from Hutchinson's Popular and Illustrated Dog Encyclopedia, published Great Britain in weekly excerpts in 1934.


click to enlargePerhaps 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 given up.

click to enlarge

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.

The 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 other dog.

trio of Addlestone Borzoi

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 succeeding years.

Ernest Henry Guy's Borzoi

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.


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 so.

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 throatiness.

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 thigh.

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, pasterns strong.

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, not gaily.

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 speed.

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.

Mythe Novikoff

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"; "D'Avrille".

Mythe Mazeppa

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


if you have an informational link that you would like to see listed, or if you find a link that is no longer working, please contact the webmaster

[our logo Borzoi was provided and is copyrighted by Cecelia Barnett] ~ [ about the Photos on this site ]

Borzoi Central | Design by Gryffyn | R. Lynn Shell-Whitlock
contact webmaster

The use of robot, spiders, webcrawlers or reapers, or any other means to reproduce this site, its databases, its programs or any part thereof is strictly prohibited.