Igor Solovyov on the early Russian Borzoi

Family breeds of greyhounds

(Offspring of Golub. Click the names to see next generation)

In the book "Borzoi" by W.E. Chadwick, published in England, there is a round five-led pedigree of the Borzoi Almaz II "Pershino hunt." But probably not everyone knows that this same pedigree belonged not only to Almaz, but also to a whole galaxy of brilliant dogs born on the verge of the 19th and 20th centuries. It is difficult for me to answer with certainty the question of how many puppies were born from Golub and Strela, but in the cynological literature of the past I met a mention of 19 brothers and sisters of Almaz II. It cannot be said that all these dogs were unambiguous in their exterior and working qualities, some of them left no trace in the pedigrees of our modern dogs, but it can be safely stated that the dogs of these three litters served as the basis of the world fame of the famous dog hunting. 
In each of the blood-bearing greyhounds living today, whether in their homeland or on any other continent of our planet, somewhere in the 12-20th tribe of pedigree, the names of Armavir I, Abrek II, Anachar, Diamond II, Ahida, Aragogona, Aragwa, Alupka and Almazka II are repeated. It is these dogs we owe to the fact that our modern Russian dog greyhound has found relative similarity, delighting us with the perfection of forms. Sadly, we have to find in our dogs not only positive qualities, but also obvious shortcomings, and even vices, sometimes completely incomprehensible to people who do not know the history of our breed, as well as the pedigree tree of their dogs, thin branches of which extend for a distance of almost a century and a half.

A very important Pedigree

I have a strong belief that not only close-related breeding with an emphasis on good dogs, which we often abuse, but also a long-term constant accumulation of the same, albeit the most proven and beautiful bloods, leads to the degeneration of the breed and to the appearance of completely incomprehensible "surprises" rather than the desired plan. In our breed, this is most often manifested in the so-called "beauty deficiencies", such as the light-haired rainbow of the eye, insufficient or excessive curlyness of the psavina, its poverty or poor ear tightening. Of course, in addition to such shortcomings, our dogs have shortcomings and more serious, occurring because of poor cultivation or improper breeding. But even this would happen less often if the mistakes of the past were taken into account.


I am often asked which dogs are better: those that were born in the famous kennels of the 19th century, or those that appear from our best modern dogs? It is very difficult to answer this seemingly uncomplicated question. The absolute truth, in my opinion, is that in certain periods of time the history of our breed there were ups and downs, and this primarily depended on us - people engaged in separation. At any time, very good dogs met much less often than bad ones. Most often dogs are average. Paradoxically, often from ordinary dogs with the right selection of pairs, we received and will receive such offspring, which could be envied by champions. Personally, I have not met the perfect Russian dog greyhound. Apparently, no one has ever seen such a dog. For me, one thing is indisputable: modern dogs have become in mass their breed, more homogeneous, more elegant, more pleasant in everyday life, but, unfortunately, almost everywhere they have lost the appearance of harsh animal dogs, in large their impoverished backbone and musculature, have lost their old anger to the beast, inherent in the breed of excitement of persecution, and therefore, to some extent, and snort.
When I first saw the pedigree of Almaz II, I involuntarily thought: what is outside the "magic circle"?
On its outer part are the nicknames of dogs born in the eighties of the last century. It was at that time by the efforts of famous Russian greyhounds, in quarrels and strife, from a few and very diverse dogs until recently thriving "family breeds" was born the same breed that we know in our days. I had to flip through a huge number of hunting periodicals since the sixties of the last century, to see all the surviving catalogues of hunting exhibitions published in our country since 1874, to find the first and third volumes of the "Russian Greyhound Factory Book" published in 1893 (unfortunately, the second volume of this edition I did not find in the largest libraries of the country). Many useful information was gleaned from the "The Pedigree Book of the Moscow Hunting Society" which was published at the beginning of the century, as well as from the "The Pedigree Book of Russian Dog Greyhounds" published in Germany in 1913.

There was a lot of information about the origin of greyhounds in the second half of the 19th century.
When I tried to extend the Almaz II pedigree to one more led, it turned out that I had only three-quarters of the opportunity to do
so. About the same proportion my information about each subsequent generation was lost, but in some places thin threads of pedigree led me to the unknown world of "family breeds" and "breeds" not quite family, about which I will try to tell, in order to explain some of the pros and cons of our modern dogs.

However, before I start covering this issue, I should probably explain what the family breeds were. The "breed" of dogs, in the lexicon of our ancestors, were called rather types of dogs of the same breed. A. Boldarev in his article on the colors, which appeared in the twenties of our century, quite accurately identified the reason for the appearance of "family breeds." Describing the dogs of the "Bereznikov breed" he noted the following: "In the middle of the 19th century, "decency" required that dogs of the famous hunting may be as stridently different from dogs of other hunts, so that even an inexperienced eye could determine their belonging to this kennel." At that time it was not so difficult to achieve it. In some, most often in the large hunts of those years, except for a huge number of basic varieties of Russian dog, namely the ancient dog, thick-and-nose and purep, almost everywhere met blood foreign greyhounds: greyhounds, Polish harts, Kurland greyhounds and hard-haired brutal greyhounds, who came to us from the West, as well as the mountain and the Crimean greyhoundsthe vast edges of our vast country. It was at this time that the process of methization of indigenous breeds with these aliens was completed in order to obtain suitable working qualities of dogs in different landscape and climatic conditions of different areas.
There are two versions, why some "breeds" of those years were called "family."
According to a somewhat simplified version, this happened when the owner's surname was next to the concept of "breed". That's how phrases like "Bereznikov breed" or "Tregubovsky breed" appeared. But there is a different interpretation, in my opinion, more correct. A dog belonging to the "family breed" could be called this way only if its ancestors were long cultivated on the same psarn a family of owners, passing on inheritance from grandfather to father and grandson. And most importantly, led all this time in themselves, without the blood of dogs of other owners. There were few such examples in the history of our breed, but they certainly were. How different were the dogs of different breeds in the first half of the 19th century, can be judged by the reports of two famous greyhounds of the past, who told about dogs of the forties.

Nagradai (Tchebyschow) Grand Gold Medal

The first about the dogs of his own "family breed" wrote A.S. Vysheslavtsev, who spoke on the pages of the hunting periodicals of those years under the pseudonym "Old Hunter" and advocated the preservation of the thick-pop greyhound in its original form. Here's a somewhat abbreviated description of the Borzois Bashnya and Milyi owned by his brother. "The growth of the male was 17 tops, and the bitch of medium height with a small top, the coat of both white, silky, wavy, sometimes with curls, eyes large, dark brown, affectionate. Ears were always ending together on the back of the head even crossed, when the dogs were taken to the pack, the forehead oblong, narrow, with a barely noticeable ledge went to the bridge forming a graceful profile of ancient statues. The toyt is so dry that the shapes and directions of the bones and main veins were visible. The neck was not long and rose from the shoulder blades not as straight as now, which was in all thoroughbred dogs in the past time. Back with a steep top and strong buds, but not as wide and full as the current dogs, and always "pie", that is, with noticeable vertebrae, despite the thick and long hair. The ribs are by no means barrely, but very long, lower than the elbows and with a great distance one from the other, which at shortness of the dog almost destroys the groin. The chest is slightly smaller than the palm of your hand. The ass is wide and somewhat sagy, a straight sacptus is a bad recommendation for a greyhound, and dogs with straight legs rarely jump well. The hind legs are several curved lines, but to the "beam" is still far away, paws in a lump, with long fingers. The rule was not in the serve, and sabers, which is much more graceful, and not long, like many raw dogs. The male should be square, and the bitch is much longer, which, according to my grandfather, father and other old hunters, is the main statue of purebred dog dogs." Each owner has their own dogs, especially those that do not, always seem better than they really were. But even these dogs have certain flaws that we are now trying to get out of. There were other dogs.

The dog "Tregubov breed" is described by P.M. Matchevarianov, author of the book "Notes of the Dog Hunter of the Simbir Province", defending the dogs of the new formation with a slight blood infused mountain greyhound. These dogs, in our current opinion, could not give an aesthetic delight, but it is possible to understand those field hunters who sought to get dogs "Tregubov breed" to consolidate their field advantages in their own dogs.
I will start with the "Yermolov family breed" because it is more suitable than others than
others. She is represented only by two dogs Saiga II and her son Kozyr. N.P. Yermolov was one of the founders of the breed of modern Russian dog greyhound. We owe it to him by the appearance in 1888 of the first official description, or rather, of the standard of this breed, which experts at exhibitions used for about 35 years. His "family breed" was by far the oldest, so N.N. Chelishchev, who told in his books about the antiquity of the Chelishchev breed, had to be more modest. N.P.Yermolov's great-grandfather P.N. Yermolov, who in 1776 presented P.I. Panin with three gray-peg dog males, said that his dogs got him from his great-grandfather. Thus, the age of this "family breed" can be safely defined by two centuries. However, N.P. Yermolov's father in the thirties of the last century acquired a mountain greyhound male and carefully used it in updating the blood of his ancient dog greyhounds. The re-spify of mountain blood was made by N.P. Yermolov himself in 1851, when he tied his dog Letka with Gyaur Yanenko. Through their son Lyubim I and his son Shvykal from the dog stud, we can trace this blood in many dogs not only "Yermolov family breed" but also "Macchewan ianbreed", because Shvyok was the father of Golubka Machevarian, caught in our field of view in the sixth row of the pedigree we understand. In 1860, the "Yermolov family breed" was updated with the blood of Glory "Tregubov breed", and in 1869 Almazka "Machevarian breed" and from that time N.P.Yermolov and P.M.M. Macchevarians began to constantly exchange producers, as they believed that their dogs were close not only in type, but also in some way in origin.
Many more dogs were introduced to our pedigree by P.M.Machevarianov, owner of Ardagan, Lezginka, Doveka, Kasatka, Krylat and their son Ubey.
However, his breed of dogs "family" in the full sense of the word can not be called, as he began it independently in his early youth, almost in the tenth years of the last century. His first dogs were the "Saltykov family breed" from the first half of the 19th century. In addition to these early dogs, the ancestors of the greyhounds of the "Machevaryan breed" involved dogs "Pleshchevskaya breed," "Sushchev breed", and a little later - "Tregubov breed" with whom we were acquainted with them. But P.M.M.Macevarianov did not escape the fate of many Russian borsyshnikov and in the early forties of the last century poured to the dogs of his breed the blood of the mountain male Fablas Belkin, which originated from the blood mountain greyhounds Of a.v. Jiharev and A.A. Stolypin. The half-hills were tied with his own dog greyhounds, and since the fifties they have bred the "Machevarian breed", distinguished by the beauty of the lines of the head, a huge eye, an extraordinary width of the ass, very correct in shape, but not well drawn out by the ears, medium in length, but soft dog and with a somewhat short rule. These dogs were unusually frolics, but they lacked malice to the beast and they were not large. It is for this reason that since 1869 it began to exchange widely with N.P. Ermolov. Dogs "Macevarian breed" after the death of their owner in 1880 got into many famous hunting countries. It was then that they began to appear at exhibitions. At the Moscow Exhibition in 1881, his Ubey, acquired by N. A. Boldyrev, was the first in points and received the highest award for greyhounds - a large silver medal.

I don't know much about the dogs of the hunter of the Tambov province of P.F. Filatov. The "Filatov breed" of dogs carried, more than anyone else, the blood of the dogs of the "Machevarian breed." His Cherkai II, which originated from Danyar Machevarianov, was recognized as the best greyhound dog at the next Moscow Exhibition in 1882, and his son Karai-Kasatik also had a large silver medal. But in the nineties, the dogs of the "Filatov breed" significantly shredded and quietly came to naught.
Most likely, the blood of the "Machevarian breed" was carried in itself and Diamond M. V. Stolypin, as almost all the dogs "Stolypinskaya breed" that I had previously, were "Machevarian - Yermolovsky"
origin. Apparently, both Nagla and her mother Shelma G.N. Korotnev, although the origin of the latter i also did not find, came from similar blood dogs.
Now it is time to tell about another "family breed" that carries this title by far right, because its origin comes from the dogs of Prince G.F. Baryatinsky, the owner of the legendary Beast, repeatedly taken by mother wolves and originated from the Irish wolfhound and dog
bitch. B.G. Baryatinsky was a grandfather of A.N. Kareyev on his mother's side, and their family has long led dog greyhounds of the same origin. A.N.Kareev was a famous dog hunter of the thirties and fifties of the last century. He was the prototype of Count Aleev from E. Driyansky's famous book "Notes of the Small-Breasted."
The successor of the "family breed" of his famous father was N.A.Kareev.
But his dogs in the seventies and eighties were less well known than the dogs of his cousin S.S. Kareyev. It was the last and belonged to Strike I, Swan I, Amiable, Prank II, Lubka and her son Ataman IV. The success of S.S. Kareev's dogs is explained by the fact that at the first exhibitions in Moscow, from 1874 until the appearance of dogs Machevarianobreed breed, wolfhounds Kareyevsky family breed were undisputed leaders, as they were at that time of great growth (males reached 20 tops, and - 18). Most of the dogs were dressed in magnificent dogs, had graceful heads and more than others were approaching the thick-faced type, which the older generation's greyhounds still remembered well. Indeed, the dogs of the "Kareev family breed" and the dogs close to them by the blood of the dogs V.N. Chebyshev and A.A. Tippolt, represented in our pedigree by Podar Chebyshev and Palltip Tippolt, stood out at the exhibitions of the seventies. They were awarded more than others with large silver medals, and at the first Moscow exhibition in 1874, Chebyshev was awarded even a gold medal, which the greyhounds have not been awarded for more than 20 years.

Koldun of the Gatchina Hunt, brother of Zlodei (Ratayev).


For all its merits, the dogs of this family breed had very serious flaws: the legetability, unimportant, and sometimes just bad legs, prone to marking and especially cow, than certainly injected into the obvious disorder of their owners and admirers. S.S.Kareev was very keen that his greyhounds had a magnificent origin, pretended to be blood-thick. But all this was done more for advertising, because his "family breed" in the years of its special success brought him considerable income. His indifferent attitude to money often led to the fact that he very easily parted with his best producers. The bad limbs of his greyhounds forced him to repeatedly pour the blood of other owners' dogs to his "breed". As producers, he used VikhKobyin, Predatory Voeykov and Neschada Khomyakovsky. But this did not give a change for the better, but rather simplified the offspring of the last two dogs.
Only the offspring, received from two "Kareevsky" and one "Chebyshevsky" male and  Zlodei (Ratayev), saved to some extent the "Kareev breed" from markings and
cows. Once in the hands of the new owners, some dogs of the "Karey" breed were mixed with dogs of other "breeds" and joined the general channel of a large river, which we call modern Russian dog greyhound.
Perhaps, only D.B. Golitsyn (in our pedigree is represented by his male Rezvy) tried to keep the "Kareev's breed" in relative purity longer than
others. But it did not lead to great success. Much more rational was driving this "breed" of Vasilchikov, connecting it with the best "breeds" of those years, which can be clearly seen by the origin of Winches I, Sparkling and Raskida II and the son of the last Sorcerer, bought in the "Pershin hunt" for an unheard of price of 2,000 in those years. Rub. As it turned out later, it was worth it.
But back to the early
eighties. At the age of 92 in 1881, Major General A.V. Jiharev, a dog hunter of the Tambov province, died in 1815. I know very little about these dogs. But there was a legend that the dogs of the "Lopukhin breed" differed from the dogs of other "breeds" in that they were all white-headed, which for greyhound slips atypical, and the thick-covered "Lipunov breed" differed very long and thin dog, which was worried from the slightest whiff of air even in the rooms. From the "lopuchinsky" of Satan and Dosage and Bianca Lipunova led His "breed" until the thirties. He was one of the last to keep Kurland greyhounds, and from the forties he became fascinated with the blood greyhounds he had before his death. Undoubtedly, the blood of foreign greyhounds was repeatedly poured to the dog greyhounds of the "Jiharev breed". Award - the first dog N.A. Boldarev, acquired by him in 1872 from A.V. Jiharev, had an unusual dog in a steep curl all over the body, and Wing II, bought by him there, except for a similar curl and rough psamine, had even larger and poorly tightened ears. Despite these shortcomings, the dog greyhounds of the "Jiharev breed" were highly valued by field hunters for their froriseness and malice towards the beast. Although these dogs did not play a big role in the creation of modern dog greyhounds, it is likely that some "beauty deficiencies" are passed on to our modern dogs from them, as N.A. Boldarev's dogs were widely used in breeding.
Another breed of dogs played a rather large role in the formation of modern Russian dog greyhounds, although in our pedigree it is represented by one Pylya Nazimov, the father of the first Waltzbitch Girlfriend I.A.V. Nazimov from Tver province kept his breed since the thirties of the last
century. The origin of his dogs was rather dark, but apparently they were related to the dogs of the "Gordeev breed" and already familiar to us "Tregubov breed" as they were heroic in the spoon. Because of the unimportant puffing of the ears, poor overgrowth and strength of paws in them felt the blood of mountain greyhounds. But, according to some reports, except for the dog greyhounds, on his psarn until his death A.V.Nazimov kept the brutal hard-haired greyhounds. The presence of their blood affected not only the roughness of his dogs, but also the structure of their skulls. The heads of the dogs of the "Nazimovsky breed" were broad-ears, very skulats and sharp-plucked at short-plucked. The eye of many dogs was light and yellowish, that is the usual color for the rough greyhounds. These dogs were considered the best wolfhounds.

Udav (Gagarin) Zomini-Golubka Matchevarianov

The working qualities of the breed were valued by field hunters very highly. For all their unattractive appearance were held by their tulyak brothers N.N. and M.I.Bibicov. These dogs were not transferred from the regular participant of the wolf garden A.I.Novikov. But sometimes dogs of this "breed" were successfully used in breeding. At the Moscow Exhibition of 1879, the best dog was recognized as Udav Princes P.S. Gagarin, distinguished by a breed head, a strikingly correct complex body and excellent legs. His only drawback was a poor and coarse coat. His father, Zomini, was not in vain, for he was from Nayan Nazimov. Udavs mother, Golubka Machevarianova managed to ennoble her son to such an extent that the presence of undesirable features of the "Nazimovsky breed" was simply not noticed. It was widely used as a manufacturer, and it gave decent offspring.
A very similar situation occurred when the use of Hapaya of the same "Gagarin breed" with the famous villain Ratayev, who gave in this combination of good
dogs. Its owner Ratayev for a short time was the manager of the Gatchina imperial hunt and it was from there, apparently out of pity, brought a very unpresentable, slobbered, small, unwell, unwell-dressed, mutilated by a fractured front leg. Its origin was not known, but with whomever it was taken, the Villain-Lame gave beautiful litters. Not only did she not convey her flaws, but she had a remarkable ability to take all the best for offspring from males and to negate their shortcomings and even vices. It is this striking example that confirms my judgment that the average quality of dogs can very effectively serve the breed as a whole.
The next "family breed" about which I will talk will be "Protasiev breed" which played a significant role in the creation of a new breed, despite the fact that in our pedigree it is represented by one Striking, but three
times. F.V. Protasiev in the Ryazan province led his "breed" from the pure-piss greyhounds M.A. Trakovsky, who did not hide that in order to get his own "breed" in the thirties of the last century, he interfered with dog greyhounds with Polish hart and greyhound. It was seen in the poor clothes of his co-tank, in the angularity of the lines of their heads and partly in the laying of ears. For 30 years, F.V. Protasiev led his "breed" without attracting new manufacturers from the outside, except for the dogs of the same Trakovsky. Dogs of the "Protasiev breed" were almost always on the right feet, and among them quite often appeared well-dressed specimens. Their working qualities were well known, and therefore after the death of the owner his greyhounds were sold out in many hunting countries. Subsequently, these dogs were used in breeding brothers Bibikov, N.T.Sheremetyev, N.A.Boldarev, as well as P.M. Gubin, a big fan of pureps greyhounds.
I know very little about the dogs of N.D. Stuphiskhin, who lived in Saratov
province. His Nahal and Vyuga, and therefore their son Hurricane from the disassembled pedigree came from the famous dense-pine "Demidov breed" that flourished in the forties of the 19th century in the Siverts of St. Petersburg province.
Very little is known about the thick-covered N.V. Nazaryev, represented in the pedigree of Palma, Yashma and Winged.
Their origin is unknown. But they looked like dogs of the Pleshchev breed. The offspring of these dogs brought P.F Durasov to the Moscow exhibition. His dogs differed sharply in blood from dogs of other "breeds", and probably primarily for this reason they began to be used as producers.
I have never met Nikolaev's dogs, which belonged to Kasatka (not Victory), the mother of Lake Doveii
II. I don't know the origin of Navida Stroganov's parents. Occasionally I met greyhounds Tumanovsky and Ladyzhensky, but the origin of their Ulcer and Nahela, probably, will not be found ever ... I will not intentionally talk about young "breeds" in those distant eighties of the last century. It is worth mentioning that Raskida I N.A. Boldarev comes from Awarding Jizharev and Fast Protasiev, and Stystiy D.P. Valtsov from Aftering the same Protasiev and Lezginka Machevarianov. Finally, the mother of the first Waltzbitch Girlfriend I Orphan obolensky was the daughter of the Greyhound Sparkle Bakhtinsky and the dog Dushenka Svechin. On this end our journey into the wilds of "family breeds", ends because D.P. Valtsov himself did not consider his dogs "family breed" and considered them an integral part of a single breed, created, albeit in its black, by the largest connoisseurs of the Russian dog greyhound P.M.M. Machevarianov and N.P. Yerolov, a breed already in the modern sense of this word.
Talking about the birth of the Pershin Hunt Pigeon and talking about his mother Doveka III Of Lake, he reports that she was: "the blood of our old dogs."
"I'm talking about a circle of hunters," continues D.P. Valtsov, who shared the producers and led their dogs to the goal of bringing them closer to the ideal of a thick dog. This circle included N.A.Boldarev, S.V. Ozerov and J.P. Sokolov, and we at the Moscow exhibitions showed the external merits of our dogs, and in large hunts in Ryazan and Tula provinces their field qualities."
The conclusion begs in itself: the modern Russian dog greyhound created a friendly team of like-minded people, apparently, it is for this reason that it pleases us more often than upsets
us. The only bad thing, perhaps, is that at the present stage of its long history, as well as in the years leading up to its unification into a single whole, we and abroad often began to talk about several types of dogs existing in our breed. The heterogeneity in dog breeds is a common occurrence. Rather, it is welcome, as it contributes to the work to improve the breed. But it is necessary to remember that in our breed there are only two distinct types - "zaithniks" and "wolfhounds" varying in the manner of work.
For our breed to be even more beautiful, it needs
little. The main thing is the one in the world for all Russian dog greyhounds, quite clear, taking into account the specifics of the creation of the breed. The standard, which will not because of frank trifles to cull from the breeding business necessary by blood and quite decent dogs. It should be taken into account that if we in our manner of leading the breed have not got rid of some shortcomings for the whole 100 years, it is unlikely to get rid of them at all. Let us, however, hope that the descendants will become wiser than us, and therefore will finally see the perfect greyhound of our dreams. And for such a beautiful and noble goal, of course, it is worth striving.

Selection of illustrations by I. Solovyov


Fishing and Hunting Company Magazine No.7, 1984



Year of event
St Petersburg
Personal source
Show in History