Covered in a long, lavish coat, this big sighthound can reach over 100 pounds. With its lithe frame, the Borzoi, or Russian Wolfhound, is clearly a derivative of the Greyhound breed. These dogs are unique in their personality and their stoic, aloof behavior could almost be considered cat-like.
Born in Russia during the Romanov Empire, the Borzoi was used in elaborate, staged, wolf hunts by royalty and nobility. These hunts were the pre-Industrial equivalent of a rock concert, and the Borzoi were celebrated headliners.
The breed was a victim of the revolution, often slaughtered alongside its aristocratic masters. It took decades for Russian breeds to come back to any prominent form. Luckily, prior to the 1917 revolution, Borzois had gained attention as the “Russian Wolfhound” in North America and Britain, and had started to become popular.
Elegance in motion, the Borzoi looks like a flowing, sleek, blur when chasing its quarry. It hunts by sight rather than smell, and is bred to be as fast as possible over open terrain. Their inverted S shape is perfectly indicative of their Greyhound heritage. Underneath their beautifully long and silky coat is a lithe frame, deep chest, and slim waist. Standing almost 28 inches, they are a sight to behold.
Coat and Coloring
Their gorgeous, flowing coats are unmistakable. Long and luxurious, they can be curly, wavy, or completely straight. The Borzoi’s majestic coat can come in almost any color and is immaterial to any judging.
Distinctive Physical Traits
Radiating elegance and nobility, these dogs are beautiful, large specimens of the sighthound group.
Like all sighthounds, the Borzoi are loving and caring companions. They hold an air of nobility that suits their stature. However, their impulse to hunt means they cannot be trusted not to dash away in open spaces, and they should always be in a leash when not a fenced-off area.
Despite their athletic nature, Borzois will likely eat less than you would expect. Puppies actually eat more than adults, as they grow so quickly. Any age-appropriate, high-quality dog food should be suitable. As with any dog, it’s important to monitor the amount of food and treats that you give your Borzoi, especially since some dogs are prone to gaining weight as they age.
It is important to note they can be susceptible to bloat. To help prevent bloat, break their food up into several meals a day, and use a food bowl that’s specially designed to slow their rate of eating. When timing meals, avoid feeding them immediately after any kind of vigorous activity, and wait at least an hour after meals before allowing them to run or exercise. These are just a few of ways you can help prevent this life-threatening condition. A veterinarian is the best resource for other recommendations, including surgical options, for preventing bloat.
Their long, flowing coats require a good brush every couple of days. Baths are also necessary to keep your Borzoi looking handsome. Trim nails as needed, when not worn by adequate exercise.
All dogs require regular dental care, including at-home teeth brushing and professional dental cleanings, and Borzoi is no exception. Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for their overall long-term health.
Their large, graceful frame requires daily exercise in the forms of long walks or active play in a fenced-off area. They are prone to outbursts of speed, as well as curling up on the couch at the end of the day.
Borzois can be independent and stubborn, yet they are a sensitive and affectionate dog that doesn’t do well with harsh training methods. They adore their family, but are reserved around strangers. Your Borzoi should be socialized with young children and small animals as a puppy. Keep them on a leash at all times when not in an enclosed area, as they cannot restrain their desire to take chase should the opportunity present itself.
Borzoi Genetic Health Conditions
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a neurological disorder, usually affecting dogs in their senior years. Loss of hind limb coordination is an early sign of disease, and as the condition progresses the hind limbs of affected dogs become increasingly weak.
Knowing if your Borzoi is a carrier or at-risk for these conditions can help you and your veterinarian plan for your pup’s lifelong care. With Wisdom Panel™ Premium, you can get results for over 200 genetic health tests.