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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Borzoi Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits

Borzoi Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Care Guide, Temperament & Traits


The Borzoi is an elegant-looking dog. They have long heads and soft, silky hair. In stature, they resemble greyhounds with their long legs and thin build. Their elegant look made them popular subjects for artists during the early 20th century.

Breed Overview


26 to 28 inches


60 to 105 pounds


9 to 14 years


Black, cream, tan, red, sable, silver, white, blue, brown, fawn, brindle

Suitable for:

Families who are home often


Gentle, sweet, affectionate, laid back, high prey drive

Originally bred in Russia to help hunt wolves, the Borzoi spread in popularity around the world due to their excellent eyesight and speedy running ability. They can reach speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour at a sprint. Now, these quiet, friendly dogs are often found as companion animals due to their calm nature and gentle temperament.

Read on to learn more about these beautiful dogs!

Borzoi Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Borzoi Puppies

These sweet pups make wonderful pets. They used be better known as hunting dogs so be prepared to have some fun working off their energy. They are not keen on being left alone so think carefully about welcoming a Borzoi into your home if you are someone who works away from the home a lot.

Image Credit: ragnahellberg, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Borzoi

Borzoi are known as sweet and laid-back dogs. They are athletic and intelligent and can do quite well in agility courses. However, the Borzoi is a stubborn dog. Therefore, training them requires patience and persistence. They may appear frightening to people who don’t know them but are not known to be at all aggressive toward humans.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, the Borzoi is a good family dog. Their large size means they should always be watched around small children as they can become excited and accidentally knock them over. They are naturally gentle and affectionate toward their families and love nothing more than to cuddle on the couch. Borzoi do not do well when left alone for long periods. They need human companionship or will become destructive.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

While Borzoi are not aggressive, they are natural chasers. They were bred to hunt and still have that instinct. They will chase anything that moves, including smaller pets. They can get along with smaller pets such as cats if they have been raised with them. However, they should not be left unsupervised around small animals.

Borzoi dog
Image Credit: artbycharlotte, Pixabay


Things to Know When Owning a Borzoi:

Borzoi are sweet, gentle dogs, but they are not for everyone. Like all pets, they have unique needs when it comes to diet, exercise, training, grooming, and health care. Before you purchase or adopt a dog, you should do your homework to ensure you get the right pet for your family.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Borzoi are large dogs, so they need to eat more than most other dogs. However, they can be prone to bloat, so their meals should be spaced out throughout the day. Strenuous exercise should also be avoided before and after meals to reduce the risk of bloat.

A Borzoi should have anywhere between 3 and 4 cups of high-quality food every day. It is important to note that the Borzoi puppy will consume more food than the adult because of its rapid rate of growth.

Borzoi can be picky eaters, so it is best to work with your veterinarian to find a food your dog likes that will also provide them with the nutrition they need to thrive.

Exercise 🐕

Despite their speed and athletic appearance, Borzoi are not overly active dogs. Most are content with a long walk and a chance to sprint back and forth in the yard each day. As long as their basic exercise needs are met, the Borzoi is happy to relax around the house with you for the rest of the day.

When you take your Borzoi out, they should not be allowed off their leash. Their innate desire to chase everything means they will run away from you as soon as they see something interesting.

Training 🎾

The Borzoi is an intelligent dog. However, they are also very stubborn. They can learn basic obedience commands and some enjoy agility courses. However, success with either of these types of training relies on a firm, consistent, and experienced owner who knows how to keep the Borzoi’s attention from wandering.

Borzoi dog breed
Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay

They are gentle and sensitive dogs, so they do not respond well to harsh training. Positive reinforcement, usually in the form of food, can be successful. The Borzoi is also not a very good watchdog. Their size can be intimidating, but they are friendly to most people, even strangers.

Grooming ✂️

The Borzoi’s long, silky hair requires weekly brushing. You should also carefully check for any mats or tangles. It is recommended that you use a pin brush on your Borzoi’s coat to avoid damaging the fine hair. They are heavy shedders during shedding season so more frequent brushing may be required. The nice thing about their coat is it is resistant to dirt and mud. If mud dries on their coat, it will fall off when brushed.

Outside of regular brushing, the Borzoi is fairly low-maintenance. You should brush their teeth several times each week and trim their nails when they get too long.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Borzoi is generally healthy with a few serious conditions to be aware of. You should make sure you are taking your dog for regular veterinary check-ups and monitoring their health for any changes.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts and other sight conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Chemical and Anesthesia sensitivity

Minor Conditions

  • Cataracts and other sight conditions: Borzoi are known to develop vision-related problems as they get older. Regular veterinary exams can help detect these problems when they appear.

Serious Conditions

  • Bloat: The most common serious condition that can affect your Borzoi is bloat. This condition can be fatal if not treated immediately. Bloat occurs when the stomach twists and gas builds up in the stomach with no way to escape.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Like many large dogs, Borzoi are at risk of hip dysplasia. This is when the joint and socket don’t fit together properly. It can be debilitating and may require surgery.
  • Chemical and Anesthesia sensitivity: Borzoi are known to be sensitive to anesthesia and chemicals in fertilizers. Their low body fat may contribute to this sensitivity.

Male vs Female

Males are larger than females both in height and weight. The average male Borzoi can be up to 2 inches taller and up to 20 pounds heavier than the female. However, the temperament and risk of health conditions between males and females are not known to be different.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Borzoi

1. They Used to Be Known As the Russian Wolfhound

Until 1936, the Borzoi was known as the Russian wolfhound. Its name was then changed to Borzoi, which means “swift” in Russian.

2. They Have a Very Wide Field of Vision

The Borzoi was bred for spotting prey and their field of vision is well suited for it. They have a 270-degree field of vision and excellent eyesight that allows them to see small animals from far away.

3. Their Heads Take 3 Years to Grow to Their Full Size

Puppies have small heads with bent noses. As they grow, their nose straightens and their head lengthens.


Final Thoughts

The Borzoi is an interesting dog. Their large size and athleticism would make you think they are aggressive and overly active. However, the Borzoi is neither of these things. Their calm, quiet, gentle demeanor makes them a good choice for a family pet, especially in a family with older children and no small pets. They are fairly low maintenance but do want your attention and time.

If you have the time to spend with them and don’t mind a couch companion, then the Borzoi might be the perfect dog for you!

Featured Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay

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