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Borzoi - SaveARescue.org



  • Breed Group : HOUND
  • Origin : Russia
  • Average Height : 26" - 32"
  • Average Weight : 60 - 105 lbs.
  • Life Span : 10 - 12 years

Photo Courtesy of : Borzoi Rescue ~ Northern California

  • Size

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  • Energy

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  • Intelligence

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  • Ease of Training

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  • Hypo-Allergenic

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  • Shedding

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  • Good with Kids

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  • Good with Other Pets

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  • Guard Dog

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Borzoi Rescue Organizations

  • Few dogs are as stunningly beautiful to the eye as the Borzoi, and doubly eye-catching when paired together.
    This is a dog that moves like their floating above ground when in full stride ~ is also a powerful breed, aggressive and purposeful.

    Bred to bring down wolves, they have deadly accuracy and bred to kill. This is not a breed to turn loose around any other dogs.

    The Borzoi’s roots began with the Arabian Greyhounds, gazelle-coursing dogs of great speed that where imported into Russia by dog lovers that were welcome in Royal circles. When these breeds failed to survive in the Russian climates more were imported and bred with Russian working dogs. The result….the Borzoi we know today.

    Once known as the Russian Wolfhound, the Borzoi's dates back to 1650, when the breed was first written about in his homeland, Russia. Bred for hundreds of years by Russian royalty, the Borzoi is believed to have been developed from the early Russian Bearhound, the coursing hounds of the Tatars, and the Owtchar, a tall sheepdog.

    The hunts that the Royalty embarked upon were quite spectacular. They would involve hundreds of Borzoi, hunted in trios of one female and two males, as well as an equal number of foxhounds. The foxhounds were used to seek and flush out the prey (wolf) whereupon the huntsmen released their Borzois to run down and hold the wolf.

    Many hunts resulted in the Borzois killing the wolf, but it is also documented that Borzois also pinned the wolf until their Masters arrived who then bound and gagged the wolf, often setting the wolf free to be hunted again another day. These lavish hunting expeditions were common until 1861, when the serfs, who made up a large part of the hunting groups, were emancipated and the nobles could no longer rely on an unlimited work force.

    By 1873, the Borzoi Breed had nearly become extinct, which alarmed those who loved the breed and efforts were launched to rescue the few remaining Borzois by creating an Imperial Association to protect and promote the breed's bloodlines, standards and characteristics.
    Today many Borzoi in America can be traced to the dogs from the kennels of Imperial Association members. The association's members included Grand Duke Nicholas, the Uncle of Czar Nicholas II, and Artem Boldareff, a wealthy landowner.

    Unfortunately the Imperial Association that was formed aristocracy became very destructive. Many Borzoi were slaughtered after the Russian Revolution in 1918.

    The breed, nearing extinction, was saved once again & only because many had been given as gifts to royals in other countries, including Queen Victoria and Alexandra, Princess of Wales and exported to others in other countries who had discovered and were interested in acquiring this breed.

    The first Borzoi that arrived in the USA was named Elsie. Elsie was originally purchased in the United Kingdom Britain by William Wade from Pennsylvania. Poor Elsie wasn't much to look at apparently, she was small, light, and weedy. Later, circa 1890, another American, named C. Steadman Hanks, visited Russia brought back several Borzoi establishing “Seacroft Kennels”.

    The first Borzoi registered with the American Kennel Club was Princess Irma in 1891. In 1903, Joseph B. Thomas made three trips to Russia specifically to purchase Borzois from the Grand Duke Nicholas’ Perchino Kennels and the Woronzova Kennel of Artem Boldareff.

    The Borzoi Club of America, then known as the Russian Wolfhound Club of America, was formed in 1903.
    By1936 the Russian Wolfhound officially changed its name to Borzoi.

    Today, the standard has been maintained and there is little difference between today’s Borzoi and their ancestors developed in Russia. They remain and elegant, noble standing, poetry in motion, glamorous sighthound that was one of the great treasures of Czars of long ago.
  • • Elegant, proud and graceful.
    • Sweet dispositions.
    • Known for their speed and laidback personalities
    • Not a high-energy dog, happy to relax.
    • Has a mind of their own, can be stubborn and hard to train.
    • Not a good choice for people who have to leave their dog alone for long stretches of time every day.
    • Heavy shedder.
    • As a Sighthound they will chase and kill pets and animals.
    • Can be sensitive to drugs due to their lack of body fat.
    • Can be fussy eaters and prone to bloat.
    • Can be nervous around children and not good with toddlers.
    • Not good with other pets.


    When it comes to temperament, you will find the Borzoi to be an amazing animal. They are very smart dogs and at the same time are very affectionate to their owners. You will enjoy a dog that is very aware of his family and very much willing to protect them. They are loyal animals to their owners. Being that these dogs are hounds there can be a bit of the characteristics of those dogs which includes having their own free will. In some situations, they will not be good for training because of this feature.

    A feature that many enjoy about the Borzoi is just how "good" they can be. They are quiet, self taking care of animals. They prefer to be clean and will help to make that happen on their own. In addition, they are not loud animals and often are happy to be quietly sitting in the background.

    Take them outdoors, though and you have another story. Because they are sign dogs they are very much well built animals as well. That means that they are fast and they will explore whatever and wherever they feel like. They are hard to train in terms of property boundaries because of this.

    To bring the Borzoi into your home, you should take the time to socialize them with others as well as with children and smaller animals, especially cats. They are territorial and will protect what they feel is their own property. More so, outdoors they are likely to chase after animals and are likely to get their prey for their fast build. If you have younger children or small animals in the home, do expose them to the Borzoi carefully and when the Borzoi is a young dog to help them to grow up knowing that these housemates are okay. In addition, these dogs often like to be resting not playing hard with children.

    Health Problems

    The Borzoi is a very strong animal and often does not have a lot of Health Problems to worry about. You may find that they are very demanding of a healthy Diet though. They require good nutrition because of their size and the importance of keeping up with their very strong muscles, intense speed and their bone structure. If you are looking to care for this dog, pay special attention to his Diet.

    Along with this fact is the fact that the Borzoi can also be a very picky eater. They are not often likely to turn away food but they want and often demand quality. You will find that they can also become bloated which can leave them uninterested in playing or daily activities.

    You will need to feed your Borzoi often. Instead of one or two larger meals, the Borzoi needs to be given several smaller meals throughout the day. This will help with digestion and with keeping from becoming uneasy throughout the day. The dog will want to rest and often nap after he eats so do not plan on a lot of playing at this time. Give him time to nap.

    In terms of other Health conditions, Borzoi are often temperamental with medications. You will find that overall they are healthy animals. They are susceptible to common illnesses that dogs get but are not especially prone to anything. What's more, they do require vaccines like other dogs do to remain healthy.


    Taking care of your Borzoi will not be as difficult as you think. That is because the Borzoi is a dog that likes to remain clean and healthy. He will do much of his own grooming, which is a good thing for owners! Nevertheless, you do need to pay attention to your Borzoi yourself. They have a long coat that requires a good brushing. Purchase a good quality bristle brush to brush them with and do this at least weekly much more often when able to.

    Because they do take good care of themselves, for the most part, it is likely that you will be able to bath them very infrequently. You can also use dry shampoos on these dogs when you feel the need to as a wet batch can be hard with a large dog like the Borzoi is.

    Another important part of caring for your Borzoi is to pay attention to their feet. The hair between their toes needs to be trimmed and they need this taken care of so that they do not have painful feet!

    Unfortunately, the Borzoi is a heavy shedder which means that brushing them will help to keep the coat off of your home.


    The Borzoi is a dog that does require play time. They are large animals that often need to be running and playing. In fact, it is necessary to provide this to your dog even when the dog is in a smaller sized area. In order to stay healthy, the Borzoi requires enough room to run. You will need to provide them with some exercise as it is required for their body structure to remain fit. They are mostly muscle under their coat which means exercise to stay fit and healthy.

    If you can not find the room to allow the pet to run, you may want to consider taking on a new hobby, such as jogging or running. They will love to accompany you on your runs and are often likely to enjoy the bike too. A fenced in yard is the very best area for the dogs but you can also find much enjoyment with taking them to the park.

    When exercising your Borzoi, you should take note in the fact that they are more than likely to take off in one direction or the other, making them very much dogs that need to be watched in any situation.


    One of the most difficult things to take in about the Borzoi is just how difficult it can be to train them. You can train them because they are very intelligent animals and they are well known for their talents in the world of hunting. Yet, they are hounds and for that they are often considered to be hard to train for their free spirit and their own mind.

    While they are very loyal to their families, they are also very much not willing to please their owners as much as taking the time to meet their own goals and demands. If you are to train them, you do need to use positive training methods. Often, the best methods revolve around building a trust between the trainer and the dog itself before they will begin to listen and do as commanded to do.

    Training can be done in a home by the owner or through specialized services. Your goal should be to find a way to get your Borzoi to work with you in terms of training rather than to attempt to discipline them for not interacting with you the way that you want to.

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