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The Complete Guide to the Borzoi Dog

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Ready to bring a new puppy home? It might be one of the best ideas you’ve ever had, especially if you’ve considered the Borzoi dog breed.

Also known as the Russian Wolfhound, the Borzoi has so many noteworthy characteristics that make him the perfect family dog. If you’re curious about it, then we may be able to help.

This complete guide to the Borzoi dog will include all the information you may want to know. We’ll explore its history, analyze its personality traits, and give you some tips on how to properly care for it.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Also Read: Large Dog Breeds List A-Z with Pictures

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The Background of the Borzoi Dog Breed

The history of this beloved dog breed goes centuries back. It’s believed to be an offspring of many dog breeds native to what is known today as Russia.

Scholars have concluded that the Borzoi has been developed from the early Russian bear hound or the hounds of Tatar. Also, Owtchar, which is a tall sheepdog, is another Borzoi ancestor.

The Borzoi was officially recognized as an independent breed in the 1600s in his homeland of Russia. After quickly falling in love with its strong-built physique, keen eyes, and intelligence, it was kept by nobles and bred for hundreds of years.

Watching the Borzoi Russian dog hunt was quite the spectacle. As a result, these nobles soon preferred the company of this particular dog breed on their hunting trips. During these hunts, the huntsmen would unleash a group of Borzoi dogs on wolves or foxes to capture them.

When the dogs caught and pinned down their prey, the huntsmen would tie the foxes ceremoniously. Sometimes, they’d release their prey to be hunted on another day.

Of course, these glorious hunts that were a favorite to aristocrats grew less frequent by the day because of the change in Russian politics. Later, after the Russian Revolution, the numbers of Borzoi dogs became dangerously low because of their association with aristocracy.

What remained of this dog breed had been saved because they were sent as gifts to royals in other countries. Also, some dogs were imported by people who took an interest in this remarkable dog breed.

The Borzoi found its way to the US eventually, and the breed was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1891.

Borzoi Dog Pronunciation

In Russian, ‘borzoi’ means ‘sighthound’, which is incredibly fitting. This dog’s most extraordinary feature is that they hunt by sight, hence its name.

As for the pronunciation, just break the word into two sections, bawr – zoy.

The name was changed from Russian Wolfhound to Borzoi in 1936.

borzoi dog

Physical Appearance, Size, and Weight

You may have noticed that the Borzoi is quite similar to the Greyhound when it comes to looks. Both have narrow skull structures, elongated muzzles, and strongly-built, large bodies.

It’s also worthy of mention that the Borzoi possesses a beautiful, silky coat. This coat is made up of double layers, which is only natural to keep the dog warm in Russia’s harsh cold weather.

The Borzoi breed has a wide variety of coat types. This remarkable dog can have flat, wavy, or even curly hair.

As for the coat colors, you’ll find that white, black, and gray are pretty common in the Borzoi breed. Some Borzoi colors include a combination of black and white as well as white and red.

If you’re wondering about the Borzoi’s size, you should know that this dog is big!

The males can stand about 30-35 inches at the shoulder, while the females can be about 26-30 inches tall. Therefore, many people call it a giant dog.

When it comes to the average weight of a fully-grown Borzoi, it’s usually between 75-105 lbs for males and 55-85 lbs for females.

Of course, these characteristics make the Borzoi the perfect dog for cuddling. If you’re looking for a couch potato dog, this breed should fit into that description.

Plus, the Borzoi is cool with lying down all day next to you while you watch your favorite shows.

Borzoi Mixes

You’ll often come across plenty of various Borzoi mixes, which adds more uniqueness to its already beautiful appearance. The most popular of these Borzoi mixes have been bred with:

Borzoi Dog Lifespan

borzoi dog

The Borzoi has an average life expectancy of 10 years. Some dogs can live up to 12 years.

Of course, this also depends on the dog’s general health. Therefore, by properly taking care of your dog and making sure that his wellness is your top priority, he could lead a happy life by your side.

Borzoi Dog Temperament

Before you bring a Borzoi puppy home, you may want to take a look at its personality traits. Luckily for you, this unique dog has so many fantastic features that most pet owners would appreciate.

Let’s take a look at the natural characteristics of the Borzoi dog breed.


The Borzoi is generally quiet, which is one of his best features. Because this dog is a hunter, the ability to stay calm to lure out his prey has been ingrained in his personality for generations.

Therefore, you’ll find that his tendency to bark or howl is relatively low. Of course, this is good news for apartment dwellers who don’t wish to disturb their closest neighbors.

This quality will also be in favor of first-time dog owners. If you’re new to the canine world, you may not be comfortable with a dog that barks all day long.

Remarkably Sensitive

Another exceptional trait is that a Borzoi is really sensitive. Don’t be tricked by its large size and impressive physical form, this dog doesn’t endure being left alone for hours at a time.

The Borzoi treasures human companionship more than anything else and feels safer when you’re around. Therefore, getting a Borzoi puppy might not be the best idea if you’re always outside.

While some people might think that this sensitivity makes this dog vulnerable, we’re a bit reluctant to share this point of view. Because the Borzoi feels so much for her owner, you can expect to develop an unbreakable bond between you and your furry friend.

Affectionate Beyond Measure

Nothing beats the silent hug of your dog after a particularly rough day. With a Borzoi, you can get this sort of affection plus much more.

The Borzoi is incredibly loyal and loving toward his family and is especially gentle with kids. Although, a Borzoi puppy might become too excited while playing with a toddler, which could lead to accidental injuries.

Therefore, it’s best not to keep this puppy in the company of children unsupervised.

In fact, even though this unique dog enjoys the companionship of little family members, he might soon become overwhelmed. Thus, he might need some time to rest.

Gentle and Friendly

Besides all these great qualities, the Borzoi acts pretty well around strangers. If you invite your friends over every now and then, you probably won’t have to worry about your dog’s reaction in their presence.

In fact, the Borzoi’s general attitude toward strangers is friendly. Furthermore, some dogs of this breed don’t mind being petted by people they’re not familiar with. For this reason, the Borzoi might not be suitable if you’re looking for a guard dog.

Another thing that we like about the Borzoi is that it doesn’t usually have a problem with other dogs or pets in your household. As long as you make proper introductions, all your pets should be fine together.


The Borzoi is often praised for his athletic qualities, which makes him the perfect candidate for dog sports. His impressive senses were originally utilized in hunting trips, but these days, these senses can win this dog many awards.

A Borzoi can participate in a wide array of dog competitions, including:

  • Agility
  • Rally
  • Obedience
  • Lure coursing

As we’ve previously discussed, the Borzoi is a sighthound. Therefore, you can expect him to shine in the lure coursing field since it’s his area of expertise.

However, you should be careful not to let your Borzoi run loose in an open area. This dog will chase any moving object, and might have you going around in circles because of that!

Even though the Borzoi is energetic, he doesn’t require a lot of exercise or stimulation, unlike other dog breeds. You can take him for a walk or a run for 30 minutes every day, and that’s it.

Challenging to Train

The Borzoi is clever to the point of stubbornness, which gives this dog an aura of nobility and grace about him. Yet, his intelligence means that he could be a bit hard to train since he’s an independent thinker.

Not to worry, though. With patience, plenty of practice, positive training, and a huge amount of love, your dog will be able to learn a few new tricks each day.

Common Health Concerns of the Borzoi Dog

Typically, the Borzoi is a healthy dog. Yet, like any other dog breed out there, he might be prone to some illnesses that you should be aware of.

To make sure that you take home a healthy puppy, your best bet is to deal with a responsible breeder. The breeder will show you the dog’s family medical history to ensure that there isn’t a certain disease that runs in the family.

Also, the breeder will let you take a look at the parents’ health clearances. Wondering what a health clearance is?

A dog’s health clearance means that he or she has been tested and cleared of a certain health condition.

Here are a few diseases that you should see health clearances for.

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Thrombopathia

Furthermore, there are other health concerns that you need to watch for if you intend to bring a Borzoi home. These include:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Gastric torsion
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)

Our A-Z Tips on How to Take Care of Your Borzoi Puppy

Getting a Borzoi can bring a lot of joy and warmth into your household. Still, it’s a great responsibility.

For this reason, we’ve decided to help first-time Borzoi owners with a few tips to aid them on this fun journey. Let’s dive in!

borzoi dog

Make Him Feel at Home

The first thing you should know is that a Borzoi loves to feel comfortable in his new home. Therefore, you should provide him with items that give off cozy vibes such as:

It’s always a good idea to crate train your dog. A crate can resemble a shelter to your dog if he’s stressed out or looking for a place to soothe his nerves. Not to mention that being in an enclosed space is a natural instinct for dogs.

Potty Train Your Borzoi Puppy

All dog owners will tell you that house training your dog is the most important thing you should teach your little friend. Of course, it might be a bit tricky, especially that the Borzoi can be stubborn.

However, if you combine determination and faith in your dog’s intelligence, he should eventually learn all the basics.

Here are a few tips you can depend on when potty training your Borzoi puppy.

  • Take him outside every 2 hours or so
  • Always take your dog to the potty after waking up and before going to sleep
  • Don’t forget to take your puppy outside during playtime, after meals, and after drinking water
  • Build a routine until your puppy adjusts to it automatically
  • Refrain from giving your dog water about two and a half hours before bed
  • Never yell at your puppy if accidents occur
  • Use encouraging phrases and friendly tones when your dog behaves according to your desire
  • Give your puppy treats as a reward
  • Associate a specific command to this action to let your dog that it’s potty time

Introduce a Balanced, Healthy Diet

Nutrition is essential for a healthy Borzoi. If you’re dealing with a puppy, all you need to do is feed him nutritious puppy food according to the portions found on the packaging.

Yet, if you’re keeping a fully-grown Borzoi, there are other considerations that you should keep in mind. This is because each dog can be different from one another, just like us humans. Therefore, your dog’s dietary needs will rely on its behavior and habits.

For instance, the more active your dog is, the more calories he should consume. However, you should watch his weight to keep him from gaining too much weight.

On average, the Borzoi should eat up to 4-8 cups of high-quality dry food each day.

Remember, this dog breed is prone to bloat. Therefore, you must divide his daily portion into two or more small meals to avoid this condition.

When it comes to treats, make sure that you feed your dog healthy snacks. For example, you can give your dog:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Bananas

Along with a healthy diet, you should keep your Borzoi in good shape by maintaining a suitable exercise schedule. It doesn’t have to be much. Just a 20-minute walk on the beach or letting your dog run freely in a secured area should do.

Groom Your Canine Buddy Regularly

As we’ve already mentioned, the Borzoi can possess a variety of coat types and colors. To keep its beautiful coat shiny, you may want to follow these tips.

  • Brush the dog’s coat every week with a pin brush
  • Bathe your Borzoi as often as you see fit
  • Use a good dog shampoo
  • Brush his teeth daily to avoid the build-up of bacteria or bad breath
  • Trim his nails 1-2 times every month

It’s always a great idea if you associate your dog’s grooming sessions with treats and compliments. This way, they’ll feel positive about this experience and become cooperative, making your work easier.

The Borzoi dog breed tends to shed a lot of hair seasonally. During these times, make sure that you brush your dog’s coat more frequently than usual.

Take Your Little Pal to the Vet Often

Lastly, here’s a final piece of advice you might come to appreciate. Don’t forget to take your puppy or adult Borzoi to visit the vet regularly. Doing this will ensure that he remains healthy to have a happy life by your side.

Also, the vet will keep you up-to-date on your dog’s health condition, give him vaccinations when needed, and more. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Borzoi a good pet?

Yes, Borzoi is an excellent pet

Are Borzois rare?

Yes, Borzoi is considered as one the rarest breed in the world

Do Borzois get along with cats?

Borzois and cats live together peacefully in many households, and can sometimes be the best of friends.

Are Borzois smart?

Borzois has an average intelligence hence they are not much smart

Do Borzois smell?

Yes, a significant part of their lives is lived through their noses. A Borzoi’s sense of smell is between 10,000 and 100,000 times more acute than ours!

The Bottom Line

Everyone seems to agree that the Borzoi dog is one-of-a-kind. He’s got a loving personality, admirable hunting skills, and some stubbornness that harms no one.

If you decide to get a Borzoi puppy, you can expect to receive a lot of affection. Not to mention that you’ll get a loyal friend to keep you company.

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