Sovjet Union


The goddess Vera

15 juni 2012 10:33 by Julia Svintsova

Beautiful and gracious, Both Vera & Sighthounds

By the end of the late 19th century. in November 1896 in the old manor Krasavka Atkarsk, located in the Lysogorskaya province of Saratov province, a baby was born. The hopes were perhaps that the child would be a brave sailor - following in the careers of both father and grandfather, like most of the relatives on the mother's side, - called Mola - who were both vice-admirals and admirals. But now it happened that this beloved baby was ... a girl, Vera Konstatinovna. And because they called the child Vera, and the fate prepared for her as a gift, the expectation was that she would stay at the hearth and carry the on with family. Such it might have been, if not for three circumstances: her hot blood, the spirit of the time and the her parents. The blood in her was hot and burning - a mixture of Spanish - Mola and German - Amelung and Eberhardt. Times were turbulent, and major transformations came to the country - the revolution, war and repression, which caused her father's house to collapse, wealth to disappear, and several of her loved ones to be lost.

Mata haren.  Bild på Vera Amelung

Catching a hare. Drawing by Vera Amelung

Her Godfather Mikhail Shidlovsky who, together with her aunt Maria Pavlovna Molas, helped her greatly during her youth. He was an extraordinary man.The same age as her father, he was at the beginning of a marine career and also a partner in a Russian-Baltic ship factory; he also had interests in the Russian aviation industry. He was an intelligent and fearless man with outstanding organizational abilities, and not afraid of taking risks. He predicted the importance of a Russian aviation industry and contributed to this with all his power. He financed Igor Sikorsky, the Russian aviation industry's father. In 1914, Shidlovsky was appointed commander of a fighter squadron squad and became the first Russian airline General. He created a Russian air force that manifested itself during the First World War, but when the Provisional Government was appointed, he was dismissed for "incompetence" and in 1918 when his family tried to fly across the border to the Finnish Karelia, his 18-year-old son was killed by the "Red".

Perhaps his mind, courage, and the pursuit of excitement, the ability to do everything wholeheartedly transferred to his god-daughter!

Beta av en varg.  Bild på Vera Amelung

Wolf hunt. Drawing by Vera Amelung.

About Vera's childhood and youth, one can only guess. Most likely it was a normal and happy upbringing, surrounded by parents, sailors and many sisters, aunts and uncles, with the ingrained passion for the hunt. In Riga she graduated from a private high school under the distinguished teacher of Nikolaevna Lishina. She gave Vera teaching in Russian language, literature, history, French and drawing. In short, Vera was educated to be a true humanist. She had great artistic talent, and in 1918 she was admitted to Moscow Stroganov Art College. Vera studied until 1924 at her own expense - she also worked part-time at Bolsho's Jewish Children's Theater, where she later got a permanent job as a costume designer. A document about Vera was found at the Bolshoi Theater, a questionnaire completed by her in 1933. The document contained information about temporary work - grades from a work in Osoaviakhim as an instructor in official dog breeding. She was also a student at Architecture courses in Petrograd, and for a time  she also studied under the artist Piotr Kelin.

Hon var alltid en bra ryttare            

Vera, throughout her life was a passionate rider

On the Internet you can read about Piotr Kelin that among his many students were B.V. Johanson, A.D. and PD. Korin, V.V. Majakovsky, D.S. Moore. Vera wrote: "I was lucky enough to be a student of the wonderful teacher and artist, Piotr Kelin." In her writings, she tells about the father who died in Revel in 1928 and also her many sisters in Moscow, Bashkiria and also in Lyon and Toulouse. One of them married an officer in the White Garde, and another - von Garder - also emigrated with her husband. It is also told about horses and cows owned by her parents, about the Orthodox religion, which, however, did not suit Vera. The religion had no place in the costume designer's work at the Bolshoi Theater, and was not accepted there It's strange to me how she survived with such a name, with such relatives and such passion for life! It is incomprehensible!


Album av Vera Konstantinovna Amelung

Album by Vera Konstantinovna Amelung

Vera attended the first exhibition organized by the Moscow Association of Decorators in 1929. In the reference books she is listed as artist-decorator and artist-animalist. So the reflection of her beloved animals and nature had become a profession. I do not know who was with her during these troubled years, to help and support the young woman. I know that her father Konstantin Yulievich Amelung lived in Estonia, where he died in 1928. Mother Helena Narcissa Henrietta Anna Molas died in 1935 in Russia. The brother, Vladimir, 28, was killed in 1918. His little sons were in the Baltics. The cousin Boris Amelung died during the Civil War when carrying out courier information. A second cousin, Boris Molas, Head of the Secretariat, Science Academy of the Soviet Union, who made a contribution to the preservation of the Union's cultural wealth, was arrested, sent in exile and executed in 1937

 Efterföljande av hennes älskade Karaya - - sidan i släktforskningen om de ryska vinthundarna

Puppies out of her beloved Karaya - from a pedigree page about Borzois

Gatchina and Perchino, together had hundreds of purebred dogs. Most were sold abroad before the revolution for large sums. For the Bolshevik government, borzoi was regarded as a shameful relic from the past.

When it came to light that it could be very profitable and have a commercial value, the attitude changed and it was then allowed to form clubs and associations. Borzoi lovers, "Borzyatniks", could meet the same engaged, fanatic people as they were themselves. Vera Konstantinovna Amelung was one of these.


Ett mirakel av en hund!

A miracle of a dog!

She lived in central Moscow, on Gogol Boulevard, and she had several dogs. Through them she learned, chased a lot with them and began breeding. She participated in competitions and she was involved in the Borzoi Section in Moscow as secretary.


Där är hon, Arbuns svan!

There she is, Arbuns Swan!

Even as an elderly lady, she was a good rider who flew in full speed ... Flew like the goddess Artemis!

I never know what she felt when the war began. In addition to the general worry and fear, the fate of the dogs was a heavy burden with her. The animals are big and need a lot of food. She could keep them in Moscow. The fact that her legacy was preserved for the benefit and happiness of the aftermath was her, but also largely Mikhail Gromov's merit. Gromov was one of the Soviet Union heroes. He was a pilot with connections at all levels. He was also chairman of the Borzois section of the Moscow hunting dog association. With his help and the extra ransons he could provide, many Borzoi could survive the war. Gromov himself was Borzoi lover, and he brought home dogs from Germany who were very important for the restoration of the breed in the Soviet Union and later Russia. Vera Amelung was secretary and Mikhail Gromov chairman of the section. He stated that he put her knowledge very high: "she understood dogs better than anyone else".

På uppsättningen av filmen

Från uppsättningen av filmen "War and Peace"

Her last dogs were Argun and Terzai, mother and son. They demanded all her income and effort, but it seems her beloved dogs could contribute to the owners' living. It happened when Vera Konstantinovna was invited to participate in the film "War and Peace" by Sergei Bondarchuk. Even when the dogs' participation was over, the director continued to love them to feed the "actors". The dogs were also "on duty" during the recording of "Anna Karenina";  they loved to go with the magnificent Maja Plisetskaja

During the post-war years, Vera Amelung was the permanent secretary of the Borzoi section. She was responsible for the pedigree books. There were four albums with neatly glued and signed pictures, with family tree and charts. They were digitalized by Tamara Lyazgina and were made into joint Internet property thanks to her. Because of this I see a clearer picture, which recent genealogists rarely expect.

Vera: "As a little girl, I really wanted a dog, but my father directed my childhood wishes for long theoretical training. I had five or six albums with clips from newspapers, articles about the training of a puppy, I wrote of rare books with my childish writing, nicely arranged to carefully fill in over the years. I do not stop being surprised by these rings of genes, we all come from our past and we will give this to the future".

Olga Velchinskaya told about meetings with Vera Konstantinovna. She came to her when she was seriously ill, her son and Amelung were acquainted. "The impression of the person who met me, with her diversity of skills, within so many areas was impossible to forget." Everything she predicted was exactly as she said. In this description, her portrait is of these times and several are important for understanding her character and way of life.

Olga: She was sick but still strong and moving. There were very few things in her cellar. But in the ancient armchair under the imperial clock lay, delicate and elegant like a swan, a pink-white beauty, Argun. She tells that neighbors come and leave Vera a bowl with sauerkraut. Detina - a boy from this area where everyone knew Vera, they loved her and her beautiful dogs. Even after they became adults, they continued to help her. The antique clocks  also beats for the children, they knew what suited the goddess.

Dogs and children - their love is the most sincere, the most faithful. They warm up the heart and decorate life!

There were a whole group of women who were seriously engaged in dogs. One of them, Eugenia Dezor, collected two borzoi from the Gatchina kennels in the Leningrad zoo and cleverly used them in breeding. She worked hard to revive the Russian borzoi. She was arrested and sent to the Saratov region.

Vera: I could take out five of my dogs from Saratov. Eugenia Dezor's efforts to create a kennel for borzoi and hunting dogs (Saratov) succeded at last.

In her spare time she wrote poetry. Their lines sound to me in Vera Konstantinova's voice.

Eugenia Dezor; 

I spend days and nights with them:

Far from everyone

without them I'm lonely.

Sometimes my heart hurts,

and only in my dogs I see joy.

I'm coming home - they meet me,

I'll go - they wait obediently

And they really know everything,

they know and they realize.

We understand each other perfectly,

and I talk to them, as with people,

we play together and go together,

and we spend the evenings and the days.

-We share protection and food.

Lets go out on the steppe

in the dawn of the darkness.

I love my borzoi.

There is no cleaner love

and there are no more beautiful dogs on earth.


Alltid med dem

Always with them.

Life has to go on, she had to leave her apartment on Gogol Boulevard. There were no communal apartments in central Moscow she could rent. New settlers went to Chertanovo. Vera Konstantinovna also got a small apartment there. But, as Olga Velchinskaya writes, "she could no longer have her dogs with her." She got old and sick, and she was separated from friends and old neighbors.

In 1972 she was for the last time at the Russian show for hunting dogs. Argun and Terzai had been left to reliable friends. She died very soon afterwards in her one bedroom apartment. I think, now, at last she became lonely, now that the wet nose no longer touched her old hand, and there was no one who looked at her with endless love, who saw her as their true goddess.

I'm looking at my huge family tree. We have a common grandfather, a mirror maker, Anton Christoph Amelung. Grandfather's father, Carl Philip Amelung, ran business and played chess with Potemkin. Anna Edvardina, my grandmother's mother, was Carl Philips's sister. All of a sudden, Vera Konstantinovna became my grandmother!

When I'm back in Moscow, I find her house, I'm going through Gogol Boulevard. And suddenly it blows up a breeze and past flies the goddess with her borzoi! It's a sight that not everyone can see - my grandmother is flying fast ...

The Borzoi Encyclopedia: The editor's postmark, Vera Amelung's impact on borzoi, may not be primarily through her breeding, even if it was important. Her business in the Borzo section of Moscow, and as a role model, is still in the memory of older people. She will always be included in history, among other places, in The Borzoi Encyclopedia. The significance of her dogs, which extends to our days may be illustrated by the following image:

From Argun (Amelung) to Slavnyj Alexej Jermolov, imported to Sweden in 1982.

Photo from the albums in the archive of Nina Georgievna Kudryavtseva. Digitalized byTamara Lyazgina

Translation to English by Sue Vasick






Kolchak – King of the Wolfhounds


  Admiral Alexands Kolchak

In 1918 during World War I, a regiment from the 27th Infantry was sent on a reconnaissance operation along the Trans-Siberian Railway. At that time, 15,000 German and Austrian prisoners of war, along with Bolsheviks headquartered in the Ussuri Valley, threatened Vladivostok. Despite the frigid temperatures and difficult ground, the regiment marched over 1,000 miles in pursuit of the retreating Bolsheviks, resulting in the capture of Blagoveschensk. The Russians, impressed with American drive, nicknamed the 27th Infantry the "Wolfhounds".




The first Wolfhounds mascot, a pure bred Russian Wolfhound, was presented to the regiment in 1929. He was named after Admiral Aleksandr Vasilyevich Kolchak, who fought the Bolsheviks during the regiment's stay in Siberia.


Elaborate ceremonies marked Kolchak I's adoption as mascot of the Twenty-Seventh Infantry. The organization was formed on the regimental drill field, and after a brief address by Colonel William E. Hunt announcing the acquisition of the dog, Chaplain Oscar W. Reynolds made a short talk on the significance of mascots. Sergeant John Martin (who served with the regiment in both the Philippines and Siberia) took charge of Kolchak and promised to see that he attended all appropriate gatherings of the regiment.


Kolchak II

Kolchak II entered service in 1939. He was often found rooting for Wolfhound athletic teams, and marched with the regiment in all ceremonies. The Cossack hats (or Shaktoes), belts, and boots worn by the color guard and the Regimental Band may have been designed to please Kolchak II as well as the spectators at ceremonies who approved of the colorful trappings of a colorful regiment. 

Kolchak in Steel




The stainless steel sculpture of Kolchak shown at right was a gift from Mr. Akio Aoyama, president of a successful post-war steel manufacturing company, a long time supporter of the Holy Family Home, and an ardent fan of the Wolfhounds.




Kolchak I and all his successors are more than mere mascots. They embody the regiment's nickname, and personify the tenacious and ferocious fighting nature of the regiment. The Regiment has a reputation of utter ferocity in combat and gentle compassion in peace. Our enemies have felt the ruthlessness of the Wolfhound's bite, our friends have found us to be loyal and steadfast, and the innocent have found the Wolfhounds second to none in compassion.















A quick look at one famous woman in Borzoi from a 100 years ago: Nina Alexandrovna Korff-Sumarokova.

Baroness, breeder and hunter.

Baroness Korff was born in 1877, graduated, and spoke four languages. Living on the family estate (Stary Yuriev, Tambov  province), she was a passionate lover of borzois and a great horsewoman; together with neighbours, G.E. Delvig, and A.P. Liharev, she took part in hunting with hounds.

Baroness Korff had a kennel of English Setters ("Hi-life") and became at the beginning of the 20 century among the first of the kennels of Russia.

Nina Aleksandrovna met Konstantin Vladimirovich Sumarokov and married him. He was the leader of nobility in the Mensk district, living at his estate in Aljabevo. He was a passionate hunter, had a flock of Anglo-Russian harriers and many borzois. He repeatedly judged borzois at dog shows.

 Pospekh, Ahid and Yasva

After settling in Aljabevo, Nina Korff-Sumarokova achieved remarkable results in the field and at shows. The borzois of Aljabevo won sevaral prizes in the years before the Revolution. On the regular exhibition by the Imperial Hunting society in December 1910 in Moscow, seven borzois owned by Korff-Sumarokova were exhibited. Pospěkh was awarded the Grand silver medal, and Pospěkh, Ahed and Yazva won a gold medal in the svora class.


Littermate  of Pospěkh and Ahid, Lubka  (Sumarokov), won in 1910 1st prize at  Coursing in Perchino and on the XIII exhibition in Moscow hunting society gained a large silver medal.

In 1911, Korff-Sumarokova exported three dogs, Pospěkh, Ahid and Yazva, and in 1913 Ataman to France. Later Lebed and Lebedka were exported to Germany. All of these dogs were widely used in Europe as stud dogs.

Ataman - sent from Russia to France

The fate of Nina Alexandrovna is characteristic for the "former" nobility. In 1923, she was arrested and spent three years in the Orenburg prison. She was released in 1926 but arrested again in 1928 as a participant of "monarchical organization". She was sentenced to 2 years of banishment and sent back to Orenburg.

  Lyubim and Radost

In 1930, she returned to Leningrad and worked as a livestock specialist at the racetrack for dogs. In the spring of 1935 she and her husband were sent to Irgiz in the Aktyubinsk region for 3 years.

In 1946, she judged the borzois at the XVI exhibition. Galina Zotova said about Nina Alexandrovna Sumarokova: "She was a gorgeous specialist and connoisseur of dogs who during her lifetime had seen and judged a considerable number of dogs. Even before the war, she judged in Leningrad and Moscow. I saw her for the first time in postwar exhibitions in Moscow. She was strict, rather silent. examined the dogs, shook her head and sat down to write. A strict and thorough examination, especially by a woman judge was not always appreciated".

We have no records on when her husband, Konstantin Sumarokov died but when Nina Alexandrovna passed away in 1947, after the Tambov Oblast exhibition, she was alone.


The Borzoi section of the Leningrad Dog Society was formed in 1926. The founders were A. Mezencev, K. Matvejev and E. Dezor.

Ch Tiranka (Tchaus - Getera)

A number of borzoi of the Gatchina imperial hunt was rediscovered at that time. From the same litter were: Tchaus (Maler), Tchvan (Mezencev), Tchara (Matvejev) and Tchaika (Dezor) by Vampir (Gatchina) out of Tchaika (Gatchina), along with a litter from Ukhod [[(Leningrad Zoo) out of Tchaika (Dezor).

Ukhod and Tchaika were in the Leningrad Zoo, on exhibition as a reminder of the "regime of the Tzar". Both were confirmed by G. Kartsov to have been bred at Gatchina. Tchaika was purchased by E. Dezor.

The mating of Ch Sipai to Divna (Dezor) produced Armavir (Divenski), a much used stud dog in the Leningrad area and later in Saratov, as well.

Tiranka 2
Ch Tiranka II (Tchvan - Getera)

The influence Ch Sipai  and Ch Blistai through their offspring has had on the breed which can hardly be overrated, and can be found in pedigrees of even today's borzois.

Ch Sipai and Ch Migai and the son of Sipai, Armavir Divenski, produced many good borzois. In the years between the wars it was considered that the best borzoi in all the union were in Leningrad.

The descendants from these borzois also had a great impact on breeding in the Saratov region and in Moscow. At one time, a borzoi could hardly be found that did not have dogs from the Leningrad club several times in their pedigree.

Ch Migai (Sipai - Ledi)












Kapriza Divenskaja (Armavir - Lada)












The Borzoi section on Parade in Leningrad 1972. 














Borzoi photos from Barbara Liesegangs book "Ahnentafeln aus Russland 1927-1984"


In Defense of the Russian Borzoi, 1928

Nikolai Nikolaevich Tchelicheff

Excerpt from the Permanent Special Commission for promoting development of pure bred dogs. In the report the Commission proposed, in view of the insignificance, it is limited solely to maintain breeds threatened with extinction: the borzoi and the Gordon setter.

The proposal of the Sub-Commission was unanimous.

In fact, private hunters can do nothing now to maintain the fading borzoi breed. This becomes understandable if we imagine the conditions needed for raising puppies of this breed. Their upbringing should be in full freedom and in a very spacious plot of land. Usually during the summer, days can be very hot, with the flies bothering puppies. From the heat and flies they should have access to a shady and cool place. In the afternoon or in the early morning, when the heat is not so high there must be space to play and exercise. When allowed to run, catching up with and surpassing one another, they can develop their very best qualities, playfulness and resourcefulness.

Therefore, it’s not enough to have fun and run in a small relatively normal size space in the courtyard of a Town House. When the borzoi becomes 4 months they require for their development a large, free area. Otherwise, if they start playing and scampering, they risk kicks, bumps, breaking legs, or simply running into corners of the building or any other obstruction. These conditions cannot create hunting borzoi and should, for that matter, not join a hunting organization.

That's why I sincerely welcome the proposal by the Sub-Commission.

The Russian national breed, the borzoi, should be rescued and supported. This can only be done properly when hunting organizations, breeders/keepers can provide the means to meet the demanding conditions of raising borzoi puppies. After all, this is the most beautiful and at the same time, the most noble breed of dog in the world.

This must be accepted by all hunters. Today at exhibitions for borzoi you can always see the exhibitors and visitors but not so many hunters.

It is a shame for us, the Russian hunters, that last year at one of the shows in England was shown 240 Russian Borzoi, while we at the same time at an all-Union exhibition exhibited only 6 pure bred borzoi.

I know that sometimes the life of the borzoi was not spared for the benefit of man, the dog gained many enemies seeking to destroy it, but I also know that a large number will not let the breed be destroyed.

We should finally understand that the destruction of this breed, conscious or unconscious, is the destruction of one of the great benefits of the Russian soul and economy.

Russians, save the Borzoi, please!

Nikolai Nikolaevich Tchelicheff

Famous breeder and hunter in Russia before the revolution!

From this letter we can understand that Nikolai Tchelicheff, the former landowner from the Tzar's Russia, was much in favor of the creation of hunting stations with professional people to attend to them, especially with puppy raising and training.This system had quite a few elements in common with the system he was accustomed to, even if it could not be at the same scale as in the "old days".

Nikolai grew up on the family estate as one of five brothers, the others where, Dmitri, Viktor, Alexander and Alex. The family was well known among hunters since the early 1800 and was active until the revolution put a stop.

One of the brothers, Victor fled to the west in 1918 and ended up in the USA. He wrote books of his memories from growing up on the estate and described both social meetings and hunt parties where some well known borzoi hunters like V Bibikoff, I Sorotkin, A M Geyer, M Majorov, F P Beresniki, S V Ozerov and more came to the estate!.

Serdetscjhny (Tchelicheff)

Nikolai Tchelicheff bred borzoi from the best bloodlines and exported dogs to the west, one was the famous Serdetchnyi sold to G van Muylem in Belgium. 


Nikolai stayed in Russia and continued to work for breeding of pure bred dogs, especially the borzoi. He did much to help the breed to survive during the difficult years after the revolution and the first World War.



Melanie Richards posted the Russian text a while back, and I've completed the translation of that chapter and my wife Catherine Shilov finished the editing, Dmitri Shilov!


The content or part of the content in the article has been questioned but it can't be denied that Nikolai Chelichtsev had seen some of the dogs he describes!

Some notes: The full Russian word for 'Borzoi' is "Русская псовая борзая". Transliterated, this reads as “Russkaya psovaya borzaya” which translates to "Russian furred sighthound." The distinction made about furred (псовая 'psovaya') and thick-furred (густопсовоя 'gustopsovaya') will become apparent in the article, as well as how the breed eventually came to be known simply as the Russian furred sighthound.

Nikolai Chelichtsev

Some of the sentences tend to “run” as we erred on the side of staying truer to the original text. Certain edits were made where the phrasing was unclear.

A translation from “Hunter’s Library: Russian Borzoi - The Rearing of and Hunting with” by N. N. Chelischev - Part 1, Chapter 2: 'Main Types of the Russian Furred Sighthound'

Until the sixties of the last century, there were, in fact, two breeds of Russian sighthound: one of them was called the "thick-furred", and the other "furred". (In Russian, borzoi as a word just means sighthound, the defining word for the breed is “псовой”, originating from the distinct and wavy coat of the Borzoi.) The difference between them was not only in the density of the fur, but in the whole exterior and even somewhat in the behavioural qualities.

Thick-furred borzoi, in addition to the thickness and length of the fur, possessed enormous size - up to 85 cm at the shoulders, a wide mid-arch, bony legs, strongly developed muscles on the shoulders, back and, especially, hind legs and in general gave an impression of a massive and somewhat heavy dog; accordingly, the dog had a wider head, with the same wide, compact, straight and long muzzle, i.e. part of the head from the eyes to the nose. The eyes of these dogs were always agate-black, large, on the roll out (bulging), and the ears were small, angular and almost constantly kept the erect and forward-facing in an excited state, but in the relaxed state they were laid on the back of the head. The type of such a dog is superbly conveyed by Vysheslavtsev in the drawing of the famous thick-furred borzoi of his hunt – “Удал”, once placed on the pages of "Nature and the Hunt."

As for the second type, i.e. furred dogs, they possess a less dense and shorter fur compared to thick-furred Borzoi. They also differed from them in the following: smaller height, lighter bones and legs, as well as their bones, respectively, were less rich in musculature. The heads of furred dogs were narrow and long, even tending to sharpness (excessive thinness at the end of the muzzle); eyes black or dark hazel, ears small, located on the back of the head. The ears, however, even when the dog was excited, were rarely completely upright . The ears usually only became somewhat raised, with the ends of them wrapped or forward to the head or to the side. We must also add that both breeds also differed in the neck. While the thick-furred’s neck was short and the head on it was completely horizontal, in a furred dog the neck was bent in the form of a sloping arc and the head on it was correspondingly with a sloping downwards muzzle. In addition to these differences, thick-furred and furred dogs differed from each other in color. The thick-furred dogs have always been of different colors, ranging from pure white to black. (No further clarification is made about this statement in the text)

These are the external qualities of the two breeds of the Russian borzoi in which they differed.

As for their inner qualities, it can be said that there was no particularly serious difference between them, but there was only one difference in the use of force. While the thick-furred hound was frisky and quick at a short distance, or, as they say, “short-circuited”, the furred hound endured longer distances and could chase the prey for a longer time. Again, this is due to the peculiarities of the area where each of these breeds was used.

The thick-furred hound was common in more northern wooded areas, so it had to catch in shorter fields and even clearings (narrow open space between forest edges) and glades where lightning fast speed and lunging are needed, as the beast quickly disappeared from sight, jumping over short open space. The furred hound was common in more Southern areas, where a longer chase was needed to catch prey. The prey could have been in sight and followed for a longer time.

Adapting to the locality in its desire to catch the beast, the thick-furred hound obviously had to immediately give all its strength, but the furred hound, on the contrary, could save it.

Thus, it must be said that both breeds did not have a big difference in strength and only spent it with different intensity, and therefore would last for more or less time. It is impossible, however, to say that the thick-furred dog could not catch in the fields, and the furred hound - on the glade or clearing, and therefore both of these breeds had their admirers both among northern hunters and among more southern ones.

It was so until the sixties (1860) of the last century, when Borzoi hunting in most cases ceased. Borzoi dogs survived here and there almost single instances, and it was impossible to even think about breeding this breed in its pure form. Since that time, the mixing of both above-mentioned breeds begins. When the "Society for the Reproduction of Hunting and Commercial Animals and Proper Hunting" established in Moscow in 1873 organized its first exhibition, the hunters who came to it had to admit a complete mixture of both breeds, not to mention intermixing with English and Southern breeds. In the press and at the assemblies between the hunters, the controversy about the exterior of the thick-furred and furred borzoi was raised, and all this resulted in the development of a single common standard for the exterior of the furred borzoi, and the name thick-furred was rejected.

Since the foundation of the above society, the intensive activity of hunters to restore the breed of sighthound dogs begins, and from that time, calling them only furred borzoi (“псовой борзой”), hunters from the remnants of the breed dogs begin to create their types, similar to the common features of the breed exterior, but differing in details. These details were determined by the taste of each individual dog owner, but in general, the discrepancy was expressed by the proximity of one type of dog to the thick-furred, and the other to the furred.

It is necessary to give full credit to many hunters in that they spared no effort and showed a lot of energy in this direction, and their persistent aspirations ended in complete success. The Russian hunting sighthound (Borzoi) has again reached extraordinary beauty with beautiful field presence.

In central Russia by the time of 1917, seven basic types of hound dogs thus arose:

1. Pershinskie
2. Ozerovskie
3. Boldyrevskie
4. Chelischevsky
5. Sumarokovskie
6. Geyerovskie and
7. Bibikovskie.

The distinctive features of these types are as follows:

1) **Pershinskie dogs ** represented in themselves the best blood of old borzoi and were divided into two groups: dark-coloured and light-colored. 

Bistri Perchino

The first ones had a narrow, sunken head, with a small crook toward the end of the muzzle, dark, bulging eyes, ears high and correctly placed on the back of the head. Height - from 70 to 80 cm. Fur was quite thick, soft and wavy, but not in curls. The tail was thin, and sickle shaped. In appearance, they were light dogs, did not have excess bone mass and generally more closely approached the type of the antique furred breed. In the field they were predominantly frisky, but they possessed mediocre malice (Translator note: “malice” or “злобa” in Russian when used with regards to the Borzoi is a very special term referring to the breeds innate desire to attack wolves).

As for the second group, i.e. dogs of light color, they differed from the first mainly by the head, which was also long and sunken, but the muzzle was almost always straight. Height was the same. Fur mostly curled. The tail was the same. In appearance, these dogs were initially more bony and larger, so that they were closer to the dense-furred type. However, in the subsequent pursuit of exceptional agility, Perchino hunting house (the place where these dogs were bred) greatly reduced the size of these dogs. At the end of their existence Pershinskie dogs acquired a very lightweight form bordering on thinness. Both the light-colored and dark-colored dogs were used in the hunting field in similar capacity.

Those who wish to compose a more accurate concept of *Pershinskie* we recommend the book by D.P. Valtsova about Pershinskaya hunting.

2) ** Ozerovskie dogs ** - quite tall, although they rarely reached 75 cm in males and 70 cm in bitches.

Ataman (Ozerov)

Color was pure white, or white with fawn and gray spotting. The fur was very thick, but not particularly long, forming curls, but was not wavy. A particularly characteristic feature of this breed was a Roman nose and the sloping of the forehead towards the back, so that the head seemed to be arched from both sides, i.e. to the nose and to the nape. The eyes of these dogs are black, bulging, very open, with visible blood vessels in the whites, or, as they say, "on the blood." The ears are thin and small and, although slightly lower set, but tightly drawn to the head and mobile. The tail for the most part was sickle-shaped, thin, with a long, wavy fur. These dogs were very rich in bone and wide in the rear and back. In the field they were frisky, strong and with malice, but without the tendency to lunge.
The blood of Ozerovskie dogs, when bred into other bloodlines, especially ennobled the appearance of the dog.

3) ** Boldyrev dogs ** - medium height: males - 72-75 cm, females - 70-72 cm.

Lebedka (Boldareff)

The color is predominantly white, with fawn and red spots. Fur - medium density, long, in a large curl. The eyes are the same as those of the Ozerskys, but the head is straight and only sometimes with a small bump towards the nose. The ears are thin and small, quite mobile, but not always rising all the way up, and for the most part, when the dog is excited, bends to the sides with their ends. The tail is proper. The bones of these dogs were thinner than the Ozerovskie, and they had a light appearance. In the field they were frisky and with a tendency to lunge, but they did not stand out in their malice.

4) ** Chelischevsky dogs ** - the tallest of all types of borzoi: males - up to 80 cm, and females - up to 75. Color - fawn in silver, red-fawn, and white with fawn in silver and red spotting, rarely black-spotted on gray. The silver speckling on the fawn, and sometimes red-fawn fur was due to the fact that these colors of the fur turned almost white at the ends. For the density and length of the fur, these dogs had no equal. The head was long, straight, with a dense and wide muzzle, sometimes with a small bump towards the nose. The eyes are the same as those of the Ozersky dogs.

Serdetchnyi (Tchelicheff)

A special distinguishing feature of this type of dog was the ears - small, thin, completely sharp and located above the level of the eyes. When the dog was in an excited state, they rose up and forward, squeezing together so tightly that it was like a triangle, while in a calm state the dog’s ears lay on the back of the head, crossing between themselves in the form of scissors. The neck of these dogs was short, dressed with dog fur like a hand warmer or muff. The tail is proper, sickle-shaped, with long, wavy fur below and curls above starting from the base of the tail and to approximately half-way down the length, then changing into a wavy fur. The bone and the whole body are voluminous, giving the impression, at first glance, of massiveness and heaviness. However, in the field these dogs were very frisky, with a huge lunge, completely impassable and malicious. This breed is the oldest.

5) ** Sumarokovsky dogs ** - also very tall, from very old breeds - Kareevskih, and have kept the qualities of these dogs and are almost their last representatives. Males reach 80 cm in height, and females up to 75. Color - white, with fawn and red-fawn spots. The fur, although inferior in density to Chelishchevsky, is still very thick, in large curls. The head is long, straight, with a dense and wide muzzle and with a hump at the nose. 

Lyubim (Sumarokoff)

An excellent quality of this type of dogs were somewhat luminous eyes, a certain pinkiness of the eyelids, pinkish lips and nose. The ears are thin, small and tightly drawn to the head, but never raised up and forward, but only raised up, and the ends of the ears were turned to the side. The tail is proper, but not sickle-shaped, but in the form of a saber, i.e. shallow-curved. The bone and the body can be called strong, but sometimes there is a superiority in the development of the front, and the rear was somewhat narrower. I didn’t see these dogs in the field, but, according to many hunters who traveled with them, they were frisky and especially malicious.

6) ** Geyerovskie dogs ** were descendants from the dogs of the old and famous hunter - P.A. Bereznikov. They were small in stature: males - up to 72 cm, females - up to 65. Color - black with red tan and dark red, sometimes with gray hair. In the dark-red dogs, the muzzle, starting from the eyes, was black. The density of fur on these dogs did not stand out, and the fur was rough to the touch. The head is straight, but not particularly long, with a hump towards the nose, and the nose itself has a certain tendency toward sharpness.

A distinctive feature of this type were yellow eyes, which made an unpleasant impression on the background of black color. Ears - rather low, although tightly drawn to the head. In an excited state, these dogs somehow would lift the entire skin on the nape together with the ears and formed a kind of hood over their heads. When proper, the tails of these dogs also did not stand out, but the tails were sometimes tilted to one side. They have recently become impoverished in bone and body due to the fact that this breed has been bred exclusively to itself, and for a very long time has not been refreshed with the blood of other breeds. In the field, these dogs were not frisky, but they were malicious. When taking the wolf (and it must be said that they all took by the throat), they froze on it, closed their eyes and pressed their front legs under themselves. It was very difficult to tear them away from the wolf. In malice, not a single breed could compare with these dogs.

7) ** Bibikov dogs ** were especially common among hunters in the Tula province and were based on the lines of the dogs of the very famous hunter of the Tver province - Nazimov. These dogs were shorter in stature and even small: males - 70 cm, and females - 65 and even smaller. They came in any color except black. The black never came out from these dogs. Fur was also varied, up to being hard, standing like a brush, and in general it was very rough to the touch and not thick. The head did not have a certain type and was for the most part crude. The eyes are small and of different shades, although I did not notice light eyes. The ears were very diverse in the setting and movement. In bone and body these dogs were quite strong. In general, about this breed, we can say that in appearance it was very unattractive, but in its field qualities it was very much appreciated by the hunters of the Tula province, outside of which, it seemed, it was not exported. In the field, these dogs were frisky and especially malicious.

This was a brief description of those types of borzoi that existed as basic ones before 1917.

It can be said that there were many dogs to work with, the achievements of individual hunters were enormous, and at that time the Russian furred sighthound stood at such a peak that it could not be surpassed by any foreign breeds. Currently, there are still some instances of these types. Under appropriate conditions, the restoration of the breed of Russian furred sighthounds is quite possible.

Translated by Dmitri and Cathrine Shilov



From an exhibition in the Volgograd district 1969. On the left, Yakov Nevezhin with Razboi (Nevezhin) and M A Lubimenko in the middle!

The revolution drastically decimated the number of borzois in Russia but dogs did survive. Some in the hands of dedicated people in Leningrad and in Moscow, others in the hands of local hunters in remote and rural areas of the vast land outside the large cities. Even the state subsidized breeding stations played a role in preserving the breed, especially in the years after the second world war. (Esmont)

The restoration of the Russian borzoi depended on many factors as mentioned above. Of great importance is the fact that a number of descendants from earlier exported borzoi to the west, Europe and America came back to Russia after WW2.

This is how that happened: one man, or rather one family, the brothers Nevezhin, Ivan, Feodor, Yakov, Alexey and Alexander, played an important role. They were born and raised on a farm in former Saratov, now Volgograd district, where hunting was a tradition and part of daily life among the farmers. Since ancient times the area had been known for hunting and hunting dogs.

The old time hunters would be surprised and happy to know that, in spite of what happened during the revolution and after, the incomparable Russian borzoi had not disappeared from the district or from the land.

The whole thing started in the mid-30s when Ivan and Fjodor got acquainted with two of the last surviving pre-revolutionary borzoi hunters, Nikolai Nikolaevich Tchelicheff and Vsevold Savvichem Mamontov and learned much from these two men!

Ivan Nevezhin  to the left with Nikolai N Tchelicheff in the Centre and Fjodor Nevezhin to the right

Ivan studied in Moscow and became a pilot, while Fjodor worked in the defense industry in Sokolniki. It was there the first Nevezhin borzoi appeared, bred from dogs from the Moscow hunting club. Some might have opinions on the exterior of these dogs, but they were considered among the best in the whole country in the years before the war.

Laska II
Laska II (Nevezhin) of old "pre war" bloodlines.

The war took its toll on the family, Alexander and Alexei both died and Yacob lost a hand. Ivan, the pilot, became a captain and was awarded three Orders for his role in the war.

After the war, Ivan continued service under the command of the famous polar aviator, one of the heroes of the Soviet Union, Colonel-General Mikhail Mikhailovich Gromov, who in 1946 became Commander of Long-range aviation. Today, few people know that Mikhail Mikhailovich was also an avid borzoi lover, for a while head at the Borzoi section of Moscow society of hunters and it was the same man who purchased Femina Quick Molodjez from Germany!

Femina Quick Molodjez (Sue Vasick)

Femina was shown to the best-known borzoi judge in the country then, Nina Alexandrovna Sumarokoff. Unfortunately, Femina only produced two litters for the Moscow hunt club. From the two litters, only three pups survived but both Gordie (MO) and Derzai (Teplekhova) bred on!

Later in 1947 Ivan Nevezhin brought in no less than six borzoi, the siblings, Hummel and Hermelin von der Alck, bred by Mrs Claire Alcke in Germany from Gotz vom Silberhof out of Jamba vom Silberhof. At the same time four one year old puppies came but in a tragic accident, the pups where all killed at the railway station.

Hummel von der Alcke was renamed Golubka 94/b and Hermelin von der Alck was renamed Oriel 95/b. Unfortunately Hummel/Golubka did not leave prodgeny.

 Hermelin von der Alck / Orel 95/b (Sue Vasick)

Even if accidents happened, the influence of these dogs, especially Hermelin, had on the breed in Russia can not be overestimated. Today there can hardly be found a dog in Russia where Hermelin von der Alck does not appear at least once!

Ivan Nevezhin and his wife Nina moved to Volgograd, the district Ivan came from. Together with friend Nikita Demin they engaged in the borzoi section of the hunting society and Ivan was for nearly thirty years chairman of the section.

Ivan continued to breed, hunt and exhibit borzoi. In the 1970s he was nationally recognized as an expert on the borzoi.

After retiring as a pilot, Major Ivan Nevezhin engaged in local society and worked as a caretaker for the blind!

The brother who lost a hand during the War, Yacob Nevezhin, also engaged in the borzoi and continued to breed into the 1970s.

Rassvet & Radost with Fjodor Nevezhin in 1957

It is obvious that these people, Gromov, Nevezhin, Demin, Lubimenko and the others in the group felt it very urgent to get back some of the old bloodlines being exported to the west before the revolution.

They had the opportunity when WW 2 ended and some borzoi kennels were in the eastern sector!

A number of borzoi were sent back to Russia, Femina Quick was one, Hermelin another. In 1963 Amur von der Kaiserpfalz was brought in and became a very important dog in the Volgograd region and in the whole of Russia!

These borzoi so relatively close related to the very best prewar Russian hounds made a great impact on the breed in Russia! The quality is obvious in the pictures shown in this article!


M A Lubimenko, Yakov Nevezhin and A C Gorbanov taking a rest with their borzois.





Amur von der Kaiserpfalz (























Chaika (Lubimenko)






Razboi (Nevezhin) 1964 with owner Yakov (Nevezhin)

From Ivan Nevezhin memories:

“Razboi has had a very big impact on improving the Borzoi in the Volgograd region and in Russia. He was at least four times mated to Shturma (Lubimenko). This lovely pair produced many dogs with excellent exterior and working qualities.

I'll mention the daughter of Razboi and Shturma, Reida (Lubimenko), who in her first hunting season received the diploma of the First degree.

I will also mention a son of Reida and grandson of Razboi, Poljot (Lubimenko), who single-handedly takes hares and foxes in field trials. He also has a diploma of the First degree for beauty.

Another daughter of the same Razboi and Shturma , Shturma (Sinelnikov), (younger sister of Reida), at the regional competitions in October 1971 hunted a hare for 300 meters and alone managed to take him out for a diploma of the First grade with 90 points and became the champion of the competition.”


Research by Andrus Kozlov

Translation by Andrus Kozlov and Elena Gerasimova

Original article by A Obolensky

Pictures by Sue Vasick


Anna Leffler Collection




Notes regarding Borzoi in Russia in the period 1940 to 1950!

In the 1940s, just as the second WW had ended, a Soviet soldier, Constantin Esmont made detailed records of the various types of borzoi he found in Cossack villages in the south of Russia.

Esmont at work
Esmont at work on a field trial

His job was to visit horse farms and to select horses for the army. Because of this he traveled much in the steppe regions of Southern Russia and he saw a lot of local sighthounds.

Gathering before examination.

Esmont was concerned that the distinct types of sighthounds were in danger of degenerating without a controlled system of breeding. He convinced the Soviet government that borzois were an asset to the hunters who supported the fur industry and henceforth, their breeding became officially regulated.

Constantin Esmont examining Borzois, 1946

Then, (1940-1950) short haired borzoi were highly valued hunting dogs on the steppes, while the long-haired borzoi, was going through a hard period of restoration of its working qualities after decades of shadow, mainly show existence.

On his business trips he observed some dogs that looked like the Chortaj sighthounds with floppy ears that were once common in the mountain regions. As a child Esmont had seen a lot of Crimean and Gorski borzois in the Caucassaus, so was familiar with the type.

He also saw a lot of dogs that looked like hybrids of different sighthounds and also some specimen of questionable origin.

Local hunters

Using the information he received, Esmont worked out Standards for Chortajs and Stepnojs (the sighthound with floppy ears), it was formed out of old time Crimean and Gorski sighthounds).

Constantin Esmont performed a tremendous amount of work to promote Russian hunting sighthounds and he was the author of the first official Chortaj standard which was adopted in 1951.

A hound of Chortai type

Some of the typical dogs were photographed. The work was very difficult because these regions were completely uncivilized then, bad roads, no telephone.

In spite of all the obstacles, Constantin Esmont performed a tremendous amount of work to promote Russian hunting sighthounds. 

Hunting with sighthounds was a part of local tradition, most farmers kept one or two sighthounds to help provide for the family. These dogs most probably were descendants of dogs from the large hunting kennels abandoned after the revolution. The farmers used the dogs to provide food, catching hares and killing of foxes.

There were also the hunters that hunted for fur. Their demands on the dogs was higher and also of higher value to the community and the state,

Being a sighthound judge he never approved of the local hunters' practice to breed only according to working qualities not considering the  type or sometimes even breed.

Waiting to be examined

He was concerned that the distinct types of borzaya were in danger of degenerating without a controlled system of breeding. He convinced the Soviet government that borzois were a valuable asset to the hunters who supported the fur industry and henceforth, the breeding of borzoi was officially regulated.

At the National Hunting Committee he lobbied to forbid to hunt using dogs with no papers. In this way the local hunters were forced to breed purebred dogs.

Constantin Esmont and his colleague A.M. Lerkhe helped organize and judged at a lot of local shows and field trials where they observed, measured and wrote critiques of almost 700 sighthounds.

Chamba received 5 points for breed and 5 points for fitness.

The dogs Esmont and his colleague examined were awarded points for breed type and fitness. 










More information on Esmont and Lerche Here 



Russian expert and breeder Inna Estrina

Probably, not in any other breed of dogs, exist so many colors and shades of coat, as in the russian psovy borzoi. And how many mistakes were made in this regard? Sometimes this problem appears because people did not know what color is typical for the russian psovy borzoi and what is not typical.

Not so long ago, in a Czech atlas of dogs, Naimanova-Gumpal has written that white&black colors of borzois are not desirable, that black, black&tan colors of borzois are not desirable, that black, black and tan colour, is not typical for the russian psovy borzoi,

Just before the revolution two brothers B. and D. Sheremetev and A.Boldarev emigrated to France. They were the first, who published the standard on Russian psovy borzoi overseas. They indicated that the light color is the preferred color for russian psovy borzois. That was exactly the color, which they had in their own kennels. For many people, who loved this breed in other countries, the brothers Sheremetev and A.Boldarev were the largest specialists of this breed and everything these breeders of borzois wrote was accepted as the truth.

In our present days, we still have many foreign borzoi owners, breeders and judges, who believe that this first standard, written by these three borzoi breeders from Russia is right

I pertain with big respect to all borzoi owners, who have been able to keep a love in their heart for this breed, in spite of all life’s difficulties, which was with them in those times. But, event so, I want to tell something about the color of russian borzois and what was written by these old breeders many years ago in Russia.

Unless consider von Lessing, Reut and someone else who has done descriptions of borzoi dogs before the year 1880, one of the first standards was written by Dmitri Waltzov in 1882. This description was published in the journal. The article was called "On the new psovy dog". In this article he wrote, that borzoi’s coat can have colours from black through all shades to white, soft, silky wavy in places, or in large waves.

S.Ozerov, one of the biggest borzoi breeders wrote: ”that it is impossible to breed dogs on one colour only. That borzois of all colours, which have borzois with a large number of different colours in their pedigree, with good exterior and with exclusive hunting quality - are always preferred before a breeder, who breeds for one colour only.

If we have own suggestions on the variety of the colour of Russian psovy borzoi on comments of authorities of 19 century, it will be sufficiently difficult to orientate.

This suggestions are sufficiently inconsistent, but necessary distinctly to clearly understand, that it was in the middle of 19th century, that someone of them could not otherwise come off from the type of russian borzoi, which had no blood of krimian borzois (krimka) and mountain’s borzois (gorka) too.

As well as many from them, could not get away from the type and the color of borzoi, which they had beside them in their hunts. So it is necessary was confirm that exactly this color is unique and desirable.

It was naturally therefore that they liked the color of their own borzois or, as they supposed, that this was the most characteristic for the old type of russian borzoi.

But there were such people as D.Valtzov, S. Ozerov, A.Korsh, N.Kishensky who knew and understood, that the type of russian psovy borzoi will be firm only then, when all melange of borzoi which were added to the breed, definitively will be one type in one breed of russian psovy borzoi.

At that time, the influx of the different types of “krimka” and “gorka” was sufficiently big. Very many breeders and keepers of the russian type of borzois, added the blood of these borzoi to their own dogs. Herewith they wanted to get good working qualities in their borzois. Many of them not too bothered about exterior of their own dogs.

Hereinafter, in 1888, N. Ermolov has published his article "The typical charactertistics of borzoi’s dogs", which was officially recognized by the standard and acted on for the following 30 years.

N.Ermolov has described what he prefers as an owner of russian borzoi. So he has written, that "colors of borzois very varied now, and for the matter of that it is impossible be very strict, but the most distinctive, typical colors should be acknowledged grey and polovy (color of straw), and a mix of these colors - grey-polovy, and piebald from them". N.Kishensky, who is author of the book "The experience of the genealogy of dogs" sufficiently in detail concerns himself with the problems of the color of russian psovy borzoi.

He wrote, that in the brilliant epoch of psovy hunts, majority of russian psovy huntsmans particularly value grey, grey-piebald and the white color in their own psovy borzois.

So, nearly all huntsmans tended to have the dogs of these color. This huntsmans conduct their own work with breed very separate, which was possible in enourmous hunting kennels of that time. All large huntsmans managed installation of the loved colors. However, all of these huntsmans were proud that they had dogs of only one color in their own hunts. They escalated hid a birth of puppies of different colors.

There was not the possibility to caught these fanatics of the one color on these facts. Sometimes, as a rule accidentally, these secrets has opened. But, as it were those nor was in that time, enormous hunting kennels has consisted of one-colors - gray and gray-piebald of borzois.

N.Kishensky wrote hereinafter, that the psovy hunt have begun to shortened with the time. Has begun the join of the producers from different hunts that has brought to legalize of different of part of borzois, so named, the undesirable colors of russian psovy borzoi.

Though, herewith, the large breeders and refer on that, that producers from other hunts were not thoroughbred. I.e. were a joining the sighthounds of different breeds . In own study of borzoi’s colors N.Kishensky describes an event, which has come with of known borzoi’s breeder from Saratov Kiselev at 60 years 19 centery.

He was breeding his borsois in purity, in his home therte always was borzois, which was white and white with grey ears. Once upon a time, he got as a gift from his uncle, squire D.Panutin, borzoi’s female "Zavidka", who was white with gray ears. She was thoroughbred female. This could be confirmed by an uncle of Kiselev and Kiselev himself.

What is interesting in this case? But interesting in this case is that… When Kiselev has connected this "Zavidka" with his own white dogs, in each of litters were red puppies with black mask, as well as several times grey without spots.

And one more event brings this author, so one owner of borzoi hunt has mated his white female with borzoi’s male “Lubezny-1” of known breeder Kirievsky. In this litter he has got two from six puppies of dark red color with the dark mask and hind legs, but in second litter– murugi (dark red with blackness on all body). Moreover, as told borzoi’s breeder from Riazan, these dogs turned out to be very fast.

Also N.Kishensky writes, that sufficiently often has awaked commercialism of owner. And does not happen to learn the truth, what kind of borzoi color were born in what kennels. Many carefully have hidden, but many simply were deleted. One more owner of the large hunt spoke to his friend that: "When I have puppies from the twenty females, so I can select all of gray piebald svora (three borzois, which one of which another sex); from hundreds of puppies I can select gray piebald with similar markings".

But one more very old owner of enormous hunt, very experienced huntsman said: "Disbelieve, father my, all of this stories about one colors at the dogs breeds: a wolfs and that has different colors, they can be grey, can be and nearly black and light-red".

Hereinafter he spoke that and he had red puppies, red puppies with black mask, murugi (dark red with blackness on all body), yes and no, no was born and black. But they killed such puppies, that support the myth about "one color kennels". L.Sabaneev, who was the most known author of disquisitions about hunting dogs wrote: "The most typical color at all psovy nearly are unanimously considered gray and polovy (color of straw) with all their tones before purely white and light red, so-called blue and grey burmatny (when grey or nearly black color inhere overhand and if look inside to skin, You see very light polovy or white coat), as well as piebald these colors.

He wrote, that prevalence of these color serves one of the deep proof of origins of the russian borzois from northern dogs, which look like wolves.

Red and brindle color is characteristic of english greyhound and somewhat of the polish hurt. Black, grey piebald, as well as the murugy color is characteristic of the east borzois, moreover a black mask are meets at “gorka” more often, a tan always indicate on admixture of “krimka”.

Thoroughbred borzois, wrote L.Sabaneev, must not have nor the black mask, nor the tan. That even the white color is not characteristic for them, since is the sign of albinism and to bring to the degeneration.

All borzoi’s breeder in all the world known that L.Sabaneev is the big connoisseur of the hunt and the hunting dogs. But he lived in the 19 centery.

In those times the breed of borzoi was in stage of development. We had not such uniformity in the breed as now. Exactly so, either as many of others, L. Sabaneev prefered a type of russian borzoi, which was considered sufficiently ancient.

He did not take into account what already in those years has occurred an essential mix of the blood of borzois, which existed in that years, with not only «krimka» and «gorka», but and with north dogs which look like wolf, with the north dogs, which look like «laika», which have, by the way black and black-piebald colors too.

When L.Sabaneev wrote his book the intensive mix of the blood of “gorka” and “krimka” with the psovy borzois was going on. The known borzoi’s breeder Piotr Mihailovich Machevarianov wrote in introduction to his book: “absurd items, placed in hunting journals and wild, fantastic manuals about the psovy hunt, published by personalities, who have no idea - forced me to consent on the request of my hunting friend and dare to publish my notes about all, which concern to psovy a hunt, with interpretations of thir rules, which had our ancestor, and that terminology, which used by them and which our grandparents and fathers was transferred for us in own tales and manuscripts.

Certainly, my notes will not like self-styled huntsmans. But neighborly, honest labor, reference to known old-time hunting authorities in Russia, the facts, which is proof in my note, assuredly, will find much supporters for me, as in old huntsmen, who their lives conservatively in some wilderness - so and in impartial young".

Machevarianov wrote "The psovina (russian name of borzoi’s coat) common psovy dogs can be of different colors, as follows: white, black, grey, black&tan, gray&tan, light-polovy (color of light straw), polovy, red, red with black mask, murugy, burmatny, dark-burmatny, black-brindle, red-brindle, grey-brindle, grey-polovy and all defined color - piebald". He wrote that the tan is identified bright red coat beside black dogs and at the grey - on the head, on brows, on cheeks, on bosoms and on extremities of legs.

But hereinafter it deciphers majority of tones and colors on which writes: “I do not describe with all detail of all tones of coat, as, for instance polovy ( straw-color). Color begins from the color of spring olive, which moves over to the color of koffe&cream and gradually gets to red (of course nor like rust and nor like bacon, but like the red or like red-golden). Grey color can be like ash, blye-grey and gets to dark-grey like black.

Red with mazurina – when red borzoi has black mask, Murugy- when red dogs, except the black mask, - black tips of ears, black belt on the top line and, on the whole body, on red coat is black edges of coat.

Burmatny - When, commencing from very light-polovy and revenue before bright red-polovy, coat as it were coverred by dust, which was from light grey to dark grey, nearly black, Chubary(Brindle)- when on the polovy or red or grey dog wrong heel or strip, (in type of bands or apples , as on the marble) - black or gray and which color dominates -on him and is identified color of dogs, for instance: black-chubary(brindle), grey-chubary(brindle), red-chubary(brindle). Chubary(Brindle) borzois can be: grey-polovo-chubary(brindle), red-polovo-chubary(brindle), light-grey-polovo-chubary(brindle) and many other.

Grey-polovy – when color has mix: top line more grey and the sides are polovy.

Herewith, in the description of a clean psovy dogs and a kurljandsky borzois P.Machevarianov adds, that their color such, either as of psovy.

He describes dogs of the most known breeder and owner Naumov N., which had 200-300 borzois and who was a big buddy a Earl A.Orlov.

In his hunt were a black-piebald bushy-psovy borzois “Drujok” and “Mily” with coat, which was 36,6 cm, it was so good, that which under the most slightest waft of winds flap was like an ostrich feather.

Notice, that this book not written, but only published at 1876, accordingly, was written several years earlier. I return to N.Kishensky newly, which much grieve that does not exist the total dogmas, as and the total notion about the modern psovy dog, the studies on this breed, which could be available by means of printed word only.

When he happened to speak about this with an elders of the psovy hunt, majority of them told endlessly that this nor to that "if died the present of the clean blood of the breed, if they have the mix and the regenerate in the curs, that the studies do not help to this ".

Their passion to past was too strong, they could not understand, that there would come of statement of other type, nor clean psovy and bushy psovy borzoi, which exist in their time, but united the type of russian psovy borzoi, which reached till our days, with all its colors, which so carefully hid in their time.

I think, that many of them, emphatically to defended that, what they breed all the lives, or which they had in their own hands.

But I will go back to the colors, no need to forget, what red color is even so dominant color, with all its tones. What to get the black color not so simply.

Can be, exactly so, after the revolutions, after Great war(1941), there was not a large number of borzois which had the black and black&tan colors in Russia.

Big harm, on my eyes, in understanding colors of russian borzois, inflict N.Tchelishev, which published its brochure about borzois in 20-30 years 20th century.

He wrote in it, that, the russian psovy borzoi, without doubt, must have the white, polovy, grey color and the piebald color from them.

That the black color with its variants indicate to that russian psovy borzoi is not clean breed, i.e. mestizo and has derived from melanges with “krimka”.

But this was "yesterday". Today all know, and is not a secret for the all, that modern russian psovy borzoi, with its steadfastness by the type, has in it the blood of east borzois, brudasty borzois, polish hurt, english greyhound, “krimka”, «gorka”, but accordingly all colors of data by the breeds are characteristic of russian psovy borzoi.

All of this certain mess in the colors of russian borzois, certainly, but because we had the information blockade of the Soviet Russia such a time. Because of inaccessibility of an archive material, because of paucity of a notes about the breed, which came before our days.

Because of that, that judging about the value and the defects in the breed was founded on the subjective glances of separate breeders, rather then on the documents.

Because of that that all these documents, the notes, the item and the books were not in due course translated into foreign languages, because of the iron curtain.

But the people can be mistaken, and was aberrant, some of them can obtrude their opinion, but sometimes, told that their opinion is the dogma, but at our days finally clearly determined, what the colors the russian psovy borzoi can have:

- White, white with polovy ears,

- Polovy (like straw’s color), polovo-chubary(brindle), polovo-burmatny, polovy with silver and piebald of this color, all of this color can be with mazurina (black mask),

- Burmatny (polovy with dark raid overhand), gray-burmatny, which go to black-burmatny, red-burmatny and piebald of this color,

- Red, red-polovy, red-burmatny, from light till dark red-chubary(brindle) and piebald of this color, all of this color can be with mazurina (black mask),

- Murugy (red whith black raid overhand), light murugy till dark murugy, often such color has mazurina (black mask) and piebald of this color,

- Grey (from ash color till yellow-grey), grey-polovy, grey&tan, grey&silver, from light till dark grey-chubary(brindle), grey-polovo-chubary,

- Chubary (brindle), from light till dark red-chubary, from light till dark grey –chubary, black-chubary, from light till dark grey-polovo-chubary and piebald of this color,

- Black, dlack&tan (tan will be gray, chubary(brindle), light yellow till red), black-white, black-white&tan.

- DEFECT is spots not in tone of color,

- VICE: is bright spots not in the tone of color on the body, brown color (like chocolate).

I think that, regrettably, all of this name of variety of these color are known in Russia only. And, is necessary to say, that in the other country accepted to write very abbreviated tonality in color in the dog’s pedigree.

So, for instance, white-black color (if this color with “tan”, is not indicated what “tan”- grey or red…,), if this chubary(brindle), is not indicated what chubary - grey, red or light of these tones, to say nothing of that, what such color, how polovo-grey-chubary-piebald, will be specified as it is white-chubary(brindle).

In pedigree are not indicated colors of parents and grand parents at our days, and this is very bad for the breeding. I already wrote, that and earlier breeders of borzois understood very well that each color has its own type and scale of the scatter in this type.

Once upon a time I has found letters of P.Machevarianov, in that letter he asks his friend about puppy from female, which he had presented hes friend. She was grey-piebald. "…I shall ask You transfer me one puppy - exactly male following color: advantage on NN 1. gray (light or dark), 2. communication the type with colors.

In the life the type of black with the red tan borzois differ sufficiently clearly from black borzois with chubary (brindle) tan.

Great difficulty for the work of the breeder, if he will not be a sign regarding colors, which his borzois Black&tan, 3. If will not grey and black - red". Why so? I think because he knew very well about have in their pedigree.

After all, in that event, are sufficiently difficult if you nor know colors of dogs, which are in pedigree of your dogs. Are sufficiently difficult to define with what type and accordingly color you must mate your female or male for good result in breeding.

Much often can be so, that the producer is a bright representative of the type in its color, but it is not dominant of own type and he is not transferred own color and own type for own children.

Herewith, even the mother of this male can have his color what, seemingly, else more must intensify an influence of the given producer. As strange, but often this is not so… But, for all the breeder, who actually knows the pedigree of this dog, knows that the mother of this male was a single puppy of this color in her litter, they understand very well why this male is not the dictator of own type. All puppies in the litter, in which was born a mother of this stud male were exactly such color and such type, which transferred this male. But this only private event.

The problem of dictator of the type in the breed inhere much deeper. So in the litter built on linebreeding, which founded on the right factory’s work, can turn out to be one puppy, at the best event - two dictators of the type. How recognize this? In this is talent of breeder!

D.Valtzov wrote in its book about Pershino, that sometimes were born such puppy in their hunt, the color which in accuracy look like the color of their grandparents, or grand grand parents. As the rule, these dogs and became the dictators in the type.

We have not so few books about genetics of the colors, I can possible advise to get acquainted with them, but, to great regret, the colors of russian psovy borzoi do not systematize. Too much them in the breed and all of these has mixed together.

But certainly, the type and a color, bound with each other. This is know all present breeder, which learn not only values and defects of their dogs, as well as their colors, but accordingly and types, which are transferred and can be transferred from the generation in the generation.

All of this is weighty part of knowledge on tribal breeding, which will lead the breeder to the success!


Galina Viktorovna Zotova on Russian borzoi after the revolution.


This is an interpretation of Madam Zotova's letter regarding borzoi in Russia, from about 1920 to about 1980. She had strong opinions, was outspoken, in some cases even controversial.

In a time when knowledge of the borzoi in Russia and the Sovjet Union was limited, was Galina Zotova allowed to travel abroad and tell borzoi enthusiasts in the west that borzoi still existed in it's motherland.

Some additions have been made, like adding names known in the west and Marina Orlova's pictures.

Galina Viktorovna Zotova

After the October revolution, and the following civil war, breeding of dogs, especially the borzoi, discontinued and in many cases, if not all, the well known kennels were destroyed. Many dogs were sold abroad or went with invaders. Few borzoi stayed and most often were far from the best.

In the first post-revolutionary exhibitions, very few Borzois was exhibited and the majority was of unknown origin.

In 1923, at the first exhibition. 12 borzoi was shown, but only 4 deserved attention. The grandson of one, a "little interesting males", Rogdai (Bardukova), was later widely used in the breed.

In 1926 the borzoi section of the Canine society was formed in Leningrad. At the exhibition the same year there was already 23. dogs shown, but not all high level.

Borzoi enthusiasts, like Nina Korff-Sumarokova and Nikolai Tchelichev did all they could to persuade the government and the state to recognize the pure bred borzoi as a hunting dog

In 1927, 27 dogs was shown at the exhibition. Of these was only 9 of unknown origin.

The number increased, but quality in the borzois was still not sufficient..

Of 21 dogs exhibited In 1931 was all of known origin. Exterior had improved and quality was better but performance was not tested. The owners had concentrated on improving the exterior.

Nina Kudryaceva with five borzois

In 1936, the Moscow Council of physical education and sport lovers, managed to unite borzoi breeders/owners in a partition to allow amateur-hunters going into the fields. The same year the first post-revolutionary trials on live game in the field was held under the expert for all-Union, Vsevolod Mamontov! 

In the pre-war years in Moscow Komarova purchased from Kuibyshev, Kidai (Komorova). He became a major producer in the first postwar years. He had a good head, not long, but dry, shhipcom rule in the ring, bright eye. His grandson Gyaur (Mikhailova). occurs in many pedigrees.

From the end of 1939 to 1944 the number of borzoi in Moscow was very low. At the exhibition In 1941 was only 5 dogs shown.

Galina with Plutouvka, Assunta and Zagar (Grandsire of Boran)

After the great patriotic war began the restoration of the strength and quality of the borzoi. there was an increased demand for them among the hunters.

In 1946 Femina Quick Molodjesz was brought in from Germany by General Gromov. She was a well constructed bitch with Asmodei Perchino appearing several times in her pedigree.. Unfortunately, she only produced three sons, Gordyi, Derzai and Chaus. The two first can still be found in modern pedigrees. Chaus did not leave offspring.

In 1949, Hermelin von der Alck was purchased in from Germany. He was renamed in Russia to Oriel I 94/b. Even he was a descendant of Asmodei Perchino. Hermelin had a great influence on quality on the breed. He gave a lot of correct descendants. Moderate inbreeding on him gave borzoi with good qualities in the field. His influence in the breed transferred through the Nevezhin hunt and the two daughters Plutovka ( Zotova) and Purga (Amelung).

Galina with Krylatka (swedish import) Barynia de Norois and 

Quality in borzoi was getting better. Since 1952 yearly field trials was arranged with good influence on the breed.

In 1962 Amur von der Kaiserpfalz was imported from the GDR by V L Kolpakova. During his short career he sired a number of litters with very good result.

The Borzoi section, despite difficulties, payed much attention to field work and soundness in the breed.

Eugenia Dezor in the middle and Galina Zotova at the right. Two very important ladys in Russian borzoi, Moscow 1965

In 1965 the "Elite class" was introduced. The first to be appointed was  Golubka (Koblov).

in 1967 from 36 registered dogs — 25 litters, 3 of them won access to the  "Elite class". This was good news, but new blood was not often available which resulted in repeated inbreeding. 

Galina at a hunting expedition 1983

In 1972 Grifo der Karolinger von Wienerwald was imported from Czechoslovakia and sired 16 litters. He was far from perfect but his progeny was of similar type and often better than himself.

Field work with borzois has its own complications: a very short test period of an average of only 2 months in autumn, after harvesting and under favorable weather conditions.

Galina Gracheva and Ivan Turulin

Sometime in fall, before frost and snow, it has only been possible to arrange one or two trials, and yet the number of participating dogs grew from year to year. At the 50-year anniversary exhibition in 1978, 58 borzoi was entered! 

Barynia de Norois was Imported from Switzerland in 1975. She possessed uncommon speed and greed to the beast. Many of the descendants inherited her exterior and quality in the field. Of her 12 children-5 won the title of "champion".

Galina with Barynia de Norois

In 1978, Burkhan de Kuskovo was imported, also from Switzerland.and from France came, Oskal de Petit.

Burkhan de Kuskovo gave beautiful, characteristic heads, but many of his descendants inherited limbs. The best of his descendants and successors was Lezgin (Gabidzashvivli), as well as Lebedka and Boyarynia (Shepeshevski).

Oskal de Petit did not possess high exterior, but had good field qualities. The offspring was not significant in number, but exterior much better than himself and with good field qualities.

Fetiysz von Smetanka was imported in 1982. His descendants possessed beautiful, dry heads, but some have "clarified?" eye color.

Valdai du Grand Venuer produced a pair of Chapion descendants, Daryal (Kovalev) and Buyan (Kovalev).

In 1985 Eick's Kretchet was imported from Germany. He was widely used and left offspring still to be found in a great number of pedigrees. Even a sister, Eick's Kenitschka was imported and produced two litters without significant impact.

Galina Zotova judging

The number of registered grows. In one year 293.

In recent years, many owners of borzoi, in spite of great difficulties, travel to other areas to show and to hunt. 

From 1978 to 1993 the borzoi section had 20 champions. 1197/BP Tarkhan, Sarmat 1236/BP, Oskal de Petit 1378/BP, Lezgins 1411/BP, Merlin 1521/BP Blistaj, 1558, Fetish von Smetanka 1451/BP Daryal, 1620/BP, Arkan-Aero 1640/BP, Uragan de Norois 1630/BP, Nice 1198/BP, Barynia de Norois 1275/BP, Skazka 1262/BP Buyan, 1351, 1352 Bagrjana/BP/BP, Berezka 1350/BP, Kasatka 1523/BP, Marisha 1536/BP, Melissa 1455/BP, Vjushka, Plutovka.

From 1964 to 1992 in the all tribal hunting book 400 borzoi was registered.

Galina Zotova

Pictures from Marina Orlova's collection.

Zotova in Macon
Galina Zotova at the IBC Conference in Macon 1989 with Nadine Johnson and Serge Kapnist



Wolfhunt scenes

Opening scene


Sergej Bondartjuks version of Leo Tolstoj's War&Peace  has been much awarded. Here we have a link to the beatiful scenes of the wolfhunt. The USSR (Nikita Chrustiev) export to England, "Boran" owned by Lady Sternberg, was said to play the main role among the Borzois appearing.


By courtesi of  Olga Zilberman

Pictures from: Архив Кудрявцевой Н.Г.


All-Union Canine Council of Agriculture of the USSR 


Order of the General Directorate of Nature Reserves and Hunting of the USSR

Number 25 on July 26, 1972

Makling the rules


TERMS OF TEST hunting QUALITY Borzoi breeds on free animals.


  1. Tests of borzoi dogs carried out on adult hare, white hare in areas where there is no hare, willow, as well as fox.

Testing dogs for fox-Korsak prohibited.

     2. Tests are carried out mainly in the period between October 1 and December 1, depending on local conditions.

The tests are not conducted in a fog, in rain sodden soil under snow cover above 15-18 sm, hard crusted snow, sleet and frozen soil  at temperatures above 15 and below -10 degrees Celsius, according to rough layers of plowing, mowing the fields of sunflower,  corn and alfalfa, in gullies and ravines, covered with bushes or reeds.

      3.  Each dog passing checks on the quality of field trials, receives an individual rates.  Two or three dogs (a couple or a three(svora)), belonging to one owner, can get together as a group rates, if that they are maintained on the one lead.  

  1. Presented at trial hounds are divided into groups for simultaneous testing. 

Groups are composed of two or three dogs of the same or different owners. Number of groups established by the expert commission.  

Note: If desired, dog owners can ask test dog alone (outside groups),  if time permits and the presence of the here. 

  1. As a rule, all dogs are tested on one animal, but if you can not make an assessment of the work done, then the judicial commission may give the second run. 
  2. To set the priority of participation in the trial between the groups is the draw,  after which a group of leading with test  dogs is a chain with an interval of 25 to 60 meters  along the front and the rest followed behind in a chain of 120-150 meters and mining,  as a group of animals take its place in the chain, and in order of priority.  The chain moves and stops  only by order of the expert committee.



A. Handlers must comply disposition of the expert committee and observe the following rules:  

  • Keep the dogs on collars and strong leashes;  
  • As soon as the dog of one of the group run, the rest of the chain leading to stop without  waiting for the order of a judge, and held strong and calm their dogs;  
  • Owners of running dogs,  should immediately follow them to the end to persecution and  get dogs on leash and do not interfere with any other groups;  
  • The chairman of the expert committee determines further progress and direction of the chain;  
  • Leading person can Let the dog only if here(fox) rose to a group ranging from 25 to 100 meters.

 If the animal climbed 100 meters further, handler let dogs at will; 

  • let dogs of a young animal (from late litters or has not attained the size of a normal animal)  and raised less then 25 meters from the closest group is prohibited.  




  1. After splitting into groups of dogs and draw, the chairman of the judging committee repeats the handlers duty, and only then sends a signal to get in the chain, followed close behind them. Members of the judging panel on horseback, in cars or on motorcycles with sidecars are arranged so that in the case of start-up of a group of dogs at least one judge could follow them.  
  2. Judges for the dogs to the rate of work should take into account the context in which it proceeded.


Difficult conditions are considered: high stubble, weeds, planting, rough tillage. Light conditions are: soft ground, virgin soil, hay, winter wheat, the stubble, a pair(resting soil).  

Examine before the hunt!   


IV. QUALITY HUNTING hounds IDENTIFIED IN TESTS, is regarded by the following table MAXIMUM POINTS:


  1. Frolic(speed)   -30
  2. Vigilance – 10
  3. Perseverance in the pursuit 10 
  4. Strength and endurance – 10
  5. Participation in catching – 15
  6. Expirience (single). Coordination of work (for groups) – 5
  7. Behavior on the lead – 5
  8. Behavior of the lead – 5
  9. Behavior toward the  killed animal -10

10 Total score - 100


Awarding of diplomas for the quality of hunting hounds is if they have the following minimum scores:


Elements of work, which are required       The minimum score for the total amount of the  the minimum rates                                      individual elements.


                                                                      I degree          II degree            III degree


Total Score                                                      80                   70                        60

Frolic                                                                24                   21                        18

Behavior toward the  killed animal                   8                    7                          6

Coordination of work (for groups)                    4                    4                          3


Note: The dog, that tearing the killed animal, diplomas are not awarded.  


The hunt
The hunt









  1. For the award of a diploma of III degree for individual work, capture hare by group, in which dog been working, is not required. The diploma is awarded to a hound that has made a turn, for slite turn diploma is not awarded.  
  2. For the award of a diploma of II degree for individual work, required catching a hare, or other dogs of the group, in which it operates. A dog that shows a higher agility and ensured the capture of the hare, gets the highest rates. However, other dogs may be left without diplomas, including the one that took the hare out of other dogs turns.  
  3. For the award of a diploma of I degree catching a hare by the dog is required.
  4. For the group to award of the diploma of any degree,  the capture of animals required.
The catch
The catch



1. Diploma in the first degree is awarded only in the individual work under severe working conditions (the fox got no closer than 300 meters to the plow, the weeds, etc.), only the dog that caught the fox. For  the group work, the first degree diploma is not awarded.

When you work for Fox in the category "individual rating", second and third degree is awarded depending on the degree of difficulty work dog, but subject to mandatory catch the fox.  




  1. The dogs relaesed  on the animal rose up against the next group.  
  2. The dogs released by a young animal from late litter or at distance closer then 25 meters.  
  3. Dogs returned , have running only up to 200 m with clear view of the hare(fox),   
  4. Handler deliberately did not let dogs on the animal rose up within the specified range for the test.  
  5. Dogs attacking domestic animals. 





































































Hunting _4


End of a long day in the field
Relaxing after day in the field


























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




The 57th Hound Show in Moscow [21st-22nd June 1986]

Written by Ursula-Vera Trueb, de Norois Borzoi, Switzerland, translated by Jean Vandongen.

Submitted by Sue E.A. Vasick via James Sillers

Ursula-Vera Trueb in Moscow with Borzoi

The show grounds in the green belt surrounding Moscow was an ideal place.  The pine and birchwood surrounds large clearings, the sandy ground of which is covered with rough grass.  The latter had not been cut, but due to the treading of many feet and paws, it was reduced to a comfortable carpet.  Overall, a most beautiful midsummer sunshine. The rings were of impressive size, and defined by ropes on which danced little red flags.  In the middle was the judges table, chairs, and here and there a sunshade.

All this is similar enough to what we are used to – except for the size of the rings.  What’s different is, for instance, the catalog, which is a 393 pages thick book [price 3 rubles] in which are listed all the hounds registered and living in the area of Moscow on the 1st January of the year, including names of sire and dam, name and address of the owner, and also the qualification [conformation and hunting trial result] already obtained, everything complete in alphabetical order and numbered.  But these numbers are neither attached to the exhibitor or the exhibit; both are in the ring without a particular identifying mark.  The entries have to be made about 3 months prior to the date of the show, and the application form has to be accompanied by the original pedigree.  Fee for entering: 3 rubles.

The dogs are divided into the classes [males and females]: up to 1-1/2 years, from 1-1/2 to 3 years, and over 3 years.  The results rank from ‘excellent’ [30 points], ‘very good’ [25 points], ‘good’ [20 points], and ‘satisfying’ [15 points]. Males and females are judged separately. There are no benches or cages, but the possibilities to secure the dog are practically unlimited, as the place is immense and there are enough strong trees giving shade and shelter.  The show opens its doors at 8 a.m., and all dogs have to go through a veterinary inspection.  Judging started at 10 a.m. and lasted up to 8 p.m.

Russian show
Dogs being shown at a Russian show, 1950's

How is the judging done? The dogs are presented by their owner – or any suitable person – on a lead. They are walked at a brisk pace on and on, all around the ring. Depending on the number of dogs in one class, this ‘walk’ can last up to two hours! In the center of the ring, the judge, his pupils [i.e. the judges to be] and the secretary watch the dogs as they pass in front of them. The soundness and the condition soon show up; the well trained, fit dog will be able to keep a floating pace and an attentive bearing during the whole time, while others soon start to slump along with heads low, looking bored and exhausted, some even stopping all of a sudden, refusing to move any further.

I watched with admiration a young black/white bitch which during an hour never once tripped over her feet, and kept up an effortless, light gait, attentive and proud bearing. Her owner leading her deserved some appreciation, too, as she kept walking quietly, never looking to the right or left, fully concentrated on her exhibit.

standing to be judged
Standing to be judged.

Once the judge had made up his mind regarding the class, every dog has to stand on a board lying on the ground at a suitable distance from the judge. It is led there and left to stand ‘as nature made it’, with loose lead; there’s no positioning or stacking or other help given to it to make it look ‘more beautiful’.  The judge then dictates his comments to the secretary. Subsequently, the sheet is handed over to the exhibitor together with the pedigree on which the dog’s qualification has been inscribed.  Should the owner refuse this inscription for some reason of his own, he cannot show the dog for a period of two years. Complaints appear to be rather seldom, and angry shoutings of frustrated exhibitors are rather a rarity.  Obviously the dogs – that is, maintaining the breed’s integrity and the elimination of whatever faults might have crept in – are the dominant concern of the judges as well as the dog owners/breeders.

I watched with interest the coming of the exhibitors; some led their dogs in by beautifully braided leashes, others were attached to a string or a leather lead.  But an amazing number were running loose! It was an astonishing sight to see the quiet, instinctively right attitude and behavior of these dogs; they greeted each other, took a sniff here and there, wagged tails, did a bit of playing, and then hastened to rejoin their owner. Only on the Terrier and Laiki [plural of Laika] side the picture was less peaceful! They were obviously fighting offstage, with a barking and snarling competition!

All in all, there were 21 breeds: Borzoi, Russian-European Laika, Finnish Carelian Laika, Russian Foxhound, English-Russian Foxhound, Estonian Hound, wire and short haired Fox terriers, long and short-haired Dachshunds, Welsh terriers, German Hunting terriers, Pointers, English, Irish and Gordon Setters, German Shorthair Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Russian Hunting spaniel, and English Cocker spaniel. All together, there were exactly 1,776 hounds present. Most interesting as guests were a few original Tazy and Taigan from the region of Samarkand; both of these breeds are on the verge of extinction.

Although the Borzoi is my specialty, I dare say that the overall quality of the exhibits left a most positive impression.  Never before had I seen so many animals in such good condition with such good temperaments and a natural readiness to obey.  A pleasing sight, indeed! A word also should be said of the exhibitors, all without exception hunters for the love of the sport.  Aside from the Borzoi, I liked particularly the Setters, the huge Foxhounds and, best of all, the Laiki of Western Asia.  As a group, the Laiki were represented by several breeders, several hundred dogs altogether.  They were most impressive and certainly knew what they were on earth for.  It was also obvious that they were cherished and highly appreciated by their owners.

Modern day West Siberian Laika

I was particularly fascinated by the Laiki of Western Siberia. These were a smaller edition of a wolf, carrying the tail on the back, with a rather broad but elegant head with slanting eyes, powerful jaws, pricked ears, a very strong neck and forequarters, while the rear end appeared to be slightly higher and less strong in comparison.  The whole picture gives the impression of enormous strength and stamina.  The furry coat, too, is mostly wolf colored which is a mixture of grey, brown and black, lightening up towards the extremities.  Some of the ‘wolves’ were snow white with black eyes and nails, others more or less spotted.  That they were nearer to the feral canine state than domestic was obvious, and no stranger would have dared to pet them.  Yet towards their master and family they behaved extremely well, guarded their belongings complete with babies in diapers, and obeyed remarkably well.

The show ended on Sunday afternoon with the distribution of prizes: gold and silver medals as well as prizes of honor, and special prizes.  Then there was a great parade of the best hounds, that is all those who received the qualifications ‘excellent’ and ‘very good’.  Behind the green banner of the Hunters and Fishers Association of Moscow, the different breeds followed in groups, the first being the Borzois. An impressive crowd of people had gathered on both sides of the wide alley to watch and applaud.

As for me, it was a most pleasing experience to see at the head of the Borzoi group the fourth Champion daughter of the bitch Barynia de Norois, who I had sent to Moscow eleven years ago.  She was followed by a young male of little more than 2 years of age, bred by the same family, at the collar of which glittered his first gold medal.

No doubt, this show was worth the journey and, as far as I am concerned, this was the most interesting, instructive and beautiful experience for me related to a dog show in the last 25 years!