The Borzoi is an animal of great beauty and grace used in Russia from the seventeenth century for wolf hunting and coursing. Today it is often regarded more as a fashion accessory: the fur-clad silent film star accompanied by two Borzois was not a rarity.
They are dignified, good-natured animals but somewhat aloof and not likely to enjoy playing wild games with children.
Origin and history
The Borzoi was maintained for centuries by the Czars and noblemen of Imperial Russia for hunting the wolf. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries it was crossed with the sheepdog to provide strength, and later with various hounds to obtain more speed. However, it was from the strain developed by the Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolayevitch that the present-day standard evolved. Information on Borzois from the former USSR was sketchy. There would appear to be more Borzois in fashionable major cities of the world such as New York, London and Paris.
- Beautiful and graceful
- A dignified dog, not ideal as a children’s playmate.
Height at shoulder: dog from 29in (73.5cm) upwards; bitch 27in (68.5cm) upwards.
The Borzoi needs a great deal of exercise, but remember that this dog is a hunter: it is essential that it should be allowed to run only when far from livestock.
A very graceful, aristocratic and elegant dog, possessing courage, muscular power and great speed.
Head and skull
Head long and lean; well filled in below the eyes. Measurement equal from the occiput to the inner corner of the eye and from the inner corner of the eye to the tip of the nose. Skull very slightly domed and narrow; stop not perceptible, inclining to Roman nose. Head fine so that the direction of the bones and principal veins can be clearly seen. Bitch’s head should be finer than the dog’s. Jaws long, deep and powerful; nose large and black, not pink or brown, nicely rounded, neithercornered nor sharp. Viewed from above the skull should look narrow, converging verygradually to tip of nose.
Long, rather low set. Well feathered, carried low, not gaily. In action may be used as a rudder but not rising above level of back. From the level of the hocks may be sickleshaped but not ringed.
Forefeet rather long, toes close together; well arched, never flat, turning neither in nor out. Hindfeet hare-like, i.e. longer and less arched.
Recommended would be 20-330z (587-936g) of a branded, meaty product with biscuit added, or 3-5 cupfuls of a dry food, complete diet, mixed in the proportion of 1 cup of feed to 112 cup of hot or cold water.