FCI Standard for the Borzoi

Brief historical summary:

The Russkaya Psovaya borzaya has been an integral part of the national culture and Russian history for 9 centuries. The French Chronicle of the Xith century shows that three Borzois accompanied the daughter of the Grand Duke of Kiev, Anna Iaroslavna when she arrived in France to become the wife of Henri I. Among the owners and breeders there were many famous people including Tzars and poets: Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Nicolas II, Pushkin, Turgenev. The creation of the famous kennel "Pershinskaya okhota" by the illustrious breeders the Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaevitch and Dimitri Valtsev had great importance. From the end of the XIXth century, the Borzoi is seen in the biggest breeding kennels of Europe and America.

General Appearance:

Dog of aristocratic appearance, of large size, of lean and at the same time robust constitution, of a very slightly elongated construction. Females are generally longer than males. Strong bone structure but not massive. The bones are rather flat. Muscles lean, well developed, especially on the thighs, but not showing in relief.

Important Proportions:

  • In males the height at the withers is equal or barely superior to that from the summit of the croup to the ground.

  • In females these two heights are equal.

  • The height at the withers must be slightly inferior to the length of the body.

  • The depth of the chest is approximately equal to half the height at the withers.

  • The length of the muzzle, from the stop to the tip of the nose, is equal or slightly to that of the skull, from the occiput to the stop.

Behaviour / Temperament:

In its everyday life the Borzoi has a quiet and balanced character. At the sight of game it gets suddenly excited. It has a piercing sight, capable of seeing very far. Its reaction is impetuous.

Head:

Lean, long, narrow, aristocratic. Seen in profile, the lines of the skull and muzzle form a long, slightly convex line, the line of the sagittal crest being straight or slightly oblique towards the well marked occipital protuberance. The head is so elegant and lean that the principal veins show through the skin.

Cranial Region:

Skull: Seen from above, narrow, elongated into an oval shape; seen in profile, almost flat.

Stop: Very slightly marked.

Facial Region:

Nose: Large, mobile, considerably prominent in relation to the lower jaw.

Muzzle: Long, filled out in all its length, arched near the nose. The length of the muzzle from the stop to the tip of the nose is equal or slightly superior to that of the skull, from the occiput to the stop.

Lips: Fine, clean, well fitting. The eye-rims, the lips and the nose are black whatever the colour of the coat.

Jaws/Teeth: Teeth white, strong; full dentition; scissor bite.

Eyes: Large, expressive, dark hazel or hazel coloured, very slightly prominent, almond-shaped, set obliquely.

Ears: Small, supple, mobile, set on above the eye level and backwards, almost towards the nape of the neck, the tips of the ears situated near each other or directed downwards along the neck and close to it. When the dog is alert, the ears are carried higher and on the sides or forward; sometimes one or both ears are erect like horse ears.

Neck:

Long, clean, flattened laterally, muscled, slightly arched, carried rather low.

Body:

Withers: Not marked.

Back: Broad, muscled, elastic, forming with the loin and croup a curve which is more pronounced in the males. The highest point of this curve is situated in the region of the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebra.

Loin: Long, prominent, muscled, moderately broad.

Croup: Long, broad, slightly sloping. The width of the croup measured between the two hip bones (iliac crests) must not be less than 8 cm:

Chest: Of oval cross-section, not narrow, yet not wider than the croup, deep, well developed in length, spacious, reaching down almost to elbow level. The region of the shoulder blades being flatter, the chest gets gradually wider towards the false ribs, which are short; seen in profile, it forms a change in slope. The ribs are long, slightly prominent. The forechest is slightly prominent in relation to the scapular-humeral articulation.

Belly: Well tucked up, the underline rises abruptly towards the abdomen.

Tail: In shape of sickle of sabre, low set, thin, long. Passed between the hindlegs, it must reach up to the hip bone (iliac crest), furnished with abundant feathering. When the dog is standing, the tail hangs downwards. In action, it is raised, but not above the level of the back.

Limbs:

Forequarters: Forelegs clean, muscled, seen from the front perfectly straight and parallel. The height of the forelegs from the elbow to the ground is equal or little superior to half the height at the withers.

Shoulders: Shoulder blades long and oblique.

Upper arm: Moderately oblique; its length is barely superior to the length of the shoulder blade. Angle of the scapular-humeral articulation well pronounced.

Elbows: In parallel plane to the median plane of the body.

Forearm: Clean, long, of oval cross-section; seen from the front, narrow, seen in profile, broad.

Pastern: Slightly oblique in relation to the ground.

Hindquarters: Seen from behind: straight, parallel, set slightly wider than the forequarters. When the dog is standing true, the vertical line dropping from the ischiatic tuberosity (Point of buttocks) must pass in front of the center of the hock joint and of the metatarsals.

Upper thigh: Well muscled, long, places obliquely.

Lower thigh: Long, muscled, placed obliquely. The femoro-tibial and the tibio-tarsal articulations well developed, broad, clean,; the angles must be well marked.

Metatarsals: Not long, placed almost vertically.

All the articulations are well angulated.

Feet: Lean, narrow, of elongated oval shape (called "harefeet"); toes arched, tight; nails long, strong, touching the ground.

Gait/Movement:

When not hunting, the typical gait of the Borzoi is the extended trot, effortless, very supple and lifting; when hunting the charging gallop is extremely fast, with leaps of great length.

Skin:

Supple, elastic.

Coat:

Hair: Silky, soft and supple, wavy or forming short curls. On the head, the ears and the limbs, the hair is satiny (silky but heavier), short, close lying. On the body, the hair is quite long, wavy; on the regions of the shoulder blades and the croup, the hair forms finer curls; on the ribs and thighs, the hair is shorter; the hair which forms the fringes, the "breeches" and the feathering of the tail is longer.

Colour: Combination of colours: white and yellow of all shades; white and wolf grey (banded hair, agouti); white and light fawn with black overlay, white and red; white and red fawn with black overlay, white and brindle; white and black.

All the colours above mentioned may be solid or pied. The fringes, "breeches", featherings of the tail re considerably lighter than the background colour. For the overlaid colours a black mask is typical.

Size:

Desirable height at the withers:         

  • dogs: 75-85 cm.
  • bitches: 68-78 cm

In males, the height at the withers is equal or barely superior to that from the summit of the croup to the ground. In females, these heights are equal.

Faults:

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

General appearance:

  • Light or massive construction.
  • Stocky appearance or high on the legs.
  • Light bone structure.
  • Insufficiently developed musculature.

Head:

  • Abrupt stop.
  • Profile of the head is distinct wedge shape due to exaggerated height of the skull
  • Forehead broad.
  • Zygomatic arches developed.
  • Muzzle short. Bridge of the nose too narrow
  • Superciliary arches prominent.

Teeth:

  • Small, decayed; abnormally worn.
  • Pincer bite in subjects aged more than 6 years old.
  • Absence of PM1 and PM2 (not more than 3 teeth).

Eyes:

  • Small, round, light hazel.
  • Third eyelid too developed.

Ears:

  • Low set, not set on backwards

Neck:

  • Short, carried high.

Body:

  • Back narrow with a hollow at the level of the anticlinal vertebra (11th thoracic vertebra); too arched.
  • Loin short, straight, narrow.
  • Croup narrow, short, steep.
  • Chest narrow, flat, not deep; sternal line much higher than the level of the elbows.
  • Belly only slightly tucked up.

Tail:

  • Set high or too low; carried high; tip of the tall in ring shape, falling sideways; feathering sparsely developed; short tail.

Forequarters:

  • Scapula-humeral angle too open.
  • In or out at elbows
  • Forearm slightly crooked.
  • Pastern too short, too oblique or too straight.
  • Feet turning slightly in or out.

Hindquarters:

  • Over-angulated or too straight angulation.
  • Close behind or spread hocks.
  • Feet toeing in.

Feet:

  • Tendency to be a little too broad, slightly round, fleshy (thick) or flat; spread toes.

Skin:

  • Insufficiently supple.

Hair:

  • Dull, tousled; fringes, "breeches", feathering of the tail sparse; straight hair; fine curls all over the body.

Colour:

  • Flecks of the same shade as the background colour; striking tan markings.

Serious Faults:

General appearance:

  • Soft constitution, coarse constitution.
  • Short trunk.
  • Heavy, coarse bone structure.
  • Round bones.

Head:

  • Soft tissues.
  • Blunt muzzle.
  • Teeth: Pincer bite in subjects aged less than 6 years.
  • Eyes: Deep set; yellow.
  • Ears: Thick, coarse, with rounded tips.

Neck:

  • Dewlap or loose skin at level of throat; neck of round cross-section.

Body:

  • Back: Sagging; straight back in males.
  • Croup: Very narrow, very short, excessively steep (goose rump).

  • Chest: Hollow in its front part, barrel-ribbed.
  • Belly: Pendulous.

Tail:

  • Coarse, in action, falling downwards.

Forequarters:

  • Important deviations from the points described; knuckling over.
  • Forearm: Of round cross-section.

Hindquarters:

  • Important deviations from the points described.

Feet:

  • Broad, round, "cat feet", flat; spread toes.

Skin:

  • Loose

Coat:

  • Hair: Stiff, bristly.
  • Colour: Flecks of shade other than that of the background colour; all lilac shades.

Behaviour / Temperament:

  • Aggressive towards people.

Disqualifying Faults:

  • Teeth: Any deviation from the scissors bite (overshot or undershot bite); wry jaw, absence of incisors which prevents judging the bite, absence of more than 3 premolars, absence of P4, absence of any molar except M3.

Lower canines set backwards from their normal position thus possibly touching the upper gums or the palate (mandibula angusta).

  • Eye: Wall eye.
  • Tail: Corkscrew tail, broken tail (fused vertebrae), docked, even partially.
  • Presence of dewclaws.
  • Colour: Brown, chocolate.

NB: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum

 

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