Polish Greyhound (Chart Polski)
The Chart Polski (Polish Greyhound) is a hunting dog with its homeland in Poland. It has a sleek physique and can run with impressive speed. This Sight Hound has been extremely popular among polish upper class and it’s still highly revered in its homeland. Furthermore it possesses suitable qualities to become an excellent guard and watchdog.
The Chart Polski’s origin still remains rather obscure since this ancient dog appeared at the times when there were no stud books or any other written records about dog’s breeding. The first reference of the dog can be found in the book «Riding and Hunting» written by polish author Gostomski in 1690. In his work he offered particular characteristics of the Chart Polski, including its appearance, hunting habits and care requirements.
There are several theories as to the Chart Polski’s ancestry. The early speculation held that the British Greyhound played a definitive role in the creation of the dog. Evidently this suggestion is far from the truth since the polish breeders of that time attributed the breed to the group of ancient Sight Hounds, which wasn’t genetically connected to western dogs. Some cynologists also proposed that the Roman Vertragus (an ancient Sight Hound) was among the forefathers of the Chart Polski but this suggestion is based on a pure guesswork.
Nowadays it’s a common knowledge that the breed came of Asiatic Sight Hounds. This theory has more solid ground in its core because of a few reasons. The breed closely resembles Asiatic Sight Hounds in its demeanour and overall look. Furthermore the Polish had centuries of contacts between them and Asian population. The exact breeds of Sight Hounds that were used in invention of the Chart Polski are hard to determine but the most probable candidates are the Magyar Agar and the Russian Borzoi.
The Chart Polski was quite popular for several hundred years among Polish affluent people. It usually lived in a spacious mansion where and was used mainly for hunting purposes. For a while several varieties of the dog existed and each of which excelled in hunting different types of prey including rabbits, wolves and deer. Anyway by the end of World War I the breed was united in a single variety and since then it was referred in written sources as such.
The World War II caused an enormous decline in Polish economy, which actually lied in ruin. Majority of the Polish aristocracy was obliged to leave their Chart Polski behind and lots of animals became homeless. The dog was saved from the total extinction by the lower and middle classes, which heavily relied on its hunting abilities as the only way to get fulfilling proteins in the post-war times.
The Soviet Union disapproved the dog breeding as a whole and the breeding of the Chart Polski as vivid symbol of noble luxury in particular. As the result by the 1970’s the breed had turned out to be truly rare. The honour of saving the dog from disappearance belongs to the Dr. Mroczowski who published an appealing article in a popular Polish journal. He awoke an enthusiasm in lots of polish breeders and they scoured the country in attempt to find the best specimens for the breeding programm.
Their efforts were quite successful and by the 1989 the Chart Polski had gained complete recognition with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). In 1996 the United Kennel Club (UKC) granted the Chart Polski its full acceptance. But the breed hasn’t yet acquired the recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC) and it’s unlikely to happen in any foreseen future.
The character of the Chart Polski greatly differs from the typical Sight Hound. It’s generally more tender and loving and less distant than most of this type of dogs. The breed usually develops tight relation with the members of its human family and it’s extremely loyal. It can be quite good with children provided the dog has received proper socialisation and training. However, it has a tendency to dominative behaviour and isn’t recommended for a novice dog owner.
The Chart Polski is actually aloof with strange people and can show the signs of aggression without correct training. The breed possesses intense territorial and protective instincts as opposed to other sight hounds. It can be turned into an excellent watchdog, which is able to scare away most intruders with its bark and intimidating conduct. The dog can also become a super guardian and it tends to protect its family with outmost courage.
As far as other animals concerned the Chart Polski treats them rather as a prey and can’t resist the chase in most cases. It must be always kept on a leash and released only on the territory with a high fence. To put it frankly the dog can never accept any small animal even if they have been reared together. The Chart Polski is also aggressive to other canines so it does much better as a single dog or in household with the dog of the opposite sex. Timely socialisation helps significantly to cut down the issue with aggression but it won’t be able to remove it completely.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· heart problems;
· sensitivity to anesthesia;
· cold intolerance;
· food allergies;
· canine hip dysplasia;
· elbow dysplasia;
· patellar luxation;
· eye problems;
· demodex mange.
The Chart Polski needs very moderate efforts and time to maintain properly. The master should brush it from time to time preferably once a week. The rest includes only such basic care as nail clipping and infrequent baths.
There is no exact data as to the dog’s shedding characteristic but it’s most likely an average shedder. The additional brushing is required during the shedding season so dead hair will be eliminated more quickly and effectively.
As a native hunter the Chart Polski won’t require any extensive training in hunting craft. Other than that the dog poses a great challenge in any other kind of training. It doesn’t have an overwhelming desire to please as it usually happens with other dogs and moreover it’s pretty mulish by the nature. The Chart Polski is capable of learning most of the common commands but will definitely demand substantial commitment and dedication on the part of the trainer.
The dog is an avid chaser and it’s prone to ignore any calls if captured by the heat of a hunting drive. The handler must be aware of that and provide a necessary precaution to prevent the dog from running away. Certainly the mild encouragement and lavish verbal praise is the only acceptable methods of working with this breed.
The Chart Polski’ exercise need is rather hard to meet since it should be provided with the opportunity to run on a daily bases. It also should be taken on a prolonged and vigorous walk each and every day. The vast majority of specimens will be quite relaxed and calm at home when they are properly exercised.
The dog which doesn’t get enough physical outlets can become nervous, hyperactive, destructive or even aggressive. In total, these factors purport that the Chart Polski doesn’t fit very good for the big city life and will be truly dissatisfied with living in an apartment.