AKC Dog Breeds: Borzoi

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Hound Group
Height: 24-28 inches   Weight: 60-110  pounds  Color:  white, tan, gray

The Borzoi is an excellent dog. This type of dog is also known as a Russian Wolfhound. Their bodies are much the same as that of a Greyhound in size and structure. These are amazing dogs for their beauty but also for their temperament. They fit within the realm of a dog that can be appreciated by anyone that is looking for one. For those with a lot of room, the Borzoi will fit right into your family unit. The Borzoi was originally bred for the coursing of wild game on more or less open terrain, relying on sight rather than scent. To accomplish this purpose, the Borzoi needed particular structural qualities to chase, catch and hold his quarry. Special emphasis is placed on sound running gear, strong neck and jaws, courage and agility, combined with proper condition. The Borzoi should always possess unmistakable elegance, with flowing lines, graceful in motion or repose. Developed in Russia, the Borzoi was popular amongst aristocrats, and was bred to track and hunt wolves. These dogs hunted in packs, and the Borzoi is said to have been a favorite of the Russian writer Tolstoy. The breed was registered with the AKC in 1891.

General Appearance
The unique shape of the Borzoi is only one condition that makes it unique. These dogs are very beautiful animals. The Borzoi is a tall, aristocratic dog with a long, thin, narrow head. A slightly arched muzzle and a long, low-hanging curved tail. Heavy-necked ruff is characteristic. The nose is black and the eyes are oblong and dark. The ears lie back on the neck but may prick up partially when the dog is alert. The back is gracefully curved. The chest is narrow, but very deep. The Borzoi has a unique and wonderfully patterned coat. It is silky and of moderate length with a thick plush under that fits closely to the body. The coat is dirt shedding and resistant to matting, and may be flat, wavy, or curly. He has a large, robust, and sturdy build, and a smaller, elongated head. The silky textured coat does shed quite heavily on a seasonal basis, but these dogs are otherwise medium shedders. They have a profuse neck mane, longer thick coat on the tail and back of hind legs.

When it comes to temperament, you will find the Borzoi to be an amazing animal. They are very smart dogs and at the same time are very affectionate to their owners. A graceful, dignified, and mild mannered dog, the Borzoi is an affectionate creature with a distinct calmness about him. Although independent and quiet when indoors, this is also a dog that is very active and fast, and therefore needs plenty of exercise. He also needs to be in a safe and secure area when playing and exercising or else he could disappear in a flash. There is something very noble and regal about the Borzoi. The Borzoi is proud, sweet, and alert. They are extremely loyal to their family, and affectionate to people well known to them. They are aloof to strangers. They are quiet, well behaved, and seldom bark. For this reason they are not good watchdogs. They are not recommended for homes with small children, cats, or other small pets. They do well with other medium or large sized dogs they have been raised with. They are also terrific companions for older considerate children. The Borzoi is very slow to mature. They are not well suited for a two career family as they suffer depression and separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods of time. They are extremely sensitive, intelligent, and free thinking.

The long silky coat is easy to groom. Brush regularly with a firm bristle brush, and dry shampoo when necessary. Bathing presents a problem with such a tall dog but shouldn't be required very often. Clip the hair between the toes to keep the feet comfortable and to stop them from spreading. This breed is a seasonally heavy shedder.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
Borzois are generally a healthy breed however they are prone to progressive retinal atrophy. They also have an extremely low tolerance to anesthetic and have a tendency to bloat. The Borzoi has a life expectancy of around 9-13 years.

Activity Level
To maintain their fitness Borzoi dogs need plenty of exercise, including a long daily walk and regular opportunities to run off the leash, however in some countries it is forbidden to allow all the dogs in this fleet-footed hunting category off the leash. The Borzoi make excellent jogging companions and usually enjoy running alongside a bicycle but beware, a Borzoi is quite likely to shoot off after any prey it catches site of. If this happens you will need to react very quickly.


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