This is a revised version of the stoy and pictures that I originally posted January 10, 2017.
The Siberian Greyhound, or ‘The Flying Furball’ as some owners like to call it, has a long and distinguished lineage. It's origin goes back to when a pair of traditional Greyhounds were gifted to Tsar Nicholas I during a state visit to Britain. Tsar Nicholas had long admired the breed and was delighted with the gift. However, after returning to Russia, they soon realized that the dogs were poorly equipped to cope with Russian winters. Tsar Nicholas who had by now fallen in love with the breed, decided to start a breeding program to help future dogs be able to deal with the extreme cold. Wanting to retain the fleet of foot for which Greyhounds are renowned for, but also wanting to produce a dog better able to embrace the cold, a Greyhound was crossed with the Siberian husky, famous for it’s ability to endure harsh frigid conditions.
The breeding program was a success and now the Siberian Greyhound was regarded as a separate breed in its own right. The dogs could now be found on the Tsar’s estates all year round and gradually their ownership increased as other Russians encountered the breed.
In 1898, a Siberian Greyhound called Poochski, discovered the first evidence for the Giant Siberian Rabbit, which until then was assumed be be purely legend and not an actual animal. Poochski’s owner, Boris Priceoff was hoping that Poochski would be able to help track the rabbit and thus win fame for Priceoff. Poochski declined, partially because greyhounds are simply not tracker dogs, but also because it's an unwritten dog rule that you're not supposed to tackle rabbits that are at least four times your size.
Siberian Greyhounds are occasionally entered for regular Greyhound races, and although they equip themselves well, as their thicker coats are less aerodynamically efficient as regular Greyhounds, they usually fail to challenge for top honors.
Siberian Greyhounds still have a following today, and are usually to be found in colder climates where they can run around happily without fear of over-heating.
Siberian Greyhounds, Red-spotted Dalmatian and various other unusual pooches can be found in “Odd Dogs - a collection of lesser-known dog breeds” that I’m currently working on. Add your name and email address using the form below and I’ll keep you posted with developments, as well as sending you other cartoons Monday to Friday.