Borzoi – General Description
The borzoi is a breed of domestic dog also called the Russian Wolfhound and descended from dogs brought to Russia from central Asian countries. It is similar in shape to a greyhound, and is also a member of the sighthound family.
Names & Etymology
The system by which Russians over the ages named their sighthounds was a series of descriptive terms, not actual names. “Borzói” is the masculine singular form of an archaic Russian adjective that means “fast”. “Borzáya sobáka” (“fast dog”) is the basic term used by Russians, though the word “sobáka” is usually dropped. The name “Psovaya” derived from the word Psovina, meaning “wavy, silky coat”, just as “Hortaya” (as in Hortaya Borzaya) means shorthaired. In Russia today the breed we know as borzoi is therefore officially called “Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya”. Other Russian sighthound breeds are “Stepnaya Borzaya” (from the steppe), called “Stepnoi”; and “Krimskaya Borzaya” (from the Crimea), called “Krimskoi”.
The plural “borzois” may be found in dictionaries. However, the Borzoi Club of America asserts “borzoi” is the preferred form for both singular and plural (in Russian, the plural is actually “borzýe”). At least one manual of grammatical style rules that the breed name should not be capitalized except at the beginning of a sentence; again, breed fanciers usually differ, and capitalize it wherever found.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 10, Section 1, #193
- AKC Hound
- ANKC Group 4 (Hounds)
- CKC Group 2 – Hounds
- KC (UK) Hound
- NZKC Hound
- UKC Sighthound and Pariah
Character & Temperament
The borzoi is a quiet but athletic and independent dog. Most borzoi are almost silent, barking only very rarely. They do not have strong territorial drives and cannot be relied on to raise the alarm upon sighting a human intruder. The Borzoi is extremely smart and require patient, experienced handling. They are gentle and highly sensitive dogs with a natural respect for humans, and as adults they are decorative couch potatoes with remarkably gracious house manners. Borzois should never display dominance or aggression towards people, but will turn aggressive if handled roughly. Typically however, they are rather reserved to strangers but affectionate to their people. Sensitive to invasion of their personal space; this can make them nervous around children unless they are brought up with them from an early age. Despite their size, they adapt very well to suburban life, provided they have a spacious yard and regular opportunities for free exercise.
A common misunderstanding about the intelligence of breeds in the Hound group stems from their independent nature, which conflicts with the frequent confusion between the concepts of “intelligence” and “obedience” in discussions of canine brainpower. Stanley Coren’s survey of canine obedience trainers published in The Intelligence of Dogs reported that borzoi obeyed the first command less than 25% of the time. Coren’s test, however, was by his own admission heavily weighted towards the “obedience” interpretation of intelligence and based on a better understanding of “working” breeds than hounds. Unfortunately the publicity given to this report has led to unfair denigration of breeds which are under-represented in obedience clubs and poorly understood by the average obedience trainer. “Work” for hound breeds is done out of hearing and often out of sight of the human companion; it is an activity for which the dogs are “released”, rather than an activity which is “commanded”. In terms of obedience, borzoi are selective learners who quickly become bored with repetitive, apparently pointless, activity, and they can be very stubborn when they are not properly motivated. For example, food rewards, or “baiting”, may work well for some individuals, but not all. Nevertheless, borzoi are definitely capable of enjoying and performing well in competitive obedience and agility trials with the right kind of training. Like other sighthounds they do not cope well with harsh treatment or training based on punishment, and will be extremely unhappy if raised voices and threats are a part of their daily life. However like any intelligent dog, borzoi respond extremely well to the guidance, support, and clear communication of a benevolent human leadership.
Borzoi were bred to pursue, or “course”, game and have a powerful instinct to chase things that run from them, including cats and small dogs.  Built for speed and endurance, they can cover long distances in a very short time. A fully fenced yard is a necessity for maintaining any sighthound. They are highly independent and will range far and wide without containment, with little regard for road traffic. For off-lead exercise, a borzoi needs a very large field or park, either fully fenced or well away from any roads, to ensure its safety.
Borzoi are born with specialized coursing skills, but these are quite different from the dog-fighting instincts seen in some breeds. It is quite common for borzoi at play to course (i.e., run down) another dog, seize it by the neck and hold it immobile. Young pups do this with their littermates, trading off as to who is the prey. It is a specific hunting behavior, not a fighting or territorial domination behavior.
Borzoi can be raised very successfully to live with cats and other small animals provided they are introduced to them at a young age. Some, however, will possess the hunting instinct to such a degree that they find it impossible not to chase a cat that is moving quickly. The hunting instinct is triggered by movement and much depends on how the cat behaves.
It was long thought that Saluki type sighthounds were originally brought to Russia from Byzantium in the South about the 9th and 10th centuries and again later by the Mongol invaders from the East. However, now that the archeological archives and research results of the former USSR are open to scientists, it has become quite clear that the primal sighthound type evolved between the Kyrgyzstan, the lower Kazakhstan part of Altai and the Afghan plains, and that the earliest actual sighthound breeds were the plains Afghan hounds and the Kyrgyz Taigan.
These ancient breeds then migrated South (founding the Tazi/Saluki branch) and West (founding the Stepnaya, Krimskaya and Hortaya branches) to develop into breeds adapted to those regions. This was a slow process which happened naturally through normal spreading of trade, with the silk and spice trade via the Silk Road being the prime vector.
The more modern Psovaya Borzaya was founded on Stepnaya, Hortaya and the Ukrainian-Polish version of the old Hort. There were also imports of Western sighthound breeds to add to the height and weight. It was crossed as well with the Russian Laika specifically and singularly to add resistance against Northern cold and a longer and thicker coat than the Southern sighthounds were equipped with.
All of these foundation types – Tazi, Hortaya, Stepnaya, Krimskaya and Hort – already possessed the instincts and agility necessary for hunting and bringing down wolves.
The Psovoi was popular with the Tsars before the 1917 revolution. For centuries, Psovoi could not be purchased but only given as gifts from the Tsar. The most famous breeder was Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievich of Russia, who bred countless Psovoi at Perchino, his private estate.
The Russian concept of hunting trials was instituted during the era of the Tsars. As well as providing exciting sport, the tests were used for selecting borzoi breeding stock; only the quickest and most intelligent hunting dogs went on to produce progeny. For the aristocracy these trials were a well-organized ceremony, sometimes going on for days, with the borzoi accompanied by mounted hunters and Foxhounds on the Russian steppe. Hares and other small game were by far the most numerous kills, but the hunters especially loved to test their dogs on wolf. If a wolf was sighted, the hunter would release a team of two or three borzoi. The dogs would pursue the wolf, attack its neck from both sides, and hold it until the hunter arrived. The classic kill was by the human hunter with a knife. Wolf trials are still a regular part of the hunting diploma for all Russian sightdog breeds of the relevant type, either singly or in pairs or trios, in their native country.
Borzoi circa 1915
In the 1917 Revolution, large numbers of native Psovoi were destroyed by the revolutionaries. The Tsars had turned them into a symbol of affluence and tyranny, and they were not welcomed into the new world of the Soviet Union. Some noblemen took it upon themselves to shoot their own dogs rather than allow them to fall into the hands of militants. However, the Psovoi survived along with the other borzaya variants in the Russian countryside.
In the late 1940s a Soviet soldier named Constantin Esmont made detailed records of the various types of borzoi dogs he found in the Cossack villages. Esmont’s amazing pictures were recently published and can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Esmont was concerned that the distinct types of borzaya were in danger of degenerating without a controlled system of breeding. He convinced the Soviet government that borzoi were a valuable asset to the hunters who supported the fur industry and henceforth, their breeding was officially regulated. To this day short-haired Hortaya Borzaya are highly valued hunting dogs on the steppes, while the long-haired Psovaya Borzaya, still carrying some of the stigma of its association with the old White Russia, has become more common as a decorative companion.
Exports of borzoi to other countries were extremely rare during the Soviet era. However enough had been taken to England, Scandinavia, Western Europe and America in the late 19th century for the breed to establish itself outside its native country.
Size & Appearance
Borzoi are large Russian sighthounds that resemble some central Asian breeds such as the Afghan hound, Saluki, and the Kyrgyz Taigan. They can generally be described as “long-haired greyhounds”, though Borzoi come in virtually any color. The long top-coat is silky and quite flat, with varying degrees of waviness or curling. The soft undercoat thickens during winter or in cold climates, but is shed in hot weather to prevent overheating. In its texture and distribution over the body, the borzoi coat is unique. There should be a frill on its neck, as well as feathering on its hindquarters and tail.
Borzoi males frequently weigh more than 100 pounds (45 kg), ~120 pounds. Males stand at least 30 inches (about 80 centimeters) at the shoulder, while the height of females is around 26 inches (about 66 centimeters). Despite their size, the overall impression is of streamlining and grace, with a curvy shapeliness and compact strength.
Health & Maintenance
Stated life expectancy is 10 to 12 years. Median lifespan based on a UK Kennel Club survey is 9 years 1 month. 1 in 5 died of old age, at an average of 10 to 11.5 years. The longest lived dog lived to 14 years 3 months. Dogs that are physically fit and vigorous in their youth through middle age are more vigorous and healthy as elderly dogs, all other factors being equal. In the UK, cancer and cardiac problems seem to be the most frequent causes of premature death.
Like its native relative the Hortaya Borzaya, the borzoi is basically a very sound breed. OCD, hip and elbow dysplasia have remained almost unknown, as were congenital eye and heart diseases before the 1970s. However, in some countries modern breeding practices have introduced a few problems.
As with other very deep-chested breeds, gastric torsion is the most common serious health problem in the borzoi. Also known as bloat, this life-threatening condition is believed to be anatomical rather than strictly genetic in origin. Many borzoi owners recommend feeding the dog from a raised platform instead of placing the food-dish on the ground, and making sure that the dog rests quietly for several hours after eating, as the most reliable way to prevent bloat.
Less common are cardiac problems including cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia disorders. A controversy exists as to the presence of progressive retinal atrophy in the breed. A condition identified as Borzoi Retinopathy is seen in some individuals, usually active dogs, which differs from progressive retinal atrophy in several ways. First, it is unilateral, and rarely seen in animals less than three years of age; second, a clear-cut pattern of inheritance has not been demonstrated; and finally, most affected individuals do not go blind.
Correct nutrition during puppyhood is also debatable for borzoi. These dogs naturally experience enormous growth surges in the first year or two of their lives. It is now widely accepted that forcing even faster growth by feeding a highly concentrated, high-energy diet is dangerous for skeletal development, causing unsoundness and increased tendency to joint problems and injury. Being built primarily for speed, borzoi do not carry large amounts of body fat or muscle, and therefore have a rather different physiology to other dogs of similar size (such as the Newfoundland, St. Bernard, or Alaskan Malamute). Laboratory-formulated diets designed for a generic “large” or “giant” breed are unlikely to take the needs of the big sighthounds into account.
The issues involved in raw feeding may be particularly relevant to tall, streamlined breeds such as the borzoi. It is interesting to note that the Hortaya Borzaya, undoubtedly a very close relative, is traditionally raised on a meager diet of oats and table scraps. The Hortaya is also said to be intolerant of highly concentrated kibble feeds. Basically, a lean body weight in itself is nothing to be concerned about, and force-feeding of healthy young borzoi is definitely not recommended.
In Movies, TV, & Print
- The borzoi is the symbol of Alfred A. Knopf publishing house.
- Tasha, a female borzoi belonging to the noted vet Buster Lloyd-Jones (founder of Denes natural pet foods), was born in the UK during the Second World War and is the pedigree ancestor of most British borzoi bloodlines.
- Ben was the white male borzoi, beloved of E.J. Smith, Captain of the Titanic. There exists a photo of the Captain and his dog outside his cabin on the ship. The Dog was not however on the maiden voyage.
- Kolchak Has been the mascot of the 27th Infantry Regiment since the Regiment participated in the Siberia Campaign. The 27th Infantry has been nicknamed ‘The Wolfhounds’ in recognition of their endurance during battles in Siberia.
In Popular Culture
- Leo Tolstoy’s 1869 novel War and Peace contains an extensive wolf hunting scene with borzoi in book 7, chapters 3 to 6.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel, The Beautiful and Damned (1922), contains a scene in which Gloria compares Anthony to a Russian wolfhound. Anthony decides to take this as a compliment: “Anthony remembered that they were white and always looked unnaturally hungry. But then they were usually photographed with dukes and princesses, so he was properly flattered.”
- Ivan, one of the protagonists of the historical novel by the Cuban writer Leonardo Padura Fuentes, El hombre que amaba a los perros (The Man Who Loved Dogs), is the editor of a university journal of veterinary medicine, who manages to make a living during the Special Period in Cuba by helping people take care of their dogs. The novel alludes to Ivan’s own dogs as well as to Borzoi dogs owned by Leon Trotsky and his assassin, Ramón Mercader.
- In the book Dark Symphony (2003) by Christine Feehan, Byron gives Antonietta a black borzoi named “Celt”.
- In the book The Romanov Prophecy (2004) by Steve Berry
- In the anime Kuroshitsuji (Japanese for Black Butler), Ciel Phantomhive as a child had a black borzoi named Sebastian. He named the demon with which he made a Faustian contract after this dog.
The 1968 film version War and Peace contains a hunting scene with borzoi from the kennel of Ekhaga, Sweden.
- Uncle Zeke starred as “Digger” in the 2000 Disney film, 102 Dalmatians
- The borzoi brothers, Rocket, Missile, and Jet in Ginga Densetsu Weed
- Boris in Walt Disney’s 1955 film Lady and the Tramp
- D’or’s Prince Igor owned by Barbara Todd (Zcerlov) and bred by Andre Legere appears in the 1969 film, Hello Dolly!
- When Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark arrive at the Capitol in the 2012 film The Hunger Games, a pair of pink borzoi are shown on screen—an illustration of the Capitol residents’ gaudy lifestyle.
- Borzoi can also been seen in cameo roles in the films Love at First Bite, Legends of the Fall (“Notchee Boy”), Excalibur, All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989), Bride of Frankenstein, Easter Parade, Wolfen, Ziegfeld Follies, Onegin (1999), Gangs of New York (2002), Chaplin, The Avengers (TV series), JAG, Maverick (1994), Sleepy Hollow, Last Action Hero, and A Knights Tale (on the DVD deleted scenes).
- “Mademoiselle Nobs” from Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii (1971) who “sings” a song with the band.
- Lyndell Ackerman’s “Nessie” CH Windyglens Finesse in the TV show Wings.
- In an SCTV parody commercial for fictional Poochare dog food, a borzoi dog is seen being taken for a walk by Eugene Levy.
- “Borzoi Colors and Markings”. American Kennel Club. – http://www.akc.org/breeds/borzoi/color_markings.cfm
- “The Borzoi Standard”. Borzoi Club of America. – http://www.borzoiclubofamerica.org/stand.htm
- At a Conformation Judges training session not long after Coren’s book was released, I was greeted by the coordinator with the question, “I read something that said Borzois aren’t very smart, is that true?” This to the owner of several Borzoi, one of which knows how to open the refrigerator, and all of which respond instantly to “commands” given in that special owner-dog private language that wouldn’t even be noticed by an outsider.
- Scott pp.113
- Brunarski/Moyer. “lyric”. Nktelco.net. – http://www.nktelco.net/teine/lyric.htm
- “Borzoi Club of America, Inc”. Borzoiclubofamerica.org. – http://www.borzoiclubofamerica.org/ava.htm
- “Borzoi Temperament – What’s Good About ‘Em, What’s Bad About ‘Em”. Your Purebred Puppy. – http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/reviews/borzoi.html
- “NZKC – Breed Standard – Borzoi”. New Zealand Kennel Club. – http://www.nzkc.org.nz/breed_info/br424.html
- “Borzoi: Dog Breed Selector: Animal Planet”. Animal Planet. – http://animal.discovery.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds/hound/borzoi.html
- “Individual Breed Results for Purebred Dog Health Survey”. – http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/570
- Scott pp.10
- Scott pp.14
- Tolstoy, Leo (2001). War and Peace. Wordsworth Classics. ISBN 1-85326-062-2.
- Fitzgerald, F. Scott (1922). The Beautiful and Damned. Serenity Publishers. pp. 91-92.
- http://www.borzoiclubqld.com/the-versatile-borzoi.asp ,
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1wON-tWm5g 
- The Borzoi Handbook Winifred E. Chadwick. London: Nicholson & Watson 1952. Including a translation of The Perchino Hunt By His Excellency Dmitri Walzoff (1912).
- McRae, Gail C. (1989). Borzoi. TFH Publications; New Ed edition. pp. 191 pages. ISBN 978-0-86622-676-9.
- Martin, Nellie L. (2005). Borzoi – The Russian Wolfhound. Its History, Breeding, Exhibiting and Care. Read Books. pp. 128 pages. ISBN 978-1-84664-042-1.
- Scott, Dr. Desiree (2002). Borzoi (Pet Love). Interpet Publishing, UK.. pp. 160 pages. ISBN 1-903098-93-9.
- Zotova, Galena V. (2003). Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya. Moscow. ISBN 5-94838-095-5.
- Talismanhound [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Design Barbara/Madeleine (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Flickr user Jaye Whitmire (Flickr here) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Taru T Torpström (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Animal Planet – Breed All About It: Borzoi
Borzoi (Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya)
FCI-Standard N° 193 / 22. 11. 2006 / GB
TRANSLATION : R.K.F., revised by U. Fischer, R. Triquet and J.Mulholland.
ORIGIN : Russia.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 25.10.06.
Hunting sighthound, racing and coursing hound.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 10 Sighthounds.
- Section 1 Long-haired or fringed Sighthounds.
Without working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY :
The Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya has been an integral part of the national culture and Russian history for 9 centuries. The French Chronicle of the XIth century shows that three Borzois accompanied the daughter of the Grand Duke of Kiev, Anna Iaroslavna when she arrived in France to become the wife of Henri I. Among the owners and breeders there were many famous people including Tsars and poets : Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Nicolas II, Pushkin, Turgenev. The creation of the famous kennel « Pershinskaya okhota » by the illustrious breeders the Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaevitch and Dimitri Valtsev had great importance. From the end of the XIXth century, the Borzoi is seen in the biggest breeding kennels of Europe and America.
GENERAL APPEARANCE :
Dog of aristocratic appearance, of large size, of lean and at the same time robust constitution, of a very slightly elongated construction. Females are generally longer than males. Strong bone structure but not massive. The bones are rather flat. Muscles lean, well developed, especially on the thighs, but not showing in relief. Harmony of form and movement is of prime importance.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
- In males the height at the withers is equal or barely superior to that from the summit of the croup to the ground.
- In females these two heights are equal.
- The height at the withers must be slightly inferior to the length of the body.
- The depth of the chest is approximately equal to half the height at the withers.
- The length of the muzzle, from the stop to the tip of the nose, is equal or slightly superior to that of the skull, from the occiput to the stop.
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT :
In its everyday life the Borzoi has a quiet and balanced character. At the sight of game it gets suddenly excited. It has a piercing sight, capable of seeing very far. Its reaction is impetuous.
Viewed from above as well as from the side, lean, long, narrow, aristocratic. Seen in profile, the lines of the skull and muzzle form a long, slightly convex line, the line of the sagittal crest being straight or slightly oblique towards the well marked occipital protuberance. The head is so elegant and lean that the principal veins show through the skin.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Narrow; seen from above : elongated into an oval shape; seen in profile, almost flat.
Stop : Only very slightly marked.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Large, mobile, considerably prominent in relation to the lower jaw.
Top of muzzle : Long, filled out in all its length, slightly arched near the nose.
Muzzle : The length of the muzzle from the stop to the tip of the nose is equal or slightly superior to that of the skull, from the occiput to the stop.
Lips : Fine, clean, well fitting. The eye-rims, the lips and the nose are black whatever the color of the coat.
Jaws/Teeth : Strong under-jaw. Teeth white, strong; scissor bite or pincer bite.
Eyes : Large, very slightly prominent, expressive, dark hazel or dark brown, almond-shaped, but not slit-eyed, set obliquely.
Ears : Small, thin, mobile, set on above the eye level and backwards, pointing almost towards the nape of the neck when not alert. The tips of the ears are situated near each other or directed downwards along the neck and close to it. When the dog is alert, the ears are carried higher and on the sides or forward; sometimes one or both ears are erect like horse ears.
Long, clean, flattened laterally, muscled, slightly arched, never carried high.
Withers : Not marked.
Back : Broad, muscled, elastic, forming with the loin and croup a curve which is more pronounced in the males. The highest point of this curve is situated ahead of the middle of the loin or in the region of the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebra.
Loin : Long, prominent, muscled, moderately broad.
Croup : Long, broad, slightly sloping. The width of the croup measured between the two hip bones (iliac crests) must not be less than 8 cm.
Chest : Of oval cross-section, not narrow, yet not wider than the croup, deep, well developed in length, spacious, reaching down almost to elbow level. The region of the shoulder blades being flatter, the chest gets gradually wider towards the false ribs, which are short; seen in profile, it forms a change in slope. The ribs are long, slightly prominent. The forechest is slightly prominent in relation to the scapular-humeral articulation.
Belly : Well tucked up, the underline rises abruptly towards the abdomen.
In shape of sickle or sabre, low set, thin, long. Passed between the hindlegs, it must reach up to the hip bone (iliac crest), furnished with abundant feathering. When the dog is standing naturally, the tail hangs downwards. In action, it is raised, but not above the level of the back.
Forelegs clean, muscled, seen from the front perfectly straight and parallel. The height of the forelegs from the elbow to the ground is equal or a little superior to half the height at the withers.
Shoulders : Shoulder blades are long and oblique.
Upper arm : Moderately oblique; its length is barely superior to the length of the shoulder blade. Angle of the scapular-humeral articulation well pronounced.
Elbows : In parallel planes to the median plane of the body.
Forearm : Clean, long, of oval cross-section; seen from the front, narrow, seen in profile, broad.
Metacarpus (pastern) : Slightly oblique in relation to the ground.
Seen from behind : straight, parallel, set slightly wider than the forequarters. When the dog is standing naturally, the vertical line dropping from the ischiatic tuberosity (point of buttocks) must pass in front of the center of the hock joint and of the metatarsals.
Upper thigh : Well muscled, long, placed obliquely.
Lower thigh : Long, muscled, placed obliquely. The femoro-tibial and the tibio-tarsal articulations well developed, broad, clean; the angles must be well marked.
Metatarsus (rear pastern) : Not long, placed almost vertically.
All the articulations are well angulated.
Lean, narrow, of elongated oval shape (called « harefeet »); toes arched, tight; nails long, strong, touching the ground.
GAIT / MOVEMENT :
When not hunting, the typical gait of the Borzoi is the extended trot, effortless, very supple and lifting; when hunting the charging gallop is extremely fast, with leaps of great length.
Silky, soft and supple, wavy or forming short curls, but never small tight curls. On the head, the ears and the limbs, the hair is satiny (silky but heavier), short, close lying. On the body, the hair is quite long, wavy; on the regions of the shoulder blades and the croup, the hair forms finer curls; on the ribs and thighs, the hair is shorter; the hair which forms the fringes, the « breeches » and the feathering of the tail is longer. The coat on the neck is dense and abundant.
All color combinations, but never with blue, brown (chocolate) and any derivatives of these colors.
All the colors may be solid or pied. The fringes, « breeches », featherings of the tail are considerably lighter than the ground color. For the overlaid colors a black mask is typical.
Desirable height at the withers :
Males : 75 – 85 cm,
Females : 68 – 78 cm.
In males, the height at the withers is equal or barely superior to that from the summit of the croup to the ground. In females, these heights are equal. Subjects exceeding the maximum height are acceptable provided the typical morphology is preserved.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, especially:
- Small, abnormally worn teeth. Absence of one PM2.
- PM1s and M3s are not taken into account.
- Flecks of the same shade as the ground color.
SEVERE FAULTS :
General appearance :
- Stocky appearance ; short trunk.
- Heavy, round bone.
- Soft tissues.
- Blunt muzzle.
- Very pronounced stop.
- Very pronounced zygomatic arches.
- Occiput not pronounced.
- Lack of one PM3, one PM4 (lower jaw), one M1 (upper jaw), one M2.
- Deep set; yellow or light; slit eyes (too narrow palpebral aperture); showing haw.
- Thick, coarse, with rounded tips.
- Presence of dewlap.
- Sagging; straight back in males.
- Goose rump.
- Pendulous, insufficiently tucked up.
- Coarse; in action, falling downwards.
- Scapular-humeral angle too open (straight shoulder)
- In or out at elbows.
- Forearm : Of round cross-section. Any deviation of the forearm.
- Knuckling over.
- Weak in pasterns.
- Over angulated or too straight angulation.
- Close behind or spread hocks.
- Tendency to broad, round, thick feet; cat feet, flat feet; spread toes.
- Color : Flecks on the body of another shade than the ground color.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
Behavior / Temperament :
- Aggressive or overly shy.
- Overshot or undershot mouth.
- Wry mouth.
- Lack of one incisor, one canine, one carnassial tooth (PM4-upper jaw – M1-lower jaw), lack of more than 4 teeth (any four teeth).
- Faulty position of one or both canines of the lower jaw which, when the mouth is shut, can damage the upper gums or the palate.
- Wall eye.
- Corkscrew tail, broken tail (fused vertebrae), docked, even partially.
- Presence of dewclaws.
- Brown (chocolate), Blue.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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