Borzoi Dog Breed
Noble And Dignified Sighthounds

The Borzoi dog breed was developed in Russia and believed to have roots in Arabia, Borzois are categorized as a sighthounds and were originally used for hunting wolves and hares.

White and brown Borzoi dog breed standing in the grass

Their most likely ancestors include the Saluki, the Arabian Sighthound and a Russian herding breed. In fact, in earlier times they were known as the Russian Wolfhound.

Tolstoy was a keen admirer of this breed and they were greatly favored by the Russian nobility who bred them for centuries. Its development prior to the 17th century is rather sketchy.

Although today the Borzoi dog breed is mainly a stylish show participant or family companion, its hunting skills are still sometimes used on farms to deal with coyote problems.

Characteristics of the Borzoi Dog Breed

The best description of the Borzoi personality is that of a very loyal, gentle and obedient dog. While being very much a fearless breed, they are somewhat reserved around strangers, so it's best to let them take their time and approach visitors on their own terms.

Their nature is laid back and quiet, not given to barking without a proper reason. While being highly intelligent and very alert, they are not a natural when it comes to guarding, though their size would no doubt be rather daunting to potential intruders.

Nowadays, this handsome canine is kept mainly as a family companion and appears to enjoy the luxuries of modern-day dogs - perhaps a carry-over from earlier days of being pampered by the aristocracy?

When it comes to training Borzoi, the independent characteristics of this hound are an important consideration deserving recognition.

This means that strong leadership is a must to gain their respect and attention. That being said, they tend to behave automatically by their nature as long as you are not harsh with them.

Attention to leash walking and recall are the top training priorities due to their love of the chase!

two borzois dogs together outsideCourtesy Rover_JP

Physical Appearance And Care

The Borzoi's very tall and slender appearance is one of elegance and grace similar to that of the Saluki or Afghan, while his flowing feathery coat that is usually curly or wavy, bears some earmarks of the collie.

Other comparisons have likened his carriage to that of the Greyhound.

Height: 28-31 inches or more
Weight: Between 60 and 105 lbs depending on gender.
Color variations: White is usually the dominant color with black, tan, red, sable, cream, or brindle often seen in the pattern, though any color is acceptable.

A whole lot of shedding going on here which means regular brushing is needed to keep the long silky coat in good condition and to prevent tangling.

For additional comfort the hair around the paws and between the pads should be kept tidy by trimming as needed. Bathing can be done with a dry shampoo whenever necessary.

An excellent tool to control the shedding and maintain the beautiful coat at its best, is the FurMinator.

Borzoi illustration

Health Notes

The Borzoi has an overall healthy profile with relatively few health issues and a lifespan of up to 12 years with good care.

One of the most important (and life threatening) health conditions that can affect the breed, is bloat, as is common with most deep -chested breeds.

Other diseases associated with the Borzoi dog breed include heart conditions and cancer. More health information can be found here.

How Active Are Borzois?

The Borzoi dog breed is best suited to an active family. They not only enjoy plenty of exercise, they absolutely need it! And if given a chance to run free, they will love it, but be sure the area is completely secured and the recall command has been mastered.

During their hunting days these hounds were accustomed to pursuing wolves, rabbits and various other game over a great distances. They still love the chase, so be forewarned and keep them on a leash when taken out.

If you happen to be a jogger, you'll have a happy hound buddy to take along. Additionally, owners might want to involve them in lure coursing.

When weather conditions interfere with daily walks a dog treadmill comes in handy.

Ideal Living Space

A house with substantial yard and room to run, is the ideal environment for this breed although they are not a dog to be left outside. When not running about, they generally prefer to be inside.

Because of their strong prey drive and chasing instincts, a yard should have very secure perimeter fencing.

Borzois With Children?

Best suited to families with older children who have been taught how to interact with pets and are considerate of them.

As with any breed chosen as a family companion, we recommend that children never disturb a pet that is eating and that owners always have an adult present when pets and children are playing together.

Seniors Or Less Active Families?

Although the Borzoi dog breed makes an excellent companion, a senior or more sedentary family would have to seriously take into account whether they could handle the exercise requirements of the Borzoi.

Further Reading

book about the Borzoi dog breed
Being Borzoi

Read this lovely book in print or on your Kindle.

kindle device paper white

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ROVER_JP, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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