Borzoi pros and cons
Owning a Borzoi dog is a privilege that comes with pros and cons. Borzoi dogs will always get attention while walking on the street and owners of this rare and beautiful breed get asked many questions about their dog by complete strangers. Borzoi owners report many positives associated with this breed. Borzoi dogs have an independent temperament. While Borzois are loving and affectionate towards their owners, this dog takes time before getting comfortable with unfamiliar people. Borzoi dogs are not ideal for families with a lot of drama and aggression as this dog can be very sensitive to the atmosphere of the home. Borzois may even get sick in a hostile environment where family members have frequent conflicts. Borzoi needs to live in a peaceful and loving family to be happy.
Cons associated with owning a Borzoi include the dog's large size. Borzoi dogs need a lot of space, which can be a disadvantage as not all people who would love to own this breed have enough space to make this possible. Not only are these dogs not appropriate for an apartment but even a house with a small backyard may not be enough to provide this graceful dog with the running space that Borzoi needs. Borzoi dogs need at least an hour of exercise per day. This breed is suitable for people who have the time and energy to provide this dog with the mental and physical activity that the dog needs during the day. Proximity to a large fenced area is great for exercising a Borzoi - these dogs love to run and chase things. Borzoi owners need to be careful introducing small pets to Borzois as sighthounds such as the Borzoi may confuse a hamster or a rabbit with a prey. When it comes to other dogs, Borzois tend to get along with other sighthounds just fine.
Borzois have a beautiful coat, but the downside is that this coat requires a lot of maintenance and daily grooming. Potential owners who do not have the time to groom and exercise this demanding breed should consider another breed.
Another Borzoi con is that this breed can be challenging to train due to independent character. Borzois are sensitive to rough handling and training should always be done in a calm and positive way. Borzoi owners need plenty of patience to accomplish good obedience results.
Borzoi male weight: 34 to 48 kg (75 to 105 lb)
Borzoi female weight: 25 to 41 kg (55 to 90 lb)
Borzoi male height: 75 to 85 cm (30 to 33 in)
Borzoi female height: 68 to 78 cm (27 to 31 in)
Borzoi coat: silky, wavy, medium length
Borzoi colors: varies
How many puppies do Borzios have on average?
Borzoi litter size: 1 to 11 puppies
Borzoi life span:
Borzoi lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Other names for Borzoi breed: Russian Wolf Hound, Russian Wolfhound, Russian Wolf hound dog, Russian Borzoi, Russian Wolf Dog, Russian hound
How much does a Borzoi cost?
Borzoi price starts at around $1,000 per puppy and more depending on many factors
With his tall, lean body, long, narrow head and silky coat, the Borzoi is the picture of refinement and elegance. This agile and athletic sighthound has plenty of Russian charm. Borzoi males can be quite heavy and weigh over 100 pounds (45 kg). Yet the dog's exotic appearance and flowing movement can be compared to that of a graceful ballerina. The dog's gait is light, smooth and full of effortless power. Sighthounds hunt by seeing the prey and chasing it. Developed in Russia for hunting wolves (usually in teams of three, as one dog would not be able to handle a wolf), deer and other fast moving prey, the dog is built to be very fast (an run as fast as 35 - 40 miles per hour). This breed is not for everyone. The dog needs include plenty of physical activity and a reasonably large fenced yard to stretch his legs. He is not fit to live outdoors. As a house pet, once past the puppy stage, the Borzoi is calm, dignified and well mannered. He is deeply attached to his family and is very sensitive to their moods. Borzoi makes a great companion dog for an active owner that is willing to take the time and provide the dog with enough exercise during the day. Free running is essential for this breed and should be balanced with some road walking. The Russian Wolf Hound barks very rarely. Sight hounds do not have a strong territorial drive and should not be relied upon to protect a home from an intruder or to raise an alarm upon seeing someone approaching your house. Borzoi temperament is reserved with strangers, but he shows a gentle and affectionate personality with people he loves. Early socialization is important to prevent shyness with strangers. This dog needs an energetic owner with access to land where a Borzoi can run free, who will appreciate the needs of this sensitive dog breed, and has the time and patience for socialization, training and grooming the high maintenance dog. Are Borzois good with kids? The dog can get along fine with older children, provided the kids know how to properly handle a dog. Some breeders won't sell a Borzoi puppy to a family with very young kids because the sensitive breed may not appreciate the rough handling that often comes with toddlers or very young children.
The breed is known for its versatility in coat color - any color is acceptable. The most common Borzoi color is white with colored markings. The slightly wavy coat of medium length stands out because of the unusual texture and distribution over the body. The soft undercoat thickens during winter in the cold climates, but is shed in hot weather to prevent overheating. This natural beauty needs to be properly cared for. Borzoi grooming includes brushing your dog regularly and more frequently during the shedding time to prevent any tangles from forming.
Start getting your dog accustomed to grooming from an early age. Most dogs learn to enjoy being groomed provided the coat is never allowed to mat, which can make the process rather unpleasant for the dog. Daily brushing will help prevent mats from forming on Borzoi's silky coat. If neglected, the coat will mat and tangle.
Best brushes for Borzoi grooming
Large pin brush
A pin brush is great for brushing your Borzoi every day to keep the coat mat free.
Slicker brushes can help to remove tangles during the heavy shedding periods.
Greyhound combs are good for heavy shedding time, and can help with more detailed combing, such as combing around the ears and removing tangles and mats.
Keep the dog's teeth healthy by regular brushing and be sure to start getting your Borzoi comfortable with the procedure early on. Use canine toothpaste as human toothpaste is not safe for dogs.
Trim the dog's nails as needed. Overgrown nails can curl and grow into the dog's flesh, causing pain and affecting Borzoi's gait and posture. How often should you trim your dog's nails? About every six weeks or anytime you hear the dog's nails clicking on a hard wood floor. That clicking sound is a good indicator that it's time to trim his nails.
Clean the ears periodically to prevent ear infections.
When you are getting a Borzoi puppy, be sure to select the right breeder who cares not only for the dog's physical attributes but also for the temperament and health. When you are visiting the Borzoi breeder, ask to see the parents of the litter and study their temperament. The Borzoi puppy that you will choose will resemble his parents in many ways once he is a fully grown dog. The period between six and twelve weeks in a life of a puppy will determine the puppy's attitude to life. This is the most important time in a life of a dog to get properly socialized. The puppy needs to spend plenty of time with people, get familiar with life outside his home and to build confidence in spending time outdoors, meeting different people, dogs and other animals, get used to the noise on the streets and to get as many various experiences as possible in order to gain confidence. It is very important to not overdo this. Keep the new activities short so that Borzoi doesn't get overwhelmed. Do not allow other dogs or people treat your Borzoi puppy in a rough manner. If you can find a same breed friend for your puppy who is of approximately same age, the sight hound dogs can get a lot of joy out of their play dates. Borzoi puppies grow extremely fast and need plenty of rest between short periods of active games and exercise. Borzoi breed is susceptible to bone and joint issues. Don't overfeed your Borzoi puppy and stick to the recommended growth rate of under four pounds per week to avoid development of joint issues.
A comfortable orthopedic dog bed with removable cover is easy to keep clean and fresh. Orthopedic dog beds are designed to distribute the dog's body weight more evenly for a better rest. Dogs with arthritis or joint issues can get a much better rest on a comfortable dog bed.
Given the independent character, Borzoi may be a rather difficult dog to train for a novice dog owner. You may never get the same obedience from your Borzoi as from a working breed dog. Before getting this dog the owner needs to understand that this hunting breed is not capable of fast response to commands and willingness to perform is not the same as that in a working breed such as German Shepherd. Finding the right motivation for your dog can make all the difference when it comes to training. There are various motivational techniques used by dog trainers that may include food, positive attention, play or toys. Some experimenting may be needed before you find the most powerful motivator for your individual dog. Without the correct motivation the dog may become very stubborn and difficult to work with. The trainer must understand how to work with this specific breed and use the appropriate motivation and patience in order to get successful results. Sighthounds are generally sensitive. Harsh training methods do not work with Borzoi as this sensitive breed will quickly shut down when treated in a harsh way and may even get stubborn and aggressive. Only use positive reinforcement techniques when working with Borzoi and be sure to select a dog trainer that does not use punishment and other negative training techniques. Wrong approach to training can leave long lasting scars. Borzois have long memories and while they always remember people and pets they've known well, they also do not readily forget a bad experience. The right trainer needs to guide the dog in a kind and consistent manner.
Borzois have a strong hunting drive that is difficult to control. This hunting dog is built to chase his prey and is inclined to running after small animals. When off leash, the dog can be difficult to recall.
Socializing your Russian Wolfhound from an early age is very important. If there are kids or other pets in the household, have the dog socialized with all family members from puppyhood. Training of this breed should also include preventing the dog from chasing anything small and furry which can be difficult as the hunting instinct is very difficult to control. Do not trust the dog around small animals that the dog did not get socialized to from a young age.
As with any dog breed, housetraining should begin the moment you bring Borzoi home. If you notice that the dog is walking around in circles and sniffing the floor, immediately take him outside to the designated dog toilet area. As soon as he is done with his business, reward the dog with a small treat. Accidents are normal during housetraining. Do not punish Borzoi for accidents. Clean up the mess and continue monitoring the dog for signs of readiness to use dog toilet.
Traveling with a Borzoi is easier when the dog is crate trained. An appropriate crate size allows for enough space for the dog to stand full height and to stretch out as the dog is laying down. The dog should be able to turn around freely in a crate.
The Borzoi breed was developed for chasing things. The athletic built, endurance and speed make Borzoi a joy to watch during a "course" game. To keep the dog in best physical shape he needs daily energy release in a form of exercise, walking and running around. Lure-coursing is a great way to exercise your Borzoi and allow him to satisfy his hunting instinct in a safe environment. Be sure to only let the dog off the leash in a fenced area to prevent the dog from running away. If you let the dog out in the yard, the area needs to be completely fenced. When Borzoi is playing with other dogs it is common to see the dog seize another dog by the neck and hold it immobile. This hunting behavior is easy to misunderstand and take for fighting for dominance or territory. In reality the dog's strong hunting instinct is guiding this behavior.
It is common to see Borzoi puppies chase one another and hold one another immobile to practice hunting skills. Keep in mind that sighthounds are programmed to chase anything that moves and be prepared to see your dog chasing squirrels, birds or any other moving animals or even things.
Borzoi health issues
Borzoi, just like many other large dogs with deep, narrow chests is predisposed for developing Bloat. Feed a Borzoi dog twice a day and use a slow feeder dog food bowl to minimize the amount of air that the dog swallows while eating. Slowing down a fast eater may lower the chance of developing bloat in dogs. The dog should eat in a calm state of mind to help minimize the possibility of developing bloat.
There are certain risks associated with anesthesia in Borzoi breed. Be sure to check with your veterinarian in case Borzoi requires any procedures that involve anesthesia. Borzoi breed is more prone to osteosarcoma cancer in younger age than most dog breeds. If you notice unusual limping or pain in the legs be sure to check with your veterinarian.
Best dog food for Borzoi is a high quality age-appropriate dog food. Human food is not recommended for Borzoi as human food does not include all the necessary nutrients to keep your dog healthy and in good weight. Do not overfeed your dog and be mindful of the portions of food that you are feeding your dog. Feeding your Borzoi twice a day a reasonable amount is better than once a day but a lot of food.
Scientists are convinced that the earliest actual sighthound breeds were the Afghan hounds and the Kyrgyz Taigan. These breeds are among the earliest ancestors of the modern Borzoi breed. Later on other breeds were added to the mix that created the elegant breed and included Tazi, Hortaya, Stepnaya, Krimskaya, Hort and even Russian Laika to add more cold weather resistance. The Borzoi was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1891.