Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Here's a lovely page on another Russian hunting breed, the chortaj, with pictures of the dogs in the field.

Hunting with sightdogs was and is not just the sport of nobility, even today it is a necessity of life in the steppes of Russia. The pastimes of nobility included wolf hunting with scent hounds and Borzois. This disappeared together with the nobles. The regular Chortaj hunter needs his sighthound for lifelihood: often a whole family depends on the caught prey of their Chortaj. There were no big kennels, however every hunter had and has 2 to 6 Chortaj. So, the selection process was done very slowly and establishing this windhound breed must have taken quite a long time for such wide area.

The page also includes some good advice on caring for any kind of sighthound:

Most sightdogs like to rest on soft surfaces, preferable slightly raised. They are real couch potatoes in this respect. One reason why you should at least provide them with soft and cushioning ground cover, better mattresses or a sofa to rest on, is the fact that they have no fatty layer under their skin, there is no thick coat cushioning joints and bones either. Because of this sightdogs habitually resting on hard or rough surfaces quite quickly develop pressure boils and sores, apart from the fact that they feel distinctly uncomfortable.

Few sightdogs like to sit, their anatomy and angulation of back-hip-legs makes this a position they find hard to take. Do not assume your dog is disobeying you when he either only stands or lies down, and tries to avoid sitting properly.

...Even though one may come to believe that a sightdog needs a special amount of work, this isn't correct. Normal daily walks and about 2 or 3 occasions during a week when the dogs are allowed free and fast running suffices to satisfy their needs.

I am pleased to see a breed which is still allowed to do its work, and owners which refuse to breed their dogs without seeing them prove their prowess in the hunting field and earn their "diplomas". (I have to admit, I would like to see wolfhounds get to try themselves against their ancient foe. But with the way wolves are multiplying all over depopulated Europe, it's probably a good thing that Ireland's an island....) And I like the term "windhound".


  • At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very interesting and right.


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