I should like to give my contribution to the knowledge of a rare breed not well-known in Italy, the Chart Polski. In all Europe instead, this breed is very well-known, valued and bred.I am with Sighthounds from many many years, I had and bred many Sighthounds, overall Greyhounds, but I must say that the meeting with the Chart Polski was a real stroke of lightning! This breed has kept my heart for the large number of qualities in temperament and aesthetic.
All people who has seen my Chart Polski walking or in show was delighted from their beauty and appearance, and surprised for the few numbers of these Sighthounds here in Italy.
I want to begin with an introduction from a worldwide group of Chart Polski’s fanciers , owners and breeders:- for fanciers and admirers of the Chart Polski, who are committed to responsible ownership, responsible breeding and the honest dissemination of good and accurate informations about this magnificent breed.
The Chart Polski is not for everyone, and people new to the breed, or those researching the possibilities to welcoming this breed into their lives are strongly encouraged to ask many questions to really expert persons. It is best to be as well-informed as possible before making what could be a 10-12 years commitment.-
A short history from “Our levriers” by Xavier Pzrezdziecki:
The Chart Polski’s presence in Poland can be certified from the XIII century, this breed descend probably from Asiatic Levriers of Saluki type. He is not a cross from Greyhound and Borzoi, the Borzoi appeared in Russia after the subjugation of the Mongols, Kossaks and other people s of the Lower Volga by Ivan il Terribile, that is to say in 1556…
The quotations about Chart Polski in literature, especially on hunting, are frequent, and iconographic documentations are unvarying. The unchanged appearance of the Chart Polski featured in many Polish works of art shows that the breed has maintained the original appearance until the end of the XIX century…
A wonderful effort has for a number of years been made in Poland to reinstate into his country the Chart Polski, the ancestral Levrier supposed lost during the Second World War.
Poland was so ravaged in the war that it was a miracle to find there a book dating from 1595 that includes a description of a hunt with Levriers ; in verse, moreover. This book, Mysliwiec: Hunter, was published in days when the thin Saluki of the Asiatic steppes had already been in Poland for a long time and had become a powerful Levrier well able to hold its own with a wolf…
The Chart Polski, like the Greyhound and the Galgo, was never in need of cross-breeding to adapt to the conditions in their adopted countries…
Those who seek to restore the traditional Levrier to Poland will be too young to have known the Levrier wiped out between 1939-1945; yet they search methodically in the hope that, despite all the upheaval, the Chart Polski may have survived.
Not easy task, discouraged by many, and all in the context of the fact that, as Rudiger Daub points out in Windhunde of July 1977: “The Polish dog federation does not recognize the existence of the Polish Levrier.” Suffice it to say that those passionate people striving to reinstate the Polish Levrier are now at the fourth generation of Charts all so lovingly sought out, located, selected, mated, and raised – all on an entirely private, disinterested basis. None of this has yet been fully defined ; one day it will be plain just how much love and sacrifice goes into such efforts…
Among these passionates there is dr. Margorzata Szmurlo (international judge of Sighthounds) – kennel name Celerrimus, the most important kennel in the contemporary history of the breed. She, later with the help of her sister Izabella, was the instrumental in the revival of the breed, consecrated her life to these dogs, fought for the recognition and wrote the first official standard of the breed. In all the world Chart Polski is Szmurlo – Celerrimus, this kennel name is in all pedigrees.
What can I say more? I have not the pretension to know well this breed in few years, also if I have had good teachers. It was an enormous emotion for me see the big group of the Celerrimus Chart Polski, they are like cheetahs, completely different from Greyhounds in moving, plays, appearance , approach with unknown people and way of hunt.
The Chart Polski is a wonderful Sighthound, described in the standard as big, powerful, muscled, stronger than other short haired Sighthounds, but not for this without elegance, heavy or coarse.
For his appearance he is near the Oriental Sighthounds that are his ancestors, his strong bone structure, the brusque tone ( but is doesn’t mean skinny!), the clear cut musculature show that this Sighthound was used in the hard hunting conditions of the Polish climate. The head is long, noble, narrow, the look is alert, fierce, attentive, piercing, the temperament is strong but in the same time sweet , very sensible, affectionate. He reacts very quickly, he is prompt, fast, he is an able hunter, a great guardian, he is a brave, fiery, ardent dog, a real athlete. You must not use violence with him, he doesn’t tolerate it. If you like to give orders, the Chart Polski ( and all Sighthounds) is not for you. He is a intelligent dog , able to understand what you want from him without using unkind methods. He constitute a living symbol of the Polish traditions and form a link between the past and the present.
To complete his presentation, here an article of the mothers of the breed, sisters Szmurlo.
Sandra Zanolla – Highwind Kennel