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.
To dwell a little more upon the very best specimens seen in England - Krilutt and Korotai, with Oudar and Ooslad, have been and still are equal to anything I have seen. The latter, a fawn hound, is rather smaller than the others, but on one occasion, at least, he beat Korotai, a decision with which I did not agree; for if Ooslad was a little finer in the head, his opponent beat him in coat, colour, power, size, and in all other particulars. Korotai was a white dog with slight blue markings. It is said that when in Russia he had run down and overpowered a wolf. His strain was of the highest and most valued pedigree, and I certainly liked him the best of any of his race I had seen until Oudar came on to the scene. However, at the show already alluded to, the latter was not in good condition, and suffered defeat; Korotai winning chief honours in an extraordinary fine lot of dogs. Krilutt had been in the challenge class; Oudar was first in a division for novices, and at the present time he is well cared for in the kennels of The Duchess of Newcastle at Clumber, and, although now over eight years old, is able to take more than his part against the best on the show bench. At the present time there are over fifty Borzois at Clumber, of which Velasquez and Velsk, by Korotai - Vikhra, are perhaps the best couple ever bred in this country. Tsaritsa, bred by Count Stroganoff, also deserves special mention, a bitch by many good judges considered the best of her sex ever exhibited.
Argos (Mr. O. H. Blees's), a black and tan in colour, was also a very nice hound, excepting so far as the colour goes, which is not good. The owner of the last named Borzoi, who is a Russian, has repeatedly been an exhibitor in this country, and at the Kennel Club's show, in 1891, he took first, second, and third prizes in dogs, but was not so successful in bitches, where Mr. F. Lowe won, with a powerful and excellent specimen he had brought with him from Russia, and called Roussalka. She would, no doubt, have been useful here, but, unfortunately, died soon after the show. Colonel Wellesley's bitch, Pagooba, and Mr. R. B. Summerson's dog Koat, afterwards H'Vat, were hounds of high class.
Of these many excellent specimens, Colonel Wellesley must have the honour of being first in the field with Krilutt, who made an early appearance - and a most successful one it was - at the Kennel Club show, when held at the Alexandra Palace in 1889 - the year of the bloodhound trials. Krilutt had come with a great reputation as the winner of a silver medal at Moscow, and quite bore out all the good words that had been said of him. Exquisite in coat and colour - the latter white with light markings of pale fawn - he stood taller than any other dog in his class, and up to this period and for some time after was certainly the best Borzoi I had seen. Since, two or three have appeared that are, I believe, quite his equals. Whether it is worth while mentioning a dog named Zloeem, which, a year later, had been purchased in Russia by an American gentleman, Mr. Paul Hacke, is an open question. However, it was said that Zloeem could lower the colours of Krilutt and all other opponents, and at Brighton and the Crystal Palace was produced for the purpose of doing so. How completely he failed is now a matter of history - a second-rate dog only when at his very best. Since the above dogs flourished many good specimens have appeared, notably H.R.H. the Princess of Wales's Alex, who has been particularly successful on the bench; Mrs. Coop's Windle Courtier, the Duchess of Newcastle's Velasquez, Vikra, and Milkha; Mrs. Kate Sutton's Vera III., Mrs. Barthropp's Leiba, Mrs. Musgrave's Opromiot, Mrs. Stamp's Najada, and some others, the names of which do not occur to me.
It might be well to mention that considerable risk is run by the loss of these dogs immediately after their arrival in this country. To my personal knowledge, three or four deaths have so taken place. No doubt the changes of food, in their manner of living, and in other surroundings, bring on a complication of disorders not unlike ordinary distemper. That handsome bitch, Rous-salka, brought over by Mr. F. Lowe, died soon after it left his kennels - it cost its new owner £100; and Mr Muir's Korotai had a narrow escape, lying at death's door for several days. Being a dog of strong, hardy constitution, and well nursed, he contrived to pull through.
The usual colours of the Borzoi are white with markings of fawn in varying shades, of blue or slate, sometimes of black and tan. The latter is not considered good, nor are the whole colours which are occasionally seen - fawn and black and tan. Some of the white dogs are occasionally patched with pale brindle, which, however, is not so well defined in its bars or shades as that colour is found on our greyhounds and bull dogs. Many persons object to the brindle or "tiger-coloured" marks, and Colonel Tchebeshoff, one of the great authorities on the breed, disqualifies black, and black and tan, and white with black spots, as indicating descent from English or Oriental greyhounds. Still, against this opinion there is a famous picture, in the possession of the Czar, of four Borzois chasing a wolf. At least one of these animals has the appearance of being black and tan, with an almost white face, very broad white collar and chest, white stern and hind quarters.
The size of the Borzoi and his coat will have been surmised from what has already been written. His general appearance will be seen from the illustration. As a companion he is highly spoken of, but, like all other dogs, he must be brought up for the purpose for which he is intended. In most of the Russian kennels he is kept solely for hunting a savage animal (by a few only to be used for fox and hare), and to do so successfully must be savage himself. Those which have been reared in this manner, and not had the benefit of civilising home influences, are not to be trusted any more than would one of our own foxhounds. But, as I have said, properly brought up and educated, he will be found as companionable as the best - no fonder of fighting than the deerhound, faithful as the collie, and as handsome and picturesque as either. His naturalisation with us is accomplished, and I can see no reason whatever why he is any more likely to be eliminated from "Modern Dogs" than the St. Bernard. He will be used here as a purely fancy variety; there are no wolves for him to kill, hares and rabbits are out of his line, and deer must be left for the big foxhound and the Highland deerhound.