Introducing Borzoi Breed
History of the Borzoi
First description of Russian Borzoi breed goes back to 17th century.
At the beginning of the 18th century, the blood of English Borzoi imported to Russia from the west of Europe, and from the 1820s onwards Eastern, Mountain and Crimean Borzoi, was added to the dogs of this breed.
In the 1820s in Russia, almost every wealthy landowner kept hundreds of Borzois. This led to the fact that in different provinces, the most famous owners formed their own types of Borzoi , which had characteristic distinctive external features and were called by the last names of the owners. Gradually, the range of type differences narrowed, most Borzoi began to approach one type in appearance.
Due to the popularity of these dogs, many different types of dogs of this breed were formed, and only after 1888, when the first description (standard) of the modern type was made, the formation of the modern Russian Borzoi began. At that time, there were four independent phenotypes of the Russian Borzoi. The main difference between these dogs was the type of coat, and on their basis a single breed standard was developed for the Russian Borzoi. Since 1874, Borzoi dog shows were held in Moscow, where the best breeds were shown. The first standard for the Russian Borzoi was adopted in 1888.
These dogs began to gain international fame in 1842, when the first Russian Borzois were brought to Britain. There, this breed was exhibited at the world's first Crafts dog show, which took place in 1891. Two years earlier, these dogs came to the New World, where they were already brought from England. After the breed came to the United States, it gained popularity and there, a number of breeders came to Russia specifically for Russian Borzoi puppies. Russian Borzoi received recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1891.
After the October's revolution in Russia in 1917, the number of Russian Borzoi dogs, considered one of the symbols of the nobility, fell sharply. However, after a while, the breed began to be restored, and in 1936 the first Soviet kennel of Russian Borzoi appeared. During the WWII, the number of this breed fell again, and in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) after the siege, not a single representative of this breed remained. Russian Borzoi returned to the city on the Neva only in 1959, when five adult dogs of this breed and several puppies were brought to the city.
In the 1970s, in addition to kennels, clubs of lovers of this breed began to appear in Russia. From the same period, breeding of a number of lines of this breed begins, for which working skills are no longer mandatory, a purely show phenotype of dogs begins to form. At present, the breeding of Russian Borzoi continues both for direct participation in hunting and sports competitions, and for keeping as a companion dog. In 2016, a Russian Borzoi male at the WDS show held in Moscow became the best dog in the Pride of Russia competition.