Chortaj Dog Breed Information

Chortaj Dog Breed

Chortaj is a nickname for the Hortaya Borzaya or simply Hortaya, translation: "shorthaired sight hound") is an old Asian sight hound breed originating in the former USSR. It is a dog of large size, of lean but at the same time robust built, of considerably elongated proportions. In its everyday life the Hortaya is quiet and balanced. It has a piercing sight, capable of seeing a moving object at a very far distance. In spite of its calm temperament the dog has a very active reaction to running game. Hortaya are excellent, enduring hunting dogs endowed with a good, basic obedience and completely lacking aggression towards humans.

The Hortaya is a sight hound of a large to very large size depending on breed type. The breed has five distinct types, with at least as many subtypes to each main type. The result of this is a broad variability, adapting the breed to the large variety of geography, climate and prey found across the huge expanse of its habitat.

The short, dense fur can come in almost any color and color combination: white, black, cream of all shades, red, sable and brindle, solid or piebald (with white markings, or white with colored markings). A black overlay and black mask, grey or red tan markings are normal. The nose is black, with light colors a brown nose is not a fault. Eyes always have a black or very dark rim.

Atypical colors and markings, like brown or chocolate, a saddle or dapple pattern, and diluted colors (Isabella) with blue or light eyes are not allowed.

Hortaya males range from 26 to 30 inches (65 to 75 cm), females from 24 to 28 inches (61 to 71 cm). The weight depends largely on type and can range from 18 kilos (Stavropol type female) up to 35 kilos (Northern type male). In general the Hortaya is heavier than it looks.

When not hunting the typical gait of the breed is a fluid, limber and effortless trot. When chasing the prey Hortaya gallop in extremely fast leaps of great length.

The Hortaya Borzaya is of a friendly, but distinctly Asian character. It is never aggressive or fierce towards humans, even though occasionally quite vigilant. Due the rigorous selection on hunting in a team with its owner, the Hortaya belongs to the trainable sight hounds, showing a good basic obedience and high intelligence.

It is very close to wolves in its pack behavior. Thus it is usually no problem to keep even larger groups of Hortaya together in a kennel, Hortaya integrate easily.

As rural people in Eurasia do not at all tolerate dogs which harm their livestock, properly socialized Hortaya do not hunt domestic animals and can easily be taught, which animals are off limits to them.

The Hortaya is an Asian dog breed, which developed over the centuries in the steppes north of the Black Sea, after spreading slowly from the mountains of Afghanistan westwards. Dogs of this type were bred by various peoples of this region, which extends from modern Ukraine and the south of Russia to the westernmost regions of Kazakhstan.  Therefore it is not possible to attribute this breed to a specific people or country.

Training Information


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