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Showing Your Borzoi

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Tags: Borzoi, Show, AKC Conformation

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Once you have decided to show your Borzoi, you will need to know what types of competitions in which you want him to compete. There are two basic types of competitions the Borzoi can participate and excel in: dog sport competitions and dog shows. Dog sport competitions focus on the dog's ability to live up to the purpose of its ancestors. Obedience, tracking, coursing, and agility trials are designed around the rules of the American Kennel Club (AKC) to provide a place to show off a dog's abilities. One such event, the American Sighthound Field Association's lure coursing trials is a great place to enter a Borzoi.

Dog shows, on the other hand, focus more on the dog's beauty and grace. These competitions stress what is known in the dog show world as "conformation" or the dog's ability to conform to the breed standard as set down by the AKC. Conformation competitions like these focus on the dog's physical attributes including his body structure, his appearance, and his gait; dog shows also examine the dog's personality or temperament. There are two types of dog shows: specialty shows that feature only Borzoi, and all-breed shows where the Borzoi compete against other breeds.

The AKC breed standard for the Borzoi was established in 1972, and is followed strictly. The reason for this is to maintain conformity and uniformity in all purebred dog breeds. The AKC standard for the Borzoi emphasizes the legs and hips or loins of the dog, the neck and jaws, and the dog's agility, elegance, and gracefulness. The legs and hips of the dog are important because the dog was initially bred as a courser; the neck and jaws of the Borzoi are emphasized because the dog would capture and hold the prey using its mouth.

The Borzoi's head should be long and narrow with long jaws and a large nose. He should have small ears, dark eyes, and an arched neck. The Borzoi's body should have fine, sloping shoulders with a narrow and very deep chest and rib cage. The dog's back is higher at the loins and this gives the dog a gentle curve. The depth of the dog's chest makes the ribs and back shorter. The Borzoi should have strong legs, and very muscular hind legs which are set wider than the forelegs, but parallel to them. He should have "hare-shaped" feet and a long, curved tail.

The coat of the Borzoi gives the dog some of his distinctive look. The coat should be long haired and silky; the AKC accepts both flat and wavy coats, but not curly. The fur should be short on the dog's head and on the front of his legs, but frilled at the neck and feathered on the dog's hind legs and tail. The Borzoi can be any color according to the AKC breed standard.

The AKC stipulates that the Borzoi male must be exactly 28 inches tall, and between 75 and 105 lbs. The female Borzoi must be exactly 26 inches tall and can weigh between 55 and 85 lbs.

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