martedì 28 agosto 2012

Articolo interessante!

Interessante questo articolo della dr. Anna Shubkina che ha degli Hortaya stupendi! Nessun accenno al Chart Polski nella storia delle varie razze Levriere...<-> sia Russi che Polacchi raccontano le stesse cose delle loro guai dire che una volta era una, come si evince dai vecchi articoli...:(((

Dr.Anna Shubkina


Hortaya borzaya or Chortai Windhound or just Chortaj is one of the Russian aboriginal breeds. First published descriptions of chortajs date back to the middle of the XIX century. But this breed had been developed in the shade of Russian Barsoi or long-haired Barsoi.

The origin of this breed seems to be comparable, but is not identical to the derivation of the Barsoi. Of course, the breed arrived as the result of adaptation and cross-breeding between the long-eared Asiatic windhounds and the aboriginal spitz-like dog – the primitive form of the domestic dog. The long-eared Asiatic windhounds are called Saluki all over the world and Tazi in former Soviet Union and modern Russia. The second ancestor of the breed - the aboriginal spitz-like dog- is called Laika in Russia. These ancestor breeds are the similar elements in the Barsoi and Chortai origin.

But there are also lots of differences: Barsoi breed established in the big habitats of the old Russia, in colossal dog-farms (in Russian called animal fabrics), which included tens and hundreds of dogs and tens of humans, looking after them – feeding, cleaning, washing, brushing, doing breeding and raising and training under serious professional control… Chortai established in the hands of countryside hunters – using these dogs for their aims and giving them practically nothing – some food and minimal breeding control – isolating of bitches in heat. Barsoi was created for the fair game. Chortai – for getting food and furs for the family. Barsoi breed established in the middle zone of Russia – with long winter when the dogs stay at warm home and short hunting period in autumn, when it is not too cold and not too hot. Chortai established in the southern zone of Russia – with hunting period from September until March-April, including high temperature (up to 25) at the start of autumn and not so low temperature in winter (warmer then –10)…The average diameter of the fields in middle Russia is not more then few kilometers: Barsoi are transported to the hunt by carriage or move few kilometers to the hunting place by feet and wait for the beast which the hounds would activate to run. The southern regions belong to the steppe zone – fields extent for tens of kilometers - Chortai covers them, searching for their prey with the help of the horse-riding hunters. The speed of the possible windhound prey also differs: the northern hare is not so quick as the steppe one; the length of the course at the middle Russia is between 500 meters and 1,5 km; in steppe region it starts more often at 200 meters and span up to 3-4 km… The covering of the fields differs in North and South: at the North the fields are handmade and covered by fresh corn greens or short cut grass and are surrounded by the huge bushes, valleys and forest, where windhound cannot work. At the South fields are mainly natural: include the combination of short humans crops, high grass, rare bushes, and wild steppe covering, where from the windhound must push the prey and where it must do the course. For sure, in the high grass the Barsoi hair collects enormous amount of sticks, which would make problems while further moving…

All these main factors and some other determined the fact that two main windhound breeds obtained in Russia: long-haired aristocratic Barsoi at the middle zone and short-haired practical and elegant Chortai at the south.

The most serious pattern in which these breeds history differ is the human-determined part: Barsoi established at the hands of educated breeders and aristocracy; Chortai- at the hands of small farmers. That’s why the estimating of their written and discussed standards had happened at the distance of the whole century: Barsoi’s approved standard is originated by the second half of the XIX century, while Chortai - by the middle of XX’s. Only near 1950, during the special study of aboriginal windhounds of hunters in the southern Russia, two well educated specialists (Esmont & Lerche) prepared the standard, utilizing the digital and verbal descriptions of more 2000 hunting dogs which occupied the territory of Rostov, Stavropol, Volgograd regions (more then ____square km). In opposite to the Barsoi description, marking the ideal of the breed, Chortai’s standard is dutiful to the main features, imperative for their work and survival and guideline, practical to avoid mixture with other dog’ races.

The history of Chortai in Soviet Empire was not very happy – all the hunting windhounds were pressed as the “tsar dogs” – but they stayed alive in countryside because of their working capacities. Only few tens of the Barsois survived in main Soviet cities, being carried on by the amateurs of the beauty. Chortai’s owners were also pressed by some of Barsoi people, who gave the formula that “good hands having Chortai would better buy our puppies”… In last years Chortai are pushed by some of Greyhound people – “what for do You have this village dogs – You would better buy the puppy from our dog, imported from Great Britain, Ireland or USA”… Former people from Russian FCI Department also managed to “forget” to write the breed’s name to the list of aboriginal Russian breeds, despite of the fact that they are officially recognized, really admired by the hunters and their population at the beginning of 90-th was not less then few thousand dogs… (Later same RKF officials declared that “bad FCI was occupied by the Polish…”).

But the breed of Chortai is still breathing.

How does they look like.

Chortai is not very big windhound – according to the standard the minimal height is from 61cm. Much more, they are really compact. Real height differs in different parts of population: in Stavropol type bitches are 60-66cm, males – 64-70. In Rostov and Volgograd type they are bigger, more boned and heavy.

Chortai is short-hair dog – but its short elastic upper coat is attached in winter by warm and soft down coat, also with longer hair (up to 4cm) down the tail and at the back parts of the quarters. These give them good chance to survive in winter, not to be frozen at the late autumn or winter hunt, feeling well in summer.

In the whole type Chortai is much more similar to the Barsoi then any other windhound breed: long flexible body; “flat bones”, long neck in non-vertical position; fine angulation; abdomen pronounced tucked up, but not exaggerated, so much as in greyhound or saluki. Ribs breast is widespread a little bit more, then in Barsoi. In a whole, Chortai is not so pronounced tall and thin as the Barsoi, it has much more muscles and substance, but, because of flat bones and muscle dispersion looks like more lanky then the greyhound. Compared with greyhound it is much more flexible and supple: its body structure accommodates not only high speed at the nice surface, but the moment of prey capture at hard overdried or frozen ground or in the bushes…The skin of Chortai is much more resistant then of Greyhound – dog must be protected from occasional wounds. The same with hair type – Chortai has much more undercoat then English short-hair windhounds, covering hair is longer and much hard, undercoat typical. The head of the Chortai is very small, if compared with the whole body; the brain part is obvious wider then the muzzle, upper line of the head and especially nose back is declined, the muzzle is thin, dry and slightly shaped. Eyes have much more frontal position then in Barsoi, oval-shaped, slightly squinting, of dark color, but not so frontal and rounded as in Greyhound. Ears are rose-shaped, flexible, but larger then in Barsoi or in Greyhound. Tail similar to the Barsoi, but often in circle.

Gait of Chortai is really similar to the Barsoi movement, but in galop and carrier for the breed is typical more remote phase of hanging. In a whole is necessary to mark the impressionable flexibility of each movement or pose. The appearance the dog is elegant, laconic and could be the adornment of any house or palace.

What working and using qualities do they have.

Chortai are very active, full of energy, combining self-making with eagerness to teamwork with humans and other dogs, friendly, gentle and full of love to well known persons, but with intruders could be not only disapproving, but just aggressive. This breed established as the working breed of peasants – that’s why the dogs ought to be helpful for the owners not only while hunt, but also as the farmer dog, informing about somebody’s arrival, marking protection of the house. Hunt, for which these dogs had been selected is not the fair game – it is hard work, when the dog ought to cover tens kilometers searching for the wild beasts in cooperation with the riding hunter or group of hunters with their dogs.. After the search dog ought to do the course and to catch the prey; and nobody would clean its legs and let the dog to the warm house afterwards… May be in case of snow storm in the field the owner would cover the dog by the same windbreaker which he use for himself – because it is warmer together with the dog.

All parameters described above created the special features of the breed: not only ability, but demand to work, to move, to act; body not only graceful, but full of strength; respect not only for course, but for lure capture. It means that this elegant nice looking dog needs lots of movements and contacts with the owner and other animals, that it is able to establish its own connections with humans, dogs, livestock; that for many cases it acts according to its own mind, but is capable to consider owner’s reasons. It is not comfortable decoration of the house, it is not nice pet – it is partner and companion, full of love to its job and its owner.