SORTING OUT THREE ELEMENTS OF BREED TYPE
A ll breeds have specific breed elements. To quote Richard G. Beauchamp from his book, Solving the Mysteries of Breed Type , these include coat, head, movement, function, and temperament. But what makes these elements specific to a Borzoi? Let’s look at coat, head, and movement.
BY JON TITUS STEELE
COAT A Borzoi will spend hours out in the snow, curled in a ball, comfortable and protected by that double coat. Climate and func- tion have played a big role in developing the breed over hundreds of years. Consider the geography of origin for the Borzoi; the steppes of Russia with its cold harsh winters, hot summer days, and temperatures that run to extremes from day to day and with the time of year. To simplify, the Borzoi is a blend of an ancient Persian greyhound and a heavier, northern working breed similar to an Ovcharka. To get a dense, protective coat that sheds dirt and debris, there had to be a double coat, for protection in the winters, and a silky outer coat. They had to have a silky outer coat with guard hairs so that the dogs would be able to move through rug- ged terrain with speed, without getting hampered by a wooly or an over-abundant coat. A ruff around the neck was important to pro- tect the Borzoi from the bite of a wolf. With the ruff came fringe on the front legs and hind quarters, also for protection. There are at least three types of coat in Borzoi; straight, wavy, and curly. All are correct and all should have a correct silky texture. A wooly coat is a fault. To the touch, the coat should be smooth and supple, not dry or harsh. In old photographs, you can see all three coats. However, a difference in length and abundance when
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION | 231
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