BORZOI HISTORY / povijest pasmine


They say that the first borzois were brought to Russia by Kublai Khan in 9th century.

The French Chronicle of the XIth century shows that three Borzois accompanied the daughter of the Grand Duke of Kiev, ANA YAROSLAVNAa when she arrived in France to become the wife of Henry I.

1613 Imperial Kennels of the Czars in Gatchina was founded, where borzoi was bred for hunting, with 60 couples of borzoi, 20 couples of english foxhounds, 8 couples of bearhounds and 100 horses.

At the Perchino kennels number of dogs were even greater, with 365 dogs (100 foxhounds, 130 hunting borzoi, 20 retired borzoi, 15 greyhounds, 100 borzoi puppies) 87 horses, and 78 persons that worked in kennels. Dimitrii Walzoff visited perchino kennels and wrote a book about hunts "The Perchino Hunt", in wich he descibes hunting with borzoi and other breeds.

Another great kennel was Woronzova (around 1900) 

Borzoi dog was used in hunting hare, fox, wolfs and other wild animals.



Hunting parties in old Russia would consist of over one hundred Borzoi representing several kennels, with many kennels breeding their dogs for a specific coat color.

Polovy - begins with colour of cream and reaches red.
Burmatny - wool as though covered with dust.
Chubary - like a tiger.
Masurina - a red color with a black muzzle, it is frequent at the ends of ears and feet.
Murugiy - red or dark red gradually makes the way to black.
Zagrivina - a white mark round a neck fleet.
Belogoristy - a white breast and the bottom part of a neck.
Pershinskaya okhota - Pershino hunt
Imperatorskaya okhota (Gatchinskaya okhota) - Imperial hunt (Gatchina hunt)
G.D. - Grand Duke Nikolay Nikolaevich


In his book "The Perchino Hunt" Dimitri Walzoff describes how the Hunt with borzoi look like.
Interesting were ststistics.
In period from 15. September - 10 October they cought 57 foxes and 526 hares!
In one saison they hunted not more than 80 wolfs, but in one autumn the number was 101 (in between also 3 adults)!
Borzoi were never used to hunt only wolf! They were used to hunt HARES, proof of this is statistics aove, quoted from the book "Perchino hunt".

The gunless hunting with hounds, particularly for hares or foxes, became widespread in the Russian Empire in the 18th-19th centuries, after the reign of Empress Anna who liked gun deerstalking. Emperor Peter II and Empress Elizabeth were among the most prominent lovers of hunting with hounds.

After the Revolution, state kennels were founded in Russia, they were bred for hunting (Engels and Saratov kennels)
Dog shows and Hunting shows were countinued. 

The Pershino estate in Tula with borzoi.  


In Intereuropean Borzoi Almanach by Jo Heller (Vorenhoff borzoi) she describes seven types of the sighthound breed that helped in forming todays borzoi:
1. the ancient close-coated sighthound or Gustopsovaya
2. the ancient short coated sighthound or Tchistopsovaya
3. the Brudastic sighthound or rough coated sighthtound
4. the sighthound of Courland
5. the Mountain sighthound
6. the Crimean sighthound
7. the Polish Chort

They all played a determinant and essential part in forming our modern borzoi.



Today borzoi is a dog for active people who love their dog to be quiet and calm inside house.
Borzoi is still a hunting dog in USA, Russia or Ukraine, so be prepared for a dog with high prey drive!

A good alternative to hunting is Lure Coursing, where borzoi chase plastic lure and get their excersise at the same time.


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