Book Review: Borzoi in Canada: The Early Years 1894 - 1954
February 10, 2022
What a blessing it would be if all of the breed clubs in Canada had a dedicated researcher like Borzoi Canada does. Judy A. Carleton, an award-winning historian and Borzoi breeder from Alberta dedicated nearly 2 years to collecting and researching the Borzoi’s early years here in Canada to compile Borzoi in Canada: The Early Years 1894 - 1954. What was initially to be an article or two for the Borzoi Canada newsletter resulted in a 200 page book showcasing over 400 photos listing all Canadian Kennel Club registered Borzoi from 1894 to 1954 as well as US and European imports as well as exports. The book also features fascinating stories of Canadian breeders from days on by and the events they competed in.
Content includes chapters on:
Canadian Kennel Club History
As a proud member of the CKC, I was fascinated to learn more about our early days. Did you know that, before the Canadian Kennel Club came to be, The Dominion of Canada Kennel Club was established in 1882? The club did not succeed in creating a national registry nor did it survive as a club in general. Then, Canadian dog fanciers joined with the American Kennel Club and Canadian clubs accounted for 3 of the American Kennel Club’s first 13 clubs. I guess drama within a dog club isn’t a new thing and in 1886, Canadian members withdrew from the AKC and eventually formed their own national governing body two years later. Fun fact: the Canadian Kennel Club’s first head office was NOT in the Greater Toronto Area!
Other early CKC facts that I found interesting were that, although women were not explicitly prohibited from joining, no female member’s presence was recorded until 1910. At first the club was almost exclusively Ontarians (mainly from Toronto) and that the annual membership fee was $2 and that included subscriptions to both the annual stud book as well as the monthly “Kennel Gazette”.
I really loved not only reading about the shows that took place, but also the commentaries, compliments and criticisms of both events and the dogs that attended. Even over one hundred years ago, dog show did not hold back when praising or complaining about shows and judging! I enjoyed reading of dog shows taking place in busy downtown Toronto as I wish more did these days to attract foot traffic and invite members of the public to see well-bred dogs.
Because I have studied the Borzoi a bit and recently wrote a blog on the breed, I know a bit about their wolf hunting history. Wolf hunting was in Russia what fox hunting was in England and the Russian nobility delighted in hunting with packs of Borzoi. I was surprised to learn that, upon coming to Canada, the Borzoi was used by farmers to rid their lands of another pesky livestock killer.
Have you ever heard of Borzoi contributing to the sport of dog sledding? The book goes into fascinating details on how Borzoi were used in breeding programs that established the breeds used during the Klondike Gold Rush, and went on to win the Banff Grand Prix!
Borzoi Across Canada
In the following Chapters, Carleton lists early Borzoi living to Canada in 8 provinces year by year (some provinces and territories had no records of the breed being there during that time period). Paragraphs chronologically cover imports, Canadian-born litters, shows as well as interesting stories of Borzoi doing all sorts of things from appearing with models in magazine ads to saving owners from a burning house.
The historic photos are incredible and many are crystal clear. The breeder showcases and advertisements are fascinating and it is amusing to see the old prices as they were listed in the ads.
All in all, this is a must-have piece for anyone interested in Canadian Borzoi history, especially breeders and owners of these magnificent dogs as well as judges and anyone who loves sighthounds. These stories, articles and images really make historic pedigrees come to life.
Order your copy here: http://borzoicanada.ca/historybook.php
About the Author
The work is compiled by Borzoi breeder Judy A. Carleton of Alberta. Judy bought her first show Borzoi over 40 years ago. She owned the first Canadian Borzoi to earn a triple title whom she used in breeding her first litter under the kennel name Elista.
Borzoi in Canada blends perfectly Judy’s love of animals and history. Judy was an Animal Health Technician and a boarding kennel owner before she founded the Blackflads Historical Society in 2005. Judy has won several awards for her projects on local history.
The opinions expressed by authors on the Canadian Kennel Club Blog and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Canadian Kennel Club or any of its employees.
Les opinions et les commentaires exprimés dans le blogue du Club Canin Canadien sont ceux des auteurs et ils ne reflètent pas les opinions du Club Canin Canadien ni de ses employés.
Post Tags: Book Review, Borzoi, breeder, Canada, CKC member, Feel Good, Ian Lynch
Afficher mots-clés : Book Review, Borzoi, breeder, Canada, CKC member, Feel Good, Ian Lynch
Ian Lynch is a comedian, on-air personality and Canadian Kennel Club member.