The Borzoi is a breed of Russian origin, which this comes as no surprise given their very aristocratic look. These beautiful dogs descend from the ancient Greyhound and it is quite apparent in their lithe and graceful construction.

Though quite dignified and noble, the Borzoi can be a great family companion, though perhaps not for young children, as these dogs prefer gentler playtime. Read on to learn more about the Borzoi.

Description of the Borzoi

The Borzoi is a sight hound with specific breeding to hunt rabbits, foxes, and wolves. Indeed, the hunting of wolves in Russia was such an important pastime that this breed hunting has been immortalized in Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”

But whether in pursuit of prey or a ball, the sight of a Borzoi running is truly a thing of beauty. These dogs can move at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour! In fact, their name comes from the Russian word borzyi, which means “swift.” Their incredibly lean frame is even more dramatic by their long limbs and narrow faces.

The coat of the Borzoi is what makes these dogs especially unique. Unlike other Greyhounds, this breed has a long and silky coat that is either flat or curly. They come in all colors and combinations, making for some truly exceptional looking dogs.

Life Expectancy and Size

Most Borzois are quite healthy and live an average of 9 – 14 years. Working with a reputable breeder can help ensure you get the healthiest puppy possible

Though they appear quite thin, these dogs are incredibly muscular and are not as light as they may look. Males stand 28 inches or taller and weigh 75 – 105 pounds; and females stand 26 inches or higher and weigh 60 – 85 pounds.

Protective Ability

The dignified Borzoi is often a quiet and reserved breed. Whether they alert you to strangers or not is more dependent on each specific dog. They are often friendly towards strangers, so perhaps not the best breed if you are looking for a watchdog or guard dog.


The requires a good deal of patience and consistency when it comes to training. Finding something that motivates your dog is a great way to make training session more fun and effective.

Positive rewards-based methods are the best way forward with this breed. They are smart and know that their good behavior should be worth something. Treats, games, or a chance to play with their favorite toys are all great ways to motivate your Borzoi.

Early socialization is also important for this breed. They tend to be reserved, so exposing them to many different types of situations will help them grow up to be well-mannered and open dogs.

Energy Level

Though hunters, the Borzoi is one of the less active of the hounds. But their long legs are perfect for runners or hikers. They do enjoy a few good walks a day and love to be active with their families.

But most Borzois are happy to spend a good chunk of the day inside with their families and can be great companions for less active individuals.

What Living with a Borzoi is Like

This is a noble breed. The Borzoi loves his family and can do well with older children and dogs he has been raised with. These regal dogs are affectionate and enjoy a quieter lifestyle.

Active and sedentary families alike can find a great pet in the Borzoi. These dogs are capable of running long distances but also enjoy lounging around the house. Just be sure to provide them with at least some form of daily exercise so they stay fit.

Care of the Borzoi

The Borzoi is quite adaptable. As long as they get enough daily interaction and exercise they are happy living anywhere.

Environmental Needs

Unlike their Greyhound cousins, the Borzoi has a silky coat that does offer some protection from the cold. But these dogs can also adapt to the heat and really don’t have any specific environmental needs.

Exercise Needs

Moderate daily exercise is enough to keep the Borzoi fit and healthy. But this is a baseline and your dog is often more than happy accompanying you on larger adventures. Whether long walks, backyard playtime, or some other form of exercise, the Borzoi is happy so long as he is with you.

Shedding and Grooming

The long and silky coat of the Borzoi does shed but doesn’t require too much maintenance to keep it looking its best. A brush through every day or two will keep your dog’s coat clean and mat free. These dogs go through a big shed once a year so expect to be doing more maintenance at this time.

This breed sheds frequently

Always keep your dog’s nails trimmed and his ears clean to prevent discomfort or infections. Regular bathing will also help keep your dog clean and keep his coat healthy.

Ideal Home Environment

The Borzoi is an affectionate dog that does well in any home where he has enough attention. These dogs love to be a part of a family, but prefer one that is calmer. A home with a fenced in backyard is also a plus for this prey-oriented breed.

The Borzoi can have health issues that may be costly or time consuming to deal with.

Health Concerns

Genetic issues are common in this breed. Hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochronditis dissecans, and progressive retinal atrophy can occur in the Borzoi. Working with a reputable breeder can help prevent these problems, but regular checkups are a must to catch, treat, or prevent anything that may happen to your dog.

Behavior Problems

Separation anxiety can happen to the Borzoi. Proper socialization and plenty of daily interaction can help prevent your dog from developing this crippling problem.

These dogs are also very prey driven and will be quick to follow anything furry that moves. Keeping them fenced in or on leash will help prevent your dog from wandering off.