An Outline of the History of the Borzoi
This article was written in 1891 by Baron G.D. Rozen and
was published in the journal Russkii Okhotnik. This material was
graciously provided by Dr. Jim Sillers, who had the work translated
and the resulting paper presented at the 1997 BCOA National Specialty
and at the International Borzoi Conference in October 1998. Thanks
In intending to write a historical essay on
the borzoi, I must not fail to touch on the history of the dog
In this outline the reader will not find a comprehensive
and detailed description of various breeds of dogs. But wherever
possible I shall strive to join all existing dogs into several
separate groups that I believe were original and from which all
others descended; I shall be guided by one hunter's view of teh
subject, since, in my reasoning, the dog originally could have
existed in a domestic state only in the hunting sense, and only
later could have begun to benefit man in another sense.
First I shall treat the dog as a fossilized animal
and say all that can be said about the prehistoric dog. I shall
divide dogs into groups conforming to the proclivities and character
of the animal.
The second section of the outline will occupy
the period of historical existence of the borzoi (wolfhound1)
in other European countries and among us [in Russia].
At the end I shall examine the present status
of the borzoi among us and abroad. I must say, unfortunately,
that the Russian section in regard to dogs is extremely meager,
and that I have had to be guided largely by foreign sources and
largely to endeavor to come up with ideas from my own conjectures.
I allow the readers themselves to judge to what extent these conjectures
are accurate, and I would be very grateful to them for any statements
and corrections from them.
Perhaps some of them will come up with sources
as yet unknown to me, in the form of old letters and memoirs;
communication of these materials in print would of course contribute
nothing other than good to the history of Russian dog breeding,
and might shed new light on the subject of such interest to us,
a subject in which, alas, almost nothing has been done to date.
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