Alt Text
Hill’s Brand Horizon


dog Breed Profile

The borzoi is best described as a large greyhound robed in a long, silky coat.


Dolichocephalic (long face)



75-105 lbs.

60-85 lbs.


29 in.

(at withers)

31 in.





Any color permissible



>40 minutes/day

Energy level



10-12 yrs.












Grooming Needs


Social Needs


Club recognition

AKC Class.


UKC Class.

Sighthounds and Pariahs



The Borzoi Dog Breed

The borzoi is happiest when entertained by an activity that involves running.

About the Borzoi

The borzoi is best described as a large greyhound robed in a long, silky coat.

- FORM -

Borzoi personality

Borzoi know they are aristocrats, but they also hide a bit of court jester. They are good-natured, gentle and calm, seemingly amused at whatever entertainment comes their way. They are happiest when that entertainment involves running. True to their heritage, borzoi are avid hunters, and will chase any small fleeing animal. They cannot be called off the chase, and they are oblivious to cars.

Obedience lessons are apt to be met with a sense of humor, but borzoi will humor you and do some semblance of what you ask them. If you make it worth their while and a lot of fun, they can actually turn in a fairly decent performance. But they will always remind you they are doing it only as a favor to you. Like most sighthounds, borzoi are very sensitive and are one family dogs. They are friendly, but not gregarious, toward strangers. They are adequate watchdogs, and will bark. That's about all they will do, and they are not very good at actually protecting you.

What to expect

Borzoi need room to stretch out, inside and out. They are not a breed that can curl up in a corner or exercise in a pen. Their owners need to consider the larger feed, medicine and boarding bills a large dog entails. Their laid-back nature means that they are quite content to lounge about most of the day. But these dogs are athletes and need to push themselves running every day.

As would be expected from a Russian dog, borzoi enjoy cold weather, and often lie on hard, cold surfaces. Their coat sheds, especially once a year. They should be brushed two to three times a week. Some borzoi pant a lot, which can be unnerving to some people.

History of the Borzoi

To catch the Russian wolf, a dog would have to be fleet-like a greyhound. But this greyhound would have to be covered with a thick coat to brave the frigid winds, a coat that was probably infused from a type of Russian sheepdog. And he would have to be strong and courageous, traits gained from crosses to Russian bear hounds. To capture the hearts of the Russian aristocracy, the dog would have to be beautiful — and the borzoi's beauty is not borrowed from any other breed.

The breed was in its formative stages in the Middle Ages in the 16th century the first breed standard was presented. A borzoi hunt was among the grandest hunting events ever staged, the hunting party often arriving in a huge trainload of dogs, horses, serfs and nobility. Two or three matched borzoi were unleashed on a wolf that had been flushed into the open the borzoi had to sprint to catch it before it reached cover on the other side of the field. Their job was to hold the wolf until the huntsman came to bind it. The Russian aristocracy kept grandiose kennels of hundreds of borzoi. Most of these dogs were killed as hated symbols of the Russian rulers after the Russian Revolution. The borzoi of today descends from a few that escaped death as well as the descendents of dogs that had been given as gifts to foreign dignitaries.

In America the borzoi (initially known as the Russian wolfhound) found a second claim to fame as an aristocratic model and status symbol. Those who know the breed personally, however, realize its greatest claim to fame is as a lovely and loving companion.

Adopt a pet.
Change a life.

Are you prepared to adopt a pet? Use these tools to make sure you’re ready for the commitment.


Need help finding the right food for your dog?

Other breeds you might be interested in