Borzoi | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures


The Borzoi or Russian Hunting Sighthound is rightly considered a national treasure and a pride of Russian dog breeding.

It is known that dog hunting in ancient times was a popular pastime of the nobility, representatives of high society. In the kennels of the rich, whole packs of Russian greyhounds were kept.

These dogs became famous as ideal wolf hunters. Both in the distant past and in the modern world, the hunting instinct of Russian Greyhounds was used with success. In addition, connoisseurs of the breed keep such pets as pets, participants in exhibitions and sports competitions.

Dog sheet Borzoi

Borzoi photos

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Similar breed: Afghan Hound

Physical characteristics

The Borzoi is an elegant sighthound with a long, narrow head. The coat is silky, of medium length, with thick, long hair on the legs, belly and tail. Colors: white, golden red, grey, black and spotted roan.

The height of an adult male is 75-85 cm, its weight is about 34-47 kg. An adult female measures 68 to 78 cm and weighs about 25 to 40 kg.


Distinctive features

  • Head: The skull is oblong. The head is rather lean, very elongated and narrow. The length of the muzzle and the frontal part is the same. The occipital protuberance is well developed. The transition line from the forehead to the muzzle is smoothed.
  • Jaws: The jaws are powerful with strong, snow-white teeth in a full formula with a scissor or level bite.
  • Ears: The ears are miniature, fine, semi-pendulous, very mobile. Set slightly above eye level and set well back towards the back of the head, the tips of the ears are close to the neck. When the dog is alert, the ears prick up.
  • Eyes: The eyes are beautiful, clear, almond-shaped, large, slightly protruding with an oblique set. The color of the iris ranges from brown to dark brown.
  • Body: The body is elongated, rather lean with flattened bones, strong but not heavy. The neck is elongated, muscular, lean with a small, slightly curved withers. The back is muscular, long and arched with a moderately broad loin. The croup is oblong, massive and sloping. The chest is oval, narrow but deep. The abdomen is strongly upturned.
  • Limbs: The legs are straight, parallel with well developed muscles, but of ascetic constitution. The legs are narrow, hare-like, the toes are elongated, tightly compressed with low claws.
  • Coat: The coat is wavy or slightly curly, with a silky texture. On the shoulder blades and croup, the curls of the hair are more pronounced. Color – all types of piebald and spotted colors, in addition to blue and dark brown.

Character and behavior

The Borzoi is a fearless and fiery hunter and a loving companion with the manners of an aristocrat. This animal surprisingly combines seemingly incompatible characteristics.

The psyche of representatives of the breed is vulnerable and thin. They demand attention and understanding. Only with such treatment will the Borzoi be endlessly devoted to the owner. Rudeness and corporal punishment will ruin her character, she can turn into an uncontrollable and aggressive animal.

These greyhounds don’t like solitude. Therefore, do not leave a sociable animal alone for a long time. They do not show aggression towards strangers, their reaction towards strangers is detachment, indifference or friendliness.

Relationships with children

A Borzoi is not recommended for families with children under 7-8 years old. The point is that an overly impressionable hunting dog can see a threat in the actions of a small child. For school children, a dog can become a loyal friend.

With other animals

Due to the hunting instinct, keeping a Borzoi in the same room with other pets, especially smaller ones, becomes problematic. Even the most educated and sympathetic hunting dog can awaken the hunter’s instinct at any time, which will have a deplorable effect on other animals.


The Borzoi dog breed can be described as healthy with strong immunity. It should only be noted his predisposition to the following health problems:

  • Volvulus – Greyhounds often suffer from bloating, in most cases this is due to excessive activity of the animal immediately after a meal.
  • Hypersensitivity to anesthesia, analgesics.
  • Cataract – clouding of the lens, causing deterioration of vision.
  • Wobbler’s syndrome – compression of the cervical vertebrae.
  • Cardiovascular illnesses.
  • Oncological diseases.

Life expectancy

The average lifespan of a Borzoi is 10 to 12 years.


Borzoi care is not difficult:

  • The coat is combed 2-3 times a week, more often during shedding.
  • 3-4 times in 7 days clean eyes.
  • The ears are examined once or twice a week.
  • Teeth are brushed weekly.
  • The claws are cut as they grow.
  • The paws are washed after each walk.
  • Bathe the dog only in case of severe pollution or once in 3 months.

Living conditions

For the Borzoi, the size of the space in which he lives is not fundamental. This dog feels great in a private house, in a cozy cabin and even an apartment.

Regardless of the type of content, the dog is taken to the field, 2 to 3 times a week, which allows him to run freely.

Fun facts

  • The Borzoi has an exceptional hearing and a very developed sight; such a dog is able to detect preys which cross the field at a distance of 800 meters.
  • When running fast, the Sighthound is able to reach speeds of up to 90-100 km / hour.
  • From an ambush, the Russian canine can jump three meters from the spot.
  • The running of the representatives of the breed is so quick and easy that for a side observer the appearance of a dog running in the air is created. Her feet don’t seem to touch the ground.
  • Abroad, representatives of the breed are called “Borzoi”. Indeed, the Borzoi is able to face a wolf alone. For a long time in Russia, these dogs were used in the work of wolves.

History of the breed

The Russian hunting Sighthound belongs to the ancient hunting breeds. The first descriptions of these dogs date back to the 17th century. In Russia, greyhounds appeared along with the Mongol-Tatar hordes.

The formation of the breed took place on the territory of Russia, it is this country that is considered the birthplace of Borzoi. In the first half of the 18th century, the following breeds were used in breeding work on this type of dog: horty greyhounds, English, large-breasted greyhounds. This, as they say, is a European infusion of the Borzoi in the breed.

The breeders did not stop there, with the advent of the 19th century there was another infusion, this time from the East. In order to improve the breed, a crossbreeding with Crimean dogs and mountain dogs was carried out.

Due to such a diverse selection, many different representatives of the breed were not described in one single description. In 1888, the first standard was approved. Thoroughbred Russian Greyhounds on the outside are close to a guy.

In the past, it was considered prestigious among landowners to keep packs of Russian Greyhounds in their kennels. In addition, in a pack there were usually more than a hundred dogs. The larger the pack, the richer their owner was. It is noteworthy that Russian Greyhounds were called by the name of the owner.

In 1873, the breed was on the verge of extinction. To save endangered species, the Imperial Association was created, but it did not fulfill its mission, as it disappeared with the aristocratic society.

During the period of the revolutionary coup and the coming to power of workers and peasants (1918), dogs of this breed ceased to be popular, they were simply destroyed. The people saw them as an integral part of the landowners, bourgeois, aristocrats and royal people.

The Borzoi managed to survive and preserve its purebred qualities thanks to the fact that many dogs were exported to America and European countries at the end of the 19th century.

In addition to being an ideal hunter, the Borzoi participates in exhibitions and various sports competitions, for example, in mobile decoy races.


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