The Canine Chronicles Directory
Borzois are tall, elegant sight hounds whose beauty suggests power, grace and aristocracy.
Their medium length coats are silky with heavy feathering on the legs, undercarriages
and tails. The coat color may be white, golden, tan or gray with black markings.
The colors can be solid or mixed, however any color is acceptable in the show ring.
The long head should be lean with a pronounced occiput. The deep jaw should be long
and the teeth should have a scissor-like bite. The almond-shaped eyes should be
dark and the ears should be small and pointed. When the dog is alert, their ears
will become partially erect. The well-muscled neck is slightly arched and long.
The narrow chest is very deep. The muscular back rises in a graceful curve with
a well-balanced drop. The curve is defined more in female Borzoi's than males. The
back should also appear bony. The front legs should be straight and the long, muscular
hind legs should have a well-developed second thigh. The feet should be well-arched
with the front feet more oval and the hind feet longer in shape. The lengthy tail
is set low and reflects a sickle or saber shape. It should not be carried over the
Borzoi's are sweet, good-natured, calm and despite their size, very gentle dogs.
They are cat-like is several ways, including their continuous self-cleaning, their
silent, docile demeanor, and their snappiness if pushed too far. This breed is very
loyal and affectionate with their family. They do not like strangers and become
extremely nervous and aloof with them. They are good with children; however, they
do not enjoy rough play and are better suited to older children. Borzoi's will tolerate
other dogs who are like-minded but can be nervous around them. They must be introduced
and socialized with household pets, such as cats and small animals, at an early
age. Since they are a sight hound, they will react to fleeing animals and their
lightening snap can kill in a second. Borzoi's do not have territorial instincts
so they should not be trusted off of a leash unless in a securely fenced area. In
general, they are quiet dogs that rarely bark.
Male Height: At least 28" ; Weight: 75-105 lbs.
Female Height: At least 26" ; Weight: 60-90 lbs.
Borzois are picky eaters, prone to bloat and do better with two or three small meals
per day. They should not exercise after eating. They can have drug sensitivity.
Borzois will do fine with apartment living but need regular exercise. They should
be let off of the leash in an enclosed or safe area.
This breed needs plenty of exercise to maintain their fitness level. They do well
as a jogging companion and running alongside a bicycle, but you must react quickly
if something catches his eye and he bolts after it. This breed should be allowed
off lead to run in a safe place.
About 10-12 years
The Borzoi is easy to groom. Brush regularly with a firm brush and only bathe when
necessary. The hair should be clipped between the toes. They are a seasonally heavy
Borzoi's originated in Arabia. They were brought to Russia around the 1600s by a
Russian Duke. However, the dogs were unable to survive the harsh Russian winters.
To rectify this, the dogs were crossed with native Russian long haired breeds such
as Tartar coursing hounds or shepherd dogs. These newly developed dogs were used
as wolf hunters and earned the name, Russian Wolfhound. The name was eventually
changed to Borzoi which was a derivative of the Russian word "borzii", which means
swift. The Russian royalty and nobility bred and hunted with this breed for hundreds
of years. Due to their gentle temperaments and exotic appearances the Russian Czars
began giving them as gifts to crown heads of Europe. Queen Victoria owned Borzoi's
and many of the British aristocracy followed her example in procuring this breed.
In 1903, Joseph Thomas traveled to Russia to find the "ideal" Borzoi. He visited
the kennels of Artem Balderoff and His Royal Highness, the Grand Duke Nicholas of
Tula at Woronza. The dogs that he imported from this kennel were the basis of breeding
programs in England and the United States. At the end of the 1917 Russian Revolution,
most of the Borzoi kennels were destroyed since they were associated with the ruling
class. The breed only survived due to the original gifts given to the western world.
They are recognized by both the AKC and the UKC.
AKC Hound, UKC Scenthound and Pariah Dog