Borzoi Breed Magazine - Showsight


1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs? 2. In popularity, these elegant friends currently rank #103 out of all 192 AKC-recognized breeds. 3. We think everyone on earth should be a fan, but does the average person in the street recognize him? Is this good or bad when it comes to placing puppies? 4. Few of these dogs really “work” anymore. How has he adapted to civilian life? What qualities in the field also come in handy around the house? 5. A big strong Sighthound requires a special household to be a perfect fit. What about the breed makes him an ideal compan- ion? Drawbacks? 6. What special challenges do breeders face in our current eco- nomic and social climate? 7. At what age do you start to see definite signs of show-worthi- ness (or lack thereof)? 8. We find his aloof demeanor enchanting, but wonderful if this can make him difficult to train. Is this your experience? Does that make it more interesting, or exasperating? (Or both.) 9. What is the most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? 10. What is your ultimate goal for the breed? 11. What is your favorite dog show memory? 12. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. ELLEN HALL My parents met at a dog show. I was born on the way home from a dog show. I come from a large family (nine children). My first babysitter was a Great Dane. My parents had Boxers and Great Danes, Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, Old English Sheep- dogs and Giant Schnauzers. My parents gave all the children, when they were old enough, their first dog, their choice of breed. I was about 15/16 years old when I saw Borzoi at a show (I believe it was Irv Bonois ) and was astounded by their movement. Didn’t get my first Borzoi for another seven years but he was worth the wait. I breed on a limited basis but have had some great successes. Have worked with my Borzoi in feature films with celebrities (Mel Gib- son, Robert Downey, Jr., Jared Leto, just to name a few) I live in Southern California, born and raised in a dog show family. I had a corporate career in Mfg Quality Control, retired in 1989, opened a grooming salon and then took over family boarding kennel in 2005. I’m currently semi-retired. Does anyone in dogs really retire? My average response “on the street” is, “How beautiful! Is that a Greyhound?” In today’s environment with Meet the Breeds and dog shows more widely publicized, I see a more informed person when looking for a new addition to their family. I participate in an annual three day event (America’s Family Pet Expo) which draws approximately 15,000 spectators daily. I am impressed to hear per- tinent questions as to the fit a Borzoi would make for them person- ally. I am fortunate to have most of my puppies spoken for before they are born. My experience over the last 45 years with Borzoi adaptabil- ity has been incredible. Inside, I find they want to be where you are and have a relatively calm demeanor. They get to use their inherent skills outside keeping uninvited guests (cats, small wildlife and coyotes) off their property.

They are the ideal companion, they are always there, easy to travel with and for their size rather unassuming in a social situation. Drawbacks are they require socialization, to stay in good shape, we need exercise and proper nutrition. And, obviously, their size. When interviewing a prospective new puppy owner, you want to ensure they are prepared to take on a 10 to 15 year commitment. As cost of living increases and smaller living spaces become more com- mon, educating a new owner to the cost, time and responsibilities required to have the pet/show dog you saw that interested you to begin with, that is paramount. I am observing my puppies the moment they drop. It is amazing what you can see from the beginning. At approximately eight weeks I begin to see trait consistencies (good and not so good) that guide me to my next up and coming show prospect. Does the breed’s aloof demeanor make training more interest- ing or exasperating? Definitely both. Over the years my experience has led me to at least leash train puppies before they go to their new homes. This gives the new owner the beginning most new puppy owners want, which to show off their new addition to their family. The most important thing about the breed for a novice to keep in mind when judging? Borzoi is a slow maturing breed. Have patience. Yes, we can show young dogs and finish them quickly sometimes. However there is still a dog in progress. Borzoi can complete growth and maturity as late as three to four years. Have patience. My ultimate goal for the breed is to keep and preserve the Borzoi uniqueness that I have enjoyed all these years and hope to share with others the same. My favorite dog show memory? I can’t point to one specific memory but I can tell you my dogs and their participation with me at dog shows, never ending excitement. PRUDENCE HLATKY I brought my first Borzoi in 1971, paying $100 and trading an Indian sitar for her. She finished within the year. When I was first starting out, I was fortunate to have some stellar mentors. Thanks to their guidance I’ve gone with a very small, limited breeding pro- gram that has produced multiple champions, several all champion litters, #1 Borzoi, BIS/BISS winners and multiple top producers and ROMC Borzoi. In the beginning of lure coursing (1970s) I also had several BIF winners. I live south of HHH—“Hot, Humid Houston”, Texas. What do I do outside of dogs? Who has time to do stuff outside of dogs? Professionally I work for Phillips 66, an energy distribution com- pany. In my little free time I try to keep my birds, butterfly and bees garden blooming. We’re surrounded by commercial rice fields and our garden is a very popular stopping place for flying friends. Does the average person in the street recognize the breed? While one of the sweetest breeds around I would be very happy if Borzoi never became one of the top most popular breeds The sighthound temperament is not for everyone and too often the average person is looking for the wrong breed in a Borzoi. How has the breed adapted to civilian life? I don’t feel there’s very many ‘field’ qualities that come in handy while around the house. Field qualities call for a hunting gamey dog. We do our best to suppress this gaminess in modern society. What about the breed makes them an ideal companion and are there drawsback? Did I mention hair, hair and more hair? As the old song goes, “Hair, Hair, Everywhere”. Definitely a drawback.


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