Borzoi Breed Guide

Borzois are graceful dogs with tall, slender frames. Their long, silky coats are wavy, curly, or flat and come in any color or combination of colors, including white, bronze, tan, and gray. They have a strong neck and jaw and dark eyes. At the shoulder, these dogs measure a minimum of 26 inches tall for females and 28 inches tall for males. Borzoi dogs weigh 55 to 120 pounds and live up to 12 years with proper care.

Borzois enjoy a quick sprint followed by some downtime on the sofa. They're happy to accompanying family members on a short jog, but they don't appreciate being forced into exercise.

These dogs hunt by sight, not scent, and can chase quarry over long distances. They are large dogs but make great house pets. They are also stunningly beautiful, love attention, and are excellent companions to people of all ages.

Because of their elegance and long, flowing coats, these dogs are favorites of photographers, artists, and aristocrats.

Borzois are an affectionate and sometimes sensitive breed that is calm and well-mannered around the house. They can seem somewhat cat-like due to their independent and undemanding natures. These dogs prefer a calm and peaceful environment, and they tend toward serious and sensible. However, they can also act silly when the mood strikes.

These dogs are intensely loyal to their human families, and they are very good with older children. Because they don't always like to play around, they may be intolerant of small children. Borzois are reserved with strangers, and may even come across as timid.

Although they are generally clean, quiet, and calm, these dogs are best suited for active families. They certainly enjoy relaxing activities, but they also need to get out and about on occasion. Borzois enjoy a quick sprint followed by some downtime on the sofa. They're happy to accompanying family members on a short jog, but they don't appreciate being forced into exercise.

A generally healthy breed, Borzois are prone to some genetic conditions, including wobbler's syndrome, a condition associated with spinal cord compression on the neck. Wobbler's syndrome causes a lack of coordination and swaying or wobbling during movement.

Borzois are also more prone than some other breeds to developing bone fractures, hip dysplasia, heart disease, hypothyroidism, and eye problems, such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. These dogs are also affected by bloat, a condition that can lead to gastric torsion, which is potentially fatal and requires immediate surgery. Feeding smaller meals helps reduce the risk of bloat in this breed. Additionally, Borzois are sensitive to anesthesia.

Proper nutrition, regular activity, standard vaccinations, and routine veterinary care help ensure Borzoi dogs live a full life of 12 years.

Borzois are fairly easy to train if the only concerns are standard behavior issues and learning basic commands. Serious training is a bit more challenging when it comes to these dogs, which is why it is so fortunate that Borzois are generally well behaved. The key to training this breed is finding the right motivational tool. Many people have great success using food rewards.

It's important to train Borzois from an early age not to jump on people. Their large size makes them dangerous, especially to small children. Some Borzois make good watchdogs, but in general, the breed tends to be trusting and friendly, even toward strangers. However, the big size of these dogs deters most strangers, anyway.

Borzois need to exercise every day or their health and behavior suffer. Walking is great but it is not enough. These dogs need to sprint on occasion. They will chase anything that runs, walks, or slithers, and so they must be kept on a leash or confined to a fenced yard. They have an extremely strong instinctive desire to run and chase that cannot always be overcome with training. This makes it extra important to provide a safe play and exercise area for Borzoi puppies and dogs.

The Borzois lustrous coat requires regular brushing and bathing to prevent dulling. It doesn't tend to become very dirty, though, as it's resistant to dirt and mud and both tend to drop off the coat once it dries. These dogs should be brushed a few times each week with a pin brush, and the coat needs checking for mats, especially where the legs meet the body and behind the ears. These dogs shed during spring and fall.

Borzois are sensitive about having their feet touched. Starting grooming early in life and touching or petting them frequently is of benefit. Dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors are prone to mats and tangles. Keeping the Borzoi's feathering cut short can help with this. A professional groomer may be necessary.

These dogs have a habit of dragging their ears through their food dish at meal times. If this becomes a problem, putting the ears up in a snood will keep them clean. Keeping the ears clean and dry will help prevent infections. The nails should be trimmed every few weeks, or as needed, and the teeth should be brushed regularly to ensure dental health.

The Borzoi is an old breed that can be traced back to 1650 Russia and is related to the Greyhound. These dogs were developed by crossing a thick-coated Russian dog breed with Arabian Greyhounds, and they were originally created to hunt hare, wolves, and fox.

They have been bred for hundreds of years by the Russian aristocracy and were known as Russian Wolfhounds in the United States until 1936. Sadly, many of these dogs were slaughtered following the Russian Revolution due to their association with Russian aristocracy.

Today, Borzois are seen in the companion and show rings but are most popular in the lure coursing field. They are also popular pets because of their beauty, calm personality, and affectionate nature. These dogs are also sometimes employed for their guarding or hunting skills.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Borzoi in 1891.