The Borzoi is a member of the greyhound family. They are a large dog with a heavy coat and with the grace and speed of the greyhound.
The History Of The Borzoi
The Borzoi is also known as the Russian Wolfhound and originated in Russia during the 13th century.
The Borzoi history is intertwined with that of the Russian Royal Family. They bred the hound to hunt on the open plains of the Russian Steppes.
The Borzoi was believed to have been brought from Arabia to Russia in about 1600. This regal sight hound was firstly adopted by the nobility and then crossed with longer haired sheepdogs. It’s bravery and ability to hunt the wild wolves earned it the name of the Russian Wolfhound. The Russian nobility hunted with these dogs for centuries.
Description Of The Borzoi
The rose ears are held tightly against the neck and are not altered. The long graceful curved tail is used as a balance when cornering at high speeds and is not altered.
Dogs are at least 28 inches high at the shoulder and bitches at least 26 inches. Dogs weigh 75 - 105 pounds with bitches somewhat lighter at 60 - 90 pounds.
The Borzoi is tall and aristocratic in appearance with a long, thin head. The muzzle is slightly and the curved tail, is long and low hanging. The borzoi has a characteristic neck ruff and it’s nose is black with dark oblong shape eyes. Ears lie back on the neck, pricking up slightly when alert.
The back is curved gracefully and the chest is narrow and deep. The silky coat is longish and may be wavy or have large curls. The neck has a heavy mane. The colors are: white, golden, tan or gray with black markings and are either solid or mixed.
Coat & Grooming
The long silky coat is simple to groom. Brush often with a firm bristles and dry shampoo as necessary. Bathing can presents a problem with the dog being so tall but is only necessary infrequently. The hair between the toes should be clipped often to keep the feet comfortable and to stop them spreading. This borzoi is a seasonally heavy shedder.
Temperament and Borzoi Training
The Borzoi is sweet natured and intelligent dog. They are a proud and self- confident breed that are loyal to their family. They can be affectionate with people they know well.
Borzoi are often considered cat like in their ability to keep themselves clean. They are a quiet dog that rarely barks. Like all other sight hounds they are very fast need a high fence to keep them contained.
They can be obedience trained but like all hounds they are more independent and less willing to please than some other breeds. They are very intelligent, and capable learners and the training has to be based upon mutual respect.
As with all dogs, Borzoi training should be started as a puppy. To prevent behavioral problems later in life, training should follow a recognized training regime.
Either enroll in a certified local dog training school or read this.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span of a Borzoi is around 10-12 years.
They are sensitive to drugs. They can be picky eaters and prone to bloat. Because of this it is best to feed the Borzoi small meals two or three times a day. Avoid exercising after meals.
Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
Surprisingly for such a large and athletic hound they will do okay in an apartment if given plenty of daily exercise. They are relatively inactive and peaceful indoors. Outside they need space to run prefers a minimum of an average sized yard. In the city they should only be released from the lead safe, enclosed spaces.
To maintain fitness the Borzoi needs lots of exercise, including regular opportunities to run free. Please note that in some Countries it is forbidden to allow all the dogs in this category off the leash.
The Borzoi makes an excellent jogging companion and some are happy running alongside a bicycle, just be aware that they are likely to run off after any prey that they glimpse. Quick reactions are necessary!
For More Information on the Borzoi
To get more information, check out the Borzoi web site:
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on:
The name "Borzoi" (pronounced Bor- zoy) means swift in Russian and they certainly live up to their name.
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