Do you like the unique look of the Borzoi? The Borzoi is intelligent, affectionate, and loyal to their family, but not well-suited for young children and smaller animals. Read on to see if the Borzoi could be a good fit in your home!
During the Bolshevik Revolution, these already rare dogs were ruthlessly slaughtered because of their association with the royal family. The Borzoi was rarely bought or sold, but instead given or received as a gift. As a sighthound, they were bred to hunt wolves, fox, and rabbit. Thankfully, advocates for the breed saved them from disappearing entirely!
For the Love of the Run
This sighthound loves to run. There's no getting around that. However, like most sighthounds, they are sprinters, not long-distance runners, so they won't necessarily make good running partners.
Borzoi's have a keen eye that will quickly fixate on a small animal, and, if given the opportunity, will be happy to flee after it. Therefore, this breed is usually not a good choice if you have other small critters that live with you. Puppies should be properly socialized at a young age with cats, and even then, they may still have the "drive" to go after your furry feline. They shouldn't be left unsupervised around small animals.
A fenced-in area is a must for this runner. Sighthounds will naturally be harder to train off-leash, and special care should be taken to keep this breed safe, as they have no problem charging after a critter and not returning.
Smart, Stubborn, and Steadfast
The Borzoi is an independent thinker, which can be difficult for training. A patient, yet assertive approach are best for this breed. They are smart and can learn quickly, however, they may also determine that what they are being told to do isn't worth their while.
Loyal to their family, the Borzoi remain devoted at all times. Dogs are pack animals and need to be in the home with their humans. That said, this is not an outdoor kennel dog - no dogs are. The Borzoi will not do well if left alone often and can suffer from separation anxiety.
This is not a yappy breed. In fact, they're usually very quiet; barking just isn't their thing.
Lure-Coursing is a competitive sport where sighthounds are race through a course, chasing after a mechanism while jumping and avoiding obstacles. Competitions are held in the United States, Canada, and Europe. If you're giving the Borzoi some serious thought, consider signing up for this fun sport. They will thoroughly enjoy it!
Borzois enjoy a daily walk (45 minute walks work best for this breed). Because of their lean build and broad chest, a backpack may not be the best choice for this breed. They aren't overly rambunctious, so they don't require a lot of activity to drain their energy, making them a good breed for apartment living.
Reconsider this breed if you have young children, as the Borzoi does not enjoy physical and rough play.
Beautiful Coat Requires Grooming
They have cat-like qualities and are particular about keeping themselves groomed. However, a daily brushing will be required to maintain their silky, long, luxurious coat and help keep the shedding under control. This breed sheds heavily during the seasons (spring and fall).
Consider bringing your Borzoi to a professional groomers for bathing, as their size may require a very large tub.
The Borzoi has some health concerns to consider, such as: bloat (avoid large meals, feeding smaller meals 3x a day is helpful), sensitivity to certain Rx medications, hip and shoulder dysplasia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and progressive retinal atrophy eye disorder. Their average lifespan is about 10 - 12 years.
As you begin looking for an Borzoi, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe