1905 Standard for Russian Wolfhounds

Adopted by
September 1, 1905

HEAD - Skull slightly domed, long and narrow, with scarcely any perceptible stop, rather inclined to be Roman-nosed; jaws long, powerful and deep; teeth strong, clean and ever, neither pig-jawed nor undershot; nose large and black.

EARS - Small and fine in quality, lying back on the neck when in repose with the tips when thrown back almost touching behind the occiput; raised when at attention.

EYES - Set somewhat obliquely, dark in color, intelligent, but rather soft in expression, never full nor staring, nor light in color, eyelids dark.

NECK - Clean, free from throatiness, somewhat shorter than in the greyhound, slightly arched, very powerful and well set on.

SHOULDERS - Sloping, should be fine at the withers and free from coarseness or lumber.

CHEST - Rather narrow, with great depth of brisket.

RIBS - Only slightly sprung, but very deep, giving room for heart and lung play.

BACK - Rising a little at the loins in a graceful curve.

LOINS - Extremely muscular, but rather tucked up, owning to the great depth of chest and comparative shortness of back and ribs.

FORE LEGS - Bone flat, straight, giving free pay for the elbows, which should b neither turned in nor out; pasterns strong.

FEET - Hare shaped, with well-arched knuckles, toes close and well padded.

HIND-QUARTERS - Long, very muscular and powerful, with well bent stifles and strong second thighs, hocks broad, clean and well let down.

TAIL - Long, set on and carried low in a graceful curve.

COAT - Long, silky (not wooly), either flat, wavy or rather curly. On the head, ears and front of legs it should be short and smooth; on the neck the frill should be profuse and rather curly. Feather on hind-quarters and tail, long and profuse, less so on the chest and back of fore-legs.

COLOR - Any color, white usually predominating, more or less marked with lemon, tan, brindle, grey or black. Whole colored specimens of these tints occasionally appear. Solid black or black marked with tan to be considered a disqualification.

GENERAL APPEARANCE - Should be that of an elegant, graceful aristocrat among dogs, possessing courage and combining great muscular power with extreme speed.

SIZE - Dogs, average height at shoulder from 28 to 31 inches; average weight from 75 to 105 pounds. Larger dogs are often seen, extra size being no disadvantage when it is not acquired at the expense of symmetry, speed and staying quality.

Bitches are invariably smaller than dogs, and two inches less in height and from 15 to 20 pounds less in weight is a fair average.

From the BCOA Archives

History of the United States Borzoi Standard

On November 12, 1903 the “Russian Wolfhound Club of America” was formed. An executive committee consisting of Dr. J.E. De Mund, James Mortimer and Joseph B Thomas formed a constitution and standard that was approved on Feb. 10, 1904. During this three month period, the 1905 standard as we know it was constructed. Because BCOA records prior to 1948 have been destroyed, there is no direct way to check the historical sources or points of discussion in the acceptance of this first US Borzoi Standard.

1905 - Russian Wolfhound Club of America - No disqualification for color (any color)
1930 - Addition - black and black & tan considered a disqualification
1938 - Black and Black & tan disqualification still in order. (Ideal picture of a Borzoi given)
1941 - Color section reverts to 1905 description. The point scale in the original was changed by adding a section of 15 points for conformation and gait. The 15 points were acquired from the 100 by subtracting points from the following:
Head: 15 minus 3 now 12
Ears: 5 minus 2 now 3
Shoulders & Chest: 15 minus 5 now 10
Hindquarters, Stifles, Hocks: 15 minus 3 now 12
Tail: 5 minus 2 now 3 15
Conformation and gait: now 15
1942 - No change
1947 - No change
1951 - Ideal Borzoi drawing deleted
1954 - No change
1956 - No change
1961 - No change
1964 - No change
1968 - No change
1972 - Scale of points deleted. Position of ‘general appearance’ moved and expanded. Mention of great muscular power and extreme speed not specifically mentioned, although reference is made to ‘sound running gear’.
      1. Qualification added for jaws “somewhat finer in bitches, but not snippy”.
      2. Description of an even or scissor bite deleted “neither pig-jawed nor undershot”.
      3. Added “missing teeth should be penalized”.
Ears: Same as 1905
      1. Addition - Never rounded
      2. “inner corner midway between tip of nose and occiput.”
Neck: Removal of “somewhat shorter than in the Greyhound.”
Shoulders: Same as 1905
Chest: Same as 1905
Ribs: Same as 1905
Back: Same as 1905
Loins: Same as 1905
      1. Addition - Bones straight and somewhat flattened like blades with the narrower edge forward.
      2. Addition “the elbows have free play and are turned neither in nor out.”
Feet: Same as 1905
      Addition 1. somewhat wider than forequarters
      Addition 2. strong first (and second) thighs
      Addition 3. legs parallel when viewed from the rear
Tail: Same as 1905
Coat: Same as 1905
Color: Addition - any color ‘or combination of colors’ acceptable.
      1. Addition - “Mature males should be at least 28 inches at the withers and mature bitches at least 26 inches at the withers. Dogs and bitches below these respective limits should be severely penalized.”
      2. Addition - essentially, the same statement as 1905 on extra size.
      3. Addition - “Range in weight for males from 75 to 105 pounds and for bitches, 15 to 20 pounds less.”
Gait: Addition “Front legs much reach well out in from with pasterns strong and springy. Hackneyed motion with mincing gait is not desired not is weaving and crossing. However while the hind legs are wider apart than the front, the feet tend to move closer to the center line when the dog moves at a fast trot.
When viewed from the side there should be noticeable drive with a ground-covering stride from well-angulated stifles and hocks. The overall appearance in motion should be that of effortless power, endurance, speed, agility, smoothness and grace.”
Faults: Addition 1. The foregoing description is that of the ideal Borzoi. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation keeping in mind the importance of the various features toward the basic original purpose of the breed.