The Borzoi is a calm, gentle, and graceful dog breed that is relatively easy to care for. These dogs are independent and are not overly needy or demanding of their owners.
Borzoi (singular and plural) are intelligent, making them quick learners. However, their large size can make them seem intimidating to some people.
In reality, the dogs make a good family pet and have a great sense of humor.
If you decide to adopt a Borzoi, involve them in plenty of activities that allow them to run and stretch their long legs.
Keep reading to learn more about this intriguing dog breed.
The Borzoi is a Russian dog breed created in the 17th century. The dog is a cross between an Arabian greyhound and a thick-coated, Russian breed like the hounds of the Tatars and Owtchar, a sheepdog breed.
Known as a Russian Wolfhound until 1936, the Russian aristocracy first bred the dogs for hundreds of years.
Unfortunately, during and after the Russian Revolution (1917-1923), the dogs were killed because of their association with Russian royalty.
Some dogs survived in remote villages and farms across the vast country.
Constantin Esmont, a Soviet soldier, encountered these dogs in the 1940s and was impressed by what he saw. He photographically recorded them and eventually persuaded Soviet authorities that the Borzoi was worth saving.
Although few dogs left Russia during the Soviet era, enough had been sent to the west before the Russian Revolution to sustain a decent population.
The first Borzoi known to have left Russia, for example, was a pair given to Queen Victoria. Prince Edward (later King) was also given a pair that produced puppies later shown at British dog shows.
His wife, Queen Alexandra, kept and bred several Borzoi, called Russian Wolfhounds until 1936.
The first Borzoi came to the United States from England in the 1880s.
The Borzoi is a regal sighthound known for its luxurious silky double coat. That long, silky hair can be flat, curly, or wavy.
Be warned, the dogs shed. Regular brushing and bathing will keep the dog looking its best.
The dogs are big. Males stand at least 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 105 pounds. Females are typically smaller.
The dogs live longer than many large breeds and have an average life expectancy of nine to 14 years.
Although the Borzoi typically is calm, the dogs can be independent and stubborn. Be patient and consistent with training for the best results.
Early socialization is key to raising successful Borzoi puppies that become calm, well-adjusted adults.
Because the dogs are natural hunters, they have a high prey drive and will chase smaller animals.
Feeding your Borzoi
Borzois are relatively light eaters, especially when compared to their large size.
Puppies, however, need to consume more food than adults due to their rapid growth.
The best diet for a Borzoi is a high-quality dog food appropriate for the dog’s age that is either commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval.
Because of the risk of bloat, avoid strenuous exercise before or after feeding your Borzoi.
Common health issues
Borzoi dogs are usually healthy, but it’s important that breeders screen the dogs for health conditions including elbow and hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, and progressive retinal atrophy.
Brush your Borzoi’s teeth daily and regularly check its floppy ears to ensure it’s not developing an ear infection.
Like other large dogs with deep chests, they can experience bloat, a sudden and potentially deadly stomach condition. If you own a Borzoi, it’s important to educate yourself on the symptoms of bloat and what to do if your dog experiences them.
Sighthounds like Borzois also are more sensitive to anesthesia than other breeds.
Bottomline: Should you get a Borzoi puppy?
The Borzoi makes a wonderful pet for first-time dog owners because the dogs are relatively easy to care for.
Regular grooming, including brushing teeth and hair, is important for keeping your Borzoi healthy and happy.
Early socialization is also key to helping your Borzoi puppy grow into a well-adjusted adult dog.