Page 82 - ShowSight Express, June 8, 2020
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feathering, and the more moderate rear angulation are the biggest differences between Salukis that are primarily for show and those that are primarily bred for open field coursing. In addition to those differences, coursing dogs, be they lure or open field, are usually in much harder condition than strictly show dogs. One of the tell- tale signs of excellent condition in the short-haired, smooth-coated Sighthound is the emphasized dividing line between muscle fascial planes on either side of the mid-lower ribcage and extending up to the end of the ribcage, also known as a “condition line.” It gives me goosebumps when I see it!
correct hair texture has been described as silky in literature as well as by the written standard, the body coats of today do not appear as curly or wavy as those of years past (even as recently as the 1950s and 1960s). The AKC and FCI standards describe the coat as long and either flat, wavy or rather curly/forming large curls. Could it be that modern grooming techniques, including the use of scissors and blow dryers to have the coat lift and lay in a certain direction, or the deliberate genetic selection for more than protective—even effu- sive—coats results in modern Borzoi that exhibit such coat devia- tions from those of old?
Irish Wolfhounds have a long history in Ireland having been used up until the end of the 17th century to hunt wolves, deer and wild boar, and to protect livestock from the devastation of wolves. A prohibition on the export of the Irish Wolfhound in 1652 was an attempt to preserve their number; however, the gradual disappear- ance of its quarry, the wolf, and continued demand on the conti- nent soon brought their numbers close to the point of extinction. In the late 19th century, a renewed interest in the breed caused a
Capt. G.A. Graham to obtain
Two breeds common to western and northern Africa are the Azawakh and the Sloughi, respectively. The Azawakh originates and still exists in the Sahel region of western Africa which includes Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso. It is used for the protection of homes and livestock and to hunt jackals, gazelles and hares. The Sloughi still exists in the Berber world of North Africa, in the area including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya and is used to hunt game such as hare, fox, jackal, gaz“elle and wild pigs.
Make no mistake, these
and rear, whereas the Sloughi is ever-so-slightly taller than long. What these two breeds are is unchanged from what exists in their countries/ regions of origin. The speci- mens you see in the show ring are not far removed from the original imports, with some importations still occurring. Their hunting abilities, respec- tive breed morphologies and breed type remain true wheth- er in the show dog or the work- ing/coursing dog.
hounds and the occasional use of the Great Dane and Borzoi in order to revive the Irish Wolfhound breed. By 1885, an Irish Wolfhound club had been formed in Ireland and the Irish Wolfhound was breeding true through the generations.
Today’s Irish Wolfhound is very much like its early 20th century ancestors. The sub- stance and type, coat colors and apparent coat texture of today’s Irish Wolfhound are much in keeping with that of their ancestors. Improvement in nutrition has likely caused an abundance of correctly tex- tured body coat which is often
Borzoi, formerly known as
Russian Wolfhounds, or Sibe-
rian Wolfhounds in the UK,
have retained their shape and
type to this day when compared to available information and pho- tographs from the Russian hunting kennels of the late 1800s and up to 1917 (Russian Revolution). An article in Forest and Stream, August 20, 1891 (found at, describes an importation of Borzoi (Barzois) to London from St. Petersburg, Russia. In addition to a description of the colors of those imports, and the height of one (a male at 32 inches), the article describes most of the dogs as having been workers who were tried on wolves. The article rapporteur, a Dr. Grimes, goes on to suggest that wolf coursing be added to their (UK) sports as it would “afford something new in the way of amusement for our blasé sportsmen who feel inclined to incur a little danger.” No doubt that wolf hunt- ing was dangerous, but the hunts were not conducted to just “incur a little danger.”
stripped in sequence to maintain its appearance for the show ring. The breed is active in ASFA and AKC lure coursing field trials and, to a significantly lesser degree, in NOFCA hunts. There are those Irish Wolfhounds that are almost exclusively used for lure cours- ing field trials. Unfortunately, many of these tend toward the Deer- hound in type, having less substance and greater refinement when compared with the specimens of the early 20th century as well as those of today.
A breed of dog identifiable as the Deerhound, and used to hunt the red deer of Scotland, was known as far back as the 16th and 17th centuries. Referred to as the Scottish Deerhound by the AKC, the breed is referred to as the Deerhound by the FCI and in its area of origin. These lithe and swift hounds, sometimes referred to as “old souls” by lovers of the breed, are successfully hunted on coyotes and jackrabbits. They maintain the type, shape, size, character and coat qualities of those from authenticated records of the 18th and 19th centuries. In addition, they still closely look like the Deerhound images portrayed by the great British animal artist, Sir Edwin Landseer in the mid-1800s.
Deerhounds are found competing in ASFA and AKC lure cours- ing field trials and NOFCA hunts where their coursing and hunting
While today the Borzoi is not hunted on wolves—at least not in the US and other Western nations—it is regularly tested for speed, endurance, follow, enthusiasm, and agility via ASFA and AKC lure coursing field trials, and NOFCA open field (coursing) hunts.
There is a marked difference in the amount and length of body coat and leg furnishings from the Borzoi we see in the show ring today and those from the late 1800s and very early 1900s. While
two breeds are not identical. ONE OF THE TELLTALE SIGNS some of the very few remaining
The Azawakh’s structure is a Irish dogs of Wolfhound type.
distinctive upright rectangle, These dogs were judiciously
with very open angles front crossed with Scottish Deer-

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