Understanding the breed standard is critical to showing your Borzoi in the conformation ring. Print a copy of he standard now and follow along.
Every breed is developed for a specific purpose; the Borzoi to hunt in open terrain where visually acquiring the target is required. Dark eyes and nose are believed to signify better vision and tolerance of bright light reflected from snow and the standard reflects this color preference. Although many people prefer white or mostly white dogs, this is personal preference only so coat color is not considered in evaluation of a dog. The proper long silky coat is just like icing on a cake and the standard specifically says the coat should not be woolly.
The standard calls for difference between the sexes so measure your dog to ensure he is over 28″ at the withers (or that she is over 26″). There is no upper size limit but dogs must not be course and bitches must be refined. Dogs can be disqualified if they are too small or if they are missing any teeth. Since the long jaw allows for space between teeth, count to be sure your dog is not missing any.
The silhouette of frequent winners is always the same. A smooth curve with a slight drop over the well muscled loin into a low curve of the tail predicts the graceful power of the dog in motion.
The neck, chest and shoulders may be the most hotly debated section of the Borzoi. Remember that movement is critical so a deep chest with straight front legs on arched feet with well bent more widely set rear legs for power will support angled shoulders and a powerful neck. The straight front legs should not push out over the knees or eliminate any spring in the pasterns. This is not in the standard but is a trait of flexible movers. The standard does not say whether the brisket should jut out in front of the legs but the elbows must not knock into the rib cage while the dog is moving so the barrel of the chest must not be too sprung.
While deciding how much stop is “scarcely” perceptible be sure to entertain plenty of opinions from experts and other dog show enthusiasts. A prominent roman nose could create blind spots, a detriment in a sight hound. Take photos from various angles to show your experts. While no dog can be judged from pictures, video can be almost as good as an in person exam. The Borzoi Club of America offers a video version of the written standard and on line judging pages use pictures of acceptable and less desirable examples to help you understand the written standard.
The attached slideshow demonstrates how point of view can change your judgement of a dog.
- -the dog is curved toward the camera in the first slide, making his loin appear to drop off suddenly….into another hound.
- -the second photo is taken from above and head on which gives the ears a wide set appearance.
- -the third photo emphasizes the offset strip on the dog’s forehead.
- -the final photo of alert expression gives the puppy’s eyes a round appearance.