The Borzoi, or Russian Wolfhound, s first mentioned in texts in Russia, dating from the 1600s, in the first book of Borzoi hunting rules. Hare coursing was a popular sport in Russia as early as 1300 and Borzoi were bred to chase these animals, along with rabbits - and wolves. The Borzoi was bred on a massive scale in Russia, where the nobility use to take up to 100 dogs out on a wolf hunt. After the Russian Revolution and the fall of the aristocracy, the breed all but disappeared, except for a few remaining kennels. Today they are popular pets in Russia, and beyond.
Borzoi are regal and elegant dogs, and ask little from their owners. They are good house dogs and like nothing better than a long sleep in a comfortable bed. They get on well with respectful children and other pets. Although reserved with strangers, they rarely show aggression, just quiet curiosity. They are affectionate and will want to sleep on your sofa or bed, which ever is comfiest. They like to be around people, but don't demand constant attention from their owners.
Training takes patience as Borzoi sometimes feel that it isn't worth their while. They are clever, but sensitive, and they have a natural respect for humans and require calm, gentle handling. Raised voices and aggression can upset them. Guiding, clear communication and support is the best way to train a Borzoi.
These dogs can be lazy at home, but outdoors their instincts as a sight hound come into their own. They love to run fast, covering a huge distance with Greyhound-like sprinting. Walking needs to be in a secure area - if they see a rabbit, they'll be gone. A long walk on the lead will also tire them out, but allowing them a safe run will keep them happier. With recall it isn't that they don't want to come back, just that they have been bred for hundreds of years and they want to run as fast as they can. They rarely bark and are hopeless as a watchdog, simply lifting their heads out of their basket to see who is there, if they aren't in a deep sleep. They like to have an area to call their own, which gives them the peace they need to relax and get away from everything.
Borzois are independent and sensitive dogs. They have affection for their owners, but also tend to be reserved and calm indoors, saving their energy for high speed dashes across the fields. They tend to ignore strangers, and they will chase small animals including cats, unless introduced to them and trained appropriately in early puppyhood.
Borzois are prone to various bone problems, bloat, and some heart problems. They are very sensitive to anesthesia.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
- Weight: 25 - 47 kg
- Height: Min. 28"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium - Double
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Large House
- Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
- Breed Type: Hound
- Size: Large
- Energy Level: Medium
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour