Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Regally Dignified
- Height: 28 inches & up (male), 26 inches & up (female)
- Weight: 75-105 pounds (male), 60-85 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 9-14 years
- Group: Hound Group
Among the most impressively beautiful of all dogs, the aristocratic Borzoi is cherished for his calm, agreeable temperament. In full stride, he is a princely package of strength, grace, and glamour flying by at 35 to 40 miles per hour.
The Borzoi was originally bred for the coursing of wild game on more or less open terrain, relying on sight rather than scent. To accomplish this purpose, the Borzoi needed particular structural qualities to chase, catch and hold his quarry. Special emphasis is placed on sound running gear, strong neck and jaws, courage and agility, combined with proper condition. The Borzoi should always possess unmistakable elegance, with flowing lines, graceful in motion or repose. Males, masculine without coarseness; bitches, feminine and refined.
About the Borzoi
Borzoi are large, elegant sighthounds. A mature male stands at least 28 inches at the shoulder and weighs 75 to 105 pounds. Females will be smaller. Beneath the luxurious silky coat, Borzoi construction follows the ancient Greyhound template. Once known as the Russian Wolfhound, Borzoi were bred to be swift and tough enough to pursue and pin their ferocious lupine quarry.
In their quiet, catlike way they can be stubborn, and training is best accomplished with patience, consistency, and good humour. Affectionate family dogs, Borzoi are nonetheless a bit too dignified to wholeheartedly enjoy a lot of roughhousing. The sight of a cat or squirrel on the run will quickly stir their pursuit instinct, and fenced-in running room is a must.
NUTRITION Borzoi tend to eat less than one might assume for their size. Borzoi puppies consume more food than adults due to their rapid growth. The Borzoi should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior).
Because of the risk of bloat, strenuous exercise is not recommended before or after feeding time. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING Like any long-coated dog, the Borzoi will shed a bit. In general, a quick brushing every day or two with a pin brush, slicker brush, and/or a comb will remove any loose hair and dirt from the coat. About once a year the Borzoi will shed more heavily for several weeks, and during this shedding season more frequent grooming is needed. Regular baths keep the Borzoi clean and looking his best. As with all breeds, the Borzoi’s nails should be trimmed regularly.
EXERCISE Even though Borzoi are large, they are graceful, athletic animals who make good housedogs. They do need daily exercise, whether in the form of long walks or running in a securely fenced yard. Being sighthounds, they are apt to chase anything that moves, so they should always be in an enclosed area or on a leash. It is never advisable to allow a Borzoi to run loose. Borzoi enjoy doing activities with their owners and excel in canine sports such as agility and lure coursing.
TRAINING Early socialisation and puppy training classes are recommended. Exposing the puppy to positive experiences with a wide variety of people, places, and situations will help him develop into a well-adjusted adult. Borzoi are intelligent and very affectionate with their owners, but are also independent and sometimes stubborn, so training may be a challenge. Patience and consistency are key. Overall they are usually gentle, well-mannered companions. Remember that Borzoi were bred to chase game, and any small animal that runs may trigger this response, so the breed should be on leash when on outings.
HEALTH Borzoi are generally healthy dogs,and a responsible breeder will screen breeding stock for health conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissects, and progressive retinal atrophy. Like other large and deep-chested dogs, they can experience bloat, a sudden and life-threatening stomach condition. Owners should educate themselves as to what symptoms indicate this is occurring and what to do if so. Sighthounds, including Borzoi, are more sensitive to anesthesia than other breeds. As with all breeds, a Borzoi’s ears should be checked regularly, and the teeth should be brushed often.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam
- Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test