Complete Guide To The Borzoi: Personality, Exercise, Health and More

An unusual, elegant, and beautiful breed of dog, the Borzoi exudes confidence and royalty with its every, majestic step. This dog was originally bred as a sighthound and is strong and athletic in the breed’s modern-day iteration. The Borzoi can be quiet and stubborn but ultimately is an affectionate and perfect dog to add to any sized family.  

How Big Does A Borzoi Get?

Male28″ and higher at the shoulder75-105 lbs
Female26″ – 28″ at the shoulder60-85 lbs

What Does A Borzoi Look Like?

The trademark look of the Borzoi, with its athletic build and slender design, is highlighted by a long and silky fur coat. The fur can be curly, wavy, or flat. The fur around the head, front legs, and ears is usually shorty, while the hair on the neck, tail, and rear is long and feathered.

This dog can come in several color combinations, which can include white, gray, black, brown, or any combination of these colors. The dog has very little body fat, has a slender and narrow head ideal for chasing, and is tall and lean.

What Is The Personality Of A Borzoi?

This dog exudes elegance and demands respect and often moves in ways that mimic felines. The dog, however, can be stubborn so that training can be a challenge. Keep training sessions short and entertaining, using solid and consistent commands. Always use plenty of praise and reward for a job well done.  

The Borzoi is gentle and well-mannered. It is affectionate toward people, as well as other animals. This breed was designed for hunting and chasing small game, so be cautious of any small, quick-moving animals in the home that could cause your Borzoi to react. Although this dog has a sense of humor, it may not take well to roughhousing and play, preferring to romp around on its own accord.  

How Much Grooming Does A Borzoi Need?

Because this breed of dog has long fur, regular grooming is necessary. Be sure to give your Borzoi a quick brushing once per day to help remove any dead and loose hair and prevent tangles and knots. This dog rarely sheds, but owners can expect two heavy shedding seasons per year that will coincide with changing seasons.

The dog’s coat is naturally dirt and mud-resistant, which can help keep the dog clean. Only bathe when necessary. Remember, keep the dog’s ears clean and the nails trimmed short if they are not naturally worn by walking over rough surfaces.  

How Much Exercise Does A Borzoi Need?

This large and powerful dog will need daily exercise but is not overly energetic. The dog is happier to practice short bursts of energy or sprints than a long sustained run. Playing with the dog in an enclosed area is essential. Their sighthound instincts can quickly distract your Borzoi, causing it to chase after a rabbit, squirrel, or small dog.  

The Borzoi likes to be with its owner and will appreciate working through canine sports and competitions. This dog excels at lure coursing and agility competitions. After sufficient physical and mental exercise, the Borzoi will be happy to take a nap at your feet or curled up at your side on the couch.  

What Kind Of Dog Food Is Good For A Borzoi?

Borzois don’t have any specific nutritional requirements. Make sure you feed them based on their lean body mass. I have definitely seen overweight Borzois who are simply getting too many calories.

Best Adult Food For Borzois:

Please don’t listen to the folks at the pet store trying to convince you to buy a grain-free diet for your dog. There’s zero science behind that and vets are actually seeing diseases now related to feeding grain-free foods.

How Long Does A Borzoi Live?

9-14 years based on information from the AKC

What Health Issues Do Borzois Have?

Borzois are typically pretty healthy dogs. However, because of their size, orthopedic issues like arthritis are still possible as they age (especially if they are really active in youth).

Bloat is probably the largest concern with this breed because of their deep chest.

Always keep an eye on their teeth (brushing daily if needed) and consider putting them on a joint supplement after the age of 4-5 years old to keep their joints healthy.

Where To Find Out More About The Borzoi

Borzoi Club of America

AKC Breed Page

Where Can I Find a Borzoi?

Breeder Referral From The Borzoi Club of America

AKC Puppy Marketplace

While this is a more rare dog than most, it may be possible to find a Borzoi with a rescue group specializing in this breed. Try searching the National Borzoi Rescue Foundation or the Borzoi Club of America to locate a purebred Borzoi in need of a loving home. Rescue is a wonderful way to not only get the dog of your dreams but to help a dog find its forever family.  

Fun Facts About the Borzoi

  • This dog was created in Russia and was used as a coursing dog. The Borzoi would commonly chase rabbits, foxes, and wolves as a team of three. Later, these dogs became associated with royalty in many countries across Europe.  
  • The Borzoi was once called the Russian Wolfhound, and its history can be traced back to Russia as early as the 1600s.  
  • Long associated with the aristocracy, the Borzoi was almost extinct following the 1918 Russian Revolution. Many rebels and protestors associated the breed with the toppled aristocracy, and the dog was almost killed to extinction.  
  • Many of the Borzoi dogs were rescued due to the efforts of the Imperial Association to protect the breed. This organization helped gather the remaining Borzoi in Russia and promote a safe and efficient breeding program. Many of the Borzoi in the United States can trace their lineage to this original group of dogs.