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Country/Date of Origin: Russia/13th Century

The history of the Borzoi is inextricably linked with that of the Russian royalty. The aristocracy developed the dog to hunt wolves and hares on the great open steppes of Russia. The borzoi was called a Russian Wolfhound in the United States until 1936 when the name was officially changed.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Russian Wolfhound

AKC Group: Hound

Breed Club: Borzoi Club of America

Rescue Club: Borzoi Rescue

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Body Type:

  • A very large, heavily coated member of the greyhound family that combines speed and grace
  • Height: 27-31 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 75-105 pounds
  • Rose ears held tightly against neck are not altered
  • Long gracefully curved tail, which is used as a rudder when turning at high speeds, is not altered
  • A "narrow" dog that rarely becomes overweight


  • The sensitive Borzoi cannot take criticism
  • Does not enjoy roughhousing with children. Better with adults
  • Rather aloof and does not seek the attention of strangers
  • Loyal and attentive to the master it chooses
  • Intelligent but stubborn and difficult to train


  • Long, silky coat is either flat, wavy or curly. Especially profuse on neck to protect from bites
  • High grooming
  • Any color is permissible. However, most Borzoi are white or white with patches of color
  • Excessive shedding

Health Concerns:

  • Sensitivity to drugs, especially anesthetics, and topical insecticides
  • Bloat
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Heart disease
  • Osteosarcoma or "bone cancer"
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • The name "Borzoi" means swift in Russian. It is pronounced Bor- zoy.
  • Not long lived

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