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The Borzoi is the undisputed aristocrat of the canine world and with their elegant yet haughty demeanour, silky coat and long narrow head, they are instantly recognizable. The Borzoi’s coat comes in any colour other than merle, and is of medium length with a slight wave, and heavier feathering on the legs, undercarriage and tail.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 7–10 years
Weight: 34kg for females and 41kg for males
Height: 68cm for females and 74cm for males
Colours: Any colour other than merle
Size: Large
Kennel Club group: Hound


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 2/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 2/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 5/5


As an adult, the Borzoi is a good-natured and gentle dog in the house, taking up surprisingly little space for their size when it suits them. Aloof and reserved with strangers, they can be very affectionate with their own family and exhibit a sense of humour and strong personality that sighthound fans find very appealing.

While not a guard dog, they may alert owners to the presence of suspicious characters and will give good account of themselves if they feel it necessary. Their nature as a sighthound, to course and to chase, must be kept in mind. While they can be raised with cats and small dogs that they view as ‘family’, they will always be predisposed to give chase to fast moving furry objects.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Russia

As with many breeds, there is some dispute as to the origins of the Borzoi. However, it is likely that Greyhound-like dogs from ancient Egypt were crossed with the native heavier coated herding and pastoral breeds from northern Russia to produce the Borzois ancestors.

From the 16th Century onwards the breed became refined into the ultimate wolf catching sighthound, working in pairs to bring down a wolf and hold it until a mounted hunter could dispatch the quarry.

Borzois were valued highly by the Czars of Russia, who gifted them frequently to other nobility around Europe, and it is these gifted dogs who saved the breed following the Russian Revolution of 1917, when the breed almost died out.

Health and Common Concerns

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Borzoi Dogs

Training Borzoi Dogs

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • Captain E J Smith of the RMS Titanic, had a Borzoi called Ben who was famously photographed with him on desk before the ill-feted ship set sail. Thankfully for Ben, he didn’t stay for the voyage.
  • For the film Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, a Borzoi called Nobs provided lead vocals alongside Dave Gilmour on harmonica and Roger Waters on guitar. The song was ‘Seamus’ named after Dave Gilmour’s dog who originally howled in the studio recording but was re-titled ‘Mademoiselle Nobs’ in the film.
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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