Category Archive 'Tazi'

06 Sep 2013

Kazakh Tazy Temperament

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Uhlan, when he was an adolescent, used to grow some extra fur in the wintertime. Here he is, in our backyard in Bluemont, Virginia with a piece of a groundhog which had mysteriously recently come to a bad end.

The Russian zoologist who bred our tazy recently was advertising a few pups from a new litter, and one of the European correspondents on the saluki discussion list asked: “What are Khazak tazys like? Are they similar in temperament to Persian tazys?”

These sighthounds bred from dogs recently imported from Central Asia are referred to in enthusiast circles as:”Country of Origin” dogs. COO dogs are particularly admired by connoisseurs because they are thought to fully retain their natural hunting instincts. Another way of putting it would be to say: they remain relatively feral. Consequently, training them and persuading them to refrain from anti-social behavior (or hellish crime) takes a certain amount of effort.

I was moved to respond to that European correspondent’s question by posting a link to the video below, which (on the basis of knowing Uhlan) I said “pretty accurately describes Kazakh tazys’ temperament and behavior.”

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Steve Bodio actually responded before I had even written and uploaded this post.

13 May 2012

Kazakh Tazys

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From Steve Bodio, a photo essay on hunting foxes with the Kazakh Tazy (or Tazi or тазы), the local version of the saluki or Persian greyhound, a hunting dog which pursues its quarry by sight.

The tazy is regarded as a Kazakh national symbol. This essay tells us that there was an old Kazakh saying that one tazy could feed an entire village. Tazy are described as capable of running down prey at speeds up to 80 kph (49.7 mph).

According to the Russian text, there are only 300 thoroughbred Kazakh tazy left: “300 Spartans.” I’m afraid that I don’t buy into that “only 300 left” stuff. Steve Bodio and I both own Kazakh tazy.


Our Uhlan looks a lot like those “thoroughbred Spartan Kazakh” dogs to me.

23 Aug 2009

Yesterday Offline

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7-week-old Tazy puppy Uhlan

I was away from the keyboard yesterday, driving nearly 200 miles each way to pick up a seven-week-old puppy.

Last month, the renowned Saluki authority Gail Goodman sent me an email telling me that a retired Russian zoologist (living very near me — only about 200 miles away!) had just bred a litter of the rare Kazakh Tazys, which the serious connoisseurs of aboriginal coursing dogs, people like Gail herself and Steve Bodio, particularly admire for their hunting instinct and drive.

The fact that I have no experience in coursing and live in the East where we lack the kind of open spaces suitable for sighthounds easily found in New Mexico did not deter my friends from getting behind the idea that I needed to own one of these.

Tazy (or Tazi) is just another Asian term for the breed originally referred to in the West as the Persian Greyhound, but these days known as the Saluki (or Saluqi).

Naturally, I had only to look at puppy photos in order to succumb and place a deposit on one of these.

Yesterday, the fatal day arrived. Karen insisted that we go and pick up our Tazy immediately upon the breeder announcing that he was ready to leave his mother.

We wound up taking the same fawn-colored male with the black mask (with a little white on the nose) that originally made an impression on us in the puppy photos. A brother with a darker color struck me as a possible candidate, too, but the darker puppy struggled and was unhappy when picked up. Our original choice was quite content to be handled, and actually never even whined or cried all the way back.

Our Basset Bleu de Gascogne arrived already named Cadet, so we decided to stick with the military theme. Since Tazys are slender and fast running dogs of Asian origin, we decided his name ought to describe him as a type of light cavalry of Asian origin, so we are going to name the puppy Uhlan.


Tired from a long drive

02 Aug 2009

Why I’ve Been Busy

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We’re probably getting the red male with the black mask

A friend from the sporting literature community got in touch with me to inform me that a retired Russian zoologist who is a keen aficionado of aboriginal dogs had bred his first litter of Kazakh Tazis.

Tazis are hounds used for coursing, the pursuit of game using swift hounds which hunt by sight rather than by scent.


He will look like his mother as an adult

Tazi is really just one regional term for the saluki, probably the oldest type of domesticated dog.

Kazakhstan is renowned in coursing circles as the last refuge of native-bred saluki of first-rate hunting ability, unmixed with Western or show dog strains. A few enthusiasts have actually traveled to Central Asia in recent years in search of the canine equivalent of the Holy Grail.

Looking at photos of those puppies had the inevitable result, I succumbed and mailed in a deposit. The opportunity to own so rare and exotic a hunting dog is very unusual. Of course, house-breaking and trying to bring up a fierce aboriginal hunter from the steppes of Central Asia in a house full of cats and antiques is probably going to be a lot like trying to establish peace and order in the neighborhood of the Khyber Pass.


Kazakhstan looks upon tazis as an important cultural treasure


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