Borzoi originated in Russia, where the similar hounds were familiar since the 13th century. It was used by the aristocratic people of Russia to chase and hunt wolves. They were also gifted to the European nobleman, but they were never sold. It almost got extinct through the Bolshevik Revolution, due to its aristocratic symbol. However, some dedicated breeders saved the breed from extinction and shipped them to other parts of the globe, primarily to Britain, the United States and Canada. Due to its varied ability of lure coursing, hunting and sighting it became famous worldwide.
American Kennel Club (AKC) registered the first Borzoi named Princess Irma in 1891. The Borzoi Club of America earlier known as Russian wolfhound club of America developed in 1903. This breed was renamed from Russian wolfhound to Borzoi in 1936. It ranks 96th amongst the 155 registered breeds of AKC.
It was also mixed with some other dogs like Whippet, Husky, Collie, German Shepherd, etc.
Temperament & Personality
Borzois do not tend to please humans, being open-minded they need obedience training from puppy days. They are loyal and sweet, but they don’t go well with strangers and children, it becomes aggressive and malicious with moving objects like a rabbit, small pets, cats, etc. It communicates correctly with other dogs. Borzois are tidy by nature and always stay busy tidying like cats. They possess hunting instincts and to minimize this tendency owner needs to care them exceptionally and should preserve them from situations which makes them aggressive. It is not ideal for the first time owners. Also, they require a house with a yard to move freely.
Being highly energetic they require vigorous activity regularly. It is an ideal partner for active people, Borzois are ideal jogging partners, and owners can take make them walk or jog while cycling. It is advisable to take them for a walk or jog on a leash. Otherwise, they can disappear after any small animal. It requires adequate off-leash play time in a properly fenced area to maintain fitness. Additionally, they also need mental stimulation which can be in the form of puzzle toys, puzzle games, agility training, etc. Make sure they get sufficient exercising. Otherwise they can develop odd behaviors.
Their long furs require attention, brushing their coat with a firm bristle brush twice to thrice a week is essential to keep it clean and shine. They are seasonal shedders and during their shedding time, brush them regularly to remove dead hairs from the coat. Bathe them occasionally and not frequently. Their coat retains its shine and texture with dry shampoo. Hence, owners can opt for a vet prescribed dry dog shampoo to clean.
Borzoi has droopy ears that are prone to infections due to water, dirt buildup and need regular checking to prevent infections and pain. Clean their ears with Vet prescribed ear solution. Clean their corner of the eyes with a damp cloth to remove tear stains.
Like other breeds, they also grow nails faster which can crack if not appropriately trimmed and hinder regular activities like walking, run, etc. However, cutting them twice a month will serve the purpose. Brush their teeth twice a week to avoid development tartar and oral problems.
Borzoi is a healthy breed, but it is sensitive to medications and owners need to visit a vet before giving them any medicines. The drug named Xylazine (Ropum) should be avoided. Make sure they do not move on the lawns that are chemically processed recently or in the fields where fertilizers were used. Additionally, they are prone to some dog diseases like Hip Dysplasia, cataracts, Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), etc. Hence, a random visit to the vet is essential and will keep them healthy.
Puppy training classes and early socialization is advisable to make the pet well behaved. Borzoi is an intelligent breed, but they become stubborn at times which makes training very difficult. Hence, a consistent and firm trainer is essential to train them.
Socializing will be easy by taking them to different busy places like a supermarket, bus stops busy roads and Dogs Park, to provide them with socialization. It will allow them to meet unknown faces, different sounds and situations and make them more flexible. Command training is essential to polish their skills and enhance the relationship between the dog and the owner.
With proper socialization and training techniques will make them ideal companions and playmates. They tend to chase and leash training is essential to keep them under control. Opt for positive training methods like praises and treats, it will allow them to learn things quickly. Also, make sessions short and varied to prevent boredom.
These dogs eat less as compared to their size, while the puppies eat more than the adults for growth. They do well on a superior quality food whether it is homemade or commercially made. However, offer food depending upon the vet’s supervision.
They tend to drool, and foods that reduce drooling will be ideal for them. However, consult a vet before offering them. Borzois also have the risk of bloating and heavy exercise is not advisable before or after eating. They tend to gain weight and owners should check with their weight level and calorie consumption. If weight is an issue minimize giving treats and table scraps.