Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Borzoi - Russian hunting Sighthound

(Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya)

Borzoi

Borzoi


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Russia.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
25.10.2006.
KC
March 1994

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Hunting sighthound, racing and coursing hound.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 10Sighthounds
Section 1Long-haired or fringed Sighthounds
Without working trial

KC
Hound
UKC
Sighthound/Pariah

TRANSLATION

:
FCI
R.K.F., revised by U. Fischer, R. Triquet and J.Mulholland.

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
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 Tsars 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.
UKC
The Borzoi was once known as the Russian Wolfhound and did originate in Russia, where coursing hounds of this type have been known of since the 13th century. The breed was used by the Russian aristocracy to hunt the populous wolves. They were often presented as gifts to other members of the European nobility, and were almost never sold. Because the breed was seen as a symbol of the aristocracy, it was almost decimated during the Bolshevik Revolution. A few dedicated breeders managed to save the breed and exported specimens to other parts of the world, especially to Britain, Canada and the United States. The Borzoi was recognized by the United Kennel Club (as the Russian Wolfhound) in 1914.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
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.
KC
Well balanced, graceful, aristocratic, dignified and elegant.
UKC
Since the Borzoi was originally bred and used for the coursing of wild game on an open terrain, they relied on sight rather than scent. The physical structure and characteristics of the breed mirror the need to chase, catch and hold their quarry. Primary emphasis is placed on sound running gear in a well-conditioned animal, accompanied by agility and courage and a strong neck and jaw. The Borzoi always possesses unmistakable elegance and flowing lines, and is graceful whether in motion or at rest. Males are masculine while not being coarse; females are feminine and refined. Any deviation from the following standards should be penalized in the degree of deviation from the ideal.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
FCI

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.
KC
A coursing hound which must be courageous, powerful and of great speed.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
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.
KC
Sensitive, alert and aloof.
UKC
The Borzoi today is highly prized as a companion animal, being intelligent, calm and quiet.

HEAD

:
FCI
Viewed from above as well as from the side, 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.
KC
Head long, lean and in proportion to dog’s size and substance. In bitches head finer than in dogs. Well filled in below eyes. Measurement equal from occiput to inner corner of eye and from inner corner of eye to tip of nose. Skull very slightly domed and narrow, stop imperceptible. Head fine so that bones and principal veins can be clearly seen. Viewed from side, forehead and upper line of muzzle form an almost straight, slightly convex line. Jaws long, deep and powerful; nose large and black, nicely rounded, neither cornered nor sharp. Viewed from above skull should look narrow, converging very gradually to tip of nose. Occipital process very accentuated.
UKC
Viewed from any angle, the head is lean, long and narrow, with an aristocratic appearance. In profile, the top lines of the skull and the muzzle form one long, slightly convex line.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Narrow; seen from above elongated into an oval shape; seen in profile, almost flat.
UKC
The skull is narrow. In profile, it is nearly flat. From above, it appears to be an elongated oval. The stop is only very slightly marked.

Stop

:
FCI
Only very slightly marked.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Large, mobile, considerably prominent in relation to the lower jaw.
UKC
The black nose is large and considerably prominent in relation to the lower jaw.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Top of muzzle: Long, filled out in all its length, slightly 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.
KC
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Full, strong dentition desirable.
UKC
The muzzle is at least as long as the skull. The underjaw is strong. The top of the muzzle is slightly arched near the nose. The lips are fine, clean and close, and black in color.

Lips

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

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Strong underjaw. Teeth white, strong; scissor bite or pincer bite.
UKC
A full complement of large, strong, white teeth meet in a scissors or level bite.

Eyes

:
FCI
Large, very slightly prominent, expressive, dark hazel or dark brown, almond-shaped, but not slit-eyed, set obliquely.
KC
Dark with intelligent, keen and alert expression. Almond-shaped, set obliquely and placed well back but not too wide apart. Eye rims dark. Eyes not light, round, bulbous or staring.
UKC
The rather large, almond shaped eyes are set on the skull somewhat obliquely. They are dark In color, with a rather soft, intelligent expression. The eye rims are dark.

Ears

:
FCI
Small, thin, mobile, set on above the eye level and backwards, pointing almost towards the nape of the neck when not alert. The tips of the ears are 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.
KC
Small, pointed and delicate. Set high but not too far apart. Nearly touching at occiput; when in repose folded back along neck. Should be active and responsive, may be erect when alert, tips sometimes falling over.
UKC
The active, responsive ears are small and fine. When in repose, the ears lie back on the neck, with the tips almost touching behind the occiput. They are raised when the dog is at attention, the tips sometimes falling over.

NECK

:
FCI
Long, clean, flattened laterally, muscled, slightly arched, never carried high.
KC
Slightly arched; reasonably long and well muscled. Free from throatiness, flattened laterally, set at an angle of 50-60 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the body.
UKC
Long, clean and flattened on the sides, the neck is slightly arched and never carried high.

BODY

:
KC
Chest, ribs of narrow oval cut, great depth of brisket reaching to elbows, giving great heart and lung room, especially in mature dogs. Breastbone slightly pronounced with adequate width between elbows and abdomen very tucked up. Back rather bony, muscular and free from any cavity, rising in a graceful curve with well balanced fallaway. Highest point of curve is situated over last rib. Curve is more pronounced in dogs than bitches. Loins broad and very powerful with plenty of muscular development. Fallaway long and well muscled. Width between hip bones at least 8 cm (3 ins).
UKC
In proportion, the Borzoi is slightly longer than tall. The chest is deep and oval in shape and there is a prominent forechest. The ribs are flatter right behind the shoulder blades and then gradually spring more towards the back of the ribcage. They are slightly prominent, and long. The withers are not high. The back is broad, well muscled and elastic, and together with the loin and croup forms a curve, which is more pronounced in the males. The highest point of the curve is situated in front of the middle of the loin, or at the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebrae. The loin is long and prominent and the croup is long, broad and slightly sloping.

Withers

:
FCI
Not marked.

Back

:
FCI
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 ahead of the middle of the loin or in the region of the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebra.

Loin

:
FCI
Long, prominent, muscled, moderately broad.

Croup

:
FCI
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

:
FCI
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.

Underline and belly

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

TAIL

:
FCI
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 naturally, the tail hangs downwards. In action, it is raised, but not above the level of the back.
KC
Long, rather low set, when measured between thighs reaches up to top of nearest hip bone. Well feathered, carried low in a graceful curve. From level of hocks may be sabre- or slightly sickle-shaped but not ringed. In action not rising above level of back.
UKC
The tail is low set, long and thin. It is sickle or saber shaped and long enough to reach to the hip when pulled between the rear legs. It is well furnished with hair. When the dog is moving, the tail is raised, but not above the level of the back.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
FCI
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.
KC
Shoulders clean, sloping well back. Muscular but not loaded. Fine at withers but not accentuated. Forelegs clean and straight. Seen from front, narrow like blades; from side, wider at elbows narrowing down to foot. Elbows directed backwards, neither turning in nor out. Pasterns slightly sloping, strong and flexible. Length of forearm nearly equal to half total height at withers.
UKC
The shoulder blades are long and oblique. The upper arms are just slightly longer than the shoulder blade and join the shoulder blade at a well pronounced angle.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Shoulder blades are long and oblique.

Upper Arm

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

Elbow

:
FCI
In parallel planes to the median plane of the body.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The forelegs are long, clean, perfectly straight and parallel. The length of the foreleg from elbow to ground is equal to or slightly greater than half the height at the withers. The bone of the forearm is oval in shape; seen from the front it is narrow, seen from the side it is broad. The pasterns are slightly oblique.

Forearm

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

Pastern

:
FCI
Slightly oblique in relation to the ground.

FEET

:
KC
Front feet oval, toes close together, well arched over strong, thick pads, turning neither in nor out. Hind feet hare-like, i.e. longer and less arched.
UKC
The hare-shaped feet have well-arched knuckles. The toes are close and well padded.

Forefeet

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

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Seen from behind straight, parallel, set slightly wider than the forequarters. When the dog is standing naturallly, 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.
KC
Quarters wider than shoulders, ensuring stability of stance. Thighs long, well developed with good second thigh; hindlegs long and muscular; stifles well angulated, hocks broad, clean and well let down. Posterior line of hock vertical. Seen from side, legs slightly set back.
UKC
Viewed from behind, the rear legs are straight, parallel and set slightly wider than the forelegs. When the dog is standing naturally, a line dropped from the point of the buttocks should fall in front of the center of the hock joint.

Thigh

:
FCI
Well muscled, long, placed obliquely.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The upper thighs are well muscled, long and obliquely placed. The lower thighs are long and there is good angulation at the stifle. The hock is well angulated and the rear pastern is vertical and not long.

Lower thigh

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

Rear pastern

:
FCI
Not long, placed almost vertically. All the articulations are well angulated.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
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.
KC
Front, straight with long reach, pasterns springy. Hind, straight with powerful driving hocks. Moving wider than front. Viewed from side, appearance in action should be that of effortless power.
UKC
The Borzoi moves with an extended trot that is very supple, effortless and lifting. When hunting, the gallop is extremely fast with very long strides.

SKIN

:
FCI
Supple, elastic.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Silky, soft and supple, wavy or forming short curls, but never small tight 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. The coat on the neck is dense and abundant.
KC
Silky, flat, wavy or rather curly (but never woolly). Short and smooth on head, ears and front of legs; much longer on body with heavy feathering on backs of legs and hindquarters, tail and chest. Neck carries a large curly frill. More profuse in dogs than bitches.
UKC
The long, silky coat may be flat, wavy or loosely curled. It is short and smooth on the head, ears and front of the legs. On the shoulder blades and the croup the hair forms finer curls. The feathers on the hindquarters and tail are long and profuse, but they are less so on the chest and back of the forelegs. The coat on the neck is dense and abundant.

COLOUR

:
FCI

All colour combinations, but never with blue, brown (chocolate) and any derivatives of these colours.
All the colours may be solid or pied. The fringes, « breeches », featherings of the tail are considerably lighter than the ground colour. For the overlaid colours a black mask is typical.
KC
Any colour acceptable.
UKC
Any color or combination of colors is acceptable.

SIZE

:
KC
Minimum height at withers: dogs: 74 cms (29 ins); bitches: 68 cms (27 ins).
UKC
Mature males, measured at the withers, must be at least 28 inches in height. Mature females measured at the withers, must be at least 26 inches in height. Mature males and females above the respective limits should not be penalized, but quality must not be sacrificed in favor of size. Males range in weight from 75 to 105 pounds. Females are 15 to 20 pounds less.

Height at withers

:
FCI

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. Subjects exceeding the maximum height are acceptable provided the typical morphology is preserved.

FAULTS

:
FCI

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 and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
  • Teeth: Small, abnormally worn teeth. Absence of one PM2. PM1s and M3s are not taken into account.
  • Colour: Flecks of the same shade as the ground colour.
KC
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 and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
FCI

  • General appearance: Stocky appearance ; short trunk. Heavy, round bone.
  • Head: Soft tissues. Blunt muzzle. Very pronounced stop. Very pronounced zygomatic arches. Occiput not pronounced.
  • Teeth: Lack of one PM3, one PM4 (lower jaw), one M1 (upper jaw), one M2.
  • Eyes: Deep set; yellow or light; slit eyes (too narrow palpebral aperture); showing haw.
  • Ears: Thick, coarse, with rounded tips.
  • Neck: Presence of dewlap.
  • Back: Sagging; straight back in males.
  • Croup: Goose rump.
  • Belly: Pendulous, insufficiently tucked up.
  • Tail: Coarse; in action, falling downwards.
  • Forequarters: Scapular-humeral angle too open (straight shoulder) In or out at elbows. Forearm Of round cross-section. Any deviation of the forearm. Knuckling over. Weak in pasterns.
  • Hindquarters: Over angulated or too straight angulation. Close behind or spread hocks.
  • Feet: Tendency to broad, round, thick feet; cat feet, flat feet; spread toes.
  • Coat: Colour Flecks on the body of another shade than the ground colour.
UKC

Teeth: Missing teeth or overshot or undershot bite.
Eyes: Round, full or staring eyes. Light-colored eyes.
Size: Mature males and females below the minimum height.
Gait: Hackney motion with mincing gait. Weaving. Crossing.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
  • Teeth: Overshot or undershot mouth. Wry 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, even partially.
  • Hindquarters: Presence of dewclaws.
  • Colour: Brown (chocolate), Blue.
UKC
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

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