Coursing and Racing Dogs

by Freeman Lloyd
published in the American Kennel Gazette, April 1931


Coursing with cheetahs has not been seen, but the speed of these animals has been noted by an esteemed friend in Er. M. Shelley, the well-known American authority on working and field trial pointers and setters, the man who went with the late Paul Rainey, of Tippah Lodge, near Cotton Plant, Mississippi, to East Africa to hunt lion, etc., with American foxhounds, Airedale and cross-bred Airedale terriers.

Writing about the cheetah - which must be as fast if not faster than any dog - Mr. Shelley says that on one day's hunt he had a most interesting experience. He had not gone far out on the plains before he came across many Thompson's gazelles. He could see "bunches" of them in every direction, and in the distance thousands of head of larger game could be plainly viewed.

As he rode along the gazelle would move to one side, giving him about two hundred yards of right-of-way on both sides. As they did so, a large cheetah pounced out of the grass and took after a gazelle that passed nearest to him. The spotted beast caught the buck in less than two hundred yards.

Shelley, on a mule, then gave chase to the cheetah which had made off from the stone-dead gazelle. The hunter had before galloped down cheetahs on a good horse, so it would appear that the cheetah is only very speedy for a short distance. It seems the beast gained on the mule-rider for the first quarter of a mile, and just held its own the second quarter. The third quarter the hunter began to gain on the cheetah which was passed in less than a mile, when the creature squatted on the ground. Shelley then shot him with his forty-five Colt. My friend says that unlike lions and leopards, cheetahs are quite harmless. The methods of training these animals will be described in another place.

The speeds of the antelopes must vary according to their sizes. Those beautiful creatures are as active and swift as are their graceful appearances. The various motion pictures of wild life in Africa and other countries have given to the world's human eyes the sights of leaping antelopes, such as would have been unbelievable if told about by human tongues - the narratives of the returned traveler, hunters from distant of little known parts of the world.

But now, thanks be to the motion picture camera, the tales of adventurers, hunters, and travelers, are being vindicated. The more we see of those pictures, the more delighted and interested we find ourselves in the wonderful makes and shapes of our coursing or running dogs, which we commonly designate as belonging to the greyhound family.

I would prefer to call these long-legged, clean-necked, fine-headed, small and of sometimes erect-eared, and always whip-tailed dogs, as simply dogs rather than hounds. For a hound, as I see him, is a dog that uses his nose for the purposes of hunting, a dog that is a plodder rather than a fast-running courser which depends on his sight, speed, stamina and teeth for the overtaking and overpowering of the as speedy quarry, beaten by the superior endurance of the dog, rather than the pursuer's powers of galloping.

I have seen the South African steinbuck leap up from under the nose of the walking horse which carried the hunter. Before the cry of Sah! Sah! could escape the lips, the two greyhounds were away on to the fleeing buck, a beautiful creature with ideal cleanness and placement of shoulders, and the enormous driving powers of the antelope's hindquarters. Here was the make-up, the embodiment of activity and enormous propulsion.

And, after ever so many years, the sight of the springing-up buck comes back in the memory's eyes, the impression created 35 to 40 years ago on the Transvaal veld. I again have the view of the up-leaping steinbuck as he rose from his couch, like a hare from her form. I see the spring into immediate action; the movement, make, and shape of a wild animal, a form that was instantly observed and perhaps understood, visualized as the perfection of the graceful creature, whose watchfulness and speed were its only weapons of protection against the numerous enemies of the ruminants.

Yet man had been able to breed a dog which was almost as speedy at the start and possessed more stamina or lasting powers of running endurance than the antelope.

continued >>>


Coursing and Racing Dogs
(Freeman Lloyd)

(not exclusively Borzoi)

Coursing Excerpt from The Beasts of the Prairies

Dog of All the Russias
(W. Haynes)

Dogs of Today - the Russian Wolfhound or Borzoi

Dogs That Hunt Bears and Wolves (Excerpt)
Freeman Lloyd

Excerpt from Hutchinson's Encyclopedia

Excerpt from the Kennel Encyclopaedia

Freeman Lloyd on Borzoi

Hound of the Czars
(Walter Dyer)

Hunting Dogs: Sighthounds and Scenthounds
(L. P. Sabaneev, 1899)

Hunting Large Game Excerpt

J.B. Thomas Says American Borzoi Lead the World
(Micheline de Zutter)

An Outline of the History of the Borzoi
Baron G.D. Rozen, 1891

Ruby de Bolshoy
(Melanie Richards)

Russian Wolfhounds of Yesterday and Today
(Freeman Lloyd)

RWCA's History (1930)

the Borzoi
(H. W. Huntington)

the Borzoi or Russian Wolfhound
(Major Borman)

the Hare and Many Foes

the Russian Borzoi (excerpt from "Dogs From All Angles")

the Russian Wolfhound
(James Watson)

the Russian Wolfhound or Borzoi
(W. Johnston)

Twentieth Century Dog - Borzoi Section

Watson on Borzoi


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