The Borzoi (bɔrzɔɪ) is a breed of domestic dog that has its roots in Russia. It is also called the Russian Wolfhound (Russian: Ру́сская псовая борзая).

Borzoi snow

The word borzói is the masculine singular form of an archaic Russian adjective that literally means ‘fast’. Borzáya sobáka or ‘fast dog’ is the basic term used by Russians.

Both of the two major clubs, such as The Borzoi Club of America and the Borzoi Club UK, prefer the word borzoi as the form for both singular and plural forms (this is not the case in Russian, as the plural word for Russian is borzýe).

During the time of the great Gengis Khan (13th century), it said that a couple of Mongol rulers had some series of hunting expeditions in which long hounds were the primary coursing dogs used.

In Russia, the Borzoi descended from different types of breeds including the long-coated, smooth-faced bearhound of early Russia, the Southern coursing hounds of the Tatars, the Owtcher-a tall Russian Sheepdog, as well as other ancient sight-hound types.

In 1650, the first Borzoi standard was written (which did not differ greatly from the modern standard).

In 1889, the first Borzoi arrived in the USA from England. In 1903, Joseph B. Thomas (representing the Valley Farm Kennel) went to Russia 3 times to import dogs from the Perchino & Woronzova kennels that became part of the establishment of the breed in the country.

Today the Borzoi is highly prized for its beauty, intelligence and gentle nature, making it a wonderful companion. In Western states it is still used by farmers to control coyote populations, tapping into the breed’s original heritage.

Traits and Behavior

A Borzoi is a hound that hunts using both sight and smell. With a great prey drive, these dogs are rapid, strong and fearless.

A Borzoi is usually thoughtful and reserved. The breed can work well as a family dog if it is activated daily. Also, it works brilliantly and effectively as a watchdog. The breed rarely barks, but the dogs have an ingrained and innate protective instinct towards their flock and property.

Borzoi running

For dog training, the Borzoi is probably the easiest sighthound to train. This does not mean that a Borzoi may be especially obedient. However, it is essential that we base the training on positive reinforcement, consistency and patience – and do not use any form of punishment.

Because of Borzoi ‘s strong hunting instinct, the breed is virtually impossible to learn to walk free without a leash – like a quiet place with cats and other small animals can be very difficult. Borzoi is patient towards children, but it is not a breed of dog that seeks out the company of children and participate in their activities or wild play.

Pet Care and Diseases

A Borzoi requires extensive grooming attention. Daily brushing is necessary for their long silky, soft fine coat.

Borzoi close up

The dog should be bathed every 4 to 6 weeks. Toenails must be trimmed while hairs between the pads should be shaved.

Use an eye cleanser product or just a clean cotton swab to remove any foreign matter from its eyes. Clean the inside of the ears only to areas as far as your eyes can see.

This will prevent pushing the earwax further into the ear canal which will cause ear infections.

Unfortunately,  this kind of breed has few health problems. These dogs have a tendency to get volvulus and some forms of cancer, heart disease, and bone problems.


The Borzoi is a large, sleek, Russian dog breed, whose appearance resembles that of a Greyhound and some central Asian breeds including Afghan Hound, Saluki, and the Kyrgyz Taigan.

Males typically stand around 66-71 cm tall while females stand about 61-66 cm tall. Borzoi males frequently weigh 34-50 kg compared to females which only weigh around 27-45 kg.

These dogs are aristocratic dogs, with long heads and long tails. The head is curved into a slight dome shape, with a long jawline. They have small dropped ears but will stand up to an erect position when the dog is alert.

The long top coat is silky and quite flat, with varying degrees of waviness. . The colors of the coat can be white, gold, red, black, gray, or brindle with black markings and can be either solid or mixed.

General Information

The Borzoi has a long life span of 10-12 years. A litter may consist of 5-7 puppies. Russian Hunting Sight Hound, Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya, Barsoi, Barzaïa, Borzoi, Erfurt Windhund, Lebrel Ruso and Russian Wolfhound are its few other names.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Borzoi. Click this link: https://www.borzoiclubofamerica.org/

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