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It was in about 1600 when it was thought that the Borzoi was probably first brought from Arabia to Russia. It was there that this elegant sight hound was adopted by the nobility, crossed with longer haired sheepdogs and used as a fierce and brave wolf hunter thus earning the name Russian Wolfhound where they bred and hunted with these dogs for hundreds of years. Eventually spreading through to Europe where Queen Victoria owned Borzoi’s and many of the British aristocracy soon followed suit enabling this breed to become favored for gifts among royalty.  As his use as a companion dog increased the Borzoi became more docile. The name comes from the Russian word 'borzoi' which means swift. This dogs many talents include hunting, sighting and lure coursing. 



This intelligent and sweet dog is extremely loyal to their family and quite affectionate with people they know well.  Able to be trained in obedience, but remembering that they are hounds, and as such are more free-thinking, and less willing to please humans than some breeds, even so making very intelligent, and capable learners.  Appearing to be rather cat-like in that they keep themselves quite clean, these dogs rarely bark and like all other sight hounds are very fast and have little-to-no territorial instinct. Therefore, they cannot be trusted off the leash, unless in a securely fenced or very safe area because if they get sight of a small animal they may take off after it and not even hear you calling them back. Can be trusted with other dogs, however should be supervised with small non-canine pets such as cats and rabbits. Socialize them well with cats and other pets at a very early age.  The Borzoi is a noble dog that gets along fairly well with children, but it is not ideally suited for being a child's companion as it does not take well to rough-housing play.



Height:   66-71cm  (26-28in)

Weight:   27-48kg  (60-105lb)

Group: Hounds

The tall Borzoi is an aristocratic dog with a long, thin, narrow head, a slightly arched muzzle and a long, low-hanging curved tail.  With its characteristic heavy-necked ruff and it’s oblong and dark eyes the Borzoi has ears which lie back on the neck but may prick up partially when the dog is alert. The longish silky coat may be wavy or with large curls, with a heavy mane at the neck and colors are white, golden, tan or gray with black markings, in either solid or mixed colors.



The long silky coat of the Borzoi is relatively easy to groom by regularly using a firm bristle brush, and dry shampoo when required.  Regular bathing should only be done as necessary and shouldn't be required very often.  This breed is a seasonally heavy shedder and it is recommended that the hair between the toes is clipped to keep the feet comfortable. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.


Life Expectancy

10-12 Years


Health Concerns

It is best to feed the Borzoi only small meals two to three times a day as they can be picky eaters and prone to bloat. Always try to feed quality dog food to ensure a healthy happy dog.



The Borzoi will be quite happy living in an apartment if sufficiently exercised and as they are relatively inactive indoors and so peaceful it might escape notice, but outside they need plenty of space to walk and run, so it will do best with at least an average-sized yard. In the city he should only be let off the lead in a safe, enclosed space.


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Hounds: the common feature of all these dogs is that they pursue game. A few in this group include the Beagle, Afghan Hound and Basenji to mention a few.

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