Borzois are the best known Russian dogs and have been used there for coursing wolves since the early 17th century. A Russian duke imported several sighthounds from Arabia but they could not survive Russia's harsh winters. Second time around he crossed the hounds with native coated breeds, possibly Tartar coursing hounds or long-legged shepherd dogs. Because of their gentle temperaments and exotic appearances, they made ideal gifts from the Czars to the crowned heads of Europe and in 1903, Joseph Thomas went to Russia to find the ideal Borzoi. He came to the kennels of Artem Balderoff at Woronza and of His Royal Highness, the Grand Duke Nicholas at Tula. The dogs that Joseph Thomas imported were the basis of breeding programmes on both sides of the Atlantic. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Borzois were associated with the ruling class and many kennels of beautiful dogs were destroyed and the breed only survived thanks to the original gifts to the western world.



These tall and elegant sight hounds are pictures of grace and aristocracy. They carry their long, narrow heads with pride. Their coats are silky and of medium length with heavy feathering on the legs, undercarriages and tails. They have a long reach and a springy stride being driven from powerful hocks, giving them an apparently effortless action. Borzois are dogs of beauty and give every suggestion of power, courage and speed.


Size Large
Colour Borzois come in white, gold, red, grey, black roan and patched.
Coat Length Short Medium
Weight/Height Range The bitches' minimum height at the withers is 68cms; the dogs' 74cms. Neither gender have a height limit. Bitches will weigh around 34kgs and dogs around 41kgs.

The two most detrimental conditions facing Borzois are bloat and metabolic bone disease. They are known to be sensitive to barbiturates, flea dips and anaesthetics. Soft bedding should be provided to prevent bed sores.

Breed Classification Borzois belong to the hound group and are used as companions and seen in the show-ring. Breed societies organise coursing events for the former wolf-coursers to enter.

Feeding & Ownership


Borzois essentially complete their rapid growth period by 9 to 12 months and it is vitally important that the breeder's diet sheet is strictly followed to ensure the correct growth and formation of bones and limbs. This breed can become finicky eaters therefore it is essential they are not spoiled with treats and table scraps. Although they are big dogs, they are lightweight and therefore are not big eaters.


Food Cost More than $20
Other Expenses
They are a hardy breed therefore veterinary expenses will be minimal.



These are good-natured, proud dogs and, despite their size, very gentle and calm in the house. They do not like intrusive strangers, being rather aloof and distant. They will get on fairly well with children but do not like rough games and will not become their playmates. They will tolerate other dogs who are similarly-minded to themselves but they must be introduced to cats and other household pets at an early age as they will always react to the sight of a fleeing animal.


Intelligence Borzois are difficult to train. They are stubborn and not really prone to obedience so it is essential that training is started at a young age. Consistency and patience will work wonders!
Energy High
Suitability for Children Medium
Tendency to Bark Low
Overall Exercise Requirement Whilst Borzois are relatively quiet in the house, they do need copious amounts of exercise and large, open spaces to run and walk. However, do remember these are hounds, and they will run off after any prey that is spotted.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Low
Ease of Transportation Medium
Level of Aggression Medium
Other Animal Compatibility Low



These dogs need regular grooming and the hair between the pads must be trimmed frequently. During the moulting seasons they will cast copious amounts of hair.


Grooming Requirements More than once a week
Amount of Hair Shed Moderate

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