from a family of animal lovers, we had many pet dogs, among
them, an Alsatian, an Airedale Terrier, and a Borzoi called
Jasper. I used to take Jasper out with me when jogging -
or rather, Jasper used to take me out! This was one animal
I couldn't even come close to tiring - they have remarkable
speed and stamina. However, our dog was a bit scatty. He
was extremely friendly with people, but lethal with other
animals - especially dogs and sheep. Because they are so
powerful, they can be a bit of a handful when encountering other
walkers - so be warned - train hard!
Kruschandl - animal lover
Borzoi shape, speed and agility inspired me to so
name my joystick prototype car during the design and build in
Borzoi is a noble breed with a long history. The breed
originated in Russia and was used to hunt wolf, fox and hare.
They were associated to the Russian aristocracy and in turn
favorites of their relative, the English nobility.
Borzoi are considered a giant breed with an average height at
the wither (top of shoulder) of 28" to 32" and an
average weight of 60 to 100 pounds. Even though they are large
dogs they are graceful animals and with proper training make
excellent house dogs. They do require exercise. This can be
accomplished by running in a safe, fenced yard and/or by daily
walking on a lead. It is NEVER advisable to allow a Borzoi to
run loose, especially near busy roads or streets.
They are an intelligent breed but are independent and can be
stubborn. Borzoi are affectionate dogs, especially with their
own families. Like most dogs, Borzoi adapt well to a daily
schedule of adequate feeding and exercise. Some basic obedience
training and socialization are recommended. Patience and
consistency are the key to realizing the full potential of your
It is our hope that you will consider the information contained
this pamphlet and decide whether the Borzoi is the right dog for
BEFORE GETTING YOUR BORZOI
Why do you want a Borzoi? It is because of their beauty? Their
elegance? Their running ability? Their impressive size and
You need to decide why you want a Borzoi as this is not a breed
that will fit into every household. In addition, you need to ask
yourself if you are ready to accept the responsibilities of
owning a Borzoi. Many things need to be considered before
getting your Borzoi. Do you have the facilities to properly
house and exercise the Borzoi? Do you have the financial
resources for the proper maintenance (food, veterinary care,
boarding, etc.) for your Borzoi? Are you prepared to make a long
term commitment to your Borzoi for the duration of its life?
If after careful thought and complete honesty you have decided
that the Borzoi is the breed for you, then you need to decide
whether you want a puppy or an older dog.
Many people want a puppy so that they can train the puppy the
way they want. This can be very rewarding, but it can also be
time consuming and frustrating. An older dog has already gone
through the less endearing stages of puppyhood (housebreaking,
teething, digging, leashbreaking, etc.) and this appeals to some
people who may not have the time or the patience that is needed
for proper puppy training. If the older dog has been properly
trained and socialized during its early months and then given
the proper attention and understanding by you and some time to
adjust, an adult Borzoi usually adapts quite well to an new
environment and makes a wonderful companion.
After deciding what you want, you should look around before
getting your Borzoi. NEVER GET OVER-EAGER.
The pet shop is not a good place to get your Borzoi. Most of the
dogs there come from "puppy mills". A "puppy
mill" is like a breeding farm that is only concerned with
producing puppies for the marketplace. Little concern is given
to the quality, socialization, care and in some cases, even the
health of the animals. "Backyard breeders" are another
source to be avoided for many of the same reasons as "puppy
mills". Try to located a dedicated "hobby
breeder". This breeder can provide a wealth of knowledge,
information and help. The "hobby breeder" has spent
many hours, indeed may years in some cases, determining which
dog should be bred to which bitch to produce puppies of sound
physical and mental health and condition. A "hobby
breeder" breeds a litter only when he/she knows that he/she
can spend the optimum amount of time with each puppy in so far
as training and socialization is concerned. Don't be surprised
if this type of breeder expects you to live up to the same
standards with your new puppy.
If there are any local dog shows in your area you may want to
attend one or several of them. At the shows you can look at the
Borzoi being exhibited there and talk to their owners. This may
help you find out who the "hobby breeders" are in your
area. If this is not possible, you can always contact someone in
a local all-breed kennel club and ask them about finding good
Make a list of the breeders and contact them to see what Borzoi
they have available now or what their plans may be for breeding
any of their stock in the future. Dogs in general and Borzoi
specifically should not be something that you buy on an impulse.
It may be better to wait for a litter from a breeder that you
respect and whose Borzoi you like. Do not rush out and acquire a
dog that you might later regret having purchased. Try and visit
the breeders and see their Borzoi. When you visit a breeder and
see their Borzoi, look at the conditions of their dogs. Do they
appear healthy? Are they friendly? Are their facilities clean?
If possible look at the parent(s) of the puppy or dog and as
many of their offspring and relatives that the breeder may have.
Take time to talk to the breeder and ask questions. Most
breeders are glad to spend time with a prospective owner
answering questions and offering guidance and advice. If the
breeder seems more interested in just getting your money and
getting rid of you, and one of his/her dogs, then this is not a
breeder who has the best interests of you or the breed at heart.
Another possibility for acquiring a Borzoi is to find out if
there is a local Borzoi club or group in your area. These groups
often do rescue work. Sometimes Borzoi, both puppy and adult,
wind up in an unfortunate situation through no fault of their
own. Changes in life-style, economic circumstances or impulse
buying constitute some of the reasons resulting in unwanted
Borzoi. These animals, if they are adults, may already be spayed
or neutered. If there are no rescue group in your area then
check the local animal shelters and pounds. Also check the
Borzoi Club of America Borzoi
Some other questions (and answers) that you might want to
consider in making your decision regarding a Borzoi are:
How long do Borzoi live? A dog in good health and given
proper care can live to be 9 or 10 years old although many live
to be 12 to 14 years old.
Are Borzoi difficult to raise? No, but proper care,
exercise, good food and necessary veterinary care and grooming
How much do Borzoi eat? Borzoi are surprisingly small
eaters for a giant breed. Puppies consume more food than adults
due to their rapid growth. On the whole, an adult Borzoi will
eat about the same amount of food as an adult Shepherd or
Setter. The quality of the food is of primary importance. In
general, strenuous exercise is not recommended before or after
How much do Borzoi shed? All long coated dogs will shed
and Borzoi are no exception. Females will shed after a season
and males will shed annually. If spayed, females will shed the
same as males. Regular grooming every day or so will remove any
loose hair and dirt from the coat. Bathing is needed but not as
frequently as in some other breeds.
Are Borzoi good with children? When raised with children,
most Borzoi are good companions, but they are not a breed that
will tolerate the rough treatment that a young child can
sometimes inflict. Children should be taught how to properly
behave with and handle a Borzoi. Remember the size of the
Borzoi. A very small child could be easily injured if
accidentally knocked down by a Borzoi. If a child plays roughly
with a young dog, the dog sometimes will respond by playing
rough with the child. For these reasons, small children should
always be supervised when around a Borzoi.
Are Borzoi good with other animals? Yes, if they are
raised around these animals. Remember, Borzoi were bred to chase
and catch game; any small animal that runs may trigger this
response. (This is especially true with cats. Keep in mind that
your Borzoi may be just fine with your indoor cat(s) but may
change his attitude dramatically outdoors when a cat, even his
indoor cat, runs from him.)
How destructive are Borzoi? Borzoi are puppies for a long
time so the destructive tendencies of puppyhood are there for a
long time in a very large puppy. Training and temperament of the
individual Borzoi and its bloodline are factors. Boredom can be
the cause for some destructive behavior. Attention and exercise
can often help alleviate the problem; however, if the dog is to
be left alone for long periods of time, you should consider
having a kennel run built outdoors or providing a crate inside
for your Borzoi. In fact, most Borzoi grow to love their crate
and regard it as their special home, even with the door left
open. Crates are humane and take advantage of the dog's natural
den instincts. An ideal size crate for an adult Borzoi is
26" wide by 36" high by 48 "long. A dog secure in
a crate must be able to stand, turn around and lie down in an
Are there any special health problems in Borzoi? In
general, Borzoi tend to be remarkably healthy dogs. But as with
many of the large breeds, including Borzoi, there are some
problems that can be found. These include the following, all of
which should be discussed with your veterinarian so that you are
aware of the symptoms:
Bloat and Torsion. Bloat is a condition where for some
reason the stomach swells or fills up with gas, fluid or both.
Torsion occurs when the stomach rotates and twists itself
closed. IMMEDIATE VETERINARY CARE IS ESSENTIAL FOR THIS
Dysplasia of both the hips and the shoulders can be found in
Borzoi, although it is not common.
OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans) and PRA (Progressive Retinal
Atrophy) are occasionally found in the breed.
Like all of the other sighthounds, Borzoi are more sensitive to
anesthesia than other dogs. It's a good idea to mention this
tendency to your veterinarian.
What makes a better companion, a male or a female Borzoi?
This is really a question of personal preference. Males are
larger than females and in most case have more impressive coat.
Gender does not seem to play a large factor with regard to
raining, temperament or adaptability.
Additional topics are addressed and discussed in the Borzoi Club
of America's Guidelines
for Breeders of Borzoi. This publication covers many
questions that the first time owner/buyer may have about
purchasing a puppy and what to expect from the breeder. Also
available from the Borzoi Club of America are the pamphlets Showing
Borzoi In Conformation that has a good section on grooming, Borzoi
In Obedience, Borzoi
In Agility, Lure
Coursing With Borzoi and the Visualization
Of the Borzoi Standard. The Borzoi Club of America publishes
Yearbooks containing pictures and pedigrees. The Borzoi clubs
publish the quarterly magazine The
Borzoi is a tall, aristocratic dog with a long, thin,
narrow head. A slightly arched muzzle and a long,
low-hanging curved tail. Heavy-necked ruff is
characteristic. The nose is black and the eyes are
oblong and dark. The ears lie back on the neck but may
prick up partially when the dog is alert. The back is
gracefully curved. The chest is narrow, but very deep.
The longish silky coat may be wavy or with large
curls, with a heavy mane at the neck. The colors are
white, golden, tan or gray with black markings, in
either solid or mixed colors.
Borzoi is a sweet, undemanding and undemonstrative
dog. They are proud and self aware dogs that are
extremely loyal to their family. When necessary they
will protect their family. Intelligent and easy to
train. The training of this breed has to be based upon
mutual respect. They cannot be trained to perform, but
they can learn basic requirements for living with you.
Cat-like, silent and docile, but can be willful and
snappish if pushed too far. They like to roam and are
incredibly fast. Good with other dogs but should not
be trusted with small non-canine pets such as cats and
rabbits! His lightening snap can kill a small animal
in a second. Socialize them very well with cats and
other pets at as young an age as possible, but
remember the Borzoi will always be a hunter that will
race after a fleeing animal. The Borzoi are noble dogs
that get along fairly well with children, but it is
not ideally suited for being a child's companion as it
does not take kindly to teasing and are certainly not
playmates. They prize their rest and do not like rough
play. They do not like intrusive strangers. During the
growing stage, these dogs need a highly nutritional
Dogs at least 28 inches (71cm) Bitches at least 26
Weight: Dogs 75-105 pounds (34-48kg) Bitches 60-90
are sensitive to drugs. May be a picky eater and is
prone to bloat. It is best to feed the Borzoi small
meals two or three times a day. Avoid exercise after
do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised.
They are relatively inactive indoors and are so
peaceful it might escape notice, but outside they need
plenty of space to walk and run - so it will do best
with at least an average-sized yard. In the city he
should only be let off the lead in a safe, enclosed
Maintain their fitness these dogs need plenty of
exercise, including regular opportunities to run off
the leash, however in some countries it is forbidden
to allow all the dogs in this fleet-footed hunting
category off the leash. The Borzoi make excellent
jogging companions and usually enjoy running alongside
a bicycle but beware, a Borzoi is quite likely to
shoot off after any prey it catches site of. If this
happens you will need to react very quickly.
long silky coat is easy to groom. Brush regularly with
a firm bristle brush, and dry shampoo when necessary.
Bathing presents a problem with such a tall dog but
shouldn't be required very often. Clip the hair
between the toes to keep the feet comfortable and to
stop them from spreading. This breed is a seasonally
Borzoi was probably first brought from Arabia to
Russia in about 1600. There, this elegant sight hound
was adopted by the nobility, crossed with longer
haired sheepdogs and used as a fierce and brave wolf
hunter, earning the name Russian Wolfhound. The
Russian nobility bred and hunted with these dogs for
hundreds of years. Eventually the Borzoi's popularity
spread throughout Europe. Queen Victoria owned
Borzoi's, and many of the British aristocracy soon
followed suit. The breed became favored for gifts
among royalty. The Borzoi became more docile as his
use as a companion dog increased. The name comes from
the Russian word 'borzii' which means swift. The
Borzois talents include hunting, sighting and lure
FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, BCUK, APRI
= Continental Kennel Club
FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
AKC = American Kennel Club
UKC = United Kennel Club
KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
NKC = National Kennel Club
NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
BCUK = Borzoi Club in the UK
APRI = American Pet Registry Inc.
of the Borzoi Club of America:
encourage and promote the preservation and welfare of the
pure bred Borzoi and to do all possible to bring the Breed's
natural qualities to perfection.
urge members, breeders and judges to accept the Standard
of the Breed, as approved by the American Kennel Club,
as the only Standard of excellence by which the Borzoi shall
be bred and judged.
urge members and breeders to abide by the Code of Ethics and
for Breeders of the Borzoi Club of America, Inc.
do all in its power to protect and advance the interest of
the Breed by encouraging sportsmanlike competition at dogs
shows and Borzoi affairs.
conduct licensed and sanctioned specialty shows under the
rules of the American Kennel Club and to perform required
duties as Parent Club of the Breed.
encourage the organization of independent local Borzoi
specialty clubs in those localities where there are
sufficient fanciers of the Breed to meet the requirements of
the American Kennel Club.
All About Borzoi - The Borzoi Club of Northern
California, Inc. - 1968.
Borzoi - Winifred Chadwick, Kingsprint Limited - 1971 and
How To Raise and Train A Borzoi - Gail Roberts, TFH
Publishing - 1964.
Hutchinson On Sighthounds - Walter Hutchinson, Hoflin -
1976 - reprint.
Life With Borzoi - Phydelma Gillette, Hoflin - 1977.
Observations on Borzoi - Joseph B. Thomas, Hoflin - 1976
Riders of the Wind - Mary Tavener, Reprinted by Riders of
The Complete Borzoi - Lorraine Groshans, Howell Book
House - 1981.
The Borzoi - The Borzoi Club of America, Inc - 1973.
The Borzoi - John Gordon, ARCO - 1974.
The Borzoi - Stedman Chumway Hanks, Hoflin, 1977 -
The Borzoi As I Know It - Arthur Craven, Hoflin - 1977 -
The Life and Legends of the Borzoi - Eileen Worthing,
Hoflin - 1977.
The Russian Wolfhound - Nellie L. Martn, Hoflin - 1977 -
Your Borzoi - Alfred W. Edlin, M.D., Denlinger - 1976.
Unfortunately, many of these books are out of print and you many
have difficulty locating them. Those noted as reprints many
possibly still be available. For additional information, write
to: Hoflin Publishers, LTD, 4401 Zephyr Street, Wheat Ridge
Colorado 80033-3299. Check pet wholesale catalogs as many of
them carry books. Used bookstores are a source for some for the
out of print books as well as copies of some of the newer books.
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as frogs (class: Amphibia)
in Earthworms (phyla: Annelida)
Homo Erectus (Extinct)
spiders, insects (phyla: Arthropoda)
as Eagles, Albatross
as crabs (subphyla: Crustacea)
Rex, Brontosaurus (Extinct)
in Starfish (phyla: Echinodermata)
Tuna (group: Pisces)
(subphyla: Uniramia class:
non- animal life
blooded animals (class: Mammalia)
as octopus (phyla: Mollusca)
Snakes (class: Reptilia)
as Rats, Mice (order: Rodentia)
in Amoeba, plankton (phyla: protozoa)
taste for adventure capitalists
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