HOUNDS. The World of Dogs by Lynda Race.
by Natalia Gherasiova, pp 81-83, 1999
, Kingdom books, pp 240, England.
Afghan history in Russia goes back to the 1960s when
two were given to the Russian Premier, N Khruschev,
by the King of Afghanistan. In the 1970s, several hounds
were imported from the West and the East, thereby establishing
two breed lines in the country. One line is founded
on the Western type of 'civilised' Afghans (known in
Russia as decorative - in other words, show dogs). The
other line, Bakhmulls, (known in Russia as working/coursing
Tazi), originates from the Royal kennel Karizamir in
Afghanistan, from dogs brought back by Russian Army
Officers before the 1978 coup d'etat.
The main public dog fanciers' associations since the
1970s have been: MGOLS, Fauna,
ARTA, Elita, Zoosphere, Zoopractica and Olf. The main
kennels are; Havas Purab (Mrs Vetrova), Al
Zsharbua (Muravieva), Kai (Kapralova), Prioritet
(Mr Shipov), Grand (Kuksina), Gerat (Osipova),
Carmln (Zshitkova), Iv Zaraut (Vodneva),
Contempory (Dementieva), Nigri's (Grigorash).
and Djan (formerly Zahab al Tadj) (Uvenalieva).
For hunting dogs, the main ones are: Dynamo, Moscow
and Military public associations and the kennel of Blue
Dale el Bark (N. Gherasiova).
The foundation stock of 'decorative' Afghans in the
former USSR from 1970-1980 came from Australia, Finland,
Great Britain, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Poland.
Russian dogs fall into three categories;
guard/search, hunting and decorative (companions), although
owners prefer to think that all three can be companions.
The 'decorative' Western type Afghan is considered a
'newly-made breed' that has existed for no longer than
50 years and is still under development according to
the tastes of breeders and fashion trends. The aboriginal
Afghan Hound (Bakhmull) originated in Northern India
but was later cultivated in Afghanistan, and it is an
ancient breed that Russian breeders do their best not
to alter in proportions, bone structure, temperament,
coat and coursing instincts.
Western 'show' Afghans in Russia and the world over
are very impressive and beautiful because of their long,
abundant coats, graceful movements and various colour
combinations. Yet most of Russian decorative Afghans,
according to judges, are skinny, badly muscled, have
fragile bone structure, a narrow shallow chest and bad
nervous systems. The proportions of the body parts have
substantially changed. Decorative Afghans have lost
their hunting function and obtained a new one; to move
gracefully in the show ring to please the'onlookers.
An Afghan of today is a beauty created by a human, whereas
the original Afghan Bakhmull is a beauty created by
natural evolution. Russian breeders try their best to
improve the exterior of Afghans.
The oriental type of hound Bakhmull is harmonically
built, has a natural (not trimmed) saddle, broad and
deep chest, always broad back, high withers and pretty
abundant but not so long, silky coat. The front of the
fore and hind feet (pasterns and ankles) must be short
coated as well as the muzzle and the saddle. The loin
and first thigh must be long for speedier galloping.
They also have substantial flesh, well developed muscles,
firm bone structure and good nerves. They are always
of light colours - fawn or white, never black or brindle.
The distinctions between the types of Afghans were officially
fixed in the 1980s when decorative Afghans failed the
field tests. They refused to chase game (a hare in the
field) and the owners were asked to quit from hunting
clubs and join 'decorative' clubs instead. In 1985,
the National Standard for the aboriginal Afghan Hound
(a hunting dog), was officially developed. The model
for this Standard was Ch Rad-o-Bark (son of the original
King of Karizamir, imported from Afghanistan in 1974).
For the Western 'decorative' type, the English Standard
was applied and later the FCI Standard. The two types
of hounds were thereafter shown in different rings.
Aboriginal Afghan Hounds 'Bakhmulls'
and his son Ch & Champion of Breed David
el Bark (standing) with their quarry,
caught by her dogs wild
hare and the owner Natalia Gherasiova.
According to old Russian traditions, every Afghan
is predestined to work in field, their working characteristics
being checked by field experts and evaluated. They
are awarded field diplomas on a wild hare or fox which
are graded 111, 11 and 1, experts being convinced
that the exterior of a hound is connected with its
working characteristics and cannot be separated.
Top winning decorative Afghans are Nechaeva's San
Darii (dog) and Solovieva's Ch Samanta Gerat (bitch).
Top winning aboriginal Afghan Hound Bakhmull is Ch Rad-o-Bark
(two field diplomas 11 Igr), his son Ch David el Bark
(two field diplomas 111,11 gr), owned by Natalia Gherasiova,
Nironova's Ch Guldara el Bark (bitch), Fausek's Gardes
el Bark (bitch) and Privalovskii's Virsavia el Bark