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Is the Borzoi the Right Dog Breed for You?

Is the Borzoi the Right Dog Breed for You?


Originally bred as a hunting dog in Russia, the Borzoi eventually charmed its way into royal households all across Europe. Today, it’s a beloved breed by many. Learn everything you need to know about this elegant breed here. 


Breed Snapshot: 

  • Size: Weight: 25-48 kg. Height: 27-33cm
  • Coat: Coat can appear in any canine color.
  • Energy: Medium to high energy. They require at least 30 minutes of exercise per day.
  • Lifespan: 11-15 years
  • Country of Origin: Russia
  • Breed Type: Sighthound
  • Other Names: Russian Wolfhound
  • Great Breed for: Apartment dwellers, families, homes in urban or rural settings. 


What Is a Borzoi?

The Borzoi features an elegantly sleek greyhound-like appearance and laid-back temperament. This extremely chill dog was developed as a hunting and coursing companion in Russia where it would hunt foxes and even wolves–hence, its other moniker: Russian wolfhound. This breed is popular today as a companion dog. In spite of its larger size, it’s perfectly content in apartment settings and with families. 

This former wolf hunter is surprisingly dependent given its hunting capabilities. It loves attention from its owners and is quite sensitive, so be sure to rely on positive reinforcement training to steer this dog toward best behaviors. With its sweet disposition and love for comfy sofas and beds, this dog is ideal for owners who are looking for a companion pet.  Just remember that even though this breed can be a couch potato, it will chase just about anything, so it requires leashing or a fenced yard.  


What Do Borzoi Dogs Look Like?

Borzoi dogs feature a lean body and silky coat. These dogs do shed. Their coat can be virtually any color or combination of canine colors. They sport a long narrow head and long fluffy tail. Many people describe them as ‘long-haired greyhounds,’ which is an apt description and not surprising given they are close relatives.  


What Makes the Borzoi Special?

The Borzoi is a favourite breed in many parts of the world because even though it’s a larger breed bred for coursing and hunting, it doesn’t demand a lot of exercise and its happy to live in an apartment, large house, urban or rural area so long as it can spend plenty of time relaxing with its human companions. This dog is sweet-natured and enjoys life with children.  


How Often Do I Need to Groom My Borzoi?

Borzoi dogs with their long silky coats require weekly brushing or they’re prone to tangles and matting. Because the coat is resistant to mud and dirt, it’s easy to keep this dog clean with routine brushing. These dogs are seasonal shedders and should be brushed more frequently at these times.  


How Often Should I Walk My Borzoi?

Typically, about 30 minutes of exercise daily is sufficient for the Borzoi. That said, if you can provide it with additional outdoor time, it will benefit your dog, particularly if it is indulged frequently with treats. These dogs need to be walked on a leash or allowed to play in a backyard. They will chase after small animals and aren’t likely to worry about passing cars when they’re involved in a ‘hunt.’ 


How Do I Train My Borzoi?

Borzoi dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training. They are sensitive and may become nervous with scoldings. Pet Cloud features dog training classes in blocks of six-week, one-hour sessions with registered trainers. An experienced trainer will visit your house or apartment and use positive reinforcement techniques as recommended by the RSPCA to teach your Borzoi puppy.  


Quickfire Borzoi Questions: 

Can I leave my Borzoi alone during the day?

Borzoi don’t like the idea of being alone for long periods of time. They do best when one of its human companions is at home. They can be trained to grow accustomed to their alone time, but it’s important to get them used to the schedule as soon as possible with positive training.  


Are Borzoi barkers?

Borzoi dogs are not excessive barkers. They’re too laid-back to get worked up as a rule. If they do bark, it’s usually for a good reason.  

Are Borzoi prone to health risks I should know about?

Borzoi dogs are generally healthy but they are more prone to certain conditions than others like many other dog breeds. Owners may want to keep a lookout for conditions that include: bloat (gastric dilatation volvulus), orthopedic problems, and progressive renal atrophy. Sometimes over breeding can cause a heightened risk for these conditions so always choose a reputable breeder when obtaining your purebred dog. 


Where can I get a Borzoi Dog?

If you’re open to rescuing and adopting a Borzoi dog, check with your local rescue agencies. You may be able to find a dog who simply needs the right companion and living situation. With the right setting and owners, this breed is likely to do well. Check out the RSPCA’s adoption guide to see if this is the ideal solution for you. If you want to purchase your Borzoi from a reputable breeder, use this guide for finding the right breeder from the RSPCA. 



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