An Outline of the History of the Borzoi

This article was written in 1891 by Baron G.D. Rozen and was published in the journal Russkii Okhotnik. This material was graciously provided by Dr. Jim Sillers, who had the work translated and the resulting paper presented at the 1997 BCOA National Specialty and at the International Borzoi Conference in October 1998. Thanks Dr. Jim!

In intending to write a historical essay on the borzoi, I must not fail to touch on the history of the dog in general.

In this outline the reader will not find a comprehensive and detailed description of various breeds of dogs. But wherever possible I shall strive to join all existing dogs into several separate groups that I believe were original and from which all others descended; I shall be guided by one hunter's view of teh subject, since, in my reasoning, the dog originally could have existed in a domestic state only in the hunting sense, and only later could have begun to benefit man in another sense.

First I shall treat the dog as a fossilized animal and say all that can be said about the prehistoric dog. I shall divide dogs into groups conforming to the proclivities and character of the animal.

The second section of the outline will occupy the period of historical existence of the borzoi (wolfhound1) in other European countries and among us [in Russia].

At the end I shall examine the present status of the borzoi among us and abroad. I must say, unfortunately, that the Russian section in regard to dogs is extremely meager, and that I have had to be guided largely by foreign sources and largely to endeavor to come up with ideas from my own conjectures. I allow the readers themselves to judge to what extent these conjectures are accurate, and I would be very grateful to them for any statements and corrections from them.

Perhaps some of them will come up with sources as yet unknown to me, in the form of old letters and memoirs; communication of these materials in print would of course contribute nothing other than good to the history of Russian dog breeding, and might shed new light on the subject of such interest to us, a subject in which, alas, almost nothing has been done to date.


1 Translator's note: The term "borzoi" as applied to non-Russian dogs, should be construed to mean a tall, lean dog with a long muzzle and tail. At most occurences of the word, the generic translation "borzoi" is used in this book, but in some passages the term "wolfhound" or "hound" is dictated by context.


The Prehistoric Period I >>>

Coursing and Racing Dogs
(Freeman Lloyd)

(not exclusively Borzoi)

Coursing Excerpt from The Beasts of the Prairies

Dog of All the Russias
(W. Haynes)

Dogs of Today - the Russian Wolfhound or Borzoi

Dogs That Hunt Bears and Wolves (Excerpt)
Freeman Lloyd

Excerpt from Hutchinson's Encyclopedia

Excerpt from the Kennel Encyclopaedia

Freeman Lloyd on Borzoi

Hound of the Czars
(Walter Dyer)

Hunting Dogs: Sighthounds and Scenthounds
(L. P. Sabaneev, 1899)

Hunting Large Game Excerpt

J.B. Thomas Says American Borzoi Lead the World
(Micheline de Zutter)

An Outline of the History of the Borzoi
Baron G.D. Rozen, 1891

Ruby de Bolshoy
(Melanie Richards)

Russian Wolfhounds of Yesterday and Today
(Freeman Lloyd)

RWCA's History (1930)

the Borzoi
(H. W. Huntington)

the Borzoi or Russian Wolfhound
(Major Borman)

the Hare and Many Foes

the Russian Borzoi (excerpt from "Dogs From All Angles")

the Russian Wolfhound
(James Watson)

the Russian Wolfhound or Borzoi
(W. Johnston)

Twentieth Century Dog - Borzoi Section

Watson on Borzoi


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