The Borzoi

Quick Facts

- Best for experienced owners
- Best with older children
- Good with other household dogs
- Large-giant size
- Medium exercise needs
- Medium shedding
- Medium guard dog abilities
- Low ease of training

The Borzoi is also known as the Russian Wolfhound. Their ancestors can be traced back to 17th century Russia. They were once owned by Russian Nobles who used them to hunt wolves, hare and fox over open terrain as they followed along on horseback. The Borzoi is a sighthound which means they hunt be sight, not scent and are capable of short bursts of high speeds which they use to run down their prey. Today, the Borzoi is most often seen as a companion dog, but some places in the United States use them to hunt coyotes.

With their family and close friends, the Borzoi is sweet and loving, with those they do not know well they are aloof, even suspicious. Unlike many of the Sighthounds, Borzoi do have a protective side and make a fine home guardian. They are intelligent dogs, but also stubborn and independent, training can take time. They are best suited for an experienced owner. They do not respond well to forced, harsh or repetitive training. Positive reward focused techniques work best, with lots of kind understanding and strict consistency.

Borzoi are not extremely demonstrative dogs and are not ones to hang on their owners every word or dote endlessly on them. They are stalwart dogs, loyal and dependable, a calm quiet friend. They are best suited for homes with no children or older children as they are not always the most patient with the roughhousing of youngsters and can snap if teased or pushed too far.

Typical of a sighthound, they are not trustworthy around small animals, like rabbits and rodents and some are not safe around cats either. They are usually good with other household dogs and some can be fine with household cats when they are raised with them. Many Borzoi are aggressive with strange dogs. Due to their hunting heritage they should not be allowed off lead outside a safely enclosed area as they are independent chasers and may take off in pursuit, and hurt neighbourhood cats, squirrels and livestock. They can hit speeds of 50 Kilometres per hour.

Borzoi are active athletic dogs that were bred to chase down game, they need at least an hour or two of exercise daily to keep them fit and happy, preferably with some running time. As adults they make excellent jogging and bicycling companions and usually enjoy participating in agility and obedience trials, lure coursing, flyball and scent hurdles.

Appearance and Grooming:
The Borzoi is a graceful elegant dog built for speed, with a noble aristocratic bearing. They measure 27-31 inches at their withers and weigh between 75-105 pounds when full grown. Their coat comes in white with lemon, tan, grey or black and requires grooming twice a week to keep them neat and tidy. They are average shedders.

The Borzoi is generally a healthy breed prone to minimal health issues. PRA and Osteocondritis Dissecans are occasionally seen. Perspective owners are best to buy from a breeder that offers puppies from CERF registered parents. Due to their large size and deep chest they are also prone to bloat. To help prevent bloat, it is best to feed several small meals daily instead of one large, and to with hold food and water an hour before and after eating. Like all sighthounds, they are extremely sensitive to many medications and should only be given them in an emergency.


Located in: Sighthounds