Questions and Answers


Sandy Gunn wrote:

"Our CKC standard lists dogs 28-32 & 27-30 as height for bitches and we have no mention of weight."

Most Borzoi shown in this country (U.S.) are in the size range that the CKC
standard specifies. We allow bitches to start an inch lower and dogs' lower limit is the same, but the majority are not at the minimum end, but more towards the middle. There are larger dogs (especially) and bitches (rarely) than the CKC range, but they are the exception. If they are excellent animals in other respects, then greater height certainly is not a faulty, since we have no upper limit.

It is extremely difficult to get a very good, very large animal (don't you folks with Danes and IWs know it!) as often Borzoi will achieve greater height by having their angles straighten out.

There was a size range before the standard was changed in 1972. When the
upper limit on height was removed, unfortunately, the weight range stayed the same. So previously, a dog at the top of the weight and height (32" and 105 lbs) range, was a substantial, muscular dog. Now with 33 and 34" dogs, the 105 lb weight recommendation changes the whole concept of strength and substance, giving the impression that a taller, thinner animal is OK. I certainly do not condone this, nor do many breeders of longer experience than myself.

"CKC also calls for neck length equal to that of head."

No problem with that measurement. An adult male's head is 11 1/2 to 12 1/2 inches long. Neck length appears quite different on a heavily coated dog.

"and specifies that a scissors bite is preferred over level."

The AKC standard does not specify one over the other. Breeders all would prefer scissors, but level is fine. There are variations on both bites that you will see in the ring. With such a tremendous variation in head lengths and planes in Borzoi that still fall in the range of correct, it is amazing that we have as many good mouths as we do.

On a personal note, as long as the canines are locked into their proper place, I would find it VERY difficult to discard an excellent animal for an eight of an inch of it's body out of alignment.

"Pasterns (an area I'm always aware of since the majority of specimens I judge in Pointers, my own breed, are faulty here) are described in CKC Standard as slightly sloping, strong, flexible and springy."

The AKC Standard calls for "pasterns strong." Under the gait section, "Front legs must reach out well in front with pasterns strong and springy." I think the CKC standard is better worded in that department but the end result should be the same. Unfortunately, the spare wording in the AKC Standard requires that you be a more knowledgeable dog man or woman to draw the same undeniable conclusion: that springy pasterns must have a slight slope, that springiness requires flexibility.

In judging, straight pasterns in a stacked dog are my first clue that the sighthound will be short stepping in some form, whether hackneyed or just restricted.

Chris Walkowicz wrote:

"I guess I'll kick off some discussion, little as I know about Borzoi. I remember visiting acquaintances with Borzoi. They had a ceramic shop, and it absolutely amazed me that they were able to allow their dogs into the shop with all the greenware! The grace of the breed is what knocks me over. Their movement, whether in a graceful trot or a full-speed gallop gives me a thrill."

Charlie and Judy Hunt wrote:

"Neither the AKC or CKC standard mentions the approximate degree of layback or layon, will we just assume it's the almost impossible standard 90 degrees at 45 degree layback?"