Borzoi: The Ultimate Guide


Borzois are large Russian sighthounds that were originally bred for hunting purposes. The Borzoi is often described as gentle, intelligent, and independent, which are three great qualities for any dog to have. However, they can be quite sensitive and stubborn at times, which are other qualities that you will have to get used to. 

There are so many things that you will need to learn about the Borzoi breed before you go ahead and make a commitment. Unfortunately, it can often be a challenge in itself to find out all of the information that you need to know, but we are here to help to save you some time with this.

Borzoi

We have created the ultimate guide to the Borzoi breed, so you can find out everything that you need to know, all in one place. We are going to take a look at the health, costs, personalities, temperaments, and more of the Borzoi breed, so you can get the answers you are looking for.

Borzoi Key Facts

Before we get on with telling you everything that you need to know about the Borzoi breed, there are some key pieces of information that you should be made aware of first, which we will explain below. 

Average Lifespan

On average, the Borzoi will live for between 7 and 10 years of age. 

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

You will need to provide your Borzoi with at least 60 minutes of exercise per day, as they tend to have higher energy levels than some other breeds. You can opt to split this up into 2 shorter walks throughout the day. They will also require exercise through playing games, like fetch. This is a breed that is also really intelligent, which is why it is just as important to keep them mentally stimulated as well as physically.

Coat Length

The coat of a Borzoi is typically quite long, and it is usually sily and flat. Sometimes, the coat can be wavy or slightly curly. The top coat is long and quite flat, with varying degrees of waviness or curling. On the other hand, the undercoat is soft and will only get thicker during the winter months, but it will shed in the summer months.

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

The minimum monthly cost of a Borzoi is around $80, which is something that you should really think about. This cost will typically include things like their food, insurance, and other essential items. 

Appearance

Image result for borzoi appearance

The borzoi is best described as a large greyhound robed in a long, silky coat. Like a typical greyhound, it has family traits of long, slender legs, relatively narrow body, deep chest, tucked abdomen, arched loin and long tail. His head is extraordinarily long and narrow.

Size

The Borzoi is a large breed of dog. 

Average Height

Male Borzois will stand tall at least 28 inches from the shoulder, whereas females will be at least 26 inches tall.

Average Weight

Males will typically weigh more than females at between 75 to 105 pounds. Females will usually weigh between 55 and 85 pounds.

Temperament

The Borzoi is typically a gentle spirited dog whose personality ranges from serious and stately to clownish. As a companion, the Borzoi is quiet, sensible, and intelligent. They typically prefer not to be left alone for too long of a time, and their reactions to strangers can range from anywhere between aloof and friendly.

More generally, they are really trusting of people and tend not to be shy. However, their easy going nature does not always mean that they are easy to train. They are independent thinkers that can be stubborn at times, which can be challenging when they don’t feel like cooperating.

Something else that you should know about these dogs is that it is really important to them to feel that they are loved, cared for, and well looked after.

Apartment Living

Borzois are typically laid-back family dogs that can adapt well to the majority of living situations, even apartment living. Even though these dogs are particularly large in size, they will get on well with apartment living as long as they have enough space to wander and you are still providing them with the right amount of daily exercise. 

Good for Novice Owners

Borzois are typically more suited towards owners that have some previous dog experience, especially when it comes to their training. They can be very independent thinkers, which is why it is really important to start positive and reward-based training while they are still young. 

These dogs can also be very strong willed with their training, and they can easily get distracted if they see something that is more interesting to them. They will require someone that is consistent and patient to train them. For this reason, they are better suited to experienced owners that are more familiar with their needs. 

If you are a first-time dog owner, or you feel that you need extra guidance, it is highly recommended that you take them to accredited training classes. 

Sensivity Level

These dogs can be quite sensitive in the physical sense of the word, which means that knocks and bumps can cause them a lot more pain than other breeds. This is why owners will need to be really careful around them, especially when training them to walk nicely on the lead. Pulls on the lead can be quite painful with a firm hand.

Tolerates Being Alone

Borzois may be able to stay home alone for between 4 and 6 hours at a time, but they can become destructive if they are left alone for longer than this. You will also need to ensure that they are still getting enough attention and exercise. Something that can help to keep your dog and our furniture safe when you leave your dog alone is crate training.

Tolerates Cold Weather

Due to their cozy double coat, the Borzoi can tolerate the cold weather quite well, and they can often be found relaxing in the snow. However, they should be protected from cold wind.

These dogs can tolerate the colder temperatures a lot better than some other breeds, but any dog breeds that are exposed to extreme cold will need to be managed with care.

Tolerates Hot Weather

Borzois can tolerate hot weather moderately well, but it is really important to try your best to keep them cool and protect them from the sun. They will need lots of shade and plenty of water when it is hot outside.

Affectionate With Family

Borzois are very affectionate dogs, but they can also be quite stubborn, which means that they like to be affectionate on their own terms, rather than on yours.

Kid-Friendly

The Borzoi is a breed of dog that can be too large for a household that is shared with small children, especially toddlers. Borzois are giant dogs that can easily knock over a small child by accident.

They are also not very tolerant of children that are poking them or pulling on their fur. This is why they are better suited to homes with older children that know how to properly interact with dogs.

Dog Friendly

Borzois generally aren’t aggressive toward other dogs, but in a situation that is not being monitored or controlled, their sighthound heritage can take over when there are small dogs around. Some Borzois will tend to have a higher likelihood of being aggressive towards dogs of the same sex, but htis can’t be said for every dog of the breed.

However, with the right training and socialization, the Borzoi can learn to not chase or snap at smaller household pets, including cats. However, this training is only likely to work within your home, as outdoors, it is likely that small animals will be considered fair game.

Friendly Toward Strangers

These dogs are very friendly towards strangers, and they typically warm up to new people fairly quickly. However, they have been known to be shy from time to time, but this is not very common.

Health And Grooming

Borzoi

While the temperament and personality of the Borzoi is really important to be aware of, it is equally as important to learn about their potential health issues and grooming requirements, which we will explain below.

Shedding

Borzois do shed, just like any other dog, but they do shed quite moderately. They have longer fur that will need to be brushed at least a few times a week, but maybe even more, to ensure that it doesn’t get matted.

This will also limit the amount of fur that is left around your home. You can also expect them to shed a lot more during the spring and autumn.

Drooling

The Borzoi does not typically drool, so if you are looking for a dog that doesn’t drool, this could be the perfect match.

Grooming

You will need to brush your Borzois coat on a regular basis with a pin brush. You should ensure that you remove any mats from  behind the ears or between the hind legs.

Try to avoid using a wire slicker brush, as this can ruin the coat. Borzoi are seasonally heavy shedders and may need brushing more frequently during that time. You will only need to bathe your dog when they are dirty or smelly.

You should also be brushing their teeth on a daily basis to help to remove any build up of tartar and bacteria inside their mouths. This will also help to prevent things like gum disease and bad breath.

You should also trim their nails once or twice a month if they are not being worn down naturally. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, then it is likely that they are too long. Short and neatly trimmed nails will help to keep the feet in good condition.

General Health

Generally, these dogs are healthy. However, just like any other dog, there are some health conditions that these dogs can be predisposed to. We will ist these conditions below so you can be aware of them.

Common Health Problems

Some of the most common health problems for Borzoi dogs to experience are:

  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans

Potential For Weight Gain

These dogs are not very likely to gain too much weight due to their high energy levels.

Borzoi Trainability

The Borzoi breed typically responds well to short training sessions. If you train them for a few minutes at a time, and take fun breaks by playing games such as tug of war, your Borzoi is much more likely to stay engaged in their training. 

Positive reinforcement is also really beneficial when it comes to training a Borzoi as they are very food motivated and will do almost anything for a treat and some affection. It is going to require someone with lots of patience and time to dedicate to training a Borzoi, as they can become quite challenging at times. 

Easy To Train

Unfortunately, Borzois are not the easiest of dogs to train. They are not a naturally obedient breed, and they can become bored very easily if they are given repetitive tasks to do. Although, they do excel in competitive obedience and agility trials, and they will do well in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

Intelligence

Borzois dogs are very intelligent, but they are also very stubborn, and these two traits often clash with each other when it comes to training this breed.

Potential to Bite

Borzoi do have the potential to snap or bite if you get on the wrong side of them or if they are pushed too far.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

Borzois are typically quiet dogs that don’t bark or howl much. So, when you do hear them, it can come as a bit of a surprise.

History

The borzoi breed was once known as the Russian Wolfhound, and their written history can be traced to 1650, which is when the first breed standard was written in their homeland of Russia. These dogs have been bred  for hundreds of years by Russian nobles, and they are believed to have been developed from the early Russian Bear Hound

The hunts of the nobles would have involved more than 100 Borzoi, who hunted in trios  of one female and two males, as well as  an equal number of foxhounds, which were used to seek and flush the prey.

When the wolf was sighted, the huntsman would release their dogs to capture, pin, and hold it. They would then bound and gag the wolf, and sometimes set it free to be hunted again another day.

Such hunting expeditions were common until 1861, when the serfs were emancipated and the nobles could no longer rely on an unlimited workforce. By 1873, very few Borzoi remained, which was alarming to many.

The Imperial Association was then created by a group of Russians to protect and promote the characteristics of the breed. The bloodlines of many Borzoi in America can be traced to dogs from the kennels of Imperial Association members. 

Some of the members of the association included Grand Duke Nicholas, the uncle of Czar Nicholas II, and Artem Boldareff, a wealthy landowner. Unfortunately, this association with the aristocracy was lethal, and many Borzoi were slaughtered following on from the Russian Revolution in 1918 because of it.

The breed was only saved due to the fact that many of them had been given as gifts to royals in other countries, including Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales. Some had also been imported by people that were interested in the breed.

The very first Borzoi to be imported into the United States was called Elsie. The first to be registered with the American Kennel Club was Princess Irma in 1891. In 1903, Joseph B.

Thomas contributed to the establishment of the breed in America by making three trips to Russia to purchase dogs from the Perchino Kennel of Grand Duke Nicholas and the Woronzova Kennel of Artem Boldareff. The Borzoi Club of America was formed in the same year.

In 1936, the breed name was changed from Russian Wolfhound to Borzoi. Today, there isn’t actually that much of a difference between the Borzoi that we know and love and the previous versions from Russia.

They are still the same tall and glamorous sighthounds that they once were. The breed now ranks 96th among the 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC.

Costs

The average cost of a Borzoi dog is between $1500 and $3000, making them a very expensive breed. 

Borzoi Fun Facts

  • The Borzoi dog has long and powerful jaws
  • Borzois are a fairly rare breed today
  • Borzois used to hunt game such as wolves, foxes, and hare
  • The Bozois is considered to be a giant breed
  • Hunters previously used these dogs to locate wolves

Kerry White

Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners. Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.

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