Majesty Dog

Borzoi: A Majestic and Affectionate Breed

Introduction to Borzoi

If you are looking for a breed that combines beauty, grace, and intelligence, you might want to consider a Borzoi. With their slim frames, long legs, and flowing coats, these dogs resemble majestic creatures from a different world.

Yet, despite their aristocratic appearance, Borzois are gentle, friendly, and affectionate pets that can adapt to different lifestyles and personalities. In this article, we will delve into the history, appearance, and personality of this fascinating breed and explore the reasons why it has gained a loyal following around the world.

Origin and History of Borzoi

The Borzoi, also known as the Russian Wolfhound, has its roots in the vast lands of Russia, where it was bred for hunting wolves and other prey. The exact origins of the breed are uncertain, but it is believed that the ancestors of the Borzoi were bred by nomadic tribes in Central Asia around 5000 years ago.

These dogs, called “Taigan,” “Tazy,” or “Buryat” depending on the region, were used for hunting small game and hares and were valued for their speed, sight, and endurance. During the Middle Ages, Russian nobility started to import these hounds to use them in their own hunts and breeding programs.

With time, the Borzoi became a symbol of aristocracy and elegance, and many noble families established their own kennels to produce dogs with the desired traits. The breed reached its peak in the 19th century during the reign of Tsar Nicholas II, who was an avid Borzoi fancier and gave many dogs as gifts to foreign dignitaries.

However, the Russian Revolution of 1917 had a significant impact on the fate of the Borzoi. Many kennels were destroyed, and the breed’s population declined sharply.

Some dogs were killed, and others were exported to other countries, including the United States, where they gradually gained popularity among fanciers. Today, the Borzoi is still considered a rare breed, and its numbers are relatively low compared to other breeds.

Naming of the Breed

The name “Borzoi” comes from the Russian word “borzaya,” which means “fast” or “swift.” This name reflects the breed’s hunting ability and speed, as Borzois can run up to 40 miles per hour when chasing prey. In other countries, the breed is known as “Russian Wolfhound,” “Russian Sighthound,” or “Sylvan Sighthound,” which highlight the Borzoi’s origins and characteristics.

Popularity and Cultural References

Although the Borzoi is not as ubiquitous as some other breeds, it has gained a loyal following in different parts of the world. In the United States, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1891 and has since participated in various dog shows and events.

Borzois have also appeared in popular culture, including books, films, and TV shows. Perhaps the most famous literary reference is Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, in which the dog Argos is a Borzoi.

Other examples include The Hunger Games, where the character President Snow keeps a pack of white Borzois as companions, and The Great Gatsby, in which a Borzoi symbolizes luxury and beauty.

Borzoi Appearance

Physical Description and Measurements

Borzois are tall dogs that can reach up to 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 60 and 120 pounds, depending on gender and size. They have long, lean bodies that are built for speed and agility, with deep chests, arched backs, and tapering tails.

Their heads are narrow and long, with pointed muzzles and expressive, almond-shaped eyes. Borzois have long, silky coats that vary in color from white, black, or yellow to red, brindle, or grey.

Some dogs have markings on their face, legs, or ears, but otherwise, their coats are usually plain. Borzois require regular grooming to maintain their coats in good condition and to prevent matting and tangling.

Coat Colors

Borzois come in a variety of coat colors, as mentioned before. White is the most common color, followed by black and tan, which is a black coat with tan markings on the legs, chest, and face.

Yellow is a lighter shade of tan, while red can range from a deep mahogany to a pale beige. Brindle is a mix of black and brown or grey, with irregular stripes that can vary in thickness and intensity.

Grey can be silver, blue, or fawn, with different shades and patterns. Markings can include black masks, white blazes, and white socks.

Personality and Behavior

Borzois are known for their independent and gentle nature. Unlike some other breeds, they are not prone to territorial or aggressive behavior and can get along well with children and other pets.

They are not watchdogs and are unlikely to bark at strangers or intruders. However, they are sighthounds and have a strong prey drive, which means they can be tempted to chase small animals or run away if they catch sight of something interesting.

Therefore, it is essential to keep them on a leash or in a secure area when outside. Borzois are intelligent and trainable but can be stubborn or aloof at times.

They respond well to positive reinforcement and gentle handling but may become bored or disinterested if the training is repetitive or harsh. Like all dogs, Borzois need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

They enjoy running, walking, and playing and can adapt to different lifestyles, from city apartments to rural farms.


The Borzoi is a fascinating breed that combines elegance, speed, and affection. Its history and appearance make it a unique and beautiful companion that can capture the heart of anyone who appreciates noble animals.

Although it is not a breed for everyone, those who decide to welcome a Borzoi into their home will discover a loyal and gentle friend that can provide years of joy and companionship.

Borzoi Exercise Requirements

Borzois are elegant, athletic dogs that require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. Although they are not as active as some other breeds, they still enjoy stretching their long legs and exploring their surroundings.

In this section, we will discuss the exercise needs of Borzois and the precautions owners should take to keep them safe and secure.

Daily Exercise Needs

Like all dogs, Borzois need regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. A typical Borzoi requires at least one long walk per day, where they can sniff, explore, and socialize.

The walk should be at a comfortable pace for the dog and last for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Borzois are not the type of dogs that can be left alone in the yard for long periods.

They require daily interaction and exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. In addition to walking, Borzois also enjoy running and playing off-leash in a fenced yard or dog park.

They have exceptional speed and agility and love to chase after balls, frisbees, or other toys. However, it is crucial to ensure that the area is secure and free of escape routes.

Borzois can jump high and dig deep, and they can easily slip through small gaps or holes.

Prey Drive and Potential Flight Risk

Borzois are sighthounds, which means they have a strong instinct to chase and capture prey. They have excellent eyesight and can detect movement from far away, which is why they were used for hunting wolves and other game.

However, this prey drive can also make them susceptible to running away or getting lost if they catch sight of something interesting. Therefore, it is essential to keep them on a leash or in a secure area when outside.

A Borzoi that is off-leash in an open area may decide to chase after a squirrel, a bird, or a cat and may not come back when called. The thrill of the chase can override their recall training and their desire to please their owners.

Therefore, it is crucial to practice recall training in a controlled environment and to build a strong bond with the dog. A well-trained Borzoi should be able to respond to its owner’s commands even in the midst of distractions or excitement.


Borzois are intelligent dogs that can be trained to perform various tasks and behaviors. They are ranked 76th out of 138 breeds in terms of working and obedience intelligence, according to Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs.

This ranking places them in the “Above Average” category, which means they can learn new commands in 25-40 repetitions and obey them at least 50% of the time. However, Borzois can also be independent and stubborn at times, especially if the training is repetitive or harsh.

They are not the type of dogs that respond well to physical punishment, such as hitting, yelling, or choking. Instead, they require positive reinforcement and encouragement, such as treats, praise, or play.

Patience and consistency are crucial when training a Borzoi, as they may take longer to learn a new command or behavior.

Individual Differences in Learning and Personality

Each Borzoi is different in terms of learning style and personality. Some dogs are more intuitive and can sense their owners’ moods and intentions, while others may need more guidance and direction.

Some Borzois are eager to please and love to work, while others may prefer to lounge on the couch and relax. It is essential to recognize and respect these differences and to tailor the training to the dog’s needs and preferences.

While training a Borzoi, it is also important to build a strong bond and trust with the dog. Borzois are sensitive and can sense their owners’ emotions and reactions.

They respond well to positive reinforcement and praise but may become disheartened or anxious if they feel neglected or punished. Therefore, it is crucial to spend time with the dog, play with it, and show it affection and attention.

Challenges and Tips for


Training a Borzoi can be a rewarding experience, but it can also come with challenges and frustrations. One of the main challenges is the breed’s independence and stubbornness.

Borzois can be selective listeners and may ignore commands that they feel are not relevant or interesting. Therefore, it is crucial to make the training fun and engaging and to motivate the dog with rewards and praise.

Another challenge is the breed’s prey drive and potential flight risk. Borzois can be tempted to chase after prey and may not come back when called.

Therefore, it is crucial to practice recall training in a controlled environment, such as a fenced yard or a quiet park, and to use positive reinforcement and treats to reinforce the behavior.

Training a Borzoi to come when called is a lifelong process that requires patience and consistency.

In summary, Borzois require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy long walks, running, and playing in a fenced area but need to be kept on a leash or in a secure area when outside.

Training a Borzoi can be a fun and rewarding experience but requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. By understanding the breed’s unique characteristics and needs, owners can provide the best possible care for their Borzoi and enjoy a cherished companion for years to come.


Like most dogs, Borzois shed their coats regularly, which can be a concern for people with allergies or a desire for a low-maintenance pet. Although Borzois are not hypoallergenic, they don’t shed heavily all year round, and their sleek, fine fur often stays on the coat rather than falling off on floors or carpets.

In this section, we will discuss Borzoi shedding frequency, owner experiences, and tips for managing shedding in a household.

Shedding Frequency and Amount

Borzois have a medium-length, silky coat that grows and sheds in cycles. They undergo “blowouts,” or heavy shedding periods, twice a year, usually in the spring and fall, when they shed their old coat to make room for a new one.

During these periods, the shedding can be quite substantial, and owners should expect to find piles of fur on floors, carpets, and furniture. However, outside the shedding season, Borzois typically have a moderate shedding pattern, where they lose some hair but not excessively.

Although Borzois tend not to shed as much as other breeds, they still require daily grooming to keep their coat in good condition and minimize the shedding. Regular brushing can help remove loose hair and prevent matting and tangling, which can make the shedding worse.

Using a high-quality deshedding tool or a slicker brush can help remove dead hair and reduce the amount of hair that falls off. Additionally, feeding the dog a balanced diet and providing adequate hydration can help maintain healthy skin and coat and reduce shedding.

Owner Experiences with


Borzois are known to have moderate shedding, which can vary depending on the individual, the season, and other factors. Some owners find that the shedding is manageable and not too noticeable, while others may find it more challenging to keep up with the fur.

Using a lint roller, vacuum, or broom can help remove any stray hairs that may accumulate on clothes or surfaces. In general, Borzois tend not to have strong odors or excessive dander, which can make them easier to live with for people with allergies or respiratory problems.

Many Borzoi owners report that frequent brushing and grooming is an excellent way to bond with their dog and prevent excessive shedding. Brushing can be a relaxing and calming activity for both the owner and the dog and can provide a way to check the dog’s skin, coat, ears, and paws for any signs of problems or infections.

Grooming can also be an opportunity to teach the dog good manners and obedience and establish a routine. Moreover, the process can help reduce stress and anxiety in dogs, which can manifest in destructive behavior or other disorders.

Borzoi as Family Dogs

Temperament and Suitability for Family Life

Borzois are affectionate, gentle, and loyal dogs that can make excellent family pets. They love to be close to their owners and may follow them around the house or garden.

They are not very vocal and tend to be calm and reserved but can become excited and playful when stimulated. Their delicate build and long limbs require that they be treated gently and carefully, and they may be prone to accidents or injuries if handled roughly.

Interaction with Children and Pets

Borzois are often called the “gentle giants” of the dog world because of their patient and kind nature. They can get along well with children and other pets, as long as they are introduced and supervised properly.

They are not the type of dogs that enjoy rough play or wrestling and may become frightened or defensive if provoked. Therefore, children should be taught to respect the dog’s boundaries and communicate with them gently and calmly.

Borzoi’s also have a strong prey drive and may chase after small animals or birds if not trained and socialized correctly. They may also be at risk of running away or getting lost if they catch sight of something interesting and decide to chase after it.

Therefore, it is crucial to keep them on a leash or in a secure area and to practice recall training in a controlled environment.

Separation Anxiety

Borzoi’s are known to be susceptible to separation anxiety, which is a chronic canine disorder that can manifest in various symptoms, such as destructive behavior, excessive barking, or depression. Separation anxiety occurs when dogs become anxious or fearful when separated from their owners or from the familiar environment for extended periods.

Therefore, they may need training to become familiar with being alone, and owners should gradually increase their alone time. Crate training can be useful for Borzois, as they can provide a sense of security and routine for the dog when the owner is away.

Additionally, leaving the dog with toys, treats, and calming music or scents can help reduce anxiety and provide a positive association with being alone. In summary, Borzois can make excellent family pets, as they are affectionate, gentle, and loyal dogs.

They need daily exercise and interaction and can get along well with children and other pets if they are introduced correctly. Borzois require patience and gentleness when handling and may need supervision when interacting with small animals or birds.

Additionally, they may be susceptible to separation anxiety and may need training and routines to cope with being alone.

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