Life span: 7-10 Years
Height: 76cm (Male); 66cm (Female)
Weight: 55-105 pounds
This proud breed sheds a lot and needs plenty of human companionship, although not attention, meaning they cannot be left alone for long periods of time but do not enjoy cuddling either. They are stubborn and highly energetic, but also loving and loyal.
The Borzoi’s long body is slender and curved, with a big chest. Its tail is long and rests down, its ears are small and fall down. Its eyes are brown with a black nose. Their coat is long and thick, and it can either be wavy, curly or straight, always retaining a silky appearance. It is soft to the touch and can be black, grey, white, red, brown, light brown, or cream colored.
Their history goes as far back as the 17th century, originating in Russia, where it was crossbred with a Russian Sheepdog and the Arabian Greyhound, originally named the Russian Wolfhound. Bred to hunt, this dog was mainly used by aristocrats, making hunting a national sport. In 1650, the breed standards for this dog were set, and in 1917, during the Russian Revolution, this dog nearly became extinct since many of them were seen as representations for the czars and, therefore being killed. From the 1920s to the 1940s, these dogs were considered elegant and became very famous. Their popularity led them to starring in various movies and being in magazine covers throughout the years. It became a member of the American Kennel Club’s Hound group, and in 1936 its name was changed to the Borzoi.
This breed is known for being smart and highly energetic. They need daily exercise and variation to prevent them from becoming bored. They are fast runners and can live in apartments as long as they get the exercise they need. Usually, the Borzoi is quiet within the household, and will rarely bark. They do have a tendency to chase small animals or children, and must never be left off a leash when going outside, as well as having a fenced yard. When they begin a chase, nothing will distract them from it, and may get hurt by cars.
Although generally healthy, this breed may suffer from:
Osteochondritis Dissecans, in which the cartilage does not grow properly in the joints, causing pain and stiffness. It is usually seen on the elbows and shoulders.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.
Even when it is not shedding, the Borzoi need brushing every two days, but during shedding season, brushing will have to be done daily. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as its teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are highly energetic and need daily exercise, always on a leash, as well as the yard remaining fenced. Training may be difficult, as they are quite stubborn and independent, but with positive reinforcement and patience it can be achieved. Early socialization and training are very important for this breed.