The Borzoi has descended from dogs brought to Russia by central Asian countries such Kyrgyzstan, lower Kazakhstan and Afghan plains. The development of this breed was a slow process, as the original ancient breeds in the Borzoi ancestry made their way through the steppes to the Russian mainland via the Silk Route. The modern Borzoi were developed on by adding Western sighthound breeds to its Hortaya, Stepnaya, and the Ukrainian-Polish version of the old Hort; the Russian Laika was also introduced to add resistance to the cold Northern temperature. An official breeding programme was undertaken in the late 1940s to control breeding and prevent it from degenerating.
The Borzoi actually is a very gentle natured breed. It has an innate respect towards humans, choosing to lavish their known people with affection, and is very graceful around the house. However, the Borzoi is wary of strangers, and its hunting instincts are automatically triggered at the sight of a fast-moving object.
- Activity level: 2/5 (can be lazy at times)
- Intelligence level: 3/5 (intelligent)
- Curiosity: 2/5 (mildly curious)
- Friendliness: 3/5 (quite friendly)
- Vocal: 2/5 (mildly vocal)
Large in stature and powerfully built, the Borzoi resembles some Central Asian breeds. It has a heavy, long topcoat. Due to its lean physique and streamlined body, it has an elegant, graceful look that draws comparison with a cat.
- Fur: Medium length coat, silky and wavy; flat, long topcoat and soft undercoat that thickens in colder climates and shed in warmer climes.
- Eyes: Obliquely set, dark in colour.
- Body structure: Long, large bodies; the body structure is lean and streamlined. The male Borzoi stands at least 30 inches, whereas the female Borzoi measure around 26 inches.
- Facial features: Slightly domed skull, long and narrow; Long, powerful and deep jaw.
- Weight: The Borzoi can easily weigh more than 45 kg.
Being a large breed, the Borzoi is susceptible to osteosarcoma and cardiac problems such as cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia. Moreover, it may also face issues such as gastric torsion. Bone cancer can be detected by X-ray analysis, biopsy and MRI scans, whereas the gastric torsion and abdominal distension may be detected by palpation and X-ray imaging. Cardiac problems are generally diagnosed using techniques such as complete blood count, angiography and echocardiography.
Regular dental brushing is required to prevent gingivitis and other periodontal afflictions from besetting the Borzoi. Borzoi breed should also be tested for DM (degenerative Mylopathy). Being a longhair breed, the Borzoi requires regular grooming with a pin brush, a soft slicker brush and a comb to remove dead hair from its coat; it also moults its softer undercoat when temperature turns to be warmer, which tends to tangle. Moreover, ears should be checked to avoid wax and debris build-up that may cause an infection. Prey drive and off leash in an unsecure area isn't recommended. The Borzoi also requires regular exercising, and it is preferably kept in a suburban house with open outdoor space for it to run and exercise.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
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