Written by Vet Tech

Borzoi Breed – Powerful Russian Dog

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
This fast dog is originally from Russian. The long-haired Borzoi was bred to hunt. Therefore they are durable and fearful. Read on to discover more interesting facts about this fantastic breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
26 to 32 inches tall at the shoulder
55 to 105 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 12 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Borzoi breed is a unique dog with a history of standing alongside European royalty.

Their distinct appearance and impeccable hunting abilities made them a treasured breed in the hearts of Europeans and soon made their way to homes around the world.

In this article, we’ll dive into the details of the Borzoi breed, and the details you’ll need to know before you welcome them into your home!

History Of The Borzoi

The Borzoi, once known as the Russian Wolfhound, originates far back in Russian history.

With records placing the breed as far as 1650, the Borzoi is thought to be a product of the early Russian bear hound.

With their ties to such a well-known hunting breed, you can assume that the Borzoi was used for their impeccable inherited hunting skills.

Sometimes as many as 100 Borzois would be gathered to set out on these hunting adventures, in an effort to hunt as many wolves as possible for their “hunt of the nobles” ceremonies.

These endeavors would involve catching the wolves, bounding them as a prize, and releasing them again to repeat this process again the next day.

Due to their impressive hunting skills, they soon become a treasured breed among royals in Russia.

Though many Borzoi lost their lives during the Russian Revolution, this breed was able to survive due to them being gifted to royals in other countries.

As the years passed the Russian Wolfhound made its way to the US, and finally being registered as the Borzoi in 1936.

Appearance Of The Borzoi

The Borzoi is known for their elegant appearance with their lean body, narrow head, and silky smooth coat.

Along with their sleek appearance is how proudly they stand, making it clear that they come from a royal past.

The Borzoi typically weighs anywhere from 60 to 90 pounds and can stand up to 28 inches in height.

Their striking height paired with their unique features makes them stand out from a crowd and sets them apart from other hounds in their genre.

One of their most well-known features is their long and silky coat, which can be seen in a variety of colors and curls.

Though their coat color can vary, the most common coat colors are a combination of white, brown, grey, tan, and even auburn.

Personality Of The Borzoi

The Borzoi’s royal roots shine through in this dignified pup’s personality. The Borzoi is a quiet, elegant, and well-natured companion to have by your side.

They are generally quite aloof and friendly and don’t often act out in the presence of strangers or other animals.

If anything, the Borzoi prefers to shy away from unfamiliar situations and remain quiet by their owner’s side as they scope out any new additions to their environment.

Though they are known to be gentle giants, they can be extremely goofy. The Borzoi will often be seen frolicking around their home in a playful manner and soaking up every minute of playtime with their favorite humans.

The Borzoi is a well-natured dog, but of course, requires early socialization to help them bloom into the best version of themselves.

Since Borzois can be a bit more on the quiet side, it’s recommended to introduce them to other people and dogs at a young age to help them build up their confidence.

By socializing them appropriately you can help your Borzoi feel confident in their skin and become the happy go lucky pups they love to be.

Overall Health Of The Borzoi

Though the Borzoi can live a generally healthy life of up to 12 years, there are some medical conditions to be aware of when bringing a Borzoi into your home.

These medical conditions include:

1. Gastric Bloat (GDV)

Bloat (GDV) is a life-threatening condition that affects deep-chested large breed dogs.

Any time you have a deep-chested dog, GDV will be a condition to be aware of. During gastric bloat the stomach will flip on itself, trapping the stomach contents and cutting off blood circulation.

Symptoms of bloat include wretching with no vomit produced, distended abdomen, weakness, and even collapse. When not treated immediately, this condition will always be fatal.

2. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that causes the retina to deteriorate over time. If not treated early on, this can eventually lead to blindness.

Though blindness is a condition that dogs can handle well in the right environment, it’s still important to have them seen for their yearly exams to help detect changes in the eye to hopefully catch this condition early on.

3. Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)

OCD is an orthopedic condition that is defined by improper growth of cartilage in the joints, often in the elbows and shoulders.

It causes a debilitating stiffening of the joint, to the point that the dog is unable to bend his elbow and can become lame in the limb.

This can often be detected in young dogs, so it’s important to have a medical record proving that each of your dog’s parents is free of the condition when you purchase from a breeder.

4. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition that can lead to severe changes in the hip joint, resulting in discomfort for dogs that are affected.

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition that can begin at any age and will progress if medical attention is not sought out.

Since these dogs often experience pain, limping, and lameness, your veterinarian will often recommend joint supplements and other pain management options if your pup is affected.

Training Your Borzoi

Since the Borzoi is a known hunting breed, they do have a high prey drive that makes them easily distracted and a bit more independent. Due to these qualities, the training process can be a bit more challenging with a Borzoi.

Though they are on the independent side, they are extremely intelligent. Once you’re able to keep your Borzoi’s attention with positive and rewarding training methods, your Borzoi will thrive!

Another tip to keep in mind is how quickly the Borzoi can become bored.

Due to this, it’s important to keep your training interactive and fun in an effort to keep their attention throughout the process. Again, the Borzoi can definitely excel in their obedience training program, it just needs to accommodate their personality.

Exercise And Your Borzoi

If you are looking for a generally laid back pup to add to your life, the Borzoi is perfect for you! They are happy to spend their days cuddled up on the couch next to you, and will likely prefer their lazy time over playtime.

As long as you offer your Borzoi at least 15 minutes of daily play, they will be pleased to spend the remainder of their time being lazy with their favorite human.

Though the Borzoi is a docile breed, they can be goofy. If you are ready to enjoy a day outdoors with your favorite furry friend, they are happy to tag along.

Just be ready to have a cozy night in with them on the couch afterward.

Important Tips For Your Borzoi

A Borzoi would be a wonderful addition to any family, as they are a loving and docile member to add to your home. If you choose to welcome a Borzoi into your life, here are a few tips to remember:

  • They are a hunting breed, so they can have a high prey drive. This means they may chase after small pets, squirrels, birds, etc.
  • Since their coats can be a bit longer and plush, they benefit greatly from weekly brushings.
  • The Borzoi is extremely laid back and docile, so they may not do well with other rowdy pets.
  • The Borzoi is a bit independent, so it can be challenging to keep their attention during training.
  • Borzois can be nervous around unknown people and animals, so it’s important to socialize them properly from the moment they enter your home.
  • Since this is a deep-chested breed, they are at risk of GDV. You can help to prevent this by limiting activity soon after their meals and discussing surgical prevention with your veterinarian.
  • The Borzoi is a laid back breed, but they still enjoy 15-20 minutes of daily play.

The Bottom Line

Overall, the Borzoi is a unique breed that has an abundance of love to offer their future family.

If you are looking for a well-natured pup that is ready to dedicate their lives to their favorite humans, the Borzoi is the perfect dog for you!

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