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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Borzoi Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 26" - 32"
  • Weight
  • 60-110 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

Russian wolfhound


Although its ancestors may have come from Arabia, the Borzoi was created in Russia.

Date Of Origin

Some say the Borzoi was imported to Russia in 1600. Others believe that it has been known in Russia since the thirteenth century.


Coursing hounds of this type have been known in Russia since the thirteenth century. It is probably a descendant of the bearhound of early Russia, the coursing hounds of the Tatars, and the ovcharkas, among others. It was used by the Russian aristocracy to hunt wolves and was rarely bought or sold, almost given or received as a gift. The breed was almost wiped out during the Bolshevik Revolution because it was associated with the ruling class. A few dogs were saved and exported to Great Britain and North America, where breeding programs were established.


The Borzoi is a large, slender dog that is graceful and strong. It has an arched, powerful neck; narrow forequarters; and a deep, narrow chest. The skull is domed and narrow with a roman nose. The jaws are long and powerful and the eyes are large and dark. The nose is black and large and the ears are small ans semi-erect. It has large hare feet and a long, feathered, curved tail. The coat is silky and long and can be flat, wavy or curly, with a neck frill and feathering on the hindquarters and tail, chest and the back of the forelegs. It can be any color or combination of colors.


The Borzoi is affectionate with its family, but is also stubborn and independent. It has a high prey drive and tends to be a runner. It gets along with children, if well socialized but is not trustworthy with small animals.


This breed was once a ferocious hunter of wolves. In the 19th century it became a companion of the nobles due to its distinguished looks. Today the borzoi is losing its interest and aptitude for hunting, it has become a gentle and amiable companion.

Health Concerns

Bloat, Hip and shoulder dysplasia, OCD, PRA

Additional Information

The Borzoi requires a dog-experienced active individual or family in a suburban or rural home. They require more exercise than most breeds.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

The All Breed Dog Grooming Guide

Publisher: Aaronco, 2002

Website: http://www.aaroncopet.com

Author: Sam Kohl

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