domenica 7 novembre 2010

antico articolo sul Chart Polski---

Questo articolo del 1902 , scritto in Svedese, è stato reperito dalla sig.ra Nina Turunen e poi tradotto in Finlandese e in Inglese dalla sig.ra Lea Hamalainen- Grazie per avermi concesso di pubblicarlo in Italia!

We have found an old article of the Polish sighthound. It was published in "Finska Kennelklubbens Tidskrift", Finnish Kennel Club Review in 1902. Unfortunately, the author is unknown, but obviously he/she was Russian and the original text was also in Russian. So, this article in the paper is a translation into Swedish. I think the article is most interesting, because it is written by a contemporary wittness describing the state of the breed at that time.And, which is remarkable, it contains a whole breed standard, which is said to be given by P.M. Gubin in his book "A Complete Guide to Hunting with Sighthounds" "Ïîëíîå ðóêîâîäñòâî êî ïñîâîé îõîòå" (1891). Peculiar enough, I have never heard of Gubin in this connection of CP before, neither seen this book mentioned among the references about the CP. Therefore I thought you also might be interested in the article and decided to translate it.

II Sighthound Breeds

A. Short-haired Sighthounds

Polish Sighthound (Hart)

We don’t find any illustrative information about the origin of the Polish sighthound in Polish hunting literature, neither in the book of Ostroróg from last century, nor in the cynological researches published later on. We may only assume that short- haired sighthounds were well known in Poland as early as in the Middle Ages and that they don’t descend from the Greyhound but the Gallian sighthound with a mixture of the Arabian sighthound. The latter may have been brought from Palestine by crusaders. It is also possible that short-haired sighthounds were imported straight from France in the 17 th century. Greyhounds were imported a little later during the time of Elector August II.

Poles learnt the way of hunting with sighthounds mainly from Russians during the period of The False Demeters; on the other hand Crimean Tatars as well as Moldavian and Wallachian Turks may have served as masters. Therefore the Polish sighthound has charasteristics from the Russian long-haired one and sometimes even from the Crimean sighthound. The Moldavian sighthound, or the so called "voloshka", which is found in Bessarabia and Rumania is a crossbreeding between the Polish and the Crimean sighthounds. The real Polish sighthounds of the 18th and 19th centuries diverged from the Greyhound in regard to their bigger size, stronger conformation and better prey drive as well as their rougher hair quality.

Hunting with sighthounds has never been widely spread in Poland, and it is only carried on by the aristocracy, while hunting with scent hounds has been the way of hunting characteristic of ordinary people. Polish sighthounds have always been few in number, and after the last rebellion they have become utmost rare. Some occasional individuals can nowadays be found in the south western part of the country and in Bessarabia.

Polish sighthounds were widely spread among the Russian sighthound hunters in the beginning of the 19th century, and being bigger, stronger and having better prey drive they were much more in demand than the Greyhounds. In a letter to Count Saltykov A. Volinski in 1734 tells about an unusual male, who was owned by a Lithuanian nobleman and envoy of Poland, Count Savkis. This male "…is so big that his height at the withers is 1 arshin and 3 vershoks (about 85 cm, LH) and so marvellous that, to be honest, I have never met such a perfect dog during my whole life. I think it would be a great pity, if the dog in question would pass away without giving offspring. The owner really paid 400 efims for him to a nobleman of humble birth."

The characteristics of the Polish sighthound have in detail been documented by Gubin in his book "A complete guide to hunting with sighthounds"

General appearance: When compared to the Greyhound, the Polish sighthound is bigger, more rough in shape and more muscular. Everything in the dog tells about his boldness and power.

Head is big and dry, muzzle long and impressive; forehead is with two layers. Regardless of the width of the forehead, the head is stronger and more attractive than the head of the Greyhound.

Eyes are very big, fierce, with lower lids slightly hanging. The white of the eye is bloodshed; as Gubin describes it: "In a furious eye, between eye lids you can distinguish a bloodshed eyeball." These eyes give an evidence on a crossbreeding to some dogg, presumably the Great Dane. So you can have the evidence from a certain source, that the Polish "kundel", useful in hunting wild boars, is a diabolic mixture of dogg, scent hound, village mongrel and Polish sighthound.

Ears are small, narrow and oblong and always backwards folded.

Neck is long; in males as well as in females often swan neck.

Front is wide and full, in good balance with the rear . The sternum emerges in front of the shoulder joints.

Shoulders are massive and muscular. Thin ribbons are low set.

Body is wide and full, topline in females nearly straight, males have an arch, starting from the shoulder and ending at the croup bones.

Limbs are dry with strong bones, their position is very straight. Thighs are massive with clearly distinguishable individual muscles. Pasterns are of medium length, in correct proportion to the size of the dog. The dog must stand on his nails like every pure bred sighthound.

Feet are big oblong hare feet

Tail is very long, straight without turning aside and without a curve. The dog carries it hanging straight downwards; on a fast move it makes a sickle. According to old Russian system of measuring the tail, i.e. when passing the tail up between the hind legs, the last tail vertebra must reach the summit of the croup.

Coat. Hair is short, soft and glossy, but in all cases more harsh and thicker than in the Greyhound. It is utmost short and glossy on the head, the forelegs and the abdomen. Hair is tightly set to the body; its length is not allowed to exceed 2,22 cm. Cold resistance of the coat is due to the undercoat. The dog has slight hanging hair on the tail and hind legs as a remembrance of the Borzoi and Crimean sighthound.

Colour is black, grey, beige, yellowish, red with or without black mask, red with markings, brindle, blue and particolour, but seldom white.

Height of the Boby. Dogs are of medium size, but it’s not seldom that males of 80 cm and females of 70 - 73 cm are found.

The dog loosens his hair from the beginning of May till the end of June.

By their nature the Polish sighthounds are energetic, but peaceful and obedient. The stamina of hunting is good on short as well as long distances. However, the dogs are not suitable for long term hunting on terrain. They usually run in a fairly slow rhythm. Their prey drive is excellent and the grasp on the prey is killing without exception. In regard to their power, size and the biting capacity of their jaws, the Polish sighthounds are not underrated when compared to the Curlandian wire-haired or Russian long-haired sighthounds.

Among the dogs shown in Russia, Apushkins Asarnoj may be mentioned, who, however, had a ramarkable percentage of greyhound blood in him.-------

Commento all'articolo della sig.ra Nina Turunen-Bassebastioni kennel-Finlandia----

This article is old - it is written over hundred years ago, when those dogs in Juliusz Kossak and Józef Brandt paintings were alive. Usually we think that the world of old paintings is some kind of unreal wonderland, product of imagination. But those dogs have sometimes been flesh and blood. This article is like a greeting to us, sent by our workmates from another era - people who lived long time ago with same dogs like we today.

The article is a strong evidence that the 'Polish' 'sight' 'hound' - a local subspecies of sighthound from Polish area - has been well-known concept, completed product among the more famous sighthound breeds like f. ex. Greyhound and Borzoi - not automatically all present sighthound breeds have been known in 1902. Just if a sighthound breed is mentioned in a Finnish publication hundred years ago, that means the breed really has been an established concept, not only common in those places where it has been used (Poland, Russia and present Ukraine between them). However we have to remember that then, in 1902, both Grand Duchy of Finland and huge areas of partitioned Poland were part of Russian Empire.

Together with the other similar and contemporary descriptions (like Ubysz 1880, Sabaneev 1892, Machevarianov 1873 and so on) this article gives one rare missing piece more to the "jigsaw puzzle", entity called 'Chart Polski' and its background.

The earlier existence of a dog breed can be proved at many ways. One good indicator is if there appear descriptions not only in the home country of the breed but also the other ones. It means the breed has been known more widely than only in country of origin. There are not too much foreign descriptions published about this breed - particularly same old. Nowadays in the books and newspapers where old texts are cited, we can read descriptions and notes written by Poles and Russians of course, but how many of the foreign countries have reported about this breed - even more widely than only a short mention in the breed list? Not many, especially further away outside of neighbour countries of Poland. There are maybe some descriptions written in Germany and maybe very few other. But the other possible comparable and same old articles outside of Poland or Russia are not known.

This article is also very valuable evidence against those suspicious peoples, who say that Chart Polski "is a new breed from 1970's and without true history". But now we know that the Polish Chart has existed as a Polish local kind of sighthound at least already over hundred years ago. Just in different contexts the concept 'breed' is often somewhat ambiguous.