This section is from the book "A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland. (Sporting Division)", by Rawdon Briggs Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: Sporting Division.
In addition to sport with Borzois obtained in the above manner, occasional meetings are held where hares are coursed; and "bagged," or rather "caged," wolves treated in a similar manner. Judging, however, from what I have been told of such gatherings, they are by no means desirable or of a high class, so need not be further alluded to here.
It is but natural that with the popularisation of a new variety of dogs, some discussion should take place thereon. In the present instance, an attempt was made upon the name of the hound, but as the word Borzoi had obtained general acceptance, was easy to pronounce, and not too long to puzzle even a child, the "raid" failed. It is now adopted by the Kennel Club, by the chief Russian authorities, and no doubt that hound once known as the Russian wolfhound will remain the Borzoi to the end of his days. On this matter, Prince Obolensky says: "I am glad to see English sporting papers adopting the Russian name for this breed, for the word itself (Borzoi mas., Borzaia fem.) means 'swift and hot-tempered;' and though poets sometimes apply the expression to a high-spirited steed, it is, with this exception, always applied to greyhounds only; for this reason the English greyhound is called, in Russia, 'Angliskaia Borzaia,' or English Borzoi."
Some little time before the above was published, Lieutenant G. Tamooski, writing from Merv, proposed the term "Psovi," which means literally "thick coated," as a fit name for the dog as it is known in this country, because he says "Borzoi" means any coursing hound whatever.
The Duchess of Newcastle, Colonel and the Hon. Mrs. Wellesley, the Duke and Duchess of Wellington, Mrs Morrison, of near Salisbury; Lady Innes Kerr, Mr. A. H. Blees, Mrs. Coop, Mrs. W. B. Stamp, Mrs. E. H. Barthropp. Mrs. M. E. Musgrave, Mrs. G. W. Fitzwilliam, Miss A. M. Head, Mrs. Young, Miss M. Thompson, and many others, have given particular attention to the Borzoi, and they, with Mr. K. Muir, an English resident in Moscow, who brought over with him, during a visit to this country, a couple of excellent hounds, own, or have owned, animals perhaps as good as can be found in any Russian kennel. Their best specimens are much stronger, and more powerful than most of those seen at our earlier shows. Mrs. Wellesley's Krilutt was measured to be 30m. at the shoulders, and pretty nearly 100lb. in weight, and Mr. Muir's Korotai was half an inch taller, and said to be 110lb. in weight. Both were Russian born, and proved their ability to win prizes at St. Petersburg and Moscow, as well as in our own country. Like the rest of their race, they are "thick coated dogs" - the smoother ones are not liked in this country - not so hard in their hair as the English deerhound, but the jacket is closer, and, if not so straight, is perhaps the more weather-resisting of the two. As the Russians themselves say that the two kinds of coat, thick and comparatively smooth, appear in puppies of the same litter, there is no other conclusion to arrive at, that they are one and the same variety. At any rate, they are allowed to be so in this the land of their adoption.
Considerable interest was taken in the extraordinary collection of this hound that appeared at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, in February, 1892.
Here, many classes had been provided, the result being an entry of about fifty. These included a splendid team from the "Imperial Kennels," most of which belonged to the Grand Duke Nicholas. However, three were actually the property of the Czar, including a beautiful bitch called Lasca, and a couple of dogs, Oudar and Blitsay. Oudar was a particularly fine hound, and though in bad condition, consequent on his long journey from St. Petersburg, he stood well with the best of our previously imported dogs, and in the end gained second honours in perhaps as good an open class as was ever seen anywhere. He stood 30½in. at the shoulders, and scaled about 1051b.
Most of these Russian dogs were sold, some of them for high prices, Oudar realising £200, the bitch already named as much, and the then Lord Mayor of London was presented with a handsome specimen. Their "caretaker" had instructions to sell the lot, but none for less than £20 apiece. The strains in this country have been improved by these importations, and any fears as to degeneracy from inter-breeding may now be set at rest. Another big dog of the race was Colonel Wellesley's Damon, 30¾in. at the shoulders, and about 110lb. in weight, but when we saw him he did not quite equal in symmetry and general excellence such dogs as Krilutt, Oudar, Korotai, and may be of another dog, imported by Mr. Summerson, of Darlington, called Koat, afterward H'Vat.