Borzoi Dog Breed (Complete Guide)

Borzoi Dog Overview

The Borzoi is a strong-jawed dog that can sprint in extremely frigid temperatures.

This breed preserves the greyhound physique required for high-speed running but is larger and stronger than the greyhound.

The long, silky coat, which can be flat, wavy, or curly, protects the dog from cold weather and snow.

When standing or moving, the Borzoi should exude elegance and grace, with flowing lines.

Borzoi Highlights

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  • Borzoi are sighthounds who will follow anything that moves. They should never be permitted to roam freely unless they are in a secure place.
  • Because of the lack of body fat, Borzoi can be sensitive to medications, particularly anesthetics. Ensure that your veterinarian is aware of this. Ropum (Xylazine) should never be given to a Borzoi. Avoid using them on lawns that have recently been treated with fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.
  • Borzoi have a reputation for being picky eaters.
  • Borzoi are prone to bloating. Feed modest meals frequently and avoid strenuous exertion after eating.
  • Borzoi can be fearful of children and should be introduced to them at a young age if they are close to them.
  • Borzoi do not bark often and do not have strong defending instincts. They are ineffective watch dogs because they cannot be relied on to sound the alert when an intruder is spotted.
  • If introduced to cats and small animals at a young age, they can coexist successfully. Some Borzoi only obey the “no chase” rule when they are indoors and cannot resist the urge to chase a running cat when they are outside.
  • Because the Borzoi is a rare breed, finding a breeder with puppies may take some searching. Please be patient.

Borzoi Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                2 Star
EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS:           3 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                  3 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                          3 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                3 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO OTHER PETS:    2 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO STRANGERS:     2 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               3 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           2 Star
GROOMING REQUIREMENTS:           3 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                             4 Star
VOCALITY                                             2 Star

Borzoi Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Working Dog
  • Height:  At the shoulder, it should be 26 to 32 inches tall 
  • Weight:  55 to 105 pounds
  • Life Span: 10 to 12 years 
  • Type: Purebred 
  • AREA OF ORIGIN:  Russia
  • DATE OF ORIGIN:  Middle Ages 
  • OTHER NAMES:  Russian Wolfhound, Barzoï, Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya, Psovoi
  • Temperament: Athletic, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Quiet, Respectful
  • Activities: Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Conformation, Obedience, Running
  • Color: Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Conformation, Obedience, Running
  • Litter Size: 1 to 11 puppies 
  • Puppy Prices: $1500 – $3000 USD on average

Borzoi Health:

Borzoi are generally healthy dogs, and a responsible breeder will test breeding stock for health problems including elbow and hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, and progressive retinal atrophy.

They, like other huge and deep-chested dogs, are susceptible to bloat, a sudden and potentially fatal stomach disease.

Owners should educate themselves on the indications that indicate this is happening and what to do if it is.

Borzoi and other sighthound breeds are more sensitive to anesthesia than other breeds. Borzoi ears, like all breeds, should be checked on a regular basis, and teeth should be brushed frequently.

The National Breed Club recommends the following health tests:

  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test

Borzoi Grooming:

The breed’s long, silky coat can be any color or color combination and can be flat, wavy, or curly.

A profuse, curly frill adorns the neck, and short, smooth hair covers the head, ears, and front of legs.

The tail and back end are heavily feathered. The hair’s exquisite silky texture is resistant to grime and mud, making it simple to maintain.

Weekly brush your Borzoi’s coat with a pin brush. Make sure there are no mats behind the ears or between the hind legs.

Avoid using a wire slicker brush, as this might damage the coat. Borzoi are seasonal shedders and may require more frequent brushing during that period. Bathe him as necessary.

Brush your Borzoi’s teeth at least twice a week to remove tartar and the bacteria that live inside it. Brushing twice a day is even preferable if you want to avoid gum disease and foul breath.

Once or twice a month, trim your nails. They’re too lengthy if you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Short, carefully trimmed nails keep your Borzoi’s feet in good condition and protect your shins from being scratched when he jumps up to meet you.

When your Borzoi is a puppy, start accustoming him to being brushed and examined. Handle his paws frequently – dogs’ feet are sensitive — and inspect his lips and ears.

Make grooming a pleasurable process full of praise and prizes, and you’ll build the framework for smooth veterinarian tests and other handling when he’s an adult.

Borzoi Exercise:

Despite their size, Borzoi are graceful, athletic animals who make excellent house dogs. They do require daily activity, like long walks or jogging in a properly fenced yard.

Because they are sighthounds, they are prone to chasing anything that moves, thus they should always be kept in a confined space or on a leash.

Allowing a Borzoi to go free is never a good idea. Borzoi like participating in activities with their owners and excel at canine sports such as agility and lure coursing.

Borzoi Training:

Puppy training sessions and early socialization are suggested.

Exposing the puppy to a wide range of pleasant encounters with people, places, and situations can help him mature into a well-adjusted adult.

Borzoi are bright and affectionate with their owners, but they are also independent and may be stubborn, so training can be difficult. Patience and constancy are essential.

They are often polite, well-mannered companions. Borzoi were bred to chase game, and any little animal that runs may provoke this instinct, thus the breed should be kept on a leash when out and about.

Borzoi Food and Nutrition:

Surprisingly, Borzoi dogs eat less than other dogs their size, and puppies eat more than adults due to their quick growth.

Borzoi owners should be cautious about overfeeding or providing too many goodies, as these dogs can grow overweight and develop obesity-related illnesses.

The Borzoi should thrive on high-quality dog food, whether commercially produced or homemade (with veterinary supervision).

Select a suitable and appropriate food for your dog’s age, whether he or she is a puppy, adult, or senior.

Because these canines have a tendency to run and chase, make sure to arrange feedings so that they won’t be engaged in excessive exercise before or after mealtime time, as this is a contributing reason to bloat.

For these energetic canines, clean, freshwater should be available at all times.

Borzoi Temperament and Personality:

Borzoi personalities can range from solemn and regal to clownish. The Borzoi makes an excellent companion because it is peaceful, sensible, and intelligent.

The dog does not like being left alone for long periods of time. His attitude toward strangers varies from aloof to cordial. In general, he is not shy and is trusting of others.

However, Borzoi’s relaxed attitude does not necessarily imply that he is simple to teach. He is a free thinker who can be stubborn.

Last but not least, the Borzoi needs to know that he is cherished, cared for, and will never be put in danger.

Numerous factors influence temperament, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with good temperaments are interested and playful, eager to greet and be held by people.

Select a puppy in the midst of the pack, not the one who is tearing up his littermates or hiding in the corner.

Ensure to seek at least one of the parents — generally the mother is present — to confirm that they have pleasant personalities with whom you are comfortable.

Meeting the parents’ siblings or other relatives is also beneficial in determining and considering what a puppy will be like when he turns adult.

Borzoi, like all dogs, require early socialization — being exposed to a variety of individuals, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they are small puppies.

Socialization ensures that your Borzoi puppy develops into a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in puppy kindergarten is a terrific place to start.

Inviting guests over regularly, as well as taking him to busy parks, stores that permit canines, and on leisurely strolls to greet neighbors, will help him improve his social abilities.

Borzoi Care/Upkeep:

The Borzoi sheds due to their long, silky coat and will require brushing every other day using a pin or even a slicker brush and/or a comb to eliminate loose hair and grime.

The Borzoi has an annual shedding season during which more regular grooming is required.

The texture and distribution of this breed’s coat are distinctive; there should be a frill on its neck, alongside feathering on its hindquarters and tail. This breed, like most dogs, will require frequent bathing and nail cutting.

Borzoi dogs are similar to cats in that they may be both quiet and stubborn. When it comes to training, the Borzoi is bright, polite, and well-mannered, but they are also sensitive and independent, so it may be difficult.

They are also prone to be easily bored with repetitious and seemingly pointless exercises. Like other sighthounds, they are extremely sensitive to harsh treatment and will be unable to tolerate raised voices or any type of punishment-based training.

Borzoi owners will require a lot of patience, consistency, and perhaps a little bit of humor and early socialization and training are critical.

Borzoi are loyal, devoted family dogs, but they aren’t the type of dog to engage in roughhousing with children—they’re a little too dignified for that.

They are frequently reticent with strangers yet affectionate with family and close friends.

Borzoi dogs may not always get along with other pets because of their strong prey drive and inclinations to hunt and chase; ideally, they should be introduced to other animals in the home when they are puppies.

These enormous, athletic dogs will need daily exercise in the form of long walks, and it’s critical to have a fenced-in yard and only walk these powerful sighthound dogs on a leash, as the sight of wildlife on the move, such as a cat or squirrel, will be too much for their strong pursuit instinct.

This canine will like participating in active and outside activities with their owners, and they excel in canine sports, including lure coursing and agility.

Borzoi Relationship with Children and Other Pets

The Borzoi may be too large for a family with tiny children, particularly toddlers. They’re huge dogs that can easily knock a toddler over by accident.

They’re also not fond of toddlers pushing and prodding them. These dogs are best much preferable in homes with older children who are familiar with dog behavior.

Constantly teach youngsters how to greet and handle dogs, and always monitor any encounters between canines and kids to prevent biting or ear or tail pulling on either party’s side.

Educate your child never to approach a sleeping or eating dog or to try to grab the dog’s food. No canines or other pets should ever be left alone with a youngster.

Borzoi are generally not violent with other dogs, yet in an uncontrolled setting, their sighthound background may take over, especially if tiny dogs are present.

Some dogs can be aggressive toward other canines of the same gender. Young Borzoi can be taught not to chase or snap at smaller domestic pets, such as cats, with proper training.

However, that instruction may be limited to the confines of the home. Outdoor cats, including your own, may be considered fair game.

Borzoi Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names
01MaxLucy
02JackDaisy
03LuckyMolly
04OliverRuby
05RileyAngel
06CodyEllie
07OllieLulu
08GeorgeRoxie
09LeoLady
10FinnPenny

All About Borzoi

The Borzoi is a fast-running hound capable of chasing large, ferocious wildlife in subzero temperatures.

As such, it keeps the greyhound physique required for high-speed running, but it is larger and stronger than the greyhound. Its jaws should be powerful enough to keep a wolf down.

The long, silky coat, which can be flat, wavy, or curly, protects the dog from cold weather and snow. Borzois should be elegant and graceful, with flowing lines whether they are stationary or moving.

The borzoi is a breed of gentle elegance that epitomizes the well-mannered house dog. Outside, it dashes with reckless abandon, chasing each small animal that moves.

It is self-contained but quite sensitive. Although it is generally fine with children, it may not be fun enough for some of them.

Borzoi History:

The Borzoi, also known or called the Russian Wolfhound, has a written history dating back to 1650 when the first breed’s standard was created in his homeland of Russia.

The Borzoi, which has been bred for hundreds of years by Russian aristocrats, is thought to have descended from the early Russian bear hound, Tatar coursing hounds, and the Owtchar, a tall sheepdog.

The lords’ hunts were quite the spectacle. More than a hundred Borzoi, hunted in trios of one female and two males, alongside an equal number of foxhounds used to find and flush the prey, could be involved.

When the wolf was spotted, the hunters sent out their hounds to capture, pin, and hold it.

The huntsmen would sometimes release the wolf after it had been ceremoniously chained and gagged to be hunted another day again.

These expensive hunting expeditions were frequent until 1861, when serfs were freed, and the aristocrats no longer had access to a limitless labor supply.

By 1873, there were few Borzoi left, which alarmed those who valued the breed’s beauty and speed.

Russian fanciers founded the Imperial Association to protect and promote the breed’s qualities, and the bloodlines of many Borzoi in America may be traced back to puppies from Imperial Association members’ kennels.

Grand Duke Nicholas, Czar Nicholas II’s uncle, and wealthy landowner Artem Boldareff were among the members of the group.

Unfortunately, this affiliation with the nobility proved fatal. As a result of the Russian Revolution in 1918, many Borzoi were slaughtered.

The breed was only saved because several were presented as gifts to royals in other nations, including Queen Victoria and Princess Alexandra of Wales, or were imported by persons interested in the breed.

Elsie, the first Borzoi, known to have been transported into the United States, was purchased from Britain by a Pennsylvania man called William Wade. Elsie, who was described as “small, light, and weedy,” wasn’t much to look at.

Another American, C. Steadman Hanks visited Russia in the 1890s and bought Borzoi directly from Russia to start his Seacroft Kennels.

Princess Irma was the first Borzoi to be registered with the American Kennel Club in 1891.

In 1903, Joseph B. Thomas helped to develop the breed in America by traveling to Russia three times to buy pups from the Perchino Kennel of Grand Duke Nicholas and the Woronzova Kennel of Artem Boldareff.

That same year, the Borzoi Club of America, formerly known as the Russian Wolfhound Club of America, was founded.

The breed name was altered from Russian Wolfhound to Borzoi in 1936. The Borzoi in your living room today bears little resemblance to his forefathers in Mother Russia.

He is still the same towering and gorgeous sighthound that was one of Czarist Russia’s greatest treasures.

The Borzoi is ranked 96th out of 155 AKC-registered breeds and variations.

Where to Adopt Borzoi:

Check your local animal shelters and rescue organizations for Borzoi dogs in need of a forever home.

The Borzoi Club of America, a national rescue organization for Borzoi dogs, can also give internet information to assist you find your new best buddy.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

When deciding whether the Borzoi is the right dog for you, conduct your research and consult with other Borzoi owners, breeders, and rescue groups to learn more.

With a little study, you’ll be able to choose the perfect dog breed for you! Check out these more dog breeds that are similar.

Borzoi Fun Facts:

  • Russia perfected the breed. 
  • The breed’s moniker was changed. 
  • Hunters used them to locate wolves. 
  • This breed is huge. 
  • They’re called sighthounds for a reason. 
  • Puppy head needs time to mature. 
  • They’re glamorous. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Do Borzois have fur or hair?

Males weigh 75 to 105 pounds on average, while females weigh 60 to 85 pounds. Their coat is long and silky, and can be curled, wavy, or straight. Their neck is adorned with a thick ruff of curly hair. Borzoi Puppies are known for their curly fur.

Are Borzois cuddly?

Borzoi’s disposition is reticent with strangers, yet he has a sweet and affectionate personality around those he cares about. Early socialization is essential for avoiding shyness in the presence of strangers.

What is the top speed of a Borzoi?

35 miles per hour.

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