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Breed Priorities – Borzoi

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242 – May, 2015

By Nikki Riggsbee

 

Borzoi, once known as Russian Wolfhounds, are one of the largest sighthound breeds. They aren’t among the biggest entries at dog shows, and they are 99th on AKC’s ranked list of breeds based on registrations. A very beautiful breed, they were often included in art deco pieces, contributing to the elegance and style of the artwork. Today’s Borzoi experts put more emphasis on the form and function of the breed.

With lower numbers than many breeds, I was pleased to find more than fifty breeder-judges to invite to take a survey to identify the most important features of the breed. Forty-three experts agreed to participate, and twenty-nine surveys were received, the last one as I was writing this article.

These experts averaged more than 37 years in Borzoi, and have been judging the breed for nearly fifteen years on average. Most have judged their national specialty and other Borzoi specialties.

Borzoi Virtues

The survey included a list of virtues from the Borzoi standard for the breeder-judges to rank. Below is the list in order of the average of the experts’ ranks, from most important to least important.

1. Sound running gear

2. Back rising a little at the loins in graceful curve

3. Loins extremely muscular, rather tucked up

4. Unmistakable elegance

5. Hindquarters long, very muscular, well-bent stifles, somewhat wider than forequarters

6. Proper condition

7. Neck free from throatiness; slightly arched, very powerful, well set on

8. Foreleg bones straight, somewhat flattened like blades, narrower edge forward

9. Jaws long, powerful, deep

10. Skull slightly domed, long, narrow, scarcely any perceptible stop, Roman-nosed

11. Chest rather narrow, with great depth of brisket

12. Hare-shaped feet

13. Males, masculine without coarseness; bitches, feminine and refined

14. Ears small, fine, lying back on the neck in repose

15. Tail long, set on and carried low in graceful curve

16. Even or scissors bite

The greatest agreement with nearly ninety percent was on “Sound running gear” (1st). The next biggest majority, more than sixty percent, was on “Ears small, fine, lying back on the neck in repose” (14th).

Seventeen experts similarly valued “Back rising a little at the loins in graceful curve” (2nd). A related virtue, “Loins extremely muscular, rather tucked up” (3rd), had almost as many consider it important, but eleven had it a quartile lower, reducing its rank.

“Unmistakable elegance” (4th) was placed first on eleven surveys and a majority valued it highly, but seven surveys had it unimportant, dropping its rank. As with “Elegance,” sixteen breeder-judges agreed on “Skull slightly domed, long, narrow, scarcely any perceptible stop, Roman-nosed” (10th) and “Tail long, set on and carried low in graceful curve” (15th). However, almost a third had “Tail” a quartile more important than the majority opinion.

A small majority agreed on “Hindquarters long, very muscular, well-bent stifles, somewhat wider than forequarters” (5th) and “Hare-shaped feet” (12th). The majority had “Hare feet” placed lower, but eleven put it midpoint, raising the average.

The small majority also concurred on “Loins extremely muscular” (3rd) and “Even or scissors bite” (16th). “Bite” had varied opinions, with seven having it in the second quartile and seven others in the third; even so, it still placed at the bottom of the list.

Many of the virtues had bi-polar opinions. “Neck free from throatiness; slightly arched, very powerful, well set on” (7th) had eleven consider it midpoint, nine quite important, and seven unimportant.

Almost half thought “Foreleg bones straight, somewhat flattened like blades, narrower edge forward” (8th) should be in the middle of the list, while eight had it towards the bottom, and seven nearer the top. “Jaws long, powerful, deep” (9th) had a similar split.

Click here to read the complete article

242 – May, 2015

Short URL: http://caninechronicle.com/?p=77512

Posted by on Apr 26 2020. Filed under Current Articles, Editorial, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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