A member of the AKC Hound group, 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, these dogs needed very specific and particular structural qualities to chase, catch, and hold his quarry.
Once known as the Russian Wolfhoundthey are also often described as "long haired greyhounds". These dogs were used as coursing hounds to chase rabbits, foxes, and wolves in packs.
Special emphasis is placed on sound running gear, strong neck and jaws, courage, and agility, combined with proper condition. Their overall speed, agility, and strength allowed them to run far ahead of the hunters, sight the prey, run it down, and hold it at bay until the hunter arrived.
These dogs require vigorous daily exercise to keep them in tip top condition. Overall, they are basically a very sound breed with few health problems.
As sight hounds these dogs used to pursue, or "course," game and they have a very strong instinct to chase things that run from them. They are built for speed and can cover incredible distances in a really short time.
Due to their sight hound heritage and amazing speed, they should never be left off a leash or let to roam outside of a fenced yard because they can easily jump a six-foot fence. They need to run, and that is possible only if you have properly trained your Borzoi to come back to you when called.
They are considered a giant breed with an average height at the wither (top of shoulder) of 28" to 32". Although the Borzoi is a large dog (28 inches tall and around 75-105 pounds for males, smaller for females), it will happily curl up in a corner inside your house very comfortably. They are also very quiet dogs who seldom bark.
Watch one in action
They have a lovely, flowing coat that requires little care other than occasional shampooing and brushing. Also, their coat is usually white with black, tan, or lemon markings.
This is not a breed that will fit into every home. Just so you'll know, these dogs are puppies for a long time and are very slow to mature. They do tend to tolerate cool weather better than excessive heat. Also, they need a bed or a thick blanket to lie down on to keep him from getting pressure sores since they have so little body fat.
They are a very intelligent breed overall but can be independent and very stubborn. Vary their training and reward them positively and you'll find they are highly trainable. Early training and socialization are highly encouraged with this dog breed.
This beautiful dog breed was once a favorite among the Russian aristocrats and has the beauty, elegance, carriage, and personality to match his former regal heritage. Did you know that the first Borzoi was brought to the U.S. from England in 1889?
Note: this breed usually views ANY small, fast moving animal as something to chase down and catch due to this breed's high prey drive. The Borzoi may seize and kill small animals before his owner can react. This dog breed can also be very dog-aggressive. They are good with older children and other pets if raised with them and socialized early on.
Country of origin: Russia Lifespan: 8-11 years Colors: All color combinations are acceptable; flat, wavy or curly coats texture is acceptable Known health problems: Bone cancer, bloat, heart disorders Famous Borzoi: "Digger" (Uncle Zeke) in the 2000 Disney film, 102 Dalmations; "Mademoiselle Nobs" from Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii