Species group: Hound Group dogs
Other name(s): Russian Wolfhound
The elegant Borzoi was developed as a sighthound to hunt wolves and, despite its aristocratic appearance, it can move with explosive speed in pursuit of its prey. The legend says that Kublai Khan himself brought the breed to Russia, where it became a favorite of the Tsars. The dogs could not be sold but only received as a gift from the Tsar. Beautiful but athletic, the modern Borzoi has been used in America to control coyotes.
Owners need to see beyond the breed's beauty and understand its personality. Because of their size and sensitivity, they need to be socialized from an early age, and you must be aware that they might be unable to resist chasing cats or cars. You need to provide a safe place for your pet to run. Some breeders have expressed frustration about how many owners report that their dog died after being hit by a car.
Appearance / health:
The Borzoi is a tall, lean and graceful dog with a long and narrow head and tapering muzzle. The size of the head is proportionally smaller than the size of the body. A thick ruff around the neck is typical of this breed. The nose is black and the eyes are dark and set obliquely. The ears are small and lay against the neck normally but pricks up when the dog is alert or excited. The back is gracefully curved and the chest is narrow and deep. The bones of the legs are flattened like blades, providing extra speed and endurance. The long tail is covered with dense hair and is usually tucked between the legs.
The breed is a seasonally heavy shedder. The coat does not require special care; however, it should be brushed regularly with a firm bristle brush to prevent tangling and matting. An occasional dry shampoo is also helpful. Bathing is not required very often.
Though the Borzoi is generally inactive indoors, it requires regular outings with their owners. They must always be securely leashed in public areas. Owners may take their dogs for long walks, jogs, picnics, treks.
The Borzoi is generally a healthy breed. However, some of the common illnesses that have affected the breed include progressive retinal atrophy and osteochondritis dissecans. Some of the major illnesses that the breed is prone to includes, bloat (a fatal health condition that occurs due to excessive gas formation in the stomach) and torsion (a fatal health condition that occurs due to twisting of the stomach resulting from the gas formation in the stomach).
Behavior / temperament:
The Borzoi has a strong hunting instinct and therefore cannot be trusted off leash. They are not aggressive with strangers, and hence do not make good watchdogs. They are only suitable for experienced owners that have the time for training, socialization, and exercise. Dogs left alone for long periods may indulge in destructive behavior such as biting, chewing, etc.
The Borzoi responds well to obedience training and has a high learning rate. However, boredom may set in easily, and therefore, training commands should not be repeated often. Harsh treatment is not likely to go down well with this breed. The Borzoi responds well to praise, and training sessions need to incorporate play sessions to be more effective.
The Borzoi is not very noisy. It rarely barks and loves quiet and peace.
Super, great temperament, excellent companion, Canine royalty, noble dog
shorter life span, heaviest shedding, hip issues
lanky borzoi, couch potatoes, play times, early socialization, strong hunting instinct
To be honest, I wasn't planning on getting a dog (I am more of a cat person), but when I first saw a Borzoi at a dog show, I became totally fascinated with this breed. I had never seen such an elegant and noble dog before. So after researching the breed, I decided to get a Borzoi puppy. That proved to be quite difficult, because at that moment the breed was rare in my country.
Lara came to live with us in September 2004. We got her from a hobby breeder who had imported her parents all the way from Russia. Until she was about 2 years old, she proved to be quite a handful. It was impossible to leave her home alone even for 10 minutes, because she would get bored very easily and destroy everything (furniture, shoes etc.). That's one of the reasons I wouldn't recommend keeping them in a flat. A big garden is more appropriate for this breed. They shouldn't be kept in kennels however, as they are very sensitive and need to be around their owners. Once they mature, they are a joy to have around. They are very cat-like and spend most of the time curled up in bed. When kept inside, you can hardly notice their presence as they are very calm and laid back, but they need plenty of exercise and a lot of space to run, especially when they are young.
Because of their great size and strength, they require early socialization to avoid either shyness or aggression. Lara is quite reserved with strangers. She used to be terrified of children, but as she grew older, she came to accept them. Although Borzoi possess a strong hunting instinct, Lara is great with all our other pets (cats, rabbits, chickens etc.).
The biggest disadvantage is that Borzoi shed like crazy. They seem to shed all year round, but the heaviest shedding occurs seasonally. And when this happens, be prepared to do a lot of brushing and vacuuming.
Lara will be 11 years old this June. She is a calm ''granny'' now, but still has moments when she is playful and lively. She brightens our life and fills our days with joy..
From refineddemon Feb 14 2015 9:10AM
Borzoi in our life
They came to my life 5 years ago. I own Italian greyhound family-type (small kennel) and my best friend decided to take Borzoi puppy - she took one and now has 5 dogs of this breed. As she is almost my sister and I visit her each day - she and her dogs are part of our family and I even show them at the dog-shows in order to help her. What I may say...amazing breed, breed most like a cat but don't forget that it is huge dog and hunting breed. Borzoi is a sighthound breed and they may forget easily about you when they meet rabbit in the field during the walk. They are not easy to groom if to compare with the italian greyhound - we wash them each week and it takes time to wash them as well as we use expensive shampoo etc for them as our dogs are show-quality dogs and must have really good hair. They deal good with our small Italian greyhounds and our cat BUT they hate all other small dogs/cats and they do may hurt any small unknown animal that enters their are. No problems with feeding and health except nail/fingers traumas that they may get in the field when they see rabbit and may run away for some time to try to catch it. They are calm and not seen at all - sleep most of the day :) I would recommend this breed for you if you live outside the city and may give your dog the opportunity to enjoy walks in the fields without the lead..
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