The aristocratic Borzoi, one of the most stunningly attractive dogs, is cherished for his placid, amiable disposition. He is a royal package of power, grace, and glitz flying by at 35 to 40 miles per hour when he is in full stride. Large and sophisticated sight hounds are borzoi. A mature adult is 75 to 105 pounds in weight and at least 28 inches tall at the shoulder. Females will be more petite. Under the opulent silken coat, the Borzoi is built using the classic Greyhound design. The Borzoi, sometimes referred to as the Russian wolfhound, were designed to be quick and hardy enough to chase and pin their fierce lupine prey. They can be recalcitrant in their silent, cat-like nature, so training is best done with persistence, patience, and a sense of humor.
In this ultimate guide to Borzoi, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this breed, from their appearance to their personality, training, and health.
What is a Borzoi?
In Russia, the Borzoi dog breed was created as a coursing and hunting dog. These hounds pursued rabbits, foxes, and wolves in groups of three. They later gained acceptance as royal companions throughout continental Europe.
Despite being purebred canines, you might find them at shelters or with rescue organisations. If this breed is the one for you, think about adoption.
Despite their great size, borzois are calm family dogs that can easily adapt to flat life. However, they struggle when left alone for long stretches of time during the day. This delicate breed need company. Their stunning coat loses a lot and needs some upkeep on your part. With a Borzoi, you’ll get a fantastic couch potato companion, but you’ll still need to put in some work to match the breed’s requirements.
Origin and History of Borzoi
The first breed standard for the Borzoi, formerly known as the Russian Wolfhound, was drafted in his native Russia in 1650, marking the beginning of the breed’s recorded history. The Borzoi is thought to have originated from the early Russian bearhound, Tatar coursing hounds, and the Owtchar, a tall sheepdog. It was bred for hundreds of years by Russian nobility.
The nobility’ hunts were quite a spectacle. They may consist of over a hundred Borzoi, which were trained to hunt in pairs of one female and two males, as well as an equivalent number of foxhounds to flush and find the prey. The huntsmen let loose their dogs to catch, pin, and keep the wolf once it was seen. The huntsmen would ceremoniously bind and gag the wolf before occasionally releasing it to be pursued once more the following day. Until 1861, when the serfs were freed and the aristocrats could no longer rely on an endless work supply, these opulent hunting journeys were frequent.
Few Borzoi were still around by 1873, which alarmed individuals who valued the breed’s beauty and speed. To preserve and advance the traits of the breed, Russian fanciers founded the Imperial Association, and many American Borzoi can be identified by their bloodlines by visiting the kennels of Imperial Association members. Grand Duke Nicholas, the nephew of Czar Nicholas II, and wealthy landowner Artem Boldareff were among the group’s members.
Sadly, this connection to the nobility proved fatal. As a result, several Borzoi were massacred following the Russian Revolution in 1918. Only because several had been imported by enthusiasts or given as presents to royalty in other nations, such as Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales, was the breed spared.
The first Borzoi known to have been brought to the United States was Elsie, which a Pennsylvanian named William Wade had bought from Britain. Elsie was evidently not very attractive because she was described as “small, light, and weedy.” When C. Steadman Hanks visited Russia in the 1890s, he brought back Borzoi from their native country to start his Seacroft Kennels.
Princess Irma was the first Borzoi to register with the American Kennel Club in 1891. By making three trips to Russia in 1903 to buy puppies from the Woronzova Kennel of Artem Boldareff and the Perchino Kennel of Grand Duke Nicholas, Joseph B. Thomas helped develop the breed in America. In the same year, the Russian Wolfhound Club of America—currently known as the Borzoi Club of America—was established.
The Russian Wolfhound breed’s name was changed to Borzoi in 1936. The Borzoi in your living room and his ancestors in Mother Russia today are remarkably similar. He continues to be the same tall, beautiful sight hound that was one of Czarist Russia’s greatest treasures.
Among the 155 breeds and varieties that the AKC has registered, the Borzoi is ranked 96th.
Appearance and Size
The easiest way to describe a borzoi is as a giant greyhound with a long, silky coat. It features long, slender legs, a somewhat small body, a deep chest, a tucked tummy, an arched loin, and a long tail, just like a regular greyhound. He has a remarkably long and narrow head.
Males weigh 75 to 105 pounds and have a shoulder height of at least 28 inches. Females weigh between 55 and 85 pounds and are at least 26 inches tall.
Coat and Grooming Needs
The long, silky coat of the Borzoi can be flat, wavy, curly, and come in any colour or combination of colours. The neck is adorned with a thick, curling frill, while the head, ears, and front legs are all covered in short, smooth hair. The tail and back are covered in thick feathering. The hair’s lovely, silky texture is mud- and dirt-resistant, making cleaning up a breeze.
Weekly pin brushing of your Borzoi’s coat is recommended. Make sure to get rid of any matting from the area between the legs and behind the ears. Use a wire slicker brush sparingly since it can damage the coat. Due to their tendency to shed heavily during certain seasons, borzoi may require more frequent brushing. Shower him as necessary.
In order to get rid of tartar formation and the bacteria that lie inside it, brush your Borzoi’s teeth at least twice or three times every week. Even better than twice-daily brushing is prevention of foul breath and gum disease.
Once or twice a month, trim your nails. They are too lengthy if you can hear them clicking on the floor. Short, well trimmed nails keep the feet in good condition and prevent scratches on your shins when your Borzoi jumps up to welcome you with enthusiasm.
As soon as your Borzoi puppy is old enough, start exposing him to brushing and examinations. Dogs are sensitive when it comes to their feet, so handle his paws frequently and examine his lips and ears. Lay the framework for simple veterinarian checks and other handling when he’s an adult by making grooming a rewarding experience full with praise and rewards.
Personality and Temperament
The kind-hearted Borzoi temperament can be anything from solemn and regal to comical. The Borzoi makes a calm, sensible, and wise friend. He doesn’t like to spend a lot of time alone. He can be distant or amiable towards strangers. He is generally outgoing and trusting of others. Despite his laid-back personality, the Borzoi isn’t particularly simple to train. He has a tendency to be stubborn and is a free thinker. Last but not least, the Borzoi needs to know that he is cherished, taken care of, and will never be in danger.
Numerous elements, including training, socialization, and inheritance, have an impact on temperament. Puppies with good dispositions are interested and playful, approachable, and want to be cuddled. Select a puppy that is in the midst of the pack rather than one that is bullying its littermates or cowering in a corner. Always meet at least one parent to make sure they are pleasant and comfortable around you. Usually, the mother is the one who is available. It’s also beneficial to meet the parents’ siblings or other family members to get a sense of what the puppy will be like as an adult.
Like all dogs, Borzoi requires early socialization in their early years, which involves exposing them to a variety of people, sights, noises, and experiences. In order to ensure that your Borzoi puppy develops into a well-rounded dog, socialization is important. He should start by enrolling in a kindergarten class for puppies. Regularly hosting guests, taking him to crowded parks, dog-friendly shops, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will all help him hone his social skills.
Training and Exercise Needs
It is advised to take puppy training sessions as well as early socialization. The puppy will grow into a well-adjusted adult if he is exposed to favorable encounters with a diversity of people, places, and situations. Training a borzoi can be difficult since they are independent and occasionally stubborn, but they are also intelligent and highly affectionate with their owners. The trick is to be persistent and patient. They are often friendly, well-behaved companions. When going on walks, keep in mind that Borzoi were raised to chase game, and any tiny animal that runs may cause this response.
Despite their size, Borzoi are graceful, athletic dogs who make wonderful housedogs. Whether it’s through long walks or jogging in a safely fenced yard, they do require daily exercise. They should always be in a confined space or on a leash because sighthounds are known to chase everything that moves. It is never a good idea to let a Borzoi roam free. Borzoi thrive in canine sports like agility and lure coursing and love engaging in activities with their owners.
Borzoi Puppies for Sale
If you’re ready to start your search for a Borzoi puppy, there are several places you can look.
A breeder is one of the most well-liked places to look for a Pomeranian-poodle mix puppy for sale. Do your research and locate a reputable breeder who is concerned about the health and welfare of their puppies. A reputable breeder will let you meet the puppy’s parents and will provide you copies of any certifications and health documents.
Borzoi puppies may be available for purchase in some pet stores, but it’s important to exercise caution when doing so. Puppies are frequently purchased by pet shops from puppy mills, where the animals are frequently mistreated and maintained in subpar conditions. If you decide to purchase from a pet shop, be sure to enquire about the puppy’s lineage and medical history.
A wonderful approach to offer a furry buddy a second chance in life is to adopt a Borzoi puppy. Ask if there are any Borzoi pups up for adoption at your neighborhood animal shelter or rescue group.
Training Tips for Borzoi
They are intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train with positive reinforcement techniques. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when training your Borzoi:
- As soon as you bring your Borzoi home, begin training them. The key is consistency, and early norms and boundary setting are crucial. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and treats, to encourage good behavior. Avoid using punishment or negative reinforcement, which can cause fear and anxiety in your dog.
- Training sessions should be brief, frequent, and singularly focused on one instruction or behavior. This will lessen the likelihood of your Borzoi getting overwhelmed or bored.
- Expose your Pomeranian poodle mix to a range of people, environments, and situations to help socialize them. They will feel more at ease and certain in unfamiliar circumstances as a result.
- Practice consistency and patience, and keep in mind that training is a lifelong process. Your Borzoi can learn to be a well-mannered and obedient pet with practise and patience.
Common Health Problems
Although Borzoi are typically healthy dogs, a professional breeder would check breeding stock for diseases including osteochondritis dissecans, progressive retinal atrophy, and elbow and hip dysplasia. They are susceptible to bloat, a sudden and potentially fatal gastrointestinal disease, like other big, deep-chested dogs. Owners should get knowledgeable about the indications that indicate something is happening and what to do in that case. The Borzoi is one kind of sighthound that is more susceptible to anaesthesia than other breeds. A Borzoi’s ears should be checked frequently, as with all breeds, and its teeth should be brushed frequently.
Tests for Health the National Breed Club Recommends:
- Thyroid Evaluation
- Degenerative Myelopathy DNA Test
- Cardiac Exam
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
Choosing the Right Borzoi for You
If you’re interested in getting a Borzoi, it’s important to choose the right dog for your lifestyle and personality. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a Borzoi:
• Take into account your living situation: They may adapt and thrive in smaller homes or apartments, but they do need daily exercise and mental stimulation.
• Consider your degree of activity: They have moderate exercise requirements and love going for walks and playing. A Borzoi might not be the greatest choice if you’re searching for a dog to go on walks with you or runs with you.
• Pick a trustworthy breeder: Doing business with a trustworthy breeder can help to ensure that your Borzoi is healthy and socialized. Avoid purchasing from pet shops or internet marketplaces as these places frequently use subpar breeding techniques.
• Spend time with the puppy before adopting: By getting to know the puppy in advance of taking them home, you can decide whether they are a suitable fit for your family and way of life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why are Borzois so rare?
Borzois were rarely let out of Russia and so were nearly made extinct during the Russian revolution. During that time they were killed on mass because of their association with the aristocracy. By the 1940s there were sparse pockets of Borzoi in America, England and Russia, but they were dwindling fast.
Why do Borzois not live long?
The most common health issue for Borzoi is bloat, which can develop into the life-threatening condition gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). This occurs when the stomach fills with gas, food, and fluid, and then twists, cutting off the blood supply.
Are Borzoi dogs expensive?
The Borzoi price from a breeder can range around $1800 – $2000. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the price of a Borzoi puppy can also change according to the gender of the puppy. Male Borzoi are typically more expensive than females.
Is Borzoi a friendly dog?
Borzoi are intelligent and very affectionate with their owners, but are also independent and sometimes stubborn, so training may be a challenge. Patience and consistency are key. Overall they are usually gentle, well-mannered companions.
What is the size of a female Borzoi?
Although smaller than an Irish wolfhound, borzoi are still very large, and especially tall, dogs. The males are at least 28 inches tall, and females at least 26 inches.