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. Harmony of form
and movement is of prime importance.
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 superior 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; scissor
bite or pincer bite. Eyes : Large, expressive, dark hazel
or dark brown, very slightly prominent, almond-shaped, but
not slit-eyed, 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 or 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 a 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 centre of the
hock joint and of the metatarsals. Upper thigh : Well muscled,
long, placed 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 : All colour combinations, apart from any combination
including blue, brown (chocolate) and any derivatives of these
colours. All the colours above mentioned may be solid or pied.
The fringes, « breeches », featherings of the tail are 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. Animals exceeding the maximum height
are acceptable provided the typical morphology is preserved.
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 in distinct wedge shape due to exaggerated
height of the skull.
Zygomatic arches developed.
Muzzle short. Bridge of the nose too narrow.
Superciliary arches prominent
Small, abnormally worn. Lack of one PM2.
PM1s and M3s are not taken into account.
Eyes : Small, round, light hazel; slit eyes (too narrow palpetral
Third eyelid too developed.
Ears :Low set, not set on backwards
Neck : Short, carried high.
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 tail
in ring shape, falling sideways; feathering sparsely developed;
Scapulo-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
Over-angulated or too straight angulation.
Close behind or spread hocks.
Feet toeing in.
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.
SERIOUS FAULTS :
General appearance :
Soft constitution, coarse constitution.
Heavy, coarse bone structure.
Teeth : Lack of one PM3, one PM4 (lower jaw), one M1 (upper
jaw), one M2.
Eyes : Deep set; yellow.
Ears : Thick, coarse, with rounded tips.
Dewlap or loose skin at level of throat; neck of round cross-section.
Back : Sagging; straight back in males.
Croup : Very narrow, very short, excessively steep (goose
Chest : Hollow in its front part, barrel-ribbed.
Belly : Pendulous.
Tail : Coarse, in action, falling downwards.
Forequarters : Important deviations from the points described;
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
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
Behaviour / Temperament :
Aggressive towards people.
Teeth : Overshot or undershot mouth.
Lack of one incisor, one canine, one carnassial tooth (PM4-upper
jaw – M1-lower jaw), lack of more than 4 teeth (any four teeth).
Faulty position of one or both canines of the lower jaw which,
when the mouth is shut, can damage the upper gums or the palate.
Eye : Wall eye.
Tail : Corkscrew tail, broken tail (fused vertebrae), docked,
Presence of dewclaws.
Colour : Brown (chocolate), Blue.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles
fully descended into the scrotum.