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We begin this article with the basic facts about the breed, then follow up with an in-depth look at their personality.

Breed group: Hounds
Weight: male: 75-105, female: 60-85 lbs
Height: male: 28, female: 26 inches

Overview

It is believed that the first Borzoi was brought to Russia from Arabia in the 1600s. The Borzoi is a stylish sight hound that was adopted by the aristocracy, and then crossed with longer haired sheepdogs. They were then used as ferocious and courageous wolf hunters, and this led to them earning the name of Russian Wolfhounds. The Russian upper class bred these dogs and also hunted with them for hundreds of years. Ultimately the Borzoi’s reputation spread throughout Europe, and Queen Victoria and many of the British aristocracy soon owned a Borzoi. These dogs became great gifts among royalty, and the Borzoi became more passive as his use as a companion dog became more.

Temperament

Borzois are sweet and intelligent dogs that are very arrogant and self aware, but they are very devoted to their family. They are rather warm with people they know well. This breed learns very easily, but their training should be based on respect. Being a sight hound, the Borzoi is extremely fast and has no territorial intuition. They can therefore not be trusted when not on a leash, unless when they are fenced in. The Borzoi gets along well with other dogs, but should not be left alone with other animals. It is advised that they are socialised well with cats and other animals at a very young age. Borzois are gracious dogs that will get along fine with children, but doesn’t like rough play.

Care

The long silky coat of the Borzoi is easy to groom. It should be brushed on a regular basis with a firm hair brush, and dry shampooed when really needed. Bathing these dogs is usually difficult seeing that they are so big, but is not needed very often. The hair between their toes should also be clipped in order to keep their feet comfortable. These dogs will shed heavily on a seasonal basis.

Training

The Borzoi is a giant breed, and will not fit well into every family. Being a sight hound, they will need regular attention and control. They require basic obedience training and socialisation from a very young age onwards. They do extremely well in agility, and will not respond positively to cruel or unkind training methods. They are fairly easy to train seeing that they like to be clean. The Borzoi needs calm and patient and consistent training combined with mutual respect.

Health problems

Borzois are very strong animals and do not have a lot of health problems to be anxious about. This breed needs good nutrition because of their size, and special attention should be paid to their diets. The Borzoi is often unpredictable with medications, but overall they are very healthy. They are vulnerable to common illnesses that dogs get but are not particularly prone to anything.

Photo by Llima