ABOUT WOLKOWO KENNEL
I have seen a Borzoi first time in my life in year 1978, when as a reward for my good school results my father took me to the International dog show in capital of Slovenia Ljubljana. I still remember the moment when we were approaching the entrance stares of the hall and on the top there was standing a beautiful grey-brown borzoi with long waiving coat. This was Petrus Pecha, one of first borzois in Slovenia. His owner E.Koren imported him from Russia. This show was a crossing in my life, since then dogs and all around dogs became part of my life. Two years later I have started to visit secondary school and at that time I have meet a lot of friends with the same passion and we started to visit shows in former Yugoslavia and nearby countries. We were traveling from show to show and were helping people to handle and groom the dogs. At that time there were almost no professional handlers in Europe, so we were learning from the ones who broth knowledge from US. We had at home a chow-chow, but all my attention was focused to sight hounds - Afghans and azawaks. All has changed at the moment when to Slovenia arrived Helena Keller. I still remember the moment when I first saw the group of imposing borzois, grey, brown, red, black and beige-brindle colors, which was quiet unique at that times. All the exotic and beauty of these dogs blow me away. My favorite and ideal of the breed was Helena’s Pedro vom Bergland - High elegant dog with graphite grey coat, the typical representative of Bergland-Vorenoff combination. Together with him Helena used to bring to the shows also Rasputin vom Bergland, Stepun’s Dodinzew and Xandrow & Xandrina vom Zarskoje Selo. Since then borzois became my obsession. In year 1985 I met Jo Heller and her male Vorenoff Wolkow. Wolkow was a male which at that time represented all what borzois should be and this was also the reason why in the beginning he left very strong impact in our kennel. Wolkowo Kennel has been registered by the FCI IN 1988.
Breeding foundation of the kennel was a borzoi female CH. Vorenoff Ziganka Wolkowa (CH. Vorenoff Wolkow x CH. Vorenoff Udatscha), imported the same year along with the male CH. Vorenoff Udatschnik (Borenoff vom Taymir x CH. Vorenoff Natasha) from Netherlands.In the year 1991, Ziganka was bred to CH. Bojar von Schloss Olef. That was a line breeding, based on the very well known qualities of the old German kennel, Von Bergland, and Dutch kennel Vorenoff. Some of the puppies have later become very successful show champions, especially CH. Nagrashdai Wolkowo, CH. Netochka Wolkowo, CH. Nastasia Wolkowo and Nadia Wolkowo.In 1996, Helena Arh picked a sire for the litter out of her CH. Netochka Wolkowo – a Polish male, Russian champion among other accomplished titles, CH. Indygo Irtysz Polot. That breeding was an outcross, Irtysz had American ancestors from his father's side (CH. Tzar of Twin Elms), and his mother, CH. Aria Stepowy Goniec came from the old Polish lines. We became good friends with the owner of Polot kennel, Mrs. Wieslawa Kluska, and our kennels share similar ideas and help each other to these days. In that liter we had three puppies, Ch. Hlopkovaja Almaska, CH. Hrustalnaja Azurka and CH. Hvostati Apraskin, two females and one male. All three have become very succesful show dogs, well known throughout Europe. Almaska became the kennel's most successful dog, gaining six championships: Slovenian, Croatian, Hungarian, Austrian, Italian and International – she's probably the most successful Slovenian borzoi in history. She also won quite a few titles on sighthound special shows, at home in Slovenia, as well as thoughout Europe. All three dogs stayed in the kennel, Almaska at Helena's home, Apraskin at my home and Azurka in co-ownership with our good friend Tomislav Klemencic from Zagreb, Croatia.Around that time, Helena Arh became active member and co-owner of the kennel. In 1998, Nadia Wolkowo was bred to the European Champion from Italy, CH. Rajanlinjan Iceman (CH. Phaedra Kojiki x Margiitan Swetlana), a dog of American-Finnish ancestry, again an outcross breeding. From that ineresting combination, Nadja Krecic kept two females and one male, but unfortunately these dogs have never been used for breeding.Visiting the most important and the largest shows in Central Europe, Scandinavia, England and USA led us to meet a vast number of dogs and breeders and shaped our breeding ideas as well as our criteriaes. In 1999, we tried an artificial insemenation of CH. Hlopkovaja Almaska with deep frozen semen of one of the most successful English show and stud dogs of all times, famous CH. Rothesby Saker. Unfortunately, we had no success, but it led to an on-going frinedship with Sakers's breeder and owner Sue Carter, in our opinion one of the major borzoi breeders nowadays. So, in the year 2000, we decided to have the litter out of Almaska with American dog, Stillwater Spirit of The Tsar, bred by Charles Tyson and owned by Edith Titze in Germany. Spirit of The Tsar was a powerful dog, a lot like Rothesby Saker in his overall appearance, which was quite obvious if one looked at their pedigrees: they were closely related thanks to one othe most successful show borzois ever, the unforgettable Stillwater Virginia Reel. That breeding resulted with 11 puppies, one male and one female stayed at home and both had a great, on-going show career, especially male, CH. Belogrudij Berkut Wolkowo, who became a star of the kennel, bringing the now easily recognizable type, qualities and values of our kennel to the very top of European kennels. Berkut has, among the title of Slovanian Club Champion and other titles, also won a prestigious Reserve Best in Show title on the Slovenian Sighthound Club Special Show. Next year, in 2001, we had a litter out of Azurka (also Reserve BIS winner on the Slovenian Sighthound Club Special Show) by, at that time completely dominant, European Champion CH. Gustopsowaya's Merry Monarch (son of Rothesby Saker). Unfortunately, there were only two female puppies in that litter: Casablanca Coastwind Wolkowo who went on to live with Tomislav, and Crimson Claymore Wolkowo, in my opinion the best borzoi in the kennel. Sadly, she injured her leg during the birth so she had never been shown. After gaining some championship titles, we bred Berkut's sister, CH. Barhatnij Bouket Wolkowo to our CH. Hvostati Apraskin in 2004. Litter resulted with 6 males, and only CH. Divnij Don Wolkowo had been shown. The idea of that breeding was a line breeding to our foundation bitch, CH. Vorenoff Ziganka Wolkowa.In 2005, we imported a puppy from England, now a stud dog, CH. Rothesby Sholwood Miracle. Although he is at the beginning of his show career, his results are already worthy of the kennel's long and successful tradition.In 2007, we had a litter out of CH. Bilans Bare Truth Wolkowo, imported from Poland, with a Polot kennel ancestry. That litter was sired by our CH. Belogrudij Berkut Wolkowo and pedigree of the puppies combines virtually all the best dogs from the Polot kennel with the best lines of Stillwater and Wolkowo kennels. There are several dogs from that litter already dominating show rings: males Fenomenalnij Fars Wolkowo, Filigranovij Farfor Wolkowo (living at Russkaya kennel in England) and female Filigranovaja Figurka Wolkowo.In 2008, we had 8 puppies in the litter out of CH. Casablanca Coastwind Wolkowo, sired by CH. Rothesby Sholwood Miracle, again line breeding based on CH. Rothesby Saker.
We have breed 8 litters with borzois all together 52 puppies and one with greyhounds and silkenwindhound. The strategy of breeding is based on point that we want to keep a puppy in our kennel. This is the reason why females have litter only once at age approximately 5 years. Breeding for twenty years, winning numerous titles and gaining numerous championships made us choose shows a bit more rationally and selectively. We are constantly trying to be a part of all the most important shows: European and World Dogs Shows, Crufts and the most important Sighthound Special Shows, as well as the annual Slovenian Sighthound Club Special Show. Until today, we had quite a few Slovenian Club Champions: Zigank, Nagrashdai, Nastasia, Apraskin, Almaska, Azurka, Berkut and Bouket. Our dogs have also been winning on a lot of special sighthound shows abroad, winning classes at European Dog Shows, we have a Veteran World Champion, and the only titles missing are World or European Champion – these are titles that we strive for, our breeding and showing plans are focused on trying to win these titles in the years to come. After 20 years of breeding and 25 years of showing I can count on my fingers of one hand the judges who can tell me something what I don’t know about the breed or about my dogs. This is the reason why today we consider shows more like social events. To smaller shows nearby we go with young dogs to get them used to showing, bigger specialty, world and European dogs shows are more taken as meeting with friends from all over the world and seeing young dogs, who enter shows ring as potential males for our females. We usually go to the show when we need title for the dog and sometimes just to show respect to the judge. The shows are already for long time not priority or sign for quality of the dog. After 20 years of breeding and 25 years of showing I can count on my fingers of one hand the judges who can tell me something what I don’t know about the breed or about my dogs. This is the reason why today we consider shows more like social events. To smaller shows nearby we go with young dogs to get them used to showing, bigger specialty, world and European dogs shows are more taken as meeting with friends from all over the world and seeing young dogs, who enter shows ring as potential males for our females. We usually go to the show when we need title for the dog and sometimes just to show respect to the judge. The shows are already for long time not priority or sign for quality of the dog.
We attend coursings with pleasure as long this is fun for the dog and the owner. 30 year ago when I started to visit dog shows there were maybe 20 judges for Sighthound in Central Europe. In Yugoslavia which at that time had 22 mil people were 4 judges. I remember how happy we were when some new judges from US, Scandinavia or UK came to judge. The procedure to become a judge was complicated and long term. Today on each show there is a different judge, also in a small country like Slovenia we have al least 20 judges for group of X. I was just recently looking at the list of judges for group of X. and I count that many of them never judged sight hounds in life. The situation is the same all over Europe. The Specialty shows, European and World dog’s shows are judged by the judges for whom I never heard before. I usually before entering dogs to the show go and check how the judge was judging before I am surprised because for many judges I don’t get any info that they judged Borzois before and more when you ask breeders from the country where the judge comes from if they know the judge many times they even don’t know that this person is a judge for group of X. This days the organizer makes 3 or 4 shows in one weekend with 10 different judges so the cost are low and the outcome is also this, what definitely shouldn’t happen, that one day a dog is placed CAC, BOB and BOG3 and the next day the same dog gets very good. For a long time I was against the system breeder judge like UK has where there is to good knowledge 0f the dog, breeders and the judges, they are all members of the same club, they work together and where you can say in front which dog will win with which judge judging. But hear all the judges are very knowledge about the breed. On the other hand in comparison with Europe on the World dog show a judge who never judged this breed before is judging. I know personally a case where the judge was for a first time judging any of the Sighthound breeds on the world dog show? With this enormous number of show in Europe the title of the Country Champion is completely depredated and it means nothing. All this left also a big influence on the breed itself. A lot of “title hunters” figure out that the formula for success is: nice head, long coat and possibly white color and the success is there. This mostly happens with the judges which became all round judges after 5 years of judging.
We both have our dogs together with us in the house and we have garden, where they can spend time, play, run if they want. The dogs sleep in the house and they stay in the house also at the time when we are at work. We put special attention to the puppies, so that they socialize from the first day and live in close relation with us. We go for a walk in the woods or fields where they can run free. During spring and autumn when the weather is not to hot and the days are longer we are able to go for more frequent walks also during the week time, unfortunately during the winter we mostly go for walks during the weekends. Because they live together with us we keep an eye on them all the time and we are able to see if something is wrong very quickly.
The culmination of our breeding in my opinion , represent: our young male Fenomenalnij Fars Wolkowo ( Ch. Belogrudij Berkut Wolkowo & Ch. Bilans Bare Truth ) and with the females I have to say Crimson Claymore Wolkowo ( Ch. Gustopsoways’s Merry Monarch & Ch. Hrustalnaja Azurka ) and Galantnaja Galka Wolkowo ( Ch. Rothesby Sholwood Miracle & Ch. Casablanca Coastwind Wolkowo ). Claymore and Galka are aunt and niece. The reason for this choice is because they represent the type of dog which by my opinion is the closest to the standard, the way I understand it. Long heads, followed by the long elegant neck, arched forward to middle long top line, which finishes without stopping at the end of the tale. Al 3 is very good angulated at the back and both females have extremely good front. To add to this also both females have perfect flat bones, like the standard states and breeders often forget. Both female carry their tails low also in movement. All 3 have full dentition and correct bite. In movement young Galka, who just started with her first shows is the best and just a bit after her is Fars. About Claymor's movement is hard to speak, her destiny has put her away from many wins in the show ring, which she could get. She got stacked in during the birth and her and her mother’s life was saved with a lot of veterinary help. During this procedure her front leg was injured forever.
Our most successful borzoi is SLO, HR, AT, HU, IT, INTL and veteran World winner 2006 champion Hlopkovaja Almaska, still also most successful borzoi in Slovenia.
The beginning of our breeding is connected to import of Vorenoff Ziganka Wolkowo in year 1988 and her uncle Vorenoff Udatschnik, who at that time was 7 years old already Multi champion. Ziganka became a legend and grandmother to all our dogs and for Udatchink it turned out that he was not able to have puppies.
In year 2003 we have imported from Poland female Bilans Bare Truth Wolkowo (Bilans Amsterdam & Liza z Kruszelnickiego Dworu), she is the mother of our FF litter born in 2007. We have decided for this import because in our DD litter there were no females and because her pedigree was representing all the breeding of Polot kennel, many amazing dogs to which the stamp was left from Tzar of Twin Elms, that what we wanted to import in our bloodlines. I think in year 1997 at Crufts I have seen for first time Rothesby Saker, this was the moment when after 15 years it happened again like with meeting with Helena Keller’s borzois that I was blown away. I was convinced and maybe I am still today that I have never seen more beautiful dog then Saker. I wanted to by a puppy from him, but his owner didn’t have puppies at that time, so we decided to use Saker for the breeding with Almaska. Unfortunately we tried with frozen artificial insemination which was not successful. In year 2005 we have due to this reason imported his grandson Rothesby Sholwood Miracle, who is the father of our GG litter born in 2008. Considering export we have exported our dogs to Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, UK, Germany, Czech, and Estonia. To Croatia we have exported Nikolai Wolkowo to Snjezana Cipcic kennel Bele Nochi, Fatalnij Fantom Wolkowo went to Mario, Gromkij Golos Wolkowo went to private person and 3 dogs from our kennel stay at Tomislav Klemencic hands in co-ownership. This is Hrustalnaja Azurka, Casablanca Coastwind Wolkowo and Gordei Galakhtion Wolkowo. One of our puppies from AA litter went to Italy. Two puppies from BB litter went to Poland, female Bezputaja Bolva Wolkowo to kennel Polot and one male to private persons. One male from BB litter went to Hungary to Dober Kopp kennel and one female to Edith Titze in Germany Spirit of T’tsar kennel. From our DD litter all puppies stay in Slovenia. From FF liter Filigranovij Farfor Wolkowo went to UK to Gabrielle Slater, Ruskaya’s kennel. From our last litter Gerojskij Gavril Wolkowo went to Brigitte Dorring, Tolhaus kennel in Germany, Gracioznaja Gardeia Wolkowo went to Estonia to Rita Teek, Philadelhia sabbana kennel, Golubaja Galia Wolkowo went to Czech to Marta Krapova, Silent Enigma kennel and one male to private person in Croatia. Bezputaja Bolva Wolkowo had a great show carrier in Polot kennel and also had 3 litters with very good quality puppies. Filigranovij Farfor Wolkowo also started very promising show carrier in UK. The young ones have just started their way so we wish them all the best.
Borzoi has ceased to be a ferocious wolf hunter for a long time. Nowadays, borzoi is primarily a companion dog, living with people in their homes, with their families. Despite the healthy competitive spirit, our guideline was and still is breeding healthy and stabile dogs, dogs that would bring a lifetime full of joy and pride to their owners, which would return this love and loyalty to them. The prioritie was never show or working sucess.