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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Borzoi


Origin: Russia

AKC Group: Hound

Height: 28 inches (Male)

Weight: 55 - 90 pounds (Male)

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Borzois are quiet and independent. While a Borzoi can adapt to city life, it prefers the country where it has lots of space to run. Borzois are suspicious of strangers and often aggressive with other animals. These dogs will snap if teased, so they're not the best breed for families with young children.

Borzois are hounds dogs. Because they are great at sniffing and exploring, hounds were originally used to trail rabbits, foxes and other small mammals. Most hounds are good-natured dogs that make loving companions if trained properly. Hounds are sometimes stubborn, though, so training may take a while.

Most hounds need rigorous physical exercise, so daily walks and runs are a must. Never let a hound off a leash unless it is in an enclosed area, because it will take off if it picks up a scent. Hounds are barkers and howlers, and they are sometimes hard to housebreak.

Male height: 
28 inches
Male weight: 
55 - 90 pounds
Silky, with longer hair on the chest, stomach, legs and tail. Brush or comb twice a week.
Usually white with tan, gray or lemon markings. However, any color combination is acceptable. Eyes are dark and nose is black.
Special considerations: 
This is a very fast, agile, independent breed. Not recommended for inexperienced dog fanciers.

The Borzoi is probably the most well-known Russian dog and has been used in his motherland for coursing wolves since the early 1600s. Wolf hunting was a monied sport in which hunters would go out with their hounds (whose colors ideally matched) and set a pair loose upon a wolf so that the dogs could attack from two sides while the hunter approached on horseback and killed it with a sword. To add to their appeal, Borzoi were exotic looking and had excellent temperaments, making them sought-after gifts among nobles. Because the breed came to symbolize aristocratic Russia, Borzoi were almost eradicated during the Russian Revolution. Fortunately, the breed survived and has since flourished.

Remarkably calm and cat-like indoors, the Borzoi is self-aware and dignified. Although he can be aloof with strangers, he is extremely loyal and affectionate with those he loves, even showing a silly streak around his family. While he is gentle and sensitive, he also has a stubborn streak due to his independent nature.
At home: 
The Borzoi is relatively calm inside the home, but apartment life may not be ideal for a dog of this size. However, they can adapt to just about any living situation provided they are given the proper amount of exercise. A fenced-in yard is a must - if something catches your Borzoi's eye and he takes off at a dead run, you will not be able to catch him. For safety, Borzoi should never be left to run off lead, especially near busy streets. The Borzoi loves to run, but during very hot months his running should be monitored so that he doesn't become overheated.
Although capable of reaching great speeds - and when in full stride he is a sight of beauty - the Borzoi doesn't require a great deal of exercise. Daily walks or running in a safely enclosed area will keep him fit.
Borzoi eat surprisingly little for such a large dog. A high-quality diet, fed twice a day, is recommended.
The Borzoi is intelligent, but his independent streak can make basic obedience a challenge. Patience and consistency are key when training him.
The Borzoi does best with older children because he doesn't take well to boisterousness or roughhousing. They usually get along well with other dogs and can even live peaceably if brought up with a cat, but their prey drive is strong and they will chase smaller animals.
The average life span of the Borzoi is 11 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include bloat; hip dysplasia; osteochondritis dissecans; and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Fun fact: 

Louis Icart, the French artist, is known for his depictions of Borzoi.

Grooming blurb: 
The Borzoi's soft, wavy coat is easy to care for and should be brushed every day or two using a pin brush and steel comb.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.