Breed Summary

The Borzoi was originally bred for the coursing of wild game on more or less open terrain, relying on sight rather than scent. To accomplish this purpose, the Borzoi needed particular structural qualities to chase, catch and hold his quarry. Special emphasis is placed on sound running gear, muscular neck and jaws, courage and agility, combined with proper condition. The Borzoi should always possess unmistakable elegance, with flowing lines, graceful in motion or repose. Males, masculine without coarseness; bitches, feminine and refined.

Country of Origin: Russia

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 103 of 196

AKC Classification: Hound

UKC Classification: Sighthounds and Pariahs

Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 26 inches.; Male: 28 inches

Weight: Female: 60-85 lbs.; Male: 75-105 lbs.

Physical traits: Tall, Strong, Compact

Coat: Length: Medium

Characteristics: Flat, curly, wavy, silky

Colors: Any color permissible

Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Personality traits/Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Regally Dignified

Energy Level: Average

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: Low

Tendency to Dig: Low

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 9-14 years


Borzoi are healthy dogs. Their life expectancy is 9 to 14 years. Like other large and deep-chested dogs, they can experience bloat, a sudden and life-threatening stomach condition. Sighthounds, including Borzoi, are more sensitive to anaesthesia than other breeds. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential. A responsible breeder will screen breeding stock for health conditions such as elbow and hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, and progressive retinal atrophy. As with all breeds, a Borzoi’s ears should be checked regularly, and the teeth should be brushed often.


Borzoi eat less than one might assume for their size. Borzoi puppies consume more food than adults because of their rapid growth. Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. The Borzoi should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Because of the risk of bloat, strenuous exercise is not recommended before or after feeding time. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.


Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended. Exposing the puppy to positive experiences with a wide variety of people, places, and situations will help him develop into a well-adjusted adult. Borzoi are intelligent and very affectionate with their owners, but are also independent and sometimes stubborn, so training may be a challenge. Patience and consistency are key. Overall, they are usually gentle, well-mannered companions. Remember that Borzoi were bred to chase game, and any small animal that runs may trigger this response, so the breed should be on leash when on outings.


Even though Borzoi are large, they are graceful, athletic animals who make good housedogs. They need daily exercise, whether in the form of long walks or running in a securely fenced yard. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. Being sighthounds, they are apt to chase anything that moves, so they should always be in an enclosed area or on a leash. It is never advisable to allow a Borzoi to run loose. Borzoi enjoy doing activities with their owners and excel in canine sports such as agility and lure coursing.

Fun Fact

Standing at over 32 inches from feet to shoulder, the borzoi is one of the tallest sighthound breeds in existence, second only to the Irish wolfhound.


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