April is Adopt A Greyhound Month! These sweet, intelligent dogs definitely deserve our attention. We’re actually going to turn the spotlight on a close cousin of the Greyhound, the Chortai. The Chortai is a sighthound from Ukraine and Russia. Ukraine’s people and pets are definitely in our thoughts right now. A local Raleigh, NC vet offers some information on this sweet pup below.
One can tell at a glance that the Chortai—or Chortaj—as it is sometimes called—belongs to the same branch of Fido’s family tree as the Greyhound. It has the same general body composition: a slim head, long legs, thin coat, and a narrow torso. However, there are differences. The Chortai is a bit lankier than its cousin, and it has larger ears. In fact, it’s often described as a cross between the Greyhound and the Borzoi, another sighthound.
The Chortai was developed from two now-extinct breeds, the Krymstaja and Gorskaja. Those breeds were not new: they had been described in texts that were dated to the mid-19th century. Ancient dogs that appear very similar—likely the Chortai’s ancestors—have been found on Scythian gold ornaments that date back to the 4th century BC. Traditionally, it has been quite rare to find them outside of their native region. In fact, the first puppies to be born outside of its historical area were from a registered litter that was born in 2006 in Europe. 2006 was also the first year a Chortai was exported to the United States.
Like its cousin, the Greyhound, the Chortai is a sighthound. That means that it relies on visual cues, and being able to see and track its prey, to hunt. Traditionally, the Chortai hunted in packs, accompanying horsemen and a raptor.
How To Help
Like many of you, we are saddened by the events of Ukraine, and the plight of not only its people, but also its pets and wildlife. There are a few animal rescue organizations that are doing all they can to help the region’s animals. Some of these include the Humane Society International, the International Funds for Animal Welfare, and the Animal Welfare Institute. Making a donation to one of these organizations is a small act of kindness, but one that can make a difference.
Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your local Raleigh, NC animal clinic!