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(8 Reviews)

Is the Borzoi right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Russian Wolfhound

The basics:
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

Helpful Borzoi Review


From refineddemon Feb 14 2015 9:10AM


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