Saija Juutilainen


Dogs have been a significant part of my everyday life since the 60’s. From this, you can probably easily conclude that I’m already an above-mid-age, passionate dog enthusiasts. My grandparents had a few Lassie-like herding dogs and later a Welsh Corgi in their days. At home, we had everything from Karelian Bear Dogs to Pinschers.  We got our first Saluki in 1980 and started breeding them in 1984. To this day, we’ve had 28 litters and I’ve also bred one Pinscher litter in 1979. The Saluki is in all regards “the one” breed for me, even though I sometimes feel I don’t have enough hands when we meet familiar dogs or people on walks – not to mention cats and rabbits! The intelligence and ease of Salukis make daily life comfortable, and, on the other hand, their independence and stubbornness make my blood pressure go up to a suitable level from time to time. Today, my work at the Customs, judging appointments, and hobbies fill my calendar for years ahead and take up a lot of my time. As a result, I do not breed actively for the time being – however, I like to follow the development of the breed and other breeders’ litters both at home as well as abroad.  I felt that studying to become a judge was a natural development for my dog hobby, since I’ve been active in different clubs my whole “dog life”. I’ve served as secretary, member of show committees, ring steward, and Chair of the Finnish Saluki Club in 1995–2003. Today, I’m in charge of educating new judges for the breed. Studying different breeds and judging is continuous learning and therefore interesting. I find that it also gives one new points of view for understanding one’s own breed and to judging. The first time I judged Salukis was at an unofficial show in Sweden in 1997. From there, I got the idea of applying to a judges’ course. In 1999, I was qualified to judge Salukis and today, I am an all-breed judge. Judging appointments have taken me and my family to several countries. This time we can enjoy the FCI World Dog Show at the Helsinki Fair Centre – see you there!