Borzoi Dog Breed Profile

by Dr. Chris

AKC Group: Hound Group

The Borzoi dog, also known as the Russian wolfhound, has a fascinating history. Originally from Russian and Central Asian countries, this is one of the largest hound dogs.


History states that Saluki type sight hounds were originally taken from Byzantium to Russia in the 9th and 10th centuries and by Mongol attackers to the East. These imported sight hounds were crossed with Russian dogs to improve speed and power to trap wolves. This was a very important part of a dog's job back then, at the time when wolves were widespread in Russia.

Borzaya, means fast dog, is a Russian word that was used to refer to several breeds of native sight hounds. The Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya is the Russian name for the dog we call Borzoi. In the past, Borzoi could not be bought but only offered as present to you from Czar. The best known breeder of the Borzoi was Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievich.

Physical Features

The Borzoi dog is very large compared to other sight hounds. Males can weigh over one hundred pounds and stand over 28 inches tall at the shoulder. Females don't stand far more than 27 inches tall or weigh more than 90 pounds. The long, soft, silky coat of the Borzoi may be wavy or have large curls, with a heavy mane at the neck. The coat can be any color combination. Normally, the colors are gray with markings of black, golden, tan, or white, either in mixed or solid colors. Its soft undercoat thickens during cold temperature for warmth, and sheds to hold the dog cool in the warmer weather.


Borzoi won't ever display a desire to dominate over humans. Doesn't have a robust territorial drive, nor will it defend the home against an intruder. They are gentle, sensitive and affectionate toward humans.

Common Health Problems

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Osteochondritis Dissecans, Gastric Torsion (or bloating), Cardiac Arhythmia, Cardiomyopathy, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Give frequent exercise to keep healthy.

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