from Hutchinson's Popular and Illustrated Dog Encyclopedia,
published Great Britain in weekly excerpts in 1934.
the next milestone in the history of the Borzoi was in 1890,
when Her Grace the Duchess of Newcastle entered the Borzoi field,
and the following year when she purchased from Mr. Blees some
of the consignment of Borzois from Russia, including the remarkable
dog "Ouslad", one of the best Borzois ever seen. Whilst
the interest of well-known people in a breed leads to good times
for that particular variety merely because of fashion, the entry
of the Duchess of Newcastle, whilst to some extent having that
effect, had much more than that attached to it.
The Duchess understood dogs, was an expert
and an enthusiast, whose interest was of a distinctly practical
kind. The following year the Borzoi Club was formed and the
Duchess of Newcastle was the first president. It was decided
to run Borzoi shows, and the first show was, as far as is known,
a great success. But the public were getting accustomed to the
Borzoi and later shows met with such bad support that they were
In 1982, as well as the founding of the Borzoi
Club, a great impetus was given to the breed and enormous interest
aroused in the appearance at the Agricultural Show at Islington
of a class of fifty, many of which were direct from Russia,
entered from the Imperial kennels by the Grand Duke Nicholas.
Further interest was occasioned by the knowledge that after
the show these Russian dogs were to be sold by public auction
to the highest bidders. Large crowds flocked to Islington to
see the wolf-catching dogs from Russia. The sale was an exhilarating
experience. "Oudar", weighing 105 pounds and standing
30 1/2 inches at the shoulder was sold for £200.
Mr. Rawdon Lee gives his opinion that "Oudar",
"Ouslad", "Krilutt", and "Korotai"
were the best Borzois ever seen in England.
extremely fine head became the main attention of breeders, and
in time, by constantly breeding for heads, without considering
the other parts of the dog, they obtained remarkable heads on
hooped bodies and little more. The breed became distinctly weedy
and unsound and rapidly lost ground.
Happily the situation was realized in time,
and owners set out to recreate stamina, sound body and limbs
that had been so characteristic. They have lost nothing by this
recovery, for all the increased beauty has been retained. The
Russian type as it first was when brought into this country
would be considered too clumsy and tall today.
In the history of the breed certain kennels
were noted for their stock. The Duchess of Newcastle has already
been mentioned. In Essex, at Ramsden Heath, some of the finest
Borzois were to be found, bred by Major Borman, amongst others
the famous show matron "Miss Piostre", unbeatable
on the bench and the breeder of remarkable stock. Mrs. Vlasto
(affix "Addlestone") is world-famous, and a great
number of leading champions have been bred or shown from this
kennel, amongst others her Ch. "Sparrow Hawk of Addlestone",
who at one time had sired more champions in the breed than any
An important leading kennel with an international
reputation was started by Mr. Ernest Henry Guy, whose work has
been the building up of sound-bodied stock with good heads and
the best of legs and feet, and who has further helped the breed
whenever possible by guaranteeing classes at shows. Many more
kennels deserve mention, many more having been started in the
The Borzoi is not an easy dog to breed; many
of the dogs one see today are too much like Greyhounds and fail
in the Borzoi character. Borzois too heavy or too light are
by no means attractive. The position and carraige of the head
make much difference to the dog, for a head pointing too much
towards the feet is objectionable. The arch, a characteristic
of the breed, must start as close to the shoulder blades as
possible. It will be noticed in many of the best specimens that
a line drawn from the hock to the start of the tail is at right
angles. Size without coarseness, quality without weakness, are
the two things that every breeder of Borzois must keep in mind.
POINTS OF THE BORZOI AS DEFINED AND ADOPTED
BY THE BORZOI CLUB
HEAD. Long and lean. Skull very slightly
domes and narrow, stop not perceptible, inclining to Roman
nose. Head so fine that the direction of the bones and principal
veins can be clearly seen. Bitches' heads should be finer
than the dogs'. Jaws long, deep, and powerful; teeth even,
neither pig-jawed nor undershot. Nose large and black, never
pink or brown.
EARS. Small and fine in quality; not too
far apart, and when in repose the occiput touching, or nearly
EYES. Dark, intelligent, expressive, set
somewhat obliquely, placed well back, but not too far apart;
eyelids dark. Eyes should not be light or staring.
NECK. Clean, slightly arched, continuing
the line of the back, powerful and well set on, free from
SHOULDERS. Clean, sloping well back, fine
at withers, free from lumpiness.
CHEST. Great depth of brisket, rather narrow.
RIBS. Nicely sprung, very deep, giving heart
room and lung play.
BACK. Rising in a nice arch, the arch being
more marked in the dogs, rather bony and free from any cavity.
LOINS. Broad and very powerful, with plenty
of muscular development.
THIGHS. Long, well developed, with good second
FORELEGS. Lean and straight. Seen from the
front, narrow, like blades, from the side, wide at shoulder,
narrowing down to foot; elbows neither turned in nor out,
HINDLEGS. Long, muscular, stifles well bent,
hocks broad, clean and well let down.
MUSCLES. Highly developed and well distributed.
FEET. Rather long, toes close together and
well arched, never flat.
COAT. Long and silky (never woolly), either
flat, wavy, or rather curly. Short and smooth on head, ears,
and front of legs; on neck the frill profuse and rather curly;
forelegs and chest well feathered; on hindquarters and tail,
feathering long and profuse.
TAIL. Long, well feathered, carried low,
HEIGHT. At shoulder: Dogs from 29 inches
upwards; bitches from 27 inches upwards.
GENERAL APPEARANCE. Very graceful, sristocratic
and elegant, combining courage, muscular power, and great
Points decided on at the Club's General Meeting
in 1922: Head complete (eyes and ears included), 15; neck,
10; shoulders and chest, 15; ribs, back and loins, 15; hindquarters,
stifles and hocks, 15; legs and feet, 15; coat, tail and feather,
10; general appearance, 5. Total, 100.
The following are the most important dogs
and bitches of recent times: Ch. "Felstead"; "Loaningdale";
Ch. "Mythe Mazeppa"; Ch. "Zikovitch of Brunton";
"Trigo"; "Rudolph of Parbold"; Ch. "Mythe
Ivanoff"; "Ruski Alexandra Pepita"; "Mythe
Oleuka"; "Nitsichin"; Ch. "Sladkaya of
Addlestone"; "Ballerina of Bransgore"; Ch.
"Mythe Petroushka"; "Princess Sylvia of Vladimar";