It is difficult to imagine a grander scenario. The young American had travelled in a heavy, horse-drawn troika for many hours through forests and open plain on the dusty trails across Russia’s still almost medieval countryside. Finally, his heavy carriage arrives at the gates of Perchino, the ancestral hunting manor of Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaievich, uncle to the ruling czar of all of Russia and commander of what was at the time considered one of the world’s greatest armies.
When people ask me how to judge my breed — and they do — my advice is NOT to look for the prettiest dog in the ring. That gets them every time: "What, not put up the prettiest dog? Isn't that what dog shows are for?"
No, not necessarily, at least not if you agree that dog shows should be more than a superficial exercise is who's the cutest, who is the flashiest, whom does the novice spectator's eye go to firsst? If that is what you think dog shows should be — and there are lots of people who obviously do — then read no further; you will find your views amply supported by many judges coming soon to a local dog show near you.
Everybody knows there are just a dozen or so Sighthound breeds, right? Watching the Hound Group being judged at a regular American Kennel Club show, you will see the established Sighthound breeds, long-legged and aristocratic, lined up somewhat incongruously next to mostly very different-looking other Hound breeds. First come the Afghan Hound and the Borzoi, then the Greyhound, Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound, Saluki and Scottish Deerhound, with the Whippet at the end.
If I hear one more breeder brag about how rarely they breed I think I'll explode … I'm not sure why it's taken so long for the simple truth — that we all need to breed more dogs — to get into my head, but it's cold comfort that many other dog people obviously still think the way I used to for many years.
I have admired Azawakh for many years, judged them in Europe on several occasions and made a point of trying to learn more about the background of this exotic breed whenever possible.
Hounds have long been considered emblems of luxurious living. This image is so deeply embedded in popular culture that its use as a literary device can only be described as ubiquitous. The most famous reference to their unspoken value may be the Nikolai Gogol character in The Inspector-General, a corrupt public official who accepted only Greyhound puppies as bribes.
When you’re involved in dogs you will almost inevitably meet a lot of colorful people and see a lot of wonderful dogs.