Borzoi was created by the aristocracy of Russia. Also known as the Russian Wolfhound, as a sporting yet serious hunter who was prized for speed and courage. The first breed standard is known to have been created in 1650, but at that writing, the breed had already existed for two to three centuries.
The Borzoi is a tall dog, standing 26 to 32 inches and weighing 60 to 110 pounds. She has a long, narrow head with dark eyes and strong jaws. She has a runner’s body, long and narrow, with a deep chest and a long feathered tail that acts as a rudder when she runs. Her legs are strong and feathered. Her coat is of medium length, silky, and can be any color.
Use a pin brush to groom the Borzoi dog breed; a slicker brush can damage the coat. Borzoi should be brushed two to three times weekly. Borzoi adults are calm in the house, although puppies can be more active. Twice-daily walks and a chance to run will be enough exercise for this breed.
Being sighthounds, the Borzois are apt to chase anything that moves. They should always be in a fenced area or on a leash. It is never advisable to allow a Borzoi to run loose. Training a Borzoi can sometimes be a challenge. Although these dogs are sweet and sensitive, they can also be independent and a touch stubborn. Training should be structured yet fun and positive. Avoid too much repetition. The trainer must also be very patient. If you want a quick-learning, compliant dog, do not get a Borzoi.
This breed enjoys lure coursing, and many have made excellent therapy dogs. Borzoi are elegant, attractive, fun dogs and can be wonderful pets for those who understand sighthounds. If raised with children, they can be very good with them. They should never be trusted with smaller pets, as they are instinctive hunters and will chase and catch anything that runs. Health concerns include bloat, torsion, and hip and shoulder dysplasia.
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Possessed of a quiet dignity and independence, the Borzoi is sometimes compared to a cat.
Once past the puppy stage, he is calm and quiet indoors, gliding through the living room with light-footed grace.
Off-leash, though, he explodes into a powerful, driving, floating gallop. The space where he is loosed to run must be safe and enclosed, else he will be out of sight in seconds. Breeders say the leading cause of death in Borzoi is being hit by a car.
Most Borzois are polite but reserved with strangers. Because of their great size and strength, they require early socialization to avoid either shyness or aggression.
Usually sociable with other dogs of their own size, the Borzoi is a deadly serious chaser of anything that runs, including cats and tiny dogs.
Like all sighthounds, Borzoi are independent and not inclined to obey slavishly.
Though usually sweet and docile, they can be touch-sensitive and may react with lightning reflexes if grabbed unexpectedly or startled. This is a not a breed to be taken lightly or teased.