Breed Category: Hound
Country of Origin: Russia
Average Size: 65-70 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 35-45 kg
Average Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: Medium
Exercise Requirements: High

History

The Borzoi, often called the Russian Wolfhound, is a large sighthound that was bred to give chase to game its owners pursued, such as rabbits and other small and medium-sized animals.

Sighthounds are thought to be native to the modern day Middle East and likely have Russian roots dating back at least 1,100 years. In time, local breeds developed through both natural and intentional breeding. The Borzoi is a descendant of these dogs and its name is derived from the Russian word for “fast.” It is likely to be related to the Afghan Hound and the Greyhound.

In its native Russia, the Borzoi is still often used for hunting purposes. Though the breed has been introduced to other parts of the world, it is best known in its home country and throughout Europe.

Appearance

The medium-length coat of this breed is unique in that it has a silky, wavy texture. The most common colours seen are white, golden, roan and black. While the colouring of show dogs is restricted, Borzoi dogs used for companionship or work can be virtually nay colour. The coat may be solid or spotted.

Frequent brushing is required to prevent tangling of its fur. It is a medium to heavy shedder due to its long coat. It has a thick under coat that prepares it for life in colder parts of the world. Trimming of the pads of the feet are necessary several times per year.

The body of the Borzoi is tall and extremely lean. It averages 65-70 cm in height and 35-45 kg in weight.

Temperament

The Borzoi has a reserved and gentle temperament. While it enjoys the company of its family, it also likes peace and quiet. This breed does well in a home with children if raised with them, though it is not a dog that will roughhouse and be overly playful with kids.

Due to the natural hunting instincts of this breed, the Borzoi may not be well-suited for a home with cats and other small animals. With proper training, it may learn to peacefully cohabitate with these animals, though it can rarely pass up the chance to give chase to a small animal outdoors.

The Borzoi is an independent breed that does not respond well to overly firm or stern leadership. It does best in a home where its owner is gentle yet effective. In return, the Borzoi will be a loyal and faithful companion.

Exercise is very important in this breed and it will be happy and quiet indoors with the proper amount. The Borzoi is a dog with a history of covering lots of ground in a short amount of time. Ideally it will have a large, secure yard in which to run around. It needs at least one long walk per day and may excel in agility exercises.

Health

The Borzoi is regarded as a hardy and healthy reed. Gastric torsion is a painful and potentially life-threatening condition that may affect it and other sighthounds. There are no known breed-specific health problems that afflict the Borzoi. Proper breeding will help keep genetic conditions to a minimum.

The average Borzoi will live to be an average of 10-12 years of age.