The Russian Standard of 1979



Adopted by the All-Union Cynological Soviet of the USSR Ministry of Agriculture on 23 December 1979.

Annexe n°I

Ratified by order of the Main Directorate of Nature Protection, Parks and Forestry and Hunting Estates of the USSR Ministry of Agriculture.

N° 19 of 30.04.80


Sighthounds are one of the oldest groups of dogs.

Depictions of greyhound hunting can be found in archaeological excavations dating back several millennia.

Greyhounds are thought to have originated in North Africa and the Orient.

From there they spread throughout Asia and Europe.

The first descriptions of the Russian sighthound date from the 17th century, and describe dogs used for hunting, similar to the contemporary Russian sighthound.

At the beginning of the 18th century, blood from dogs imported into Russia was introduced: English sighthounds from Western Europe, short-haired sighthounds (hart), “broudast” sighthounds (with rough hair and moustache), and from the 20s of the 19th century, blood from Asian sighthounds: mountain sighthounds and Crimean sighthounds.

As a result, a large number of different types of dog emerged from this breed, and it was only after 1888, when the first description (standard) was made, that the contemporary Russian sighthound began to assert itself.

The main areas of distribution are the forest and steppe belts of the European part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the steppe regions of Siberia.

Russian Sighthounds possess the following hunting qualities: keen eyesight, very great speed, especially over short distances, bite, strength and a sudden “leap” on capture.


The dog is tall, narrowly built, lean, powerful and elegant. The height at the withers is 75 to 86 cm for males and 68 to 78 cm for females. The height of the withers in males is equal to or slightly greater than the height of the croup. In females it is equal. The elongation index in males is around I02, in females close to 105.

The temperament is calm, but the dog suddenly becomes excited at the sight of game. The typical gait until the game is lifted is a not too fast trot, at the moment of pursuit a fast charging gallop with large broad jumps.

IMPERFECTIONS: light or powerful build, excessive length, too high or too short on legs, above normal height, more than 2 cm below normal height.

FAULTS: flabby, coarse appearance. Aggressive towards humans, more than 2 cm below standard.


White, sand (beige) of various shades (“polovy”) (red-sand, grey-beige, sand and silver), beige veiled with black (“bourmatny”) (beige with black veil, red veiled with black), (“mourouguy”) (red with black hairs, often with a black mask), grey (“sery”) (from grey-black to grey-yellow), brindle (“tchoubary”) (beige, red or grey with black stripes), red (“krasny”), black and intermediate shades of these two coats. The black mask is characteristic of darker colours. All these colours may be plain or mixed with white. Tan markings are permitted.

IMPERFECTIONS: small bright spots on the body of a colour different from the main colour.


Soft and silky, wavy or in large curls which may be accompanied by smaller curls. On head, ears and legs very short and close. On back, neck longer and often wavy. On the thighs and sides, the hair is shorter and may be curly.

The longer decorative finery is found around the neck, at the bottom of the chest and belly, at the back of the forehand and on the thighs.

At the base of the tail, the hair generally forms curls and fringes on the lower part. The undercoat is not visible.

IMPERFECTIONS OR VICES (according to degree of expression): Stiff, wispy, dull, tousled, coarse and harsh. Fringes poorly developed, lack of decorative trimming.


Skin fine, elastic, without folds. The muscles are elongated and well developed. The bone structure is powerful but not massive.

IMPERFECTIONS : Bone structure and muscles poorly developed. Vices: Rough bone structure.


Long, narrow, dry. The transition from forehead to muzzle is barely perceptible. The length of the muzzle is equal to the length of the cranial part or 0,5 to 1 cm longer. Seen in profile, the upper part of the head forms a slightly convex line. The skull is narrow, oval and flat. The parietals are straight or slightly receding towards the occipital tip, which is well marked. The transition from the muzzle to the skull is harmonious. The muzzle is elongated, full but dry. It is straight and slightly curved as it passes towards the nose.

The nose is black and protrudes from the lower jaw. The lips are thin and closely cover the jaws. The superciliary arches are not developed.

IMPERFECTIONS : Uneven or abrupt transition from forehead to muzzle. Cone shaped profile due to too high a skull. Coarse head, broad forehead, overdeveloped zygomatic arches, muzzle too short or too narrow in relation to skull, light nose with light coat. Superciliary arches too developed.

VICES : Pink nose with dark coat.


Small, fine, very mobile, pointed, set high, covered with short hair, set close together, folded back on neck, tips meeting or pointing downwards, close fitting to neck.

When the dog is alert, the ears stand up and the tips point forward or to the sides. Sometimes one or both ears stand erect.

IMPERFECTIONS OR VICES (according to the degree of expression): Ears set low, not tight enough or not tight enough behind, too far apart, too large, thick, with rounded tips.


Large eyes, oval opening of the eyelids. Dark brown or brown eyes. Dark eyelids.

IMPERFECTIONS OR FAULTS: Small eye, round opening of eyelids, eye set in too deeply, light eye, light eyelids, third eyelid developed.

VICES : Grey or yellow eye.


Teeth white, strong, close together. Scissor bite.

Imperfections and vices: General for all breeds of hunting dogs.


Loin, slightly arched, lean, muscular, of oval cut, set at an angle of 45° – 50° to the longitudinal axis of the body. Length of neck equal to or slightly greater than total length of head.

IMPERFECTIONS : coarse, short neck.

VICES : Round cut neck.


Narrow, narrower than the croup, narrow and oval in cut, but deep. At the level of the shoulder blades, it is flatter and widens gradually towards the false ribs. It descends to the elbow. The false ribs are well developed, more arched than the others. The last ribs are clearly shorter, forming an abrupt transition to the belly.

IMPERFECTIONS OR VICES (according to degree of expression): Chest too narrow, drooping, barrel-shaped, not reaching elbow.


Broad, muscular, the withers are not prominent and form a slight curve with the croup, a curve considerably more marked in males than in females.

IMPERFECTIONS : pointed back, narrow, forming a hollow just after the withers, too strong a curve, flat back for a male.

Vices : Saddle back.


Powerful, muscular, prominent.

IMPERFECTIONS: Narrow, flat, too long, short.


Long, broad, muscular, slightly sloping. Width between hips at least 8 cm.

IMPERFECTIONS OR VICES (according to degree of expression) : Croup narrow, short, steeply sloping.


Well tucked up, forming an abrupt transition from the chest.

IMPERFECTIONS : Not sufficiently tucked up or too sagging.


Lean, bony, muscular. From the front the legs are straight and parallel, the elbows turned backwards or slightly outwards.

The shoulder joint forms an angle of 110°. The forearm is long, lean, narrow seen from the front and wide seen from the side, the elbow is well developed. The length of the forequarters to the elbow is equal to half the height of the dog at the withers. Metacarpus slightly sloping.

IMPERFECTION OF FAULT; (according to the degree of expression): deformed forearm, straight shoulder, elbows too tight or too wide apart, pastern too short, too soft or too straight. Panard or cagneux.

VICES: Panard, bowed forehand.


Lean, bony, muscular. Seen from behind the legs are straight and parallel. The plumbness is further apart than that of the forequarters.

At rest the limbs lie slightly backwards. The angulations are well marked. The hock is well developed in width. The metatarsals are short and straight. The thighs are well developed with prominent muscles.

IMPERFECTIONS OR VICES; (according to the degree of expression): angle of the hock joint too open or too closed. Metatarsus rounded or weak. Straight hindquarters. The presence of dewclaws (double) eliminates the dog from the breed.


Dry, narrow, shaped like a hare’s paw, oval and slightly arched, toes tightly closed. Nails touching the ground.

IMPERFECTIONS; fleshy foot, round, flat paw, toes not tight enough.


Sword or scimitar shaped, long and fine, with thick fringes. Passed under the belly the tip of the whip should reach the hip. At rest it is lowered, in movement it is carried no higher than the line of the back.

IMPERFECTIONS OR FAULT (according to the degree of expression) : Whip short, coarse, little or very much curled, carried high, deviated, fringes little developed.

Vices: Very curled whip.

Russian to French translation : Olga Makhroff.



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Arvid Andersen