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this opinion there is a famous picture, in the possession of the Czar, of four Borzois chasing a wolf. At least one of these animals has the appearance of being black and tan, with an almost white face, very broad white collar and chest, white stern and hind quarters.
The size of the Borzoi and his coat will have been surmised from what has already been written. His general appearance will be seen from the illustration. As a companion he is highly spoken of, but, like all other dogs, he must be brought up for the purpose for which he is intended. In most of the Russian kennels he is kept solely for hunting a savage animal (by a few only to be used for fox and hare), and to do so successfully must be savage himself. Those which have been reared in this manner, and not had the benefit of civilising home influences, are not to be trusted any more than would one of our own foxhounds. But, as I have said, properly brought up and educated, he will be found as companionable as the best— no fonder of fighting than the deerhound, faithful as the collie, and as handsome and picturesque as either. His naturalisation with us is accomplished, and I can see no reason whatever why he is any more likely to be eliminated from "Modern Dogs" than the St. Bernard. He will be used here as a purely fancy variety; there are no wolves for him to kill, hares and rabbits are out of his line, and deer must be left for the big foxhound and the Highland deerhound.
I have written of the Borzoi as we know him here, and as he will in the future be known, taking no account of the various strains said to be in the Czar's dominions, and the following description of him, translated from the Russian by M. A. Boldareff, a member of the Imperial Hunt, Moscow, and which appeared in the Stock Keeper in July, 1896, will be found interesting:
"The general appearance of the Borzoi is noble and elegant. This is shown in the shape of the head, the silkiness and brilliancy of the hair, and even in the gait, which should be full of energy and grace. The different points of the dog, taken separately, have no value in the general appearance; the dog may have defects in head properties, in the body, in the legs, the coat may be too short, but nevertheless its air of nobility and elegance, its blueblood aspect, will indicate purity of breeding. Only pure blood and careful breeding for several generations will impart this look, which excites the admiration of connoisseurs of Borzois and all other lovers of dogs.
"It is a pity that nowadays many of our sportsmen surrender general appearance for perfection in other points, so that the Borzoi of high and noble quality is becoming rare.
"The pure race of the Borzoi is principally characterised by the shape of the head, the ear, and by the tail. Many breeders concentrate their attention upon the head, and disdain the tail.
"We find, on the contrary, that the tail is one of the most characteristic points of race, because its thinness, its elasticity, and its shape, which resembles a reaping hook (a), among all the Russian breeds (we consider the Crimean and Caucasian varieties as Russian) belong exclusively to the Borzoi (b).
"Muzzle slightly arched and forehead prominent are typical of the Borzoi, but when the arch is too pronounced or the forehead too prominent, they are faults.
"The skull must be long, oval to the sides, and have a small slip to the back part of the head, finishing by a prominency sharp enough and well pronounced. Every other form is not typical.
"The muzzle is long, thin, and clean, the nostrils
(«) A comparison very popular among Russian hunters.
(b) The writer forgets the greyhounds of Poland, whose tails are exactly of the same shape as the Borzoi, only covered with veryshort hair.
rather large and slightly projecting over the lower jaw. The nose must be black (a).
"The eye must be full, and of oblong shape (an oblique eye is a defect, and a round one is not typical); it must be of a dark colour in a dark lining (b). Its expression is austere, but certainly not when indoors or when the dog is caressed, but at liberty or while hunting.
"The ear is small, thin (its thinness is a proof of high blood), having the form of a wedge. It must be very mobile, and is sometimes carried erect like a horse's ear (c).
"This last quality is one of the best proofs of high birth. The hair that covers the ear must be very short, soft as satin, and must not grow in bunches. The dog should carry its neck like an English greyhound, but the Borzoi's neck is shorter, and is not so straight. The shoulders should be flat and well seen; the elbows must not be turned outwards, but should be clear of the sides of the dog.
"The arch of the back of a dog must be quite
(a) A nose not sufficiently black, even when it has the colour of flesh, must not be considered as a proof of bad race. It is simply a symptom of poorness of blood.
(6) A light eye and the absence of a dark lining represent the same defect as a light nose.
(c) A favourite comparison with Russian amateurs.
regular and make no impression of a hump. The arch seems higher than it really is, because the hind part of the dog is higher than the fore part. The bitch has the back less arched, but even a high arch must not be considered as a great defect.
"The ribs of the Borzoi must descend as low as the elbow They can be either flat or round, their form depending upon the breadth of the back; but they must never be too round (a). The ribs must gradually get smaller to the stomach. The stomach is drawn in and quite hidden behind the groin. The groin of a dog must be small; the less the better. A bitch must have it longer.
"The hind quarters are long and broad. The dog is more sloping than the bitch. A short and drooping loin is a great defect, because it forces the hind legs to be quite straight (b).
"The fore legs are quite straight. The bone must be flat from the side, and not round. The foot resembles that of a hare (c), with toes of medium length. On each toe grows a bunch of hair, long
(a) Not so round as the sides of an English greyhound.
(&) Many huntsmen begin to prefer a sloping loin. The reason is that this form was common to the majority of coursing winners in Russia.
(f) Comparison generally used by Russian amateurs. We consider a cat foot a fault for Borzois.