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Full text of "Observations on Borzoi: Called in America Russian Wolf-hounds, in a Series ..."

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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 



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fPUBUCLIBKAXY 



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Draicn from lije by Harper f enaif 



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OBSERVATIONS ON 

BORZOI 



CALLED IN AMEBICA 
RUSSIAN WOLFHOUNDS 

In a series of Utters toajriend 
By JOSEPH BP^raOMAS 



" Hie diaae I ling, houDda, ftnd th«r varioui breed, 

"And noleaa varioututea . . . 

" Ddga thou to hear mj bold, initructive Mog." 

SoMHtVIUA 



1 






BOSTON AND NEW TOEK 

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY 

Mx BUteT^r pafi CamkrHigt 

1912 



.vGoo^'Ic 



! 8/ouos" 






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FOREWORD 

This little book not only gives a striking 
picture of the wonderfully beautiful Borzoi 
with more accurate historical data of his Rus- 
sian environment than has probably appeared 
elsewhere, but it contains an enlightening 
description of his use, capabilities, and limita- 
tions. The author has studiously avoided the 
suggestions and pitfalls of some of the earlier 
importers and fanciers who claimed an impos- 
sible combination of speed, endurance, and 
courage for the Borzoi. He has expended more 
time and energy in fixing a correct type of this 
picturesque hound than any American, and 
probably more than any one in Europe, bar- 
ring a very few in Russia. 

The results achieved by him in popularizing 
and developing the Borzoi in the United States 
solely for the love of the hound and for sport, 
the large numbers of fine specimens imported 
and bred by him, his travels in Russia, where 
he hunted with the Borzoi and studied the 
history and type, his experience in coursing 
on our own plains with sight-hounds of all 



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vi FOREWORD 

modem kinds, clearly make the writer of this 
book an authority on the subject. 

The valuable matter contained herein and 
the charming style in which it is narrated must 
appeal to all lovers of man's most faithful 
friend, and above all to those who are inter- 
ested in a hound "no fonder of fighting than 
the deerhouad, faithful as the collie, and more 
picturesque than either." 

Henry T. Allen 

Major U. S. A. ; some time U. S. MJIitary Attache 
at St. Petersburg. 



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CONTENTS 

LBTTBB I 

The Name i 

The AmiqniTr of CoaRsiNa 5 

VARieilBa OF COUBSINO HoUNDB .... 8 

LETTER II 

PbOBABLE OBUnN of the PaOTOT BoRZOt 16 

The Ancient Ttpe 19 

The Old-Tuis Hdntino Conditions in Russia . S3 

LETTEB III 

Advent of the Modebn Type t5 

DisPEBBAL or Many Kennels in Bitbsia . iS 

DiSTBiBDTiOH OF THE MoDEBN Type Asboad . 29 

LETTER IV 

Redintegration of the Ancient Ttpe ... 39 

LETTER V 

Modebn Huntino nt Rdbsia 53 

LETTER VI 

Hunting in Auebica 71 

LETTER VII 

Shows and Showing 91 

Effect Thebeof 91 

Deqenebact 09 

Comhentb on Breeding 95 

LETTER VIII 

Kennel Manaoeuent 101 

Feeding 105 

ADDENDA HI 



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THE AOtHOR 

WiCh (rending from left to rijht) 

CHAUFION KOFCHIO O' VALLBT FABH 

NEVBKI O' VALLEY FARM 
CHAMPION BORVAN O' VALLET FARIf 
RABSSIDA or WORONZOVA 
CHAMPION BISTRI OF PBRCHINA 

( RA8B0I O' VALLEY FARM 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

LETTER I 

Valley Farm Kennels, 
January 34, 1912. 
Since you have been so good, dear Major, as 
to desire to hear from me, I must now comply 
with your wishes. I have deferred, from time 
to time, the writing of these letters hoping that 
some one better informed than I am would an- 
ticipate me, and so render my labor needless. 
However, since but little has been written on 
this interesting subject, — even many breeders 
appearing quite uninformed, — it seems that 
my efforts will not be entirely useless, and I 
shall therefore be delighted to accede to yoiu: 
request, especially as you consider my work a 
necessary one. To be sure, there does appear to 
be a lamentable amount of ignorance concern- 
ing the history and uses of the Borzoi, which is 
the more surprising in view of the antiquity of 
■ the breed and its presence in many corners of 



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2 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

the world, largely on account of its extraordin- 
ary beauty. 

I prefer to use the Russian name "Borzoi," 
meaning swift, rather than the term used in 
America, "Russian Wolfhound." The word 
"Borzoi" means swift, Hght, agile, and is the 
exact equivalent of the German Windhund, the 
French levrier, the English greyhound (or 
formerly gazehound). The Russians refer to 
Asiatic Borzoi, Crimean Borzoi, Polish Borzoi, 
as the Germans refer to der englische Wind- 
hund, der russische Windhund, and the French, 
to levrier russe, levrier anglais, levrier ecoasais. 
There is no such breed as the Siberian wolf- 
hound. 

The Russian Borzoi is no more exclusively a 
wolfhound than is the English Borzoi; for, al- 
though it has in some instances been especially 
trained on wolves, it is more commonly used 
for fox and hare coursing. The term "wolf- 
homid," current in America, is therefore a mis- 
nomer, and in fact only came into official use 
here about 1890 (on the suggestion, it is said, 
of Mr. James Watson, the well-known judge) 
because of a bitter and ridiculous controversy 
then going on over the names " Borzoi " and 
"Psovoi" among certain fanciers and newspaper 



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THE OHIMKUl OR TARTAR BORZOI 



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RUSSIAN BOBZOI — BtrOLIBH ORET HOCUD 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 5 

writers who themselves were, ia most cases, 
quite ignorant on the subject. The Russian 
greyhound referred to has been used in Russia 
for many centuries, for coursing hare and other 
game, as were used the sloughiy or greyhounds 
of Egypt, depicted on the monuments of that 
country thousands of years before Christ. 

There are many persons who seem to have 
no comprehension of what is meant by cours- 
ing, perhaps because they happen to live in 
countries where the lack of game suitable for 
that purpose, or the conformatioD of the land, 
precludes its pursuit. In attempting a brief de- 
scription of it, I miay possibly be understood 
the better if I use the term "longhound" in a 
general sense, to describe the several kinds of 
short- and long-haired coursing animal. 

The earliest record of the sport comes down 
to us from the Egyptian monuments to which I 
have already referred; but in song and in fable, 
in illustration and even in history, longhounds 
have taken their place, with the falcon and 
other animals of the chase, for many thousands 
of years. 

Arrian, a military officer under the Emperor 
Hadrian, wrote a long dissertation on the sub- 
ject, in which he says, "Those Gauls who only 



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6 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

course for tJie sport, and not to' live by what 
they catch, never use nets," showing that even 
in those early days coursing had grown to be 
more than simply a pursuit of food, and that 
even then sport was in the ascendant. Arrian 
further says: — 

The most opulent and luxurious among the Gaula 
course in this manner. They send out good Hare-finders 
early in the morning, to those places where it is likely to 
find Hares sitting, who send back word if they have 
found any, and what number; then they go out them- 
selves, and put tliem up, and lay in the dogs, themselves 
foUowing on horseback. 

Whoever has good greyhounds should never lay them 
in too near the Hare, nor run more than two at a time. 
For, though the animal is veiy swift, and will oftentimes 
beat the dogs, yet, when she is first started, she b so ter- 
rified by the hollowing and by the dogs being very close, 
that her heart is overcome by fear ; and, in the confusion, 
very often the best sporting Hares are killed without 
shewing any diversion. She should, therefore, be suf- 
fered to run some distance from her form and re-collect 
her spirits, and then, if she is a good sporting Hare, she 
will lift up her ears, and stretch out with long rates from 
her seat, the dogs directing their course after her with 
great activity of limbs, as if th^ were leaping, affording 
a spectacle worthy the trouble that must necessarily 
be employed in properly breeding and training these 
dogs. 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 7 

Count Gaston de Foix, a mighty lord and 
mighty hunter, wrote in 1337 what is perhaps 
the oldest treatise on Ae subject in any mod- 
em language; and between the years 1400 and 
1413, Edward the Third's grandson, Edward, 
second Duke of York, no other than he who 
led the vanguard for England at Agincourt 
and died on the field of battle, wrote what he 
terms a "litel symple book." This work was 
almost a literal translation of the words of 
Gaston de Foix, with five original chapters on 
English hunting. 

It appears from these two medieeval works 
that sight-hunting, or coursing, was carried on 
very extensively, not only in connection with 
falcons, but also in connection with scrait- 
hoimds, raches or limers, which latter may be 
likened to our modern beagles or bloodhounds. 
In the illustrations of Gaston de Foix's book, 
now preserved in the Bibliothfeque Nationale at 
Paris, are depicted both smooth- and rough- 
coated greyhounds. 

We note that, all over the world, coursing 
has been conducted for thousands of years, 
originally with the sole motive of procuring 
food, and latterly for sport. There are numer- 
ous accounts of hunting expeditions of the sev- 



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8 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

eral Mongol rulers of Asia from the days of tiie 
conqueror Genghis Khan in the thirteenth 
century, in which greyhounds are mentioned as 
the principal sporting dogs. An Englishman, 
William Blaine, who attended a hunting excur- 
sion of the Vizier of the Mongol Empire in 
India in 1785, mentioned that this nabob car- 
ried on his expedition three hundred gr^- 
hounds and at least two himdred hawks. 

All breeds of coiursing hounds resemble each 
other more or less in general conformation, as 
a result, doubtless, of their all having been 
bred for speed. 

"The Hunter's Calendar and Reference 
Book," published in Moscow in 1892, divides 
the Borzoi into four groups: First, Russian or 
Psovoy Borzoi, of more or less long coat; sec- 
ond, Asiatic, with pendent ears; third, Hortoy, 
smooth-coated; and fourth, the Brudastoy, 
stiff-tufted or wire-haired. Of the better- 
known breeds there are nineteen; but there are 
many more varieties in northern Africa and 
southwestern Asia of widely varying character- 
istics, but little known and, so far, not fully 
described. 



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]j Morrlnn B. Yuac K. ■ 



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I HnKTER AMD HIS BOBZOI 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 11 

Rusnan Borzoi 
i. Old Psovoy or Gustopsovoy Borzoi. 

2. Courland Borzoi. 

3. Modem Psovoy Borzoi. 

4. Chistopsovoy Borzoi. 

Asiatic Borzoi 

5. Caucasian or mount^n Borzoi. 

6. Tazyor Turkomenian Borzoi. 

7. Crimean Borzoi. 

8. Persian Borzoi. 
d. Khiva Borzoi. 

10. Kirghiz Borzoi. 

11. Moldavian Borzoi. 
li. Arabian Borzoi. 

13. Soudan Borzoi. 

Hortoy Bonoi 

14. English Borzoi. 

15. Polish Borzoi. 

Brudastay Borzoi iTufie£) 

16. Courland tufted Borzoi. 

17. Russian Brudastoy Borzoi. 

18. Scotch deerhounds. 

19. Irish wolfhounds. 

Russian Borzoi 
Old Russian Psovoy, or Gustopsovoy Borzoi, 
had many varieties, but they all conformed to 
the following general characteristics: — 



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12 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

Ears, short and pointed; when quiet, lying 
back on the neck and touching or crossing each 
other by the lips. 

Ribs come down below the elbows. 

Back, of the males rising in a hump from the 
shoulders, and falling again to the hips; the 
bitches had a straight back, though sometimes 
they also showed a slight hump. 

Feet, long, never round like the English 
hound. 

Hair, dense, soft, and silky, longer than 
with any other breed. On the neck the hair 
longer and heavier, sometimes forming a 
muff. 

Color of the type was grey and yellow, also 
these mixed; but the color must not be too 
deep, nor the same all over the dog. For in- 
stance, a yellow dog (of which the straw or 
maize color was preferred) must have the muz- 
zle, throat, chest, hip edges, and lower side of 
tail, considerably lighter in color, even passing 
into white on the tips; the same of the grey 
dog. Neither must the color be too dark or too 
deep, and it must pass into the lighter one 
gradually, not in sharply defined spots. An 
unbroken dark red or ash-grey color, even with 
lighter shadings on the edges, is objected to; 



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ZCTCLOH OF PEBCHINA 
Imported by tba Valley Funii Kennt 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 15 

but the same dog can have jrellow and grey 
mixed in its coat. 

In respect to special features of all the differ- 
ent varieties of the Russian Psovoy Borzoi, the 
authoritiesdo not differ veiy much; and if occa- 
sionally some one defends some particular de- 
viation, it is mainly owing to private reasons; 
and though his dogs may be of pure blood and 
breed, still their deviation from the estab- 
lished type cannot be approved. For instance, 
the ribs of the Russian Psovoy Borzoi are not 
barrel -shaped, as those of the Caucasian and 
Crimean dogs; they are longer and extend 
farther down; and the hips are never so large as 
th(»e of the Caucasian and English dogs. 

It seems sure that all breeds of Russian 
Borzoi came from one common root, namely, 
from the crossing of the Asiatic or Eastern 
Borzoi, which penetrated into Russia some 
hundreds of years ago, with the Northern 
wolflike dogs, or even perhaps with the wolf it- 
self. This is proved by the ears and by the long 
hair on the neck. The Courland Borzoi seems 
also to have added its blood to the breed and 
given to it the long, curly hair. 



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LETTER II 

No less an authority than Mr. Artem 
Balderoff, of Woronzova, in the Province of 
TamoflE, in describing the olden-time hunting 
in Russia, has told me that hunting there was 
formerly managed on a most magnificent scale ; 
the details of which I will give you later. Mr. 
Balderoff advances the theory that the several 
breeds of longhounds have in their origin little 
or no connection. For example, he believes 
that the Psovoy Borzoi of Russia — that is, the 
long-haired Russian sight-hound — developed 
by a process of evolution — swiftness being de- 
sired — from the long-coated, smooth-faced 
bearhound of early Russia, an animal similar 
to the modem laika, but larger; and that the 
rough-coated longhound of the modem Scotch 
deerhound type, with its rough coat extending 
to the face, had an entirely different origin — 
possibly, in this latter case, from some dog not 
dissimilar to the old English sheepdog, an 
earlier type of which may be seen in its rela- 
tive, the modem owtchar, or South Russian 
sheepdog. 



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I ASD HUE. ARTEH BALDBROFF OF WORONZOVA 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 19 

The Crimean greyhound has pendent ears, 
which would seem to denote an entirely differ- 
ent origin from the English greyhound. What- 
ever may have been the exact origin of the 
Russian Borzoi, the ancient type of this hound 
has little except speed lines which would make 
it show any blood relationship to the other 
breeds, and the subdivisions or variations dif- 
fer but little one from the other. To summar- 
ize, hounds of this ancient type, which existed 
in all purity in Rtissia previous to the begin- 
ning of the nineteenth century, had little or no 
stop to the skull, tremendous depth of chest, 
were rather flat-sided, and had great length of 
tail, the hair of which in frequent instances 
trailed on the ground. The coat was long and 
silky. 

In a word, this "ancient type" hound had a 
character entirely its own, and, so far as ap- 
pears, there was great uniformity among the 
hounds that were kept in vast numbers by the 
nobles. Apparently from the earliest times 
every color from pure black to pure white was 
acceptable. 

The first mention of dogs that catch hare 
seems to have been made in 1260, in connection 
with the court of the Grand Duke of Nov- 



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20 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

gorod, at the time of the Grand Duke Vasili of 
Moscow, father of John the Terrible, first Czar 
of Russia, when the then German Ambassador 
writes of hunting-dogs, in his reports. In 1650 
comes the first written description or standard 
for Borzoi, in which long, not too curly coats 
seem to be fashionable. In the eighteenth 
century hounds with curly coats were highly 
regarded. 

Only about seventy-five different names 
were commonly used for Borzoi; but in pedi- 
grees the owners' names were put with them, 
thus avoiding confusion. Common names, 
which have been handed down for hundreds 
of years, are: — 



Charade! 


— magician. 


Blistai 


— brilliant. 


Sverkai 


— flashing. 


Nadmen 


— proud. 


Lubim 


— beloved. 


Atmen 


— "one among many." 


Almaz 


— diamond. 


Lebid 


— swan. 


Aspor 


— the winner of a dispute. 


Atamen 


— chief of Cossacks. 


Rasboi 


— brigand. 


Tiran 


— tyrant. 


NaiaD 


— troublesome for beasts. 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI «1 



Malodieb 


1 — brickbat. 


Oudaloi 


— brickbat. 


Oudar 


— a blow, or to give a hkm. 


Kopctiick 


— a small falcon. 


Karatai 


— rapid. 


Ardagan 


— favorite falcon of John the 




Terrible — a Tartar name. 


Bistri 


— rapid. 


Krilatka 


— white falcon. 


Krilat 


— winged. 


Zorka 


— dawn. 


Lada 


-bride. 


Chara 


— enchantment. 


Tiranka 


— female tyrant. 


Lihodka 


— flier. 


Grozan 


— tempest. 


Zanoza 


— sweetheart. 


Son-a 


— impulsive. 


Seiga 


— a doe. 


Strela 


— arrow. 


Colchan 


— quiver. 


NaUvka 


— wine. 


MiJka 


— darling. 


Krassai 


— handsome. 


Brassai 


— as rapid as a dart. 


Tersai 


— tearer to pieces. 


FUai 


— hot-headed. 


Lebed 


— swan. 


Lebedbka 


— female swan. 


Saiga 


— antelope. 




— swallow. 



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22 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

Eolpic — white falcon. 

Kolpitsa — " " (Fem.) 

Kroglic — " " 

Berldet — ** '* 

Orlick — eagle. 

Krechit — falcon. 

It appears that every Russian nobleman of 
any importance had his "hunt," and con- 
ducted the same with as much seriousness as 
did his confreres of western Europe and Eng- 
land in the time of the Normans. There were 
kennels, kennel-men, horses and horsemen — 
the hunting-horses all of one color, the himt 
livery all of one hue; — there were human 
beaters and scent-hounds finding the game, the 
guancki, old-fashioned black-and-tan Russian 
hounds. There were many establishments of 
several hundred hounds, and one is authenti- 
cally stated to have numbered a thousand. 



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AHCIENT TTPS 

(dog) 



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ANCIEHT TT 



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LETTER III 

Doubtless you will be interested in know- 
ing how it came about that the ancient type of 
Borzoi at one time nearly disappeared. It 
happened thus: shortly after the close of the 
Napoleonic wars, and the subsequent revival 
of sporting activity in Russia, there arose a 
great craze for trying experiments in crossing 
foreign greyhounds with the ancient type 
Borzoi of that country. Various breeds were 
used; but principally English and Polish 
greyhounds (the latter a cousin of the Eng- 
lish breed), and Crimean or Asiatic grey- 
hounds with pendent ears. To such an ex- 
tent was this crossing practiced that in 1861, 
when the serfs were emancipated and condi- 
tions in rural Russia were turned topsy-turvy, 
there were few hounds left in the whole coun- 
try the blood of which had not been contamin- 
ated by the foreign invasion. After the "free- 
dom," large numbers of the Russian nobility, 
who were paid by the Government when their 
land was relinquished to the former serfs, left 
their estates and repaired to the cities and 
watering-places of Europe. Inmany cases their 



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26 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

kennels were either entirely given up, or utterly 
ruined by the extended absence of the lord 
of the manor. When the noble eventually 
returned to his estate in after years, he was 
oftentimes no longer in a position to redinte- 
grate his kennels, so that the maintenance of 
hounds and hunting, which had originally been 
a universal custom throughout Russia, re- 
mained in isolated instances only. Private 
ownership in small holdings also militated 
against the sport in some localities. The eco- 
nomic conditions were not dissimilar to those 
in the Southern States of America at the close 
of the Civil War. Thus it will be seen that first 
from the mixing of the breed, and then later 
from the decrease in the munber of hounds, the 
ancient type became nearly extinct, so that 
when the first exportations of Borzoi were 
made from Russia, so far as I can ascertain, 
none of the real ancient type hounds ever left 
the country. It is even doubtful if they could 
have been readily found had the exporters 
known the difference. Very few of any kind 
ever went to Continental Europe. They were 
held at too high prices for one thing, were dif- 
ficult to obtain at all, and were usually only 
sent out to individuals as presents. 



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« ANCIENT nrPB BORZOI AND HUNTSIUS 



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CZABINA O' VALLEY TABU 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 29 

.It is not precisely known who first intro- 
duced Borzoi into England; but a writer of 
1878 observes, concerning British dogs, that 
Borzoi, or "Barzois," as he spells it, "are 
scarce in this country, which is to be regretted, 
as they are strikingly handsome." 

In the early days of the Borzoi in Great 
Britain a few were exhibited at the Kennel 
Club shows, among the best of which were 
H. R. H. the Prince of Wales's Moeldewitz 
(probably a misspelling of Moloditz), from the 
Imperial Kennels at Gatchina, near St. Peters- 
burg; Mr. Cumming Macdona's Sandringham, 
by Moeldewitz, out of Oudalscha; and Lady 
Emily Peel's Czar, a white with fine markings 
like his dam, Sandringham. Czar was by the 
Duke of Hamilton's Moscow, a prize-winner ' 
at the Crystal Palace in 1875. 

A writer in the "Stock-Keeper" of about 
1890 remarks: "The hounds which Lady 
Charles Innes-Ker used to exhibit were very 
beautiful creatures and pleasantly colored, the 
rich-toned orange patches making a rich con- 
trast to the pure body white. They were, we al- 
ways understood, descended from specimens in 
the Imperial Russian Stud, which were origin- 
ally presented to Lord Cowley. Lady Emily 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



30 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

Peel used also to exhibit a very grand speci- 
men of the breed." 

From the public appearance of Krilutt, 
property of the Honorable Mrs. Wellesley, of 
Merton Abbey, Surrey, at the Alexandra Pal- 
ace Show in the spring of 1889, dates the pre- 
sent popularity of the breed in England and 
America. Krilutt is described by Hugh Dal- 
ziel, the well-known writer on dogs, as the best 
of his day in England. This dog, imported by 
Colonel Wellesley, was bom April 27, 1886, 
and was bred by Mr. Korotneff. A report of 
the Moscow Dog Show for 1888 describes 
Krilutt as the winner of a silver medal, which 
means that he was a fair specimen, but not 
good enough to deserve the gold medal, only 
given to hounds of premier rank. He is said to 
have sold for four hundred roubles. His mea- 
surements, taken from the "Stock-Keeper," 
with comments, were as follows: — 

Length of head llj 

From occiput to between shoulders llj 

From between shoulders to between hips 28 

From between hips to set-on of tail 6j 

Length of tail (not reckoning hair) %1 

Total length 73i 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 31 

Inches 

Height at shoulder (taken fairly) SOJ 

Girth of chest 3S 

Girth of narrowest part of tuck-up 22 

Girth just above the stifle-bend 13 

GirtJi round the stifle 11^ 

Girth, hock joint 6) 

Girth below hock joint 4J 

Girth, elbow joint 8} 

Girth above elbow joint 8J 

Girth, midway between elbow and pastern 6 J 

Girth of neck 17 

Girth of head, round occiput 16^ 

Girth of head between ocdput and eyes 16J 

Girth of head round the eyea ISj 

Girth of head round the muzzle, between eyes 
and nose 9 



"We give these details fully, because, this dog 
being now proved to be the handsomest of its 
kind in England, we think they must be not 
only interesting, but likewise of instructive 
value as a means of future comparison. Krilutt 
has the best feet we have seen on any of these 
hounds: they are more hare- than cat-footed. 
He is a little short in tail, and his head could be 
somewhat leaner. The name Krilutt is the 
Russian ." winged " — in the sense that Mer- 
cury has wings; hence it means "fast in the 



,:,7i.i.i Google 



32 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

wind." After the advent of Krilutt and the ex- 
hibition of a few specimens in the mixed classes 
for foreign dogs, the popularity of this breed 
soon spread so that as many as forty individ- 
uals were exhibited, the principal breeders and 
exhibitors being the Duchess of Newcastle, 
Colonel the Honorable Charles Wellesley, Mrs. 
Alfred Morrison, Mr. W. H. Huntington, Mr. 
Kenneth Muir, and Mr. Freeman-Lloyd. The 
Duchess of Newcastle became the largest im- 
porter, going as far as St. Petersburg on one 
occasion herself, and sending agents. 

In 1891, the agent of her Grace, Mr. Mus- 
grave, sent out, I believe, from St. Petersburg 
a shipment of no less than nine at one time. Of 
all the shipments made, there appears to have 
been not one really good "ancient type" 
hound, and in few cases did the importers have 
the slightest idea of what the pedigrees of their 
hounds meant — that is, they had no know- 
ledge of the type of the progenitors of their 
purchases. However, it is from an old picture 
of Mr. Musgrave's that I first obtained an idea 
that the "ancient type" ever had existed. Mr. 
Musgrave had found this picture in Russia, al- 
though I do not suppose he, or any other for- 
eign fancier, ever saw a hound to approach the 



DowrdDyGoOglc 



CHAMPION BISTRI 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OHAHPION BOBTA OF WOROHZOTA 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 35 

dog depicted until I visited the grand kennels 
at Perchina many years afterwards — which 
visit I shall describe to you later on. 

Several of the early imported hounds came 
from the Imperial Kennels at Gatchina, near 
St. Petersburg, which were full of greyhound 
blood and showed it in short tails, distinct stops 
to the skull, and short coats in some instances, 
while others came from sources no less free from 
the greyhound cross. No less an authority than 
Mr. Artem Balderoff, who knows almost by 
heart the breeding of every dog in Russia, is 
the source of my information, which verifies 
thoroughly the distinction between ancient 
type (Gustopsovoy Borzoi) and modem type 
(Christopsovoy Borzoi), mentioned in the 
"Hunter's Cidendar" already referred to in 
this letter. 

So far as is known, the first Borzoi which 
came to America was brought out from Eng- 
land by Mr. William Wade, of Hulton, Penn- 
sylvania. In 1889 or 1890 he imported a bitch 
called Elsie, having purchased her from Mr. 
Freeman-Lloyd, who afterward became well 
known as a judge in America. Elsie is de- 
scribed in the "English Stock-Keeper" as 
" nothing to look at, being small, light, and 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



36 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

weedy, no bone, back straight, very curly 
tail and too bent in the stifles." 

Late in 1889 or early in 1890, Paul H. Hacke, 
Esq., of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, through his 
friend. Dr. J. B. Grimes, of Pittsburg, began a 
long correspondence with Mr. A. J. Rousseau, 
an Englishman residing in St. Petersburg. 
This correspondence resulted in the purchase 
by Mr. Hacke of numerous Borzoi, a number of 
which died in transit. Perhaps the best known 
of the collection was Zloeem, bred by Prince 
G. B. Galitzine, who, if I am not mistaken, was 
at that time in charge of the Imperial Kennels 
at Gatchina. 

Mr. H. W. Huntington, Secretary of the Na- 
tional Greyhound Club, about this time im- 
ported a number from England, including the 
tan-and-white dog, Argoss ; and about the same 
time C. Stedman Hanks, Esq., of Boston, vis- 
ited St. Petersburg personally, and, assisted by 
the then Lieutenant H. T. Allen, Military At- 
tach^ to the American Legation, purchased and 
sent out a number of hounds to his Seacroft 
Kennels at Manchester, Massachusetts, in- 
cluding Leekhoi, Groubian, Raskeda, Svodka, 
Obruga, Kingal, and Flodeyka. Mr. Hanks ap- 
pears to be the only extensive American im- 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 37 

porter of these hounds who ever personally 
visited Rtissia until my own visit in 1903. 

From time to time importations were made 
from England, but after the first few years 
nothing of importance was brought out from 
Russia until 1903, except several importations 
of nice-looking hounds by Mr. Edward L. 
Krauss, of Slatington, Pennsylvania. His 
soiu-ce of supply was German, and these 
hounds had good heads and good coats, but 
had evidently been kennel-raised for many 
generations, and seemed to show it in disposi- 
tion and lack of stamina. Many of them were 
very weedy, although pretty to look at. To 
Continental Europe there were apparently 
never any important exportations from Rus- 
sia, although naturally, individual dogs were 
sent out from time to time. In 1903-04 1 found 
nothing there of interest. Although several 
large kennels existed in France, Belgium, and 
Holland, the hotmds lacked class and uniform- 
ity of type; and all showed the need of work in 
the hunting-field. Many of these hounds were 
of English breeding. 

Hardly had the several Iota of importations 
referred to reached America than a most ridicu- 
lous squabble arose over the name of the breed. 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



38 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

and the proper type of dog, its color, uses, and 
abilities. There were columns upon columns of 
argument in the sporting papers of the day, 
mostly written by those who had no know- 
ledge, except second-hand knowledge, of what 
they were writing about, and judges decided 
one way in one show and another way in an- 
other — judges who had never seen a Borzoi 
six months before. Because the breed came 
from Russia and because at times wolves were 
coursed there, competitions in wolf-coursing 
were held, which were, naturally, farcical, for 
it is quite imcertain that any of the dogs which 
competed were trained wolfhounds, and in all 
probability they were not in condition. Inci- 
dentally, they were supposed to kill their wolf, 
a thing which is never demanded in Russia, 
and which very few dogs of any breed could do. 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



LETTER IV 

I THINK I have shown you that when, fifteen 
to thirty years ago, Borzoi were being sent out 
from Russia, although there were then veiy few 
specimens of the ancient type in existence, there 
was a distinct idea in the mind of the Russian 
as to what that type had been; for not only was 
this idea depicted by drawings, but written 
standards were made which called, in most ex- 
act terms, for the salient characteristics of the 
ancient type. For example, L. P. Sabaneyef , of 
Moscow, writing in 1892, although recognizing 
that the breed had changed somewhat, calls for 
a standard requiring length of coat, length of 
tail, and shape of head, such as were not to be 
found in the animals that had left Russia. Al- 
though some of the exportations were fairly 
good specimens individually, on account of 
their mixed blood it was quite impossible to 
find them breeding true. In England and 
America the lack of dogs approaching this 
ideal standard had caused much controversy 
as to what type to breed. 

After having bred such Borzoi as I could ob- 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



40 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

tain in America for a number of years, and 
having read everything I could find on the sub- 
ject, I came to the conclusion that in America 
there were no hounds that fulfilled the re- 
quirements of the Russian standard, nor even 
the requirements of the English standard, 
which as a matter of fact was practically a copy 
of the Russian. I was, moreover, decidedly 
nonplussed by the r^eated failure of the breed 
to reproduce itself with any kind of regularity. 
Of course at this time I was unaware of the 
crossings which had been perpetrated. Finally 
I became so much perplexed in regard to this 
matter that in July, 1903,1 went to England to 
inspect the several kennels there, of which I 
had heard so much. After weeks spent in visit- 
ing every prominent breeder in England, I 
was convinced that England was Uttle, if any, 
better off than the United States. The then 
principal kennel was most notable for the size 
and coarseness of its dogs, which characteris- 
tic, together with the fact that many of them 
were very unsound, made them anything but 
coursing types. Coarse heads, with prominent 
stops to the skull, were here very much in 
evidence. Hardly any two dogs looked alike. 
In the minor kennels there were a great many 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



CHAKPION BinRI OF PBRGHIHA 
An idol HDclant tfpa hod 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 43 

weeds. There was no definite type to be seen, 
and, as a whole, the English representation 
lacked character. There was no definite cachet 
to the breed. There were positively no hounds 
that had real quality and substance combined. 

Early August saw me in St. Petersburg, and 
here I nearly gave up the search fcfr the ideal, 
of which I had seen pictures, as I have told 
you. On visiting the Imperial Kennels, at 
Gatchina, near the capital, I saw only two out 
of eighty grown dogs that I should have liked 
to possess; but what was more discouraging 
than this was the fact that no distinct type was 
visible. Some were well coated, others the con- 
trary; some had fairly good heads, while others 
were absolutely poor types — not Borzoi but 
greyhound. The reason for the lack of type in 
England and America here became immedi- 
ately patent, as more specimens had gone to 
those countries from the Imperial Kennels 
than from any other. Fortunately, in spite of 
further disappointments, I did not relinquish 
my quest until I had visited the kennels of 
Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaiovitch, and that 
of Mr. and Mrs. Artem Balderoff. 

My visits to these kennels came almost by 
accident, for Russia is a country of great dis- 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



44 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

tances; and accurate information on any sub- 
ject, especially sporting subjects, is most dif- 
ficult to obtain. The Russian sportsman is 
even more apt to underestimate or overesti- 
mate than is his American confrere, and there 
are fewer sources of information. 

From St. Petersburg I had gone to Moscow, 
and visited kennels there with no success in 
finding what I was looking for, but what I did 
find was more pictures, and this encouraged 
me to continue my search. With great diffi- 
culty I obtained the address of the editor of a 
little sporting paper, and gleaned from him, 
after using parts of several languages, that Mr. 
Artem Balderoff had an excellent kennel, and 
he.thought moreover that H. I. H. the Grand 
Duke Nicholas also had "some hounds." 

Little did I realize at the time what my for- 
time was to be, for had I not seen either of 
these kennels, I should have been little the 
wiser for all my trip. I sent off a telegraphic 
request to be allowed to visit them, and for- 
tunately the wires brought favorable replies; 
in the one case from Mr. Balderoff himself, in 
the other from M. Dimtry Walzoff, who is 
*'chef du comptoir" to the Grand Duke. 

My trip from Moscow brought me early on 



Do,:,7.dDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 45 

the following morning to Tula, a town some 
hundreds of versts from the ancient capital. 
After some difficulty I obtained a troika. With 
a crack of the driver's knout and the tinkle of a 
string of bells hung at the horses' throats, as 
was formerly done in all posting conveyances 
all over Europe, the heavy carriage, similar to 
our victoria, rolled over the cobblestones of 
the town street and out along the dusty trail 
towards the estate of the Seigneur. For hours, 
we passed through a closely cultivated grain 
country, where the peasants were gathering the 
last vestiges of the crops, by methods in many 
instances not far removed from those em- 
ployed in Egypt in the days of bondage, past 
flocks and herds, and droves of hobbled horses 
attended by barefooted boys and girls — 
through forest and open plain until the eye 
was delighted by the sight of the white walls of 
Monseigneur's mansion, nestled in the midst 
of an irregular hamlet of peasants' izbas. 

I was met by M. Walzoff himself, that ex- 
cellent sportsman and breeder, and by Captain 
Golovin, the resident manager of the kennels, 
and was most hospitably entertained. The 
hunting-lodge, built many years ago by an 
Italian architect, as were many of the Russian 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



46 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

country estates, looks over a broad expanse of 
prairie dotted with coverts. The magnificent 
kennels lie on the two slopes of a valley to the 
left. Nearly every room in the lodge is hung 
with hunting-trophies killed by the Grand 
Duke, and rigorously "protected" by his 
clown, a dwarf about three feet six inches tall, 
bearing on his thumb the Seigneur's signet 
ring, a curious relic of mediaeval custom. 

I was not at all prepared for what I saw in 
these wonderful kennels. The size and even- 
ness in type of the hounds were wonderful for 
any breed. Originally they were all white and 
grey; but have now bred white and tan, tan 
and black, all grey, and even black and pure 
white. The black ones are not kept. 

Facies noD omnibus una. 

Nee diversa tamen, qualem decet esse sororum. 

At first it was nearly impossible for me to 
comprehend how these dogs could be so good, 
displaying everything that the ideal pictures 
had called for. Eventually I ascertained that 
about twenty-seven years ago the Grand Duke 
Nicholas had started the kennel, and later had 
placed it in charge of M. Walzoff, who had had 
his own hunt at one time. With every resource 
at his command, M. WalzoflF got together at 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



THE RCSSIAN TRAIL HOUND OR OUAHCBI 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



WOBONZOVA iXD ITS OVMER 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 49 

first comparatively few specimens of real an- 
cient type hounds, finding them in remote 
comers of Russia. Having a complete know- 
ledge of their blood lines, he was able, by intel- 
ligent action, by never selling any, and by the 
severest process of selection, to produce the 
wonderful collection as it exists to-day. It has 
been a great feat of breeding, for in some in- 
stances results were only brought about by in- 
direct methods, such as outcrossing. 

I explained to M. WalzoflF the difficulties 
that Borzoi fanciers outside of Russia were ex- 
periencing, and he was good enough to promise 
that, if possible, I might have some of the ani- 
mals from Perchina, which promise was even- 
tually carried out not only in 1903 but in 1904, 
when I for the second time visited Perchina. 
Again in 1911 I secured two dog hounds. 

After being so immensely surprised at what 
was shown me here, although nobody, not even 
Russians, seemed to be aware of what was to 
be seen, I hardly knew what to expect at 
Womnzova, where I arrived after many hours 
of railway travel, and versts upon versts in a 
troika, in a driving rain through seas of mud. 
Glad, indeed, was I to drive through the pack 
of yelping peasants' dogs in the village of 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



50 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

Woronzova, and to enter the great hall of the 
lord of the manor, product of another Italian 
architect more than a hundred years ago. 

No more hospitable welcome or more charm- 
ing visit could have fallen to the lot of any one 
in any country, and I shall never forget how 
nearly impossible it was to tear myself away 
after a week's stay. Here also I obtained some 
hounds, but better than all, — in excellent 
English and the most perfect French, — a 
complete explanation concerning Borzoi his- 
tory and breeding from that keen and extraor- 
dinarily well-informed fancier, the master of 
this domain of ten thousand hectares. One's 
first thought is, why have not English and 
American breeders seciu^ specimens of these 
dogs, and why has not more been heard of 
them? There are three suflBcing reasons an- 
swering this query. Primarily, these wonder- 
ful kennels are very remote from the ordinary 
traveled route; secondly, owing to the English 
dog quarantine laws, very few Borzoi have in 
recent years left Russia; and, thirdly, years 
ago when exportations did take place, this type 
was unobtainable. So far as I could ascertain, 
no foreign Borzoi fancier, up to the time of my 
trip, had ever visited either of these kennels. 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



LETTER V 

In the world of sport in America there are 
but few pastimes which date back scores of 
years, and mifortunately there is little tradi- 
tion of custom extant to make them interest- 
ing. Russian hunting, on the contrary, has been 
handed down from the nomad days of the peo- 
ples whose blood now flows in the Slav race, 
and the procedure has come with it. In France 
almost identical methods were employed in 
wolf hunting previous to the revolution. Fal- 
conry in connection with coursing no longer 
exists except among the Tartar tribes east of 
the Volga, where in wolf -coursing Asiatic grey- 
hounds are assisted by eagles used as falcons. 

It must not be thought that modem hunting 
in Russia is pursued as it was in its palmy days, 
but through central Russia south of Moscow, 
in remote sections, it is still continued with 
much of the grandeur of years ago. I have seen 
it mentioned that a M. Kalmoutsky expended 
in one year over forty-two thousand roubles in 
an eSort to make his hunt the finest in all Rus- 
sia; but in coursing as in other hunting it takes 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



54 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

many years and much treasure to bring about 
the best results. In 1904 I hunted with the 
wonderful hunt of H.I.H. the Grand Duke 
Nicholas. On his enormous estate of Perchina, 
the hare, the fox, and the wolf are preserved 
with the greatest care. The three hundred 
Borzoi and the hundred couples of foxhounds 
are kept in the most perfect manner, trained 
and fitted for their work with the discipline and 
individual attention practiced in a racing- 
stable. Great care is taken concerning the liv- 
ery, and even the color of the horses must be 
uniform. In the hunt of the Grand Duke Nich- 
olas they are all roans. In another hunt I was 
informed they were all piebalds and skewbalds. 

The Borzoi of the Grand Duke are exclu- 
sively the ancient type hounds, while the fox- 
hounds, or more properly scent-hounds, are 
English foxhounds, although in some kennels 
the old-fashioned Russian black-and-tan scent- 
hound, or guanchi, is still used. 

There are two distinct methods of hunting: 
one, called field hunting, where the huntsmen, 
mounted on ponies, proceed in a long skirmish 
line across the open, fenceless country, slipping 
their hounds on whatever jumps up. They ad- 
vance at a walk or slow trot, in a half-moon- 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



EET OF THE BORZOI OF THE GRAND DUKE NICHOLAS 

NEAR PERCBINA 

M. Art«m WilUofl moanCAi] on UH; CipMlo Oolorio itudlDii 



Qo,:,7.dDyGoOglc 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 57 

shape skirmish line, about two hundred yards 
apart. 

Another distinctly different method is that 
of stationing on all sides of a covert mounted 
huntsmen with Borzoi in slips. If wolves are 
likely to be found, two dogs and a bitch make 
"the team." Hare and foxes are more often 
coursed than wolves; but in each case three 
different methods are employed to drive the 
game from covert. It must be understood 
that the country is quite without fences or 
ditches, with only here and there small groves 
of a few acres in extent. The whereabouts of 
game is usually reported by the herdsmen. 

In the early morning may be seen, wending 
its way along the trail-like roads of the dis- 
trict, a long line of mounted hunters, each 
holding in his left hand a leash of three mag- 
nificent Borzoi, two dogs and a bitch as nearly 
matched in color and conformation as possible, 
and followed by the pack of Anglo-Russian fox- 
hounds, with the huntsmen and whips in red 
tunics. On arriving at the scene of the chase, 
the hunters are stationed by the master of the 
hunt at intervals of a hundred yards or so until 
the entire grove is siirrounded by a long cordon 
of hounds and riders. A signal note is heard 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



58 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

on a hunting-horn, and with the mingled music 
of the trail hounds, shouts of men, and the 
cracking of whips, the foxhound pack is urged 
into the grove in pursuit of the hidden game. 
The scene is certainly a mediseval one. The 
hunters, dressed in typical Russian costumes, 
with fur-trimmed hats, booted and spurred, 
and equipped with hunting-horn, whip, and 
dagger, and mounted on padded Cossack 
saddles high above the backs of their hardy 
Kirghiz ponies, holding on straining leash 
their long-coated, exceedingly beautiful ani- 
mals, make a picture that once seen is not 
easily forgotten. But hark! — the sound of 
hound voices is changed to a sudden sharp yap- 
ping of the pack in "full cry," and simultane- 
ously there springs from the covert a dark grey 
form bent upon reaching the next woods, some 
hundreds of yards away. In an instant he is 
well in the open, and sees, only too late, that 
he has approached within striking distance of 
the nearest leash of Borzoi. With a cry of 
"Ou-la-lou," and setting his horse at a gallop, 
the hunter slips his hounds when they view the 
game, to si^t which they oftentimes jump five 
or six feet in the air. There is a rush, — a 
spring, — and with a yelp the foremost hound 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



RUSaiAK WOLT HUNTING 
Tlig mnUiodt ue ilmoM idcntLul to tbOH in Togua in 
berore tb« Revolution 



,y Google 



BUBBUN HARE COUnSlKG 



Do,1,7cd.yGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 61 

13 sent rolling; but instantly is back to the at- 
tack, which continues — a confused mass of 
white and grey, swiftly leaping forms and 
snapping fangs — until a neck-hold is secured 
by the pursuing Borzoi, who do their best to 
hold the wolf prostrate. Then, in a most spir- 
ited dash, the hunter literally throws himself 
from the saddle of his hunting-pony on to the 
prostrate wolf. Formerly a deftly wielded 
knife assisted in avoiding any further trouble 
for the dogs; but of late years it has become 
better form to take the wolf alive. A short 
stick, with a thong at each end, being held in 
front of the wolf, he seizes it, and the hunter, 
with instant dexterity, ties the thong behind 
the brute's neck. Reynard and the hare are 
captured in the same manner by the dogs, but 
in that casea toss in the air is usually sufficient. 
In winter, when snow covers the ground and 
it is reported there has been seen, in any par- 
ticular locality, a family of wolves, the Borzoi 
are often taken on a low sled, arranged with a 
blanket screen, to a position near the runway 
which the wolves are likely to use in passing 
from one covert to another. Foxhounds, or 
beaters, are sent into the grove, and the wolf is 
driven forth; and when well in the open, the 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



m OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

blanket screen on the sled Is drawn aside and 
the almost deathlike silence of the snowy waste 
is disturbed by the wild rush of dashing bodies 
and flying snow. 

An amusing anecdote is recorded by one of 
the best -known hunters in Russia, of how a few 
years ago he had slipped his hounds on a great 
grey wolf that had a good start down a road- 
way leading to a neighboring estate. It hap- 
pened that the owner was out strolling with a 
lady of his household on the very roadway by 
which the wolf was attempting to make his 
escape. Noblesse oblige was quite forgotten. 
The Prince, for such he was, on seeing the wild 
onrush of the wolf, hounds, and leaping horses, 
threw himself headlong into the snow-bank at 
one side of the road, while his companion 
leaped unattended into a snow-filled ditch on 
the other. Past dashed the hunt, the hunters 
more hilarious than polite in their mirth, for all 
that could be seen of his lordship were his legs 
kicking violently in the snow. On fled the 
quarry; entering the driveway of the mansion, 
he leaped the barrier of the garden, and, in his 
wild search for shelter, crashed through the 
long French windows of the library, followed 
pell-mell by the Borzoi. 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



I PEBCHIKA 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



HSIHOD OF USING THE KUESIAN LSAEH 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 65 

It must not be thought that Borzoi need no 
training to become wolf -catchers; the fact is 
there are few of them that are good at this 
most difficult game, and even these must be 
most carefully trained, as are gun-dogs, fox- 
hounds, beagles, and sheepdogs. All this is 
very carefully carried out in Russia, live 
wolves being kept at the kennels for the pur- 
pose of training young hounds, which are 
taught to pin the wolf by a hold back of tJie 
ear, by running them in company with older 
animals on muzzled wolves. 

Mr. James Primrose, writing recentjy in the 
"World-Wide Magazine," describes in most 
graphic language a hunt in which he took part 
near Nijni-Novgorod, as follows; — 

At last we reacted the forest, and took up our position 
in a clearing, where we waited. Suddenly the silence was 
pierced by a dismal howl, suggestive of the commingling 
of the lament of a dying dog with the wailing of an Irish 
banshee. It needed the solemn assurance of the host 
himself to persuade me that this was the voice of the 
master of the hunt, who, having kept it up for a few 
minutes, paused for a reply, which never came. 

After a few more howls we were forced to return home 
disappointed, detennined to set out next day for the 
forest near Kytsckenova, where we knew wolves to be. 
This meant that we should be away from home for two 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



66 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

days, and I was told to be prepared to rough it. An un- 
eventful joum^ brought us to the puisli adjoining the 
wood, where the head huntsman hired a number of 
peasants to act as beaters, for the sum of fifteen kopecks 
(fivepence) a day. They also assisted our men in pitch- 
ing camp and cooking our food, and such-like work. 

A slight clearing in the forest was selected by my host 
as the scene of the hunt, and to this spot we repured 
soon after daylight. The ground was several feet deep 
in untrodden snow, the pine trees on either side making 
quite a picturesque dark background. Those in chai^ 
of the dogs took up their positions on the fringe of the 
forest, while those on horseback were stationed farther 
back among the trees. The beaters were far behind these 
latter, armed with long sticks or poles. Strictly speak- 
ing, we could have dispensed with their services, but 
th^ were deemed desirable in order "to prevent the 
wolves from escaping to another wood which was in- 
conveniently near. 

The wolves had already replied to the huntsman's 
howls, and all was excitement. Being anxious to watch 
eveiy movement, I dismounted from my horse and 
went over to the spot where my friend was holding his 
dogs in leash. He had a long dagger hanging by hb 
side and carried a coil of rope. Very soon a wolf cantered 
by towards him, evidently quite unaware of the pre- 
sence of the sportsman, who was stationed behind a 

large pine tree. Just after he dashed past Mr. S , 

that gentleman set up a full-toned "Loo! Loo! Loo!" at 
the same time letting slip his dogs, who sprang eagerly 
forward, making tremendous bounds after the wolf. The 



Do,:,7.dDyGoOglc 



L WIU>CAT TREED 



Do,1,7cdDyGoO^IC 



L COBSACS HUNTER AMD HI8 HODHD 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 69 

■ hounds were gainiDg upon the quarry eveiy moment, 
and before it had gained a hundred yards Dagonyai 
("Catchup") overtook it, making an attempt to seize 
it by the neck, but the wolf, with a sudden snap and a 
savage snarl, repulsed him. What Dagonyai now at- 
tempted to do was to retard the quarry's progress until 
one of his companions arrived. In the case of a full- 
grown wolf a simultaneous attack by the dogs is virtually 
necessary, which the animal, by snapping now to the 
right, now to the left, endeavors to frustrate. At last, 
just as Oregar came up, Dagonyai screwed up hb cour- 
age to the sticking-point, seized the wolf by the neck, 
and both rolled over in the snow. A moment later the 
other dogs were upon the scene, worrying the quany and 
preventing its escape- 
Mr. S , who had been following close all the while 

on his speedy Turcoman steed, flung himself out of the 
saddle like a professional circus-rider and threw himself 
bodily on the wolf, seizing it with his left hand by the 
neck, while with the right hand he quickly and deftly 
began to bind the animal with a stout cord. With 
lightning speed a slip-knot was passed over the hind legs, 
the rope passing around the body and then around the 
fore paws. With a mighty heave the wolf was next 
thrown upon his back, and a piece of wood forced into its 
jaws, which the infuriated creature was not slow to grip. 
But in that instant the rope had passed over its project- 
ing ends, and in this way the wolf was securely bound, 
looking for all the world like a trussed fowl, unable to 
move, bite, or scratch, though otherwise uninjured. 
The operation was hardly over before the beaters ap- 



Do,1,7cd.yGoOglc 



70 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

peared with a sleigh, upon which the wolf was placed and 
driven away. The carriage had not gone many yards 
before a second wolf was seen scampering across the 
open. The head huntsman was ready, and at once 
slipped his dogs. This was a young wolf and was easily 
overtaken and secured. At the end of the hunt four 
wolves had been secured, but it was known that, despite 
the beaters, three had escaped to the adjoining wood. 

As an illustration of the estimation in which 
the fighting qualities of the wolf are held by 
Russian sportsmen, I will note another author- 
ity, Mr. F. Lowe. He writes: — 

Becent^ a veiy big wolf, that had been captured with 
much difficulty, was matched against any two hounds in 
Russia. Thechallengewasaccepted, and the wolf placed 
in a huge box in an open space. The moment the trap 
was pulled, the wolf stood and faced the spectators; on 
the hounds being slipped on him he attacked them; but 
they avoided hb rush, and pinned him so cleverly that 
the wolf was muzzled and carried off without the least 
difficulty: whereupon an enormous price was paid for 
one of the hounds. 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



LETTER VI - 

Coursing under natural conditions has 
never been possible in eastern America for the 
reason that there is no game to course, but as 
one crosses the Mississippi River and comes 
into the country of the jack-rabbit and coyote 
there is plenty of sport to be found, and in 
many localities there are held from time to 
time regular coursing meetings in the same 
manner as are held the formal field-trials with 
beagles, setters, and foxhounds. In America, 
so far as I know, these coursing meetings are 
always held with English greyhounds, and the 
game coursed is the jack-rabbit, which corre- 
sponds to the European hare; but there is no 
reason why exactly as much sport cannot be 
derived fromcoursing jack-rabbits with Borzoi, 
or, for that matter, with deerhounds. There is 
little difference in speed between any of them, 
excepting that, on account of lesser size, the 
greyhound is usually quicker at turning; but 
even this is largely a matter of selection in the 
individual. 

There is no more exciting or interesting sport 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



72 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

than watching a pair of hounds course a good, 
strong jack, as the game has better than an 
even chance of getting away, and usually 
starts out apparently thinking he is going to do 
so, sometimes facetiously showing off by run- 
ning on three legs. One can witness at this 
game marvelous sights in facility and beauty 
of action — sights that would make the most 
wonderful dancer in the world envious. 

It is nearly impossible, if not quite so, for 
a single hound to catch a jack-rabbit, except 
by accident, but when a couple of hounds are 
slipped, one will generally turn the rabbit 
toward the other. There are hounds found 
occasionally that are cunning to the extent 
that they are disqualified in course meetings. 
They are known as "tumits," in that they will 
never run directly after the rabbit, but will 
take a chance of cutting away at a good angle 
from one side or the other from the direction 
taken by their companion, and when the rab- 
bit turns, as he always will, sooner or later.they 
are right in his track to seize him, provided he 
turns their way; otherwise they are fooled for 
that occasion at least. No one can account for 
how certain hounds will learn this trick, and 
it is quite impossible to break them of it; it 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



k WESIBRK WOLFER AND HIS BOKZOI 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 

i ■ ■ 



Do,1,7cd.yGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 75 

may be very mteresting p^chologically, but it 
is not sport. 

Almost anything in the way of a longhound 
is more or less capable of coursing jack-rabbits, 
but there are few longhounds of any breed that 
make good animals for coyote- or wolf-cours- 
ing. In any event, the American conditions of 
hunting are most severe on the hound, because 
he usually has a tremendously long run to 
overtake this quarry, who almost invariably 
has a good head start, and is at best a very 
swift animal. 

In the same way that there are but few fox- 
hounds, out of many raised each year, that are 
retained in a smart pack, so there are but few 
longhounds of any breed that make what can 
be designated as leaders — that is, animals 
with sufficient strength, nerve, and dash to first 
catch what they are after, and then tackle it 
single-handed or supported by otho- hounds. 

As I have already written, wolf-coursing in 
Russia is not the difficult game that it is in 
America. There, owing to the nature of the 
country and the methods of hunting, the runs 
are comparatively short; but even so, great 
care is used in training the hounds, live wolves 
being kept at the kennels muzzled, and the 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



76 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

young hounds set on them to ^icourage them 
to take hold. Even when trained, they are not 
expected to kill a wolf, but simply to hold it 
until a rider comes up. 

Eaay the lesson of the youthful train. 

When instinct prompts, and when example guides. 

In America this careful scfaoohng is' not 
practiced; and for coyote-coursing it becomes 
simply a question of the survival of the fittest 
of the hounds. Almost any hound will course a 
jack-rabbit, and no method of himian teaching 
can improve their cunning; it is entirely a mat- 
ter of practice and condition, which latter nat- 
urally depends upon the skill of the handler. 
Condition requires careful attention in the 
matter of feeding and systematic exercise for 
the hounds. Nothing is so good in schooling as 
to have a young hound run from puppyhood 
with other skilled animals. 

Too much stress cannot be laid on the 
matter of condition, for this is frequently over- 
looked. It takes months to get the ordinary 
kennel-kept hound, even the one which is more 
or less regularly exercised, in hard condition 
for coursing under the diiGculties common to 
the West; and I do not beheve that any hound 
that has not been worked in puppyhood can 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



IS THE FIELD 

Ml tiOD Ijts bj Uni* Pniebtei, 1: 



Do,1,7cdDyGoO^IC 



SbAcbed fram Ufa br Lool* rnicOKsr, 1910 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 79 

possibly acquire, after he has reached the age 
of one or two years, sufficient staying power and 
love of the game ever to become really good. 
Of course, all excellent specimens of " lead 
hounds "are the survival of the fittest. There 
are many that are willing to follow, but few 
that are fitted to lead. There are not many 
hounds of any breed that will tackle a coyote 
or wolf without proper training; and without 
experience, it can be said that it is impossible 
for any hound even to catch a coyote. Most 
Western wolf-hunters have packs of hounds, 
picked up here and there, that are kept merely 
because of their performances, regardless of 
their breeding, shape, or color. These hounds, 
which run loose the year round, traveling at 
times sixty to seventy miles a day, are of all 
sorts of coursing blood, greyhound, deerhound, 
fuid Borzoi. The conditions of coursing wolves 
or coyotes are most difficult. In places the 
country is very rough, and the coyote gener- 
ally gets a long start, sometimes more than 
half a mile. He' is surprisingly swift, so that it 
takes a good hound to catch him. He is also a 
surprisingly good fighter, so that it is asking a 
good deal of ai^ animal in coming, winded, 
upon- a coyote to tackle it. 



Do,1,7cdDyGoO^IC 



80 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

It would be a difficult matter to prove what 
breed of coursing-hounds, aa a breed, is most 
suitable for American conditions, the matter of 
practice in any environment being of such vast 
importance. 

In the West it is most essential that hounds 
be trained, by practice, to spot moving objects 
on the horizon at great distances, and, at a sig- 
nal from the rider, to go forward at top speed 
in any direction he may indicate. It has been 
suggested that, for certain purposes, the Rus- 
sian leash and collar would be adaptable for 
America, and in some instances it is now 
being used, especially to restrain hounds 
from coursing jacks when coyotes are being 
hunted. 

The practice of coursing first came about 
many years ago with greyhounds and deer- 
hounds. A writer in "Forest and Stream "men- 
tions the early conditions in wolf -coursing on 
the plains, and I must especially call your 
attention to what he says concerning his 
experience in attempting to course hounds 
not entered to the game in puppyhood. He 
describes conditions not dissimilar to those 
ol)taining in certain portions of the West at 
the present time: — 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



THE BOUHD VAOOH Or UR. WILUAM BPAETH 

(ot OiUetti, Vyomliig) 

A aMtbod of hunting In WuMni Amerta which oRcn HnirlHi the uowqMCtlnf 



Do,1,7cdDyGoO^IC 



' VALLKT FARM 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 83 

In winter, wolf and coyote hunting with wolf, stag, 
and greyhound is the chief amusement here (Alberta, 
Canada). Hundreds of miles are ridden over our 
prairies and foothills in quest of these destroyers of our 
flocks and herds. There are six packs of dogs within 
fifty miles of my ranch, nine to twelve hounds in each. 

In '76 and '77 most of the buffalo left this countiy and 
drifted onto the great plains, never to return. The 
Sioux crossed the Missouri into the Northwest Territory 
after their fight with General Custer in the Little Big 
Horn, intercepted the buffalo and prevented them re- 
turning to their winter home. The wolves followed the 
buffalo in large numbers, but many remained behind to 
subsist on the old bulls left in the "drag." Most of these 
were killed by "wolfers." In '80 and '81 there were very 
few wolves to be found on the plains and foothills. But 
soon cattle, horses and sheep in thousands were driven 
into these then desolate plains until in '85 there were 
over one hundred thousand cattle, besides many thou* 
sand horses and sheep to take the place of the departed 
buffalo. Wolves and coyotes increased enormously. 
Poison apparently made little or no impression upon 
them. 

Wolves prefer fresh meat and are quite able to kill 
anything they come across, seldom returning to a kill 
after satisfying their ravenous appetites. The cattlemen 
decided to procure dogs and see what effect that would 
have in destroying these cunning pests. A large number 
of dogs were imported, and with a very few exceptions 
were found utterly useless. Th€y took no interest in 
hunting or killing wolves, as they had not been entered 



Do,:,7.dDyGoOglc 



84 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

when young. I may say we had no good dogs until ihey 
were bred on the range. The method usually followed 
here in hunting is this : When a den of wolves is found, 
three or four ranchers with their dogs meet at a rendez- 
vous and camp for the night. Before dawn horses are 
saddled and all are ready to start. Each one is told the 
line to be ridden, and at the first aiga of day the riders 
are off seeking the wily wolf. Coyotes go unmolested, 
unless th^ jump up near the dogs, in which case it is 
hard to hold them back. Mr. Coyote b broken up in a 
very short time when the dogs run into him, but fights 
wicked to the end and is no mean adversary. I know of 
a few dogs that can catch and kill a coyote, but they do 
not care to repeat it often ; as a rule it takes three dogs to 
do it, and they will not stand killing over two or three in 
a day. Of course a great deal depends on the length of 
the run and the strength and fighting qualities of the 
coyote. I have killed seven coyotes in a day with three 
greyhounds; in all cases t got in and gave the coup de 
grace. It saves your dog wonderfully and ^ves them 
courage to know help is coming, and unless one has five 
or six dogs th«y are apt to get cut when tired. When 
dogs run into a timber wolf, then the fun begins; with 
hair on end, back aiched, a sweet smile showing a full 
set of teeth, the wolf means business, and it takes four 
tried dogs to turn one over and hold him until help 
comes. I mean four dogs that can catch him. No doubt 
there are two dogs that could hold a wolf, but they have 
not the speed to overtake him. This autumn I ran into a 
very lai^e bitch wolf with eight dogs. They turned her 
ovet several times, but she broke away just as often and 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI as 

ran with six dogs clinging to her and making a running 
fight, when a cowboy ran up and shot her. Last year I 
rode into a band of fourteen wolves with ten dogs and 
killed five, but in every instance I assisted the dogs in 
killing. This autumn I ran into an old dog wolf. I bad 
six good dogs. The lead dogs (two greyhounds) ran into 
him and turned him over when, the other dogs coming 
up, they turned him over several times, seized him by 
the neck, breast and hind quarters and flank, and tore 
and worried with all their might. The wolf would break 
away, turning like a flash, snapping to the right and left, 
his teeth coming together like a fox trap. The dogs ran 
him down into a coulie ; here I left my horse, it being too 
ateep and rough for him to follow, as the edges were 
lined with huge projecting rocks. The dogs appeared to 
be having the best of the fight, and I yelled to them to go 
to him, but the wolf broke loose and ran to the top of the 
andie with most of the pack holding on to him; at the 
top they turned him back, and dogs and wolf came on 
the run to the bottom of the cmdSe. 1 could not shoot for 
fear of hitting one of the dogs, as they were making side 
jumps to keep clear of the wolf's jaws. At last the do^ 
pulled him into the diy bed of a stream and as he was 
getting out I gave him his medicine. The dogs were 
quite blown. I gave them thirty minutes' rest and took 
them to water and killed two coyotes on my way home. 
These the dogs killed before I could get to them. They 
just held them in the air, and tore them up. 

I give you the height and girth of some of my dogs, as 
it may be of interest to some of my brother sportsmen : 

Qnykaunda — Pedro, height, 27) in., girth, SO in.; 



Do,:,7.dDyGoOglc 



86 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

Rowdy, b^ght, 27 in., ^rth, 31 in.; Buz, height, 96 in., 
girth, 29§ in- 

Staghmmda — Poison, height, 29 in., girth, 39 io.; 
Paraon, het^t, 30 in., girth, 33 in. 

Crota-bred boarhound and ttaghound — Jack, height, 
i9\ in., girth, S3 in. 

The man who ha^ two dogs that can catdi and Idll a 
big timber wolf can make lots of mon^ on them if he 
wants to gamble on it. 

Lieutenant Gordon Johnston, of the United 
States Army Mounted Service School at Fort 
Riley, Kansas, vividly describes some runs 
during the present year with a mixed pbck of 
young Borzoi, deerhounds, and greyhounds, 
belonging to the Lieutenant and the writer. 
Coursing at army posts is not uncommon, and 
was extensively carried on some years ago at 
Fort Riley, when Lieutenant Allen, recently 
back from Russia (where he had assisted Mr. 
Hanks, of the Seacroft Kennels, in obtaining 
Leekhoi and his other hounds), maintained a 
pack with other officers, including the present 
Major McDonald and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Treat. 

Lieutenant Johnston, describing the run, says : 

Within twenty yards we had up another, a strapping 
big one too. Samara and Domino share the h(Hiors at a 



Do,i,7cdDi.Googlc 



TABKI 07 FXRCBINA. 

ImporMd by tb* Talliy Fum Kaniwli, IBll 

A gnj brlsdla dog of wi^ant typg 



Do,:,7.dDyGoOglc 



CBAXPIOK RASBOI 0' VALLET FIRM 



DowrdDyGoOglc- 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 89 

terrific pace, with Nayada close up. The latter hit a 
small ditch and turned about six flips in the air, but I 
was glad to see her go at it again. This was the cutest 
jack I ever saw. He ran through the wings of the jump 
three times, and twice he sprinted strai^t at the solid 
jumps, and cut to one side as he reached it. There were 
some heads bumped, I can assure you. Samara led with 
great persistence until the wily jack started over the 
buttes again. This time Nayada and Samara went over. 
Duster broke a bone in his foot on this run. Over in the 
middle of the flats another old commuter got up and 
headed for Junction City along the main road. Nayada 
and Samara again took first lead, with the former show- 
ing some determination to kill, but there was nothing 
doing. They led to the quarter; Bess then took the lead, 
with Domino closing up and going strong, passing Bess 
at the half. She opened a wide gap by the three quar- 
ters, and at the mile had distanced the field. Also Mr. 
Jack had by this time reached his office and was think- 
ing of Steel Common probably. Domino really wept at 
losing this one — she's a game pebble if there ever was 
one. 

After a bit we jumped two tc^ether. Samara, Jack, 
and Siater took one, while Nayada, Domino, Jane, and 
Bess took the other. I followed Samara, who ran finely 
and is getting the right spirit, going at it as if she would 
kill or die. The jack got away, but I was glad to see her 
hold her i>ace all the way, about half a mile. Domino 
could not he denied, took every turn, and killed. After a 
blow we headed for home and stumbled on one of the 
best runs I have ever had in my life, about a half mile 



Do,i,7cdDy Google 



90 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

over perfect going at racing speed all the w^. The jack 
had about thirty yards' start, but tliat keen Domino 
was at him again, eveiy hound in full stride, the briodle 
bitch whimpering in the lead. She turned him three 
times in the first mile, but they were long, ea^ turns, 
and the jack evidently had confidence in himself. . . . 
At two miles Bess led, with Jack. Domino, and Jane 
close up. We were all down and out nearly. The jack 
and hounds were cantering and only the Longfellow 
blood in my horse, John Harper, kept him swinging a 
good stride. We had all yelled our lungs out keeping the 
hounds up, for they were more than ready to quit when 
Bess finally gave him the twist and flopped down. I 
never knew there could be such sport in a rabbit. We 
were all gasping and tiying to talk at the same time. All 
agreed, however, that it was the greatest race ever. 



Do,:,7.dDyGoOglc 



LETTER VII 

You perhaps realize, as do I, that while shows 
and showing are often amusing and inter- 
esting, and while they tend to bring a breed 
before the public, they are not always ad- 
vantageous to the improvement in working 
qualities of the breed. Theoretically, of course, 
judges are supposed to award prizes to animals 
such as the standards call for, and the standards 
are usually made with proper regard for the 
working qualities of any working breed. When 
a judge has a practical knowledge of such re- 
quirements, proper judgment is generally the 
rule. Unfortunately there are many judges 
who are quite ignorant of their duties, although 
they may even be owners and breeders. I 
have seen, not only in America and England, 
but in Continental Europe as well, quite un- 
sound Borzoi — oftentimes with bad mouths 
— awarded prizes, and at almost every show 
hounds that are entirely too fat for any prac- 
tical purposes are placed in the ribbons. In a 
word, the shows lay stress on purely superficial 
appearances; and especially in England stress 



Do,1,7cdDyGoO^IC 



92 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

seems to be laid on points that catch the 
judge's eye, rather than on those that prove 
the efficiency of the animal as a working ani- 
mal. Where great stress is laid on show points, 
such animals are liable to be bred from, 
whether or not their dispositions and abilities 
should be transmitted. 

There is a great responsibility on the part of 
judges in showing the road to novices, because 
if the winners in the shows become degenerate 
by having lack of stamina, or because they are 
unsound, that type, rather than the strong, 
rugged type, will be bred from as a natural 
consequence. Superficial show qualifications 
should not be of exaggerated importance, but 
most serious attention must be given to a per- 
fect blending of substance and quality, the two 
most difficult characteristics to be found in any 
breed of animals in the proper average. 

To the breeder of horses the expression, 
"You can't make a blood 'un out of a hairy 
heeled 'un," means much, for no one knows 
better than he the value of blood lines to bring 
results. No amount of effort expended in care 
and feeding can possibly bring success without 
the blood lines being correct. 

In a word, pedigrees must be understood. 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OHAMPIOM BIBTRI OF FEBCHINA AND SOME OTHSH HOUNDS 

FROM THE VALLBT FARH KENNELB 

Down FUtta A>«tiiM tv tb« Nw* York Show, 19M 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



PART or THB VALLET PARH KESSBLS EXHIBIT 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 95 

to be of any use whatsoever to the breeder. To 
the average American breeder of dogs of any 
sort, the pedigree means no more than so many 
words, and actually might as well be written in 
Russian or Chinese as in English. It is not the 
mere names of his dogs' ancestors that is im- 
portant to the breeder, but their characteris- 
tics, mental and physical, back for generations ; 
and, more important still, the knowledge of 
what combinations produced results. 

The breeder of blood stock in any country 
where any particular breed has had its origin 
has, ipso facto, a great advantage over the 
breeder in the country into which the breed is 
imported. Inevitably, the breeder in the home 
country must have some intuitive knowledge 
of the breed, which has not only always been 
famiHar to him, but the character and training 
of which have for centuries been adjusted to 
the exact requirements of the home country. 
The fact that acquired knowledge in this re- 
gard is inferior to what maybe termed inherent 
knowledge, has been proven over and over again 
in America, where, notwithstanding the im- 
portation of the highest-class sires and dams, 
breeding results have often been unsatisfac- 
tory. As an example it may be cited that, in 



Do,1,7cdDyGoO^IC 



96 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

spite of purchases in England of the very high- 
est-class show animals in hackney horses and 
mares, lamentably few high-class American- 
bred animals of this breed have beea produced. 
Over and over ^ain this has occurred in vari- 
ous breeds, and nowhere more than in the case 
of dogs. 

ITie best show specimens do not necessa- 
rily, when mated, produce progeny of similar 
worth, and often results of such crosses are 
most unsatisfactory. The English mill-hand 
breeder of terriers, a thorough student of the 
game, has oftentimes produced the very best 
specimens, solely on account of his accurate 
and instinctive knowledge of blood lines, while 
the big breeder, with every resource at his 
command, frequently produces nothing worth 
while because of this absolute lack of ability 
to read the pedigrees of his dogs with compre- 
hension of whac they mean. All the foregoing 
remarks apply strongly in the case of Borzoi- 
breeding in England and America. 

Huntsman! these ills by timely prudent care 
Prevent: for ev'ry longing-dome select 
Some happy paramour; to bim alone 
In leagues connubial join. Consider well 
His lineage; what his fathers did of old, 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



BOBZOt DO08 ABB HUGH LABQEB THAN THE BITCHES 
Rndlng teft M liitat 
ALASKA O' TALLET FARU 
CHAMPION aORViS O' VALLET FARM 
S HENAOLADHI OF PERCHINA 



,:,7i.i.i Google 



OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 99 

Chiefs of the pack, and flnt to climb the rock. 

Or plunge into the deep, or thread the break 

With thorns sharp-pointed, pliuh'd, and briars inwoven. 

(Htserve with care his shape, sort, color, size. 

If a breeder desires to avoid degeneracy, 
and to produce the best, it is most unwise to 
breed in the haphazard, actually stupid, man- 
ner in vogue among many in America. For 
example, in such hard-working breeds of many 
requirements as foxhounds and beagles, it is 
certainly nothing more than a waste of time 
and money to produce, raise, and train animals 
that from their breeding will in all probability 
have qualities which will make them at best 
only of fair merit. It should be the effort of 
every breeder to avoid producing from inferior 
specimens at cdl; and never to breed to any- 
thing but the most perfect of stud-hounds. 

It is odd how often this last rule is trans- 
gressed, simply to save a few dollars, or be- 
cause it is easier, or from some sentimental 
reason. The consequence is lack of progress. 
It is surprising how many intelligent people 
will permit worthless specimens to come into 
existence from ignorance and from pure lack of 
analysis of the situation. To mate properly, 
and properly to raise the puppy to beautiful. 



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100 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

well-shaped, hard-running, hard-muscled ma- 
turity, is a most extraordinarily difficult thing 
to do, and the very first qualification is a know- 
ledge, on the part of the breeder, of what ani- 
mals should, from their blood lines and indi- 
vidual characteristics, be mated. 



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LETTER VIII 

Your experience in the handling of horses 
has taught you the absolute necessity of giving 
your whole personal attention to your animals, 
or else to employ, as your agent, the very best 
possible man that can be found, regardless of 
expense. I go so far as to advise that unless 
hounds, and especially Borzoi, can obtain the 
personal supervision of their master, or imless 
he can find the proper superintendent, they 
should not be kept at all, because I have seen 
so many examples of the novice, in the keeping 
of dogs, thinking that any one is good enough 
to take care of an animal. There is no more 
difficult task; a man must love the work and 
stop at no fatigue or annoyance. He must have 
years of experience in a thousand different par- 
ticulars, and not be easily discouraged by dis- 
appointment. The best service is, of course, 
obtained when the master has a practical know- 
ledge of what his servant ought to do. If it is 
not impossible, it may be sometimes necessary 
for the former to see personally that the work 
is being properly done. Orders given without 



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102 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

exact knowledge of requirements are seldom 
well obeyed, and where the master is either ig- 
norant or careless, it is little to be expected that 
the servant will be otherwise. The personal 
equation is the only thing that will give suc- 
cess in breeding or handling. 

There are divers kinds of kennels, any one 
of which can be useful according to circum- 
stances. In Russia it is the practice to keep ten 
to fifteen hounds together in a single kennel, 
with benches similar to the way in which fox- 
hounds and beagles are kept; but in a large 
kennel where many hounds are kept, and 
hounds are in preparation for showing, it is 
advisable to have kennels and yards where 
dogs or bitches may be k^t individually, or 
where a dog and bitch may be kept together. 
Where hounds are kept in a pack, an attendant 
should always be, both night and day, within 
hearing; otherwise there is always the risk of 
one animal being set upon by the others and 
killed. This is true of any breed. 

Before planning a kennel it would be advis- 
able for every novice to visit several well- 
known establishments, and adopt the best fea- 
tures from each to suit his necessities. If any 
number of hounds are to be kqpt, it is always 



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TWO HOKTHB 



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L HURTIItO R&CB 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 105 

advisable to have an office, with a safe for k»i- 
nel records; and adjoining this, an apartment 
for sick dogs, and another for bitches with 
whelps. Such a building may be easily warmed 
with a small hot-water heater. Mature hounds 
require no heat. In every case great care 
should be paid to cleanliness and freedom from 
damp. 

Banish far oS 

Each noisome steoch, let ao offensive smell 
Invade thy wide incloaure, but admit 
The nitrous air and purifying breeze. 
Water and shade no less demand thy care. 

The novice invariably seems to think that 
Borzoi require some different kind of food from 
the ordinary dog, but such is not the case; so, 
for his instruction, the many books containing 
suggestions on the subject of feeding and the 
care of skin and coat will be found valuable, I 
have found, however, that corn meal seems to 
cause Borzoi to shed their coats, so that its use 
in connection with show dogs is inad'visable. 
The coats of show Borzoi on the back and 
about the neck should be brushed forward in 
order to enhance the rough appearance. After 
shipment, especially in the case of puppies, 
great attention should be paid to the condition 



Do,1,7cdDyGoO^IC 



106 OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 

of the dog. In the case of puppies, the whole 
system is sometimes aSected. 

Any trouble with the bowels will usually dis- 
appear without the use of any special food, a 
tablespoonful of castor-oit isgenerally sufficient 
to check the indisposition. Puppies should be 
watched very closely for colds, which often- 
times quickly run into distemper. Frequently, 
a cold can be checked with four grains of qui- 
nine, repeated in twelve hours, with a table- 
spoonful of castor-oil given twelve hours later. 

Young dogs may be fed bread and milk 
twice each day, and cooked meat at night, 
with a fresh bone now and then. Water should 
always be kept convenient. No puppy or 
grown dog should be fed more than he can eat 
with relish, and food should not be left stand- 
ing about. Worms cause much sickness and 
always occur in young dogs of all breeds. There 
are many good worm medicines which should 
be used about once a month. The surest indi- 
cation of a puppy being ill is his refusal to eat. 

There is a vast similarity between the ill- 
nesses of puppies and infantile complaints; 
they may seem perfectly well one day and seri- 
ously ill or even quite dead the next. So true is 
this that one must watch with greatest care for 



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CHAMPION KOFCBIC O' VALLEY FARU AT ELEVEN UOSTBS 



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OBSERVATIONS ON BORZOI 109 

signs of illness, such as hot noses, watery eyes, 
lassitude, and especially refusal of meals. Pup- 
pies have all kinds of complaints, some of which 
are serious and others which look serious 
but which actually are not. They should be 
treated-in a natural manner, with strengthen- 
ing food given them even as many as five times 
a day, and all the exercise possible. They should 
be allowed to run at liberty, and in addition 
should be given exercise first with a man on 
foot and later with a man on horseback. 

A person who raises dogs must have a bit 
of imagination, and not be lacking in ideas to 
the extent that a certain M. D. once was who 
wrote to my kennel superintendent inquiring 
a proper remedy for a puppy of his, ill of some 
small complaint quite common in children. 

If one imagines the condition under which 
the young fox or the young wolf is raised and 
acts accordingly, — not forgetting, however, 
that the puppy needs his meals more regularly 
than the wild animals need theirs, — his suc- 
cess will be assured. 

I am so fond of my dogs, and I so respect 
those of them as are valiant and duty-loving 
animals, that I am loath to end my monograph 



Do,1,7cdDyGoOglc 



no OBSERVATIONS ON B0B20I 

with the prosaic details just recited; and wish. 
therefore to add a brief tribute to the Borzoi. 
He is a companionable dog par excellence, 
but is strictly what I should term a one-man 
dog; and I have never recommended the 
ownership of one to the man who expects to 
delegate his care to others. He must, like all 
other dogs, be brought up for the purpose for 
which he is intended; but properly trained and 
educated, he will be found as companionable as 
the best — no fonder of fighting than the deer- 
hound, faithful as the collie, and more pictur- 
esque than either. 

Unnumbered acddents and various ills. 

Attend thy pack, hang hov'ring o'er their heads. 

And pomt the way that leads to death's dark cave. 

Short is their span; few at the date arrive 

Of ancient Argus, in old Bomer's song 

So highly honor'd; kind, sagacious brute! 

Not ev'n Minerva's wisdom cou'd conceal 

Thy much-lov'd master from thy nicer sense. 

Dying his lord he own'd, view'd him all o'er 

With eager eyes, then closed those eyes, well pleas'd. 



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,y Google 



ADDENDA 



A CHALLENGE 



For some time a controversy has been carried on 
in " Cbasse et F^he," the Belgium canine journal, 
by Mr. Joseph B. Thomas, Jr., of the Valley Farm 
Kennels, and Mr. G. Van Muylem of Belgium re 
the merits of Russian Wolfhounds (Borzoi) bred in 
Russia and those bred in England. 

The argument arose over a remark of Mr. 
Thomas's that it was a disappointment to find that 
Borzoi breeders in Western Europe, in introducing 
new blood in recent years, had overlooked Russia 
in favor of England. Mr. Thomas has visited Rus- 
sia twice, and since his first visit has contended that 
the Borzoi in certain Russian kennels were easily 
the best in the world. He has also contended that 
they would, when properly mated, breed truer to 
type than those to be found anywhere else. This 
can be proven in America, as the exhibit of the 
Valley Farm Kennels, of Simsbury, Connecticut, 
at the coming Westminster Kennel Club Show, 
where they will bendi eight young dogs, will de- 
monstrate. 

To go one step farther to back up Mr. Thomas's 



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114 ADDENDA 

statement and set at rest several points in the con- 
troversy, the Valley Farm Kennels, which have 
now made three separate importations from Rus- 
sia, hereby challenge Mr. G. Van Muylem to a com- 
petition with Borzoi as follows: — 

ChaUenge Staket: 5000 francs a side in gold or plate or 
any larger amount Mr. G. Van Muylem may suggest. 
Stakes to be held by "Field and Fancy" and "Chasse 
et Pfiche" (which amount has already been posted with 
"Field and Fancy" by the Valley Farm Kennels). 

Judges: Three: — One to be appointed by the editor 
of "Field and Fancy." One to be appointed by the ed- 
itor of "Chasse et Pfiche." One, preferably a Russian, to 
be appointed by the mutual consent of the interested 
parties. Decision of the majority to count. 

Place and Date: Any regular show on the Continent 
of Europe or America between April 1st and June Ist, 
1906 or 1907. 

Condiiiom: The Valley Farm Kennels agree to show 
only dogs now in their kennels or bred from stock now in 
their kenneb or which they may in the future import 
from Russia. Mr. G. Van Muylem may show stock now 
in his kennels, or which has ever been in his kenneb, or 
which he can breed from the same or which he can 
purchase, provided the same were not bred in Russia. 
Stock to be the bona fide property of the exhibitor at the 
time of the match. 

Standard: That of the Russian Wolfhound Club of 
America; the Borzoi Club of England; or that of the 
Club Beige du L^rier et du Collie. 



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ADDENDA 115 

Judgment: To be rendered on the basis of the majority 
of wins under the following five heads: — 

(1) Best dog. 

(2) Best bitch. 

(3) Best two males, get of same sire (bred by exhibit- 
or). 

(4) Best two females, produce (bred by exhibitor) of 
same dam. 

(5) Best exhibit as a whole: Uniformity of type and 
conformation to be the points considered. 

Competing animals to be named: Fifteen dogs and 
bitches, whose pedigrees must be given, may be named 
through the secretary of the American or Belgian Ken- 
nel Club on or before the ninetieth d^ previous to the 
date of the match, of which number but eight may 
compete. 

Date of Acceptance: Challenge remains open for ac- 
ceptance by Mr. G. Van Muylem until April 1st, 1905. 

This challenge was never accepted. 



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SPECIALTY CLUBS 
Russian Wolfhound Club of America 
New York, November 18, IMS. 
Editor "American Kennel Gazette," 

55 Liberty Street, New York City. 
Dear Sir: — 

It is my duty and pleasure to inform you that at 
a meeting held at the Brooklyn Bench Show, 
Thursday, November 12th, 1903, the exhibitors 
and others interested in the Russian Wolfhound 
organized a Specialty Club for the amelioration of 
the breed, to be known as the "Russian Wolfhound 
Club of America." An Executive Committee, con- 
sisting of Dr. J. E. De Mund and James Mortimer, 
together with the undersigned, was appointed to 
frame a Constitution and Standard, to be passed 
upon by the Club at a meeting to be held at Madi- 
son Square Garden at 9 o'clock p.m., Wednesday, 
February 10th, 1904, during the show of the West- 
minster Kennel Club. The purpose of the Club is 
to place the Russian Wolfhound, both as a working 
dog and as a "chien de luxe," first in [>opular es- 
teem among the larger breeds of dogs. To this end, 
better classification and special prizes from this 
and foreign countries are already being arranged 
for, for the winter shows. 



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ADDENDA 117 

Application for membership will be gladly re- 
ceived by V- -1 
" Yours very sincerely, 

J. B. Thomas, Secretary. 

From the time of the founding of the Club in 
December, 1903, by Dr. J. E. De Mund, Messrs. 
James Mortimer and Joseph B. Thomas, with a 
few others, great advances have been made for the 
breed in the show world. The Club recommends an 
up-to-date list of judges, and through its efforts 
hundreds of specials, medals, cups, and ribbons have 
been offered for competition. 

The past presidents and secretaries are as fol- 
lows: — _ ., 

Presidents Secrelanea 

1903-* J. E. De Mund, m.d. J. B. Thomas. 

1904 J. E. De Mund, m.d. J. B. Thomas. 

1905 J. E. De Mund, m.d. J. B. Thomas. 

1906 J. E. De Mund, m.d. J. B. Thomas. 

1907 J. E. De Mund, m.d. J. B. Thomas. 

1908 J. E. De Mund, m.d. J. B. Thomas. 

1909 J. B. Thomas. J. P. Hoguet, m.d. 

1910 J. P. Hoguet, m.d. J. Bailey Wilson. 

1911 J. P. Hoguet, m.d. J. Bailey Wilson. 
The present officers are: J. E. De Mund, m.d.. 

President: J. Bailey Wilson, Secretary. 

Other important Clubs furthering the interests 
of the breed are the Borzoi Club zu Berlin — Club 
Beige du L^vrier et du Collie — Borzoi Club of 
England. 



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STANDARD FOR RUSSIAN WOLFHOUNDS 

Adopteid bt the Rdbsian Wolfhound Club of 
America, Sefteuber 1st, l&OS 

Head. — Skull slightly domed, long and narrow, 
with scarcely any perceptible stop, rather inclined 
to be Roman^nosed; jaws long, powerful and deep; 
teeth strong, clean and even, neither pig-jawed nor 
undershot; nose large and black. 

Ears. — Small and fine in quality, lying back 
on the neck when in repose with the tips when 
thrown back almost touching behind occiput; 
raised when at attention. 

Etes. — Set somewhat obliquely, dark in color, 
intelligent, but rather soft in expression, never full 
nor staring, nor light in color; eyelids dark. 

Neck. — Clean, free from throatiness, somewhat 
shorter than in the greyhound, slightly arched, 
very powerful, and well set on. 

Shouldehs. — Sloping, should be fine at the 
withers and free from coarseness or lumber. 

Chest. — Rather narrow, with great depth of 
brisket. 

Ribs. — Only slightly sprung, but very deep, giv- 
ing room for heart and lung play. 

Back. — Rising a little at the loins in a graceful 
curve. 



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ADDENDA 119 

Loins. — Extremely muscular, but rather 
tucked up, owing to the great depth of chest and 
comparative shortness of back and ribs. 

Fore Legs. — Bone flat, straight, giving free 
play for the elbows, which should be neither turned 
in nor out; pasterns strong. 

Feet. — EEare-shaped.with well-arched knuckles, 
toes close and well padded. 

Hind Quarters. — Long, very muscular and 
powerful, with well-bent stifles and strong second 
thighs, hocks broad, clean and well let down. 

Tail. — Long, set on and carried low in a grace- 
hil curve. 

Coat. — Long, silky (not woolly), either flat, 
wavy or rather curly. On the head, ears and front 
of I^s it should be short and smooth; on the neck 
the frill should be profuse and rather curly. 
Feather on hind quarters and tail, long and pro- 
fuse, less so on the chest and back of fore legs. 

Color. — Any color, white usually predomin- 
ating, more or less marked with lemon, tan, brindle, 
grey or black. Whole-colored specimens of these 
tints occasionally appear. 

Genehal Appearance. — Should be that of an 
elegant, graceful aristocrat among dogs, possessing 
courage and combining great muscular power with 
extreme speed. 

Size. — Dogs, average height at shoulder from 
38 to 31 inches; average weight from 75 to 105 



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120 ADDENDA 

Iba. Larger dogs are often seen, extra size being no 
disadvantage when it is not acquired at the expense 
of symmetry, speed and staying quality. 

Bitches are invariably smaller than dogs, and 
two inches less in height, and from 15 to 20 lbs. less 
in weight is a fair average. 

Scale of Points 

Head 15 

Ears 5 

Eyes 5 

Neck 5 

Shoulders and Chest 15 

Ribs, Back, and Loins 15 

Hind Quarters, Stifles, and Hocks. ... 15 

Legs and Feet 10 

Coat and Feather 10 

Tail _5 

Total 100 



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JUDGES 



Whom the Russian Wolfhound Club of America 
recommends and whose selection, by show officials, 
the Club will appreciate by offering specials: — 



Mr. E. M. Barker, 
Mr. J. F. Crangle, 
Dr. J. E. De Mund. 
Dr. J. P. Hoguet, 
Mr. J. Bailey Wilson, 
Mr. O. A. Zuercher, 
Mr. Karl Bjuiman, 
Mr. James Mortimer, 



Mr. H. T. Peters, 
Mr. George Ronsse, 
Mrs. James C. Hadley, 
Mr. J. B. Thomas, 
Mr. Carl C. Curtis, 
Mr. C. G. Hopton, 
Maj. H. T. Allen, 
Miss J. Forgeus, 



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SHOW 

WxsTHiNHTiiB Kennel Club Ssowa, 



TEAS 


Doa 


BIRI! 


IWH 


Bistri of Perchiu 


Almai of Perdiina 


1905 


BUtri rf Perchina 


Almai of Perchina 


IWW 


Bistri of Perchioa 


Almaa of Perchina 


1907 


Rusboi 0' Valley Farm 


BUtri ol Pen^una 


1908* 


RastKH a- Valley Farm 


Birtri of Perchina 


1009 


Raaboi o' Valley Farm 


Biatri of Perchina 


1910 


Rasbol o- Valley Farm 


Bijlri of Perchina 


1911* 


Lorraine's Pontiac 


Kopchic o- Valley Farm 


1912 


ZydoD ot Perchina 


Gronyj of Perchina 

WINNERS 


T£AB 


BITCH 


SIRE 


1QM 




Linbezny 


IMS 


Nayada of Perchina 


Armavir ot Perchina 


1000 


Nsyada of Perchina 


Armavir of Petchina 


1907 


Sorva of Woronzova 


Uubwny 


1908* 


Zoraida 


Nenagladni of Perchina 


1909 


Sorva of Woronzova 


LiubeEpy 


1910 


Belkis 


Pojor of Toilla 


1911* 


Valeaka Bailiff 


OhiUka 


I9I8 


Valeska Bailiff 


Obilska 



* Valley Farm Kennela did not exhibit. 



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RECORDS 

New York, 1904-1912 Awards 



DAH 
PtBchka of PeKhimi 
PtBchka of Perehina 
Ptachka. of Perchina 
Raskida of Woronzova 
Raakida of Woronzova 
Raskida of Woronzova 
Raskida of Woronzova 
Zoraida 
Zaplia of Perchina 



OWNEB 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Dr. O. F. Behreod 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Dr. J. E. De Mund 
Valley Farm Kennels 



Balderoff's RAsskida 
Podrouska of Perehina 
Podrouska of Perehina 
Balderoff's Rasskida 
Princess Vedma 
Rasbida of Woronzova 

Aube o' Valley Farm 
Aube o' Valley Farm 



OWNEB 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Dr. J. E. De Mund 
Valley Farm Kennels 
Dr. J. E. De Mund 
J. Bailey Wilson 
Vladeaka Kennels 



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iCbt miontat 1itt0i 



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I 



-T-T^^ 



jOOgIc 



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