Origin: Certainty is unknown, first officially documented in Russia in 1650
Color: Black, brindle, gold, red, sable, white, silver or a mix of these
Lifespan: 9-14 years
Temperament: Refined, elegant, loyal, sweet, laidback
Great with kids
When outdoors will chase anything that moves
Not ideal watchdogs
Originally known in the US as the Russian wolfhound, Borzoi’s name translates into the word “swift”. This name change is apt as these pups can run up to 40mph.
Their exact origin is unknown, but a common rumor is a Russian royal wanted greyhounds for a hunt because of their desirable speed, but greyhounds could not survive the intense cold of Russia.
So they are thought to be a crossbreed between greyhounds and Russian sheepdogs, bred for speed and longevity in the cruel Russian winters. Borzoi are also classified as sighthounds. Their almond shaped eyes, located further out on their skulls, give them a 270-degree field of sight.
Borzoi love human companionship and are best suited to people who do not spend long periods of time away from home. They are wonderful family dogs that need lots of exercise but are not interested in rough play. They, after all are elegant and regal pups.
Liberace, Rod Stewart, Nick Nolte, Don Johnson, Bo Derek, Michael Douglas
- Borzoi is one of the possible corporeal forms a Patronus Charm can take.
- Borzoi had a quick cameo in The Hunger Games
- Because of their association with the aristocracy, Borzoi were almost completely wiped out after the Russian Revolution of 1918. They only escaped extinction because many had been given as gifts to neighboring royals.
The most common health problem with Borzoi is gastric dilation-volvulus. This can be avoided by breaking up Borzoi’s feedings throughout the day.
Other issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, heart issues, Von Willebrand’s disease, progressive retinal atrophy cataracts, and hypothyroidism. It should be noted that sighthounds are more sensitive to anesthesia due to their low body fat.
As with most long-haired dogs that frequently shed, Borzoi needs to be brushed with a pin or slicker brush several times a week. While they shed all year long there will be an increased shedding period in the summer and fall when Borzoi will need more active grooming.
Borzoi requires frequent bathing. As with all dogs, keep your pup’s nails clipped, regularly check their ears to make sure they are clean and clear of debris and brush their teeth several times a week.
Borzoi need lots of exercise. While this can be accomplished with long walks, with a minimum of an hour a day, it is ideal to have a fenced in area for your pup to run. When outside of the house it is tantamount to keep your Borzoi leashed as these pups will give chase to other animals at up to 40 mph.
Training your Borzoi may take time, consistency and patience will be key. Like all nobility, these dogs tend to be independent, making early socialization with people and other animals important if you would like you dog to enjoy the company of others.
Borzoi need 3 cups of food daily and should eat in several meals throughout the day. They have a propensity to bloat, known as gastric dilation-volvulus, which comes on suddenly and can be life-threatening because it leads to interrupted blood circulation.
A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend. Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum helm oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.