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Borzoi Dog Breed Profile

Borzoi history is linked to royalty and the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaievitch had 150 of these dogs. It was when Queen Victoria acquired one that they became popular in Europe.

Other Names:
Russian Wolfhound. Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya,
Psowaya Barsaya

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Origin: Russia

Breed Purpose: To chase, capture and hold down a wolf until the huntsmen appeared.

Kennel Club Dog Group: Hound

Height: Bitch, 66cm. Dog, 71cm.

Weight: Bitch, 27-41kg. Dog, 34-48kg.

Lifespan: 10-12 years

Exercise Needs: The Borzoi is a sight hound that needs plenty of daily off lead exercise. The area must be safe and free from wildlife which the Borzoi will chase and kill in seconds. These dogs do make excellent jogging and cycling companions. Hunting with sight hounds is no longer allowed in most countries and this has been replaced by lure coursing. Lure coursing stimulates the sight hound's natural instincts for running at speed after prey. The lure, (a bunch of plastic bags) is attached to a line that is electrically pulled across and around a set course. The Borzoi is a great competitor at this sport that exercises them both physically and mentally. Never exercise this dog for at least 30 minutes before and 2 hours after feeding to avoid GDV, (Bloat).

Diet & Feeding Needs: Proper nutrition is essential for Borzoi puppies who naturally experience rapid growth surges during the first two years. Highly concentrated high protein diets are not suitable and will result in bone and joint problems in later life. Commercial diets that are designed for large dogs are not suited to the Borzoi. Seek breeder or veterinarian advice on a well balanced diet complete with supplements. To avoid Bloat feed three small meals a day, (four meals for puppies), and make sure all food and water bowls are raised from the ground.

Health Problems : The Borzoi is generally a healthy breed but does have a sensitive stomach and bones which are prone to fracture. Emphasis must be placed on providing a suitable, well-balanced diet to avoid bone problems and stomach upsets. The Borzoi can be sensitive to certain drugs and care needs to be taken if surgery is required. They are, like most deep chested dogs, prone to Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, GDV or Bloat which is a serious life-threatening condition caused by the stomach twisting after eating.

Physical Description: The overall appearance of the Borzoi is one of a dog of imposing size with a rich, profuse coat and a distinctive outline. The head is long and narrow and is finely-chiselled, tapering towards the nose. The length of the skull is approximately equal to the length of the muzzle. The skull is domed and the jaws are powerful. The eyes are almond shaped, close set and are positioned slightly higher than the middle of the head. The ears are small, fine and narrow and are set high. The neck is long and muscular and is slightly arched. The body forms a graceful curve going into broad muscular loins. The belly is well tucked up. The shoulders are well laid back and the forelegs are straight. The hind legs are long and muscular with well angulated stifles and well let down hocks. The tail is long and is set low. It is heavily coated with hair. It forms a sickle curve and is never carried over the back. The coat is long and silky, wavy and curly. It is very thick around the neck, lower chest, legs and tail. The colour can be any colour and any combination of colours.

Borzoi Dog Breed Summary:

One must remember that under the Borzoi's elegant exterior lies a fearsome hunter that can catch, pin down and hold a wolf until the hunters arrive.

To do this requires immense strength and stamina which has remained true to type in the Borzoi today. These athletic dogs are affectionate, very quiet, clean, and sensitive.

Borzoi training must be carried out in a calm and fair way as no Borzoi respects an owner that is harsh, inconsistent or impatient. Once the dog accepts the owner's authority, it becomes very loyal and obedient.

The Borzoi does like well-behaved children that treat the dog with respect. Any rough handling and the Borzoi will show its teeth to warn them off.

These dogs cannot be left alone for long periods and do not do well in kennels. They become fretful, restless and destructive. If the owner enjoys frequent holidays or has trips away then this dog will not be suitable. At least one member of the family must be at home for the greater part of the day.

In general sight hounds such as the Borzoi are not suited to novice owners, the elderly or for apartment life due to their high exercise needs and sensitive natures.

This dog is a true aristocrat and prefers its family to be calm and quiet at home but also to enjoy long walks or cycle rides.

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