The Borzoi hound is a large, distinctive dog from the sighthound grouping, which is native to Russia and often known by the alternate name of the Russian wolfhound.
Tall, sleek and very fast on their feet, the Borzoi is one of the few sighthound breeds designed for cold weather, and while they are not hugely well known in the UK due to their reasonably small numbers they are of course popular and common all across Russia.
If you are interested in the various different sighthound breeds and want to find out more about the Borzoi breed and their own unique traits and distinctive looks, read on and we will discuss the breed in more detail.
The Borzoi is one of the tallest dog breeds in the world, and while they are not overly heavy and muscular, they are still classed as a giant breed in respect of their height! They can stand up to 85cm tall at the withers, with males being slightly smaller, with a weight range of 40-48kg at the top end, which is not very hefty given their height.
The clue for their size is in their colloquial name of the Russian wolfhound, with the Irish wolfhound being the breed that averages the tallest height of any breed in the world.
The Borzoi dog is a sighthound, which means that their special skill is hunting by sight, rather than scent. They are able to pinpoint tiny movements over large distances and home in on them, and they are also supremely fast on their feet, and able to catch most smaller animals.
However, their eyesight is not well designed to pick out non-moving items from the background, and so prey can sometimes totally avoid the breed’s attention simply by keeping very still.
This means that owning a Borzoi dog can be challenging within a domestic setting, as they will need to be kept on a lead or within an enclosed area and muzzled when out in order to protect smaller pets and wildlife.
Most sighthound breeds have very short coats in order to offer streamlining and high-speed running, but because the Borzoi dog hails from the Russia, which has very cold winters, they are one of the few variants with a long coat, which is in fact very long and straight, much like that of the Afghan hound.
This means that they require pretty much as much care and grooming attention as any breed of dog, and they need to be brushed and combed daily in order to keep their coats in good condition and avoid knotting and tangling. This makes dogs of the breed rather high maintenance, and means that they are not a good pick for everyone!
Like most dogs from the sighthound grouping, the Borzoi hound is a very loving and affectionate dog, that loves the company of people and will be at their happiest snuggled up quietly with the family. They are rather soulful and sensitive, and will get upset if they do not receive enough attention or are spoken to harshly, which means that owning a Borzoi involves a lot of looking after to keep them happy and fulfilled, and to avoid offending them!
They are also often very affectionate with calm, kind children, but will not get on well with very rowdy or boisterous kids, and they will not tolerate being pulled around or teased by children either.
This means that they tend to fit better into homes with older children than those with young families.
Most sighthound dog breeds are apt to spend maybe half an hour a day tearing around and getting up to top speed before needing a twelve hour nap to recover-in fact, most sighthounds are truly the couch potatoes of the dog world, and they do not have overly onerous exercise requirements.
The Borzoi on the other hand falls at completely the other end of the spectrum, and they have one of the highest levels of exercise requirements of any dog breed.
In their home country of Russia, they tend to live outside and in rural areas, where they may be used for pest control or hunting, as they are excellent dogs for hare coursing and other forms of lamping. This means that they have lots of space and territory to range across and spend a lot of time outside running and working, and it can be hard to meet these needs within a domestic setting.
If you are considering buying or adopting a Borzoi hound, make sure that you are able to keep up with their need for stimulation and exercise, or the dog will soon become bored and unhappy.