dogs away from its young. The koorhan flew in circles and it flew and flew and flew and all day long this Saluki chased this bird. She refused to leave the bird! When Philip saw this he decided he had to integrate this blood into his dogs.
So he took the Saluki to be bred to a South African 800-yard amateur straight track racer. This dog was of good track and coursing background. This breeding produced some of the fastest, strongest dogs Philip had ever seen hunting in his life. The best one from that litter was named Golda.
One day they were out hunting, Golda and a pack of maybe 7 greyhounds. It was a very hot day, maybe 35 degrees centigrade. They flushed a hare and the pack followed it into the scrub. Shortly they all returned except Golda. About a quarter hour later Golda comes back still coursing the hare. At this point the other dogs rejoined the course, which descended into a basin, wide open but all the grass had been burnt so it was torturously hard on the dogs’ feet.
A straight chase went on and on and on for possibly 7 km. The other dogs all collapsed from exhaustion but Golda continued until neither she nor the hare could run another step. The hare stopped from exhaustion and Golda did, too, and just stood there gasping for breath. When the hunters got there, the hare couldn’t even get up to flee. The pads of both the dog and the hare were worn off. Just raw flesh remained on both Golda’s feet and the hare’s because of the burned grass.
For 3 months Golda stayed home to recover. One day a farmer came to Philip and asked if Philip could help him because the jackals were causing terrible problems when his cattle were calving. Philip told him that he only had one dog and that she was very unfit because she wasn’t training for 3 months. But, he decided they’d have a try, thinking maybe they could catch one or two. (At that time Philip only kept a few dogs. Golda was medium sized.)
They hunted at night because it was cooler. They would go out in a van and shine the light to spot the jackal by its eyes. They’d get within about 50 yards and let the dog out. That night Golda caught 13 jackals! She would hold the jackal until the men would run up and kill it. But the next day Golda’s head was swollen like a bulldog from all the bites she received.
Philip bred Golda to one of the inbred crosses he’d made. The litter he got from this breeding turned out to be the best dogs in the district at that time. He then took the best dog from that litter and bred it to an inbred daughter of a dog named Buske, a trackdog that produced good coursers.
That cross produced a bitch named Lappies (patches in the Afrikaans language). She was a white dog with brown patches. She was one of the best bitches in the area. Lappies was then bred to a straight farm greyhound named Rocky. Rocky was by Porros, a well-known hunting greyhound. The sire of Porros was one of the very best hunting dogs one could breed from at the time.
Afpootjie (broken leg) came down from this breeding. The entire litter was outstanding and all of them could catch buck. Afpootjie was not the fastest in the litter but she had the most stamina. Afpootjie caught several bucks on her own without any help.
One day Philip visited a guy in Kimberly, a famous hunter. He took Afpootjie and went hunting with that guy. They came upon an older ram. There was a 200-meter start and they followed the chase with the truck. Afpootjie was eventually chasing the buck on her own, all the other dogs having fallen away from exhaustion so they picked them up. One km later they picked up the chase and Afpootjie had not gained on the buck but she was still chasing. They passed her and came up beside to the springbok and dropped the rested dogs and they returned to the chase. Shortly Afpootjie passed all of those dogs and forced the buck to turn back towards them. The buck made his way back through the pack with Afpootjie behind him until she was finally able to grab him in the flank and hold him. The hunters then forced her to release him and they turned him loose over the fence. By the odometer reading the chase was about 7 km (4 ½ miles).
Afpootjie is now the foundation of all that Philip currently breeds. Afpootjie was an extremely active dog. She would just run and run, if road worked she would just run in front. She lived 13 years and all of Philip’s current dogs descend from her.