This breed was treasured by the famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. A tall, large dog with a streamlined body, the borzoi has a silky coat that gives it an aristocratic air.

Centuries ago, the Russian aristocracy favoured this breed for its wolf hunting ability. Today the Borzoi is treasured for its elegance and is at home in the show ring. The breed has a gentle nature and is naturally quiet.


The Borzoi is claimed to be a cross between the long-extinct Lapp sled dog and the collie, and was developed at the end of the Middle Ages to hunt wolves and hares on the Russian plains. In 1936 it was renamed the borzoi, which means agility and speed in Russian.

This large, exotic breed quickly became famous, first among the women of the aristocracy and later to the rest of the world through paintings and photographs. Bearing some resemblance to the greyhound, the borzoi is a sight hound capable of chasing its prey over a long distance. Used to hunt jackals in South Africa and coyotes in Canada, in North America this dog is popular in dog races that use a lure


The borzoi has a streamlined body; a narrow thorax; a deep chest; well-developed hindquarters with a considerable angle between the thigh and hock, which provides flexibility; a strong, curved back, the sign of a fast runner; a lean, long face; dark eyes; a uniquely shaped muzzle; and a very long tail. The long silky coat is feathery on the chest, tail, and hindquarters. Any color is acceptable, though many are white based.

Height: 66-85 cm at the shoulder

Weight: 34-50 kg

Coat and Grooming

Comes in various colours including white, golden, red, black and grey. The long, silky coat needs brushing a few times a week.


This breed is relatively healthy but it is important to note that they can be sensitive to anaesthesia. Borzois are also prone to bloat and should eat small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal.

Lifespan is 10-12 years.


Sensitive, somewhat delicate, gentle, and playful, this dog loves to fawn and to play with adults and children. Although not quick to learn obedience, when trained it becomes a reliable dog. Besides being extremely expensive, the borzoi requires a great amount of exercise, making it an unsuitable dog for people who are inexperienced in handling dogs. The borzoi needs to be trained strictly, because it is somewhat stubborn. If there are other pet animals in the house, it is important to introduce this dog gradually.

Care and Exercise

The Borzoi requires a medium or large yard to run around in. A long walk each day will also keep the breed satisfied.

Compatibility with Kids and other Pets

This breed is not as playful as others and may be a disappointment to some children. Borzois should not be trusted with small animals as their instinct is to hunt. If raised with a cat, the breed may be able to get along fine with it, but as a general rule they prefer dogs over cats.

Gallery of Borzoi