The Generalovka Hunt


In Siberia, in Omsk, a Borzoi enthusiast, Grigory Anatolyevich Ostaptchenko, has recreated a hunt in the spirit of the Perchino Hunt of hounds, horses and tradition.

To carry out this undertaking, he received the support of the Region, which made 25,000 hectares of land available to him.

Interview with Grigori Anatolyevich Ostaptchenko!

Grigori in white shirt!

Ataman (leader), organizer and head of the Generalovka Hunting Society (Generalovskaya Okhota), Omsk, Siberia.

How long has your Association been in existence and what prompted you to create it?

The Generalovka Hunting Association was established in 2000 in the village of Geralovka (hence its name), Odessa region of the Omsk region, Siberia. This village is located 100 km southwest of Omsk, near the border with Kazakhstan. Grigory Ostaptchenko has always had Borzoi in his family and wanted to bring together amateurs in order to preserve the qualities of the Russkaya psovaya borzaya (official name of the Borzoi in Russian, I remind you that Borzoi means sighthound in Russian in general) both in terms of beauty and working qualities.

How many members are there and how are you organized?

The association currently has 35 members, including 6 women. Most of the dogs are at the Ostaptchenko kennel. The puppies are born there, are vaccinated, the teeth are waited for to come out and then they are distributed to the members of the Generalovskaya Okhota Association. Only members who have taken courses are eligible to get a puppy or dog.

How do dogs, horses live (by the way, why do you have horses too?)? How many are there? How many people take care of it? How do you feed dogs in normal times and during hunting seasons?

Since the Generalovskaya Okhota Association is part of the Generalovskaya Okhota Cossack Association, it is essential to have horses and

Each member considers it an honor to have their own horse. Children take riding lessons from a young age.

Only one person takes care of the 15 horses in the Association and each owner takes care of his or her own.Generalovka

The dogs are kept in wire enclosures with well-insulated shelters (from the cold) including an open exit to the outdoor enclosure all year round.

To date we have 21 Borzoi and 10 Russian Hounds. About thirty Borzois are in the homes of private members, who take care of them.

Two people take care of the dogs in the actual kennel. The dogs are fed buckwheat pâtée cooked with meat waste. During the hunting season, they are mainly fed raw meat.

Borzoi, hounds and horses are inseparable from the hunts

When dogs were imported to Nevezhin, Zotova then we could notice an improvement in the general constitution and hunting qualities of the borzois. This is why we carry out a strict selection both in the choice of probings and in the removal of unsatisfactory elements.

What are the characters that, from your point of view, should always be transmitted? What is the characteristic that should always be found in Borzoi?

The hunting Borzoi is differentiated by:

  • a powerful backbone
  • a well-developed bodybuilding
  • a sharp view
  • a willingness to catch game
  • an address
  • stamina
  • a lively character, fast and light movements.

What is more important to you about the Borzoi: the general constitution, the angulations, the length of the dog or its size? What do you consider to be the characteristics of a sleek dog?

What is very important from our point of view is:

  • A narrow, slender head, with no breaks,
  • large black eyes and small, tightly snug ears along the neck. They can stand up (in the shape of a horse)

In the West, “Borzoi” means Russian sighthound.

Do you only have borzoi or also other sighthounds and why?

Today we have only Borzoi (Russkaya psovaya borzaya) in the Generalovskaya Okhota for the following reasons:

  • it is a purely Russian breed
  • the borzoi are the most adapted to our geographical conditions,
  • we have the impression that this breed has not regained some of the qualities it possessed before the Russian Revolution and we wish for a dog that wants it (willingness to catch game).
  • If a dog runs 200 m and stops, it’s not a greyhound! That’s why we observe them from an early age. We bring Borzoi from all over the Soviet Union and if there are 2-3 dogs left to extend the bloodlines we are happy!
  • We notice that all the dogs are excellent in discussions with the owners, that they have all obtained hunting diplomas, but it seems to me, as far as I am concerned, that these dogs are of a lower level.

Let us, as patriots, restore him to his lost fame.

Why do you think Borzoi should hunt?

The Borzoi was created for hunting in very ancient times and must hunt.

In addition, dogs that do not hunt end up having defects that are atypical for the breed, such as the loss of a typical movement, and especially its character of instantaneous speed.

It seems to me that for breeding it is essential to select dogs on the basis of hunting criteria.

How would you define the characteristics of a hunting Borzoi?

Our selection is based on general constitution, speed and, above all, character. The character is very important.

A regular and well-proportioned constitution of the bones in all parts of the body. A regular whip in the shape of a sword.

The dog should be long and medium-sized with soft fur and not too long.

The limbs should be strong and dry with tightly clenched fingers in the shape of a hare’s foot, well parallel to each other. The bones must be flat.

Males should have an arch on the back. Unfortunately, this breed trait is lost in a large number of subjects.

Characteristic fur, large and visible fringes. All these characteristics make the dog racy.

The dogs that we do not keep for breeding are sent to Kazakhstan where they continue to hunt.Generalovka

What do you think is the most important flaw?

The inequality of the current herd is due to the fact that dogs with serious defects continue to be bred, and I regret that the selection is not sufficiently severe.

We do not breed dogs with the following defects

  • Coiled or hooked whip.
  • Head with a marked stop or wide in its cranial part.
  • Clear eye.
  • Ears that are large or thick or insufficiently tight on the neckline. > Heavy dogs.
  • Incorrect framing.
  • Incomplete teeth.

How many years have you had Borzoi?

Ever since I was a child.

From a young age, puppies are confronted with game!

Why did you also include hounds in your hunting? How do they help? During the game race, what do they do, do they chase it too?

We have set ourselves the goal of recreating a complete hunt (like Perchino’s) and for this purpose we have “Russian hounds”.

These dogs are used to flush out game in islets that are impenetrable to Borzoi. They have an excellent sense of smell and take game out of the forest to the fields where it is then chased by the Borzoi.

They also chase him but have no chance of catching him. This is also why we have horses and wish to reproduce the ancient ritual with uniforms and traditions of this complete hunt.

What game do Borzois hunt, are there wolves, do they hunt them?

Together with the Borzoi we hunt hares, foxes, korsaks (another kind of fox living in Siberia) and roe deer.

We don’t have farmed wolves and in the wild, we don’t try to hunt wolves. However, there have been times when we have chased him and taken him with our dogs.

Tell us what regular training is made of and what it’s for?Gedneralovka

Our system is precisely designed to bring out the hunting qualities in puppies.

Without enough movement, it is impossible to get a good hunting dog. This is how we train our dogs until they are one year old:

We make litters so that we only have puppies in the spring, so that at the age of 6-7 months they will be able to withstand the cold with the arrival of autumn.

Our shelters are not heated and the dogs must be able to adapt to the vagaries of the weather.

At the age of one month, the puppies are placed in a specific enclosure (4 x 4 m) where the mother can go whenever she wants to feed them. They are provided with additional food.

They can go out into the open air, enjoy the sun and are free in their movements.

From the age of one month, we observe the reaction of the puppies on a fishing rod to which we have attached a fox tail – this until 3 months.

From the age of 2 months, all the puppies of the different litters are placed in the same enclosure (30 x 30 m and sometimes more). We try not to separate puppies from the same litter.

GeneralovkaFrom the age of 3 months we start training them on wild rabbits, which are raised in a large free-range enclosure. We start taking young rabbits, then older ones.

In this way, we develop their willingness to catch up with the game and their physical abilities (to their full extent, of course). In addition, puppies are used to entering boxes in order to release them all together and to observe their speed on artificial hare or fox (coursing) over short distances so as not to tire them. It’s a very good workout.

During this whole period when the puppy grows, we observe how he runs, what are the qualities of each other. We attach importance to: character, speed, aesthetics. Without these three qualities, the Borzoi is not a hunting dog.

From 8 months the whole litter accompagnée d’un chien adulte, de préférence la mère, est entraînée sur du gibier free. They are only times a day. We

First snow and try to follow in the footsteps of a hare of the year that the puppies might already catch. If more than 7 cm of snow has fallen, then it is really easy for dogs to catch the hare.

We prefer to train them with the mother and there must be absolutely a catch of the game. We also train them, at night in the cool under the light of the headlights, on the jerboas, which is also good training and above all develops the research in front of the hunter (the dogs that are behind the hunter are less appreciated). As soon as the dogs are about to catch the jerboa, the headlights are turned off and it runs away.

Throughout this training period, the qualities and defects of the puppies are recorded.

From the age of 5-6 months, young dogs regularly go out several times a week over 5 to 10 km. The hunter is on horseback. This allows them to get used to the horse and its different gaits.

What is your opinion on the hunting events, how do you proceed with the selection?

GeralovkaIt seems to me that during the Soviet period there were no real hunters with greyhounds in Russia, only amateurs. The selection was not strict enough. From my point of view, a true hunter will never keep a dog that has not proved itself in the field, even if that dog is very handsome from the point of view of general constitution, but shows neither character nor speed. On the other hand, I can assure you that a dog that possesses these qualities in its genes will show them under the conditions we have. We have 25,000 hectares at our disposal, rifle hunting is forbidden and we can hunt all year round! At any time of the year, we can check the qualities of a puppy or an adult dog. The method has proven its worth.

It is by comparing dogs that the best ones are revealed. It’s on the pitch that you appreciate its best qualities, both aesthetics and workmanship

Generalovka hunters

We see the protrusions. We hunt a lot, starting in August until the snow prevents us from moving. We want to have a real knowledge of dogs and not just by hearsay or hunting trials. I’m even against hunting trials. How can you hold back a dog that wants it after a hare that runs away, when you have to wait your turn to let it go? And if he manages to get off his leash he is disqualified, even though he may be the best!

It is during the hunt that we can assign the criteria of values, judgments on our dogs or those of others. You can’t judge by a single release. This is how in the old days hunters would gather and judge their dogs. To judge the value of a dog, you need to be able to let it loose on a hare 10 times a week. This is where you immediately see his power, speed, and stamina. Let him go after the hare for a longer and longer distance. If the dog has no character, then it immediately goes to the scrap heap. That’s why we developed this breeding system, without a breeding system there can be no results. You’ve been breeding Borzoi for 10 years, so show us the result, if there aren’t any, you’ve got it.

What do you do with an elderly Borzoi that is no longer good at hunting? This dog continues to live with its owners.

Do your dogs go to shows, which ones? What’s in it for you? Do you agree with the experts’ judgments? Do you think you can judge the qualities of a Borzoi at an exhibition?

We participate in the hunting dog shows in the area. In addition, we organize our own club shows to train young Borzoi owners.

Kublai Kahn aus dem Zarenreich

However, it seems to us more effective to make a judgement on the qualities of the Borzoi that we would like to keep for reproduction when it is in motion (different gaits) on open ground and on horseback.

Most of the time, we find that judges are too lax and that their demands are insufficient.

What do you think about dogs imported from abroad?

We know that in the West borzoi no longer hunt. But 100 years is not long enough to lose what genetically makes up the borzoi. We are convinced (after testing on game) that the young dogs recently imported into our country, the Agroika Udachnik Borzoi from Switzerland, Kublai Kan aus dem Zarenreich from Germany, have been able to retain very good hunting qualities.

Generalovka, inspection of the dogs

These dogs, which are well typed from an external point of view, are essential for us to improve our bloodlines. We are waiting for the arrival of Aliocha from the Crocs de la Molière.

To conclude, I would like to draw attention to the complexity we face in carrying out the reproduction of Borzoi. we are geographically very far from the big centers where there are more dogs (3000 km from Ekaterinburg, Urals, 5000 km from Moscow). So we don’t have enough quality dogs for breeding.

We are ready to welcome anyone who wants to visit us with or without Borzoi!

Olga Makhroff made this article with the precious help of Nikolai Ziegler, Stuttgart/ Omsk. (All this information was obtained through the exchange of e-mails. Thanks to Mr. Ziegler who kindly sent us his photos.)

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