A tall, white dog with black patches and a long bushy tail is playing hide and seek in a field of bluebells.


12 February 2023

Let’s talk about… Borzoi: what are they?

  • The Borzoi, also known as the Russian Wolfhound, is a majestic and elegant breed that originated in Russia.
  • The Borzoi was historically a favourite breed among Russian nobility and was often seen in the courts of Russian tsars.
  • They were developed as hunting dogs, specifically for chasing and catching game in open fields.
  • Borzoi dogs have a graceful and sighthound-like appearance, with a long, narrow head, a slender body, and a luxurious coat that comes in various colours.
  • Males can reach a height of 75-85 cm and weigh between 34-48 kg, while females are slightly smaller, standing at a height of 68-78 cm and weighing between 27-41 kg.
  • The average life expectancy of Borzoi dogs is around 9-14 years.
Borzoi  Exercise Needs 3/5 Grooming Ease 3/5 Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Borzoi like?

  • Borzoi dogs are known for their calm and gentle temperament.
  • They are typically reserved and dignified but form deep bonds with their families.
  • Although they have a calm nature, they can be independent and may not always display the same level of enthusiasm as some other breeds.
  • Borzoi are generally good with children and can get along well with other dogs if properly socialised from a young age.
  • Due to their strong prey drive, it is important to supervise them around small animals, such as cats or rabbits, as they may instinctively chase them.
  • Early socialisation and positive reinforcement training are essential to help them become well-rounded dogs and manage their hunting instincts.
Austin, the Borzoi

How much exercise do Borzoi need?

  • Borzoi dogs have moderate exercise needs and typically require around 1-2 hours of exercise per day.
  • They enjoy a combination of leisurely walks, free running in secure areas, and mental stimulation through interactive games and training.
  • It's important to provide them with regular opportunities to stretch their legs and fulfil their natural instincts to chase and run.
  • When it comes to Borzoi puppies, their exercise needs differ from adults.
  • While they are still growing, their bones and joints are developing, and excessive exercise can be detrimental.
  • Puppies should have short play sessions throughout the day to prevent overexertion. Consult with your veterinarian for specific exercise recommendations based on your puppy's age and development.
  • Borzoi dogs reach their full adult exercise levels at around 18-24 months of age.

Do Borzoi dogs need a lot of grooming?

  • Borzoi dogs have a long, silky, and dense coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition.
  • They have a soft undercoat and a longer outer coat that may require brushing at least a few times a week to prevent matting and remove any loose or dead hair.
  • During shedding seasons, which typically occur twice a year, they may need more frequent brushing to manage the increased hair loss.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Be, the Borzoi

Are Borzoi dogs easy to train?

  • Borzoi dogs are intelligent and can be trained, but they have an independent and somewhat aloof nature that may make training a bit challenging.
  • They respond best to positive reinforcement techniques, using rewards, praise, and treats.
  • Consistency and patience are key when training a Borzoi.
  • Keep training sessions short, engaging, and varied to prevent boredom.
  • Early socialisation is crucial to help them become more comfortable and confident in different environments and social situations.
  • Enrolling them in puppy training classes or working with a professional dog trainer can be beneficial for both you and your Borzoi.
Seldom, the Borzoi

What do Borzoi dogs eat?

  • A high-quality dog food that meets the nutritional needs of Borzoi dogs is essential for their health and well-being.
  • The amount and type of food may vary depending on their age, size, activity level, and metabolism.
  • Consult with your veterinarian for specific feeding recommendations for your Borzoi.
  • When it comes to Borzoi puppies, they have specific dietary needs to support their growth and development.
  • Puppies should usually be fed 3-4 times per day until they are 6 months old when this can be reduced to twice daily.
  • They should be fed a balanced puppy-specific diet until they reach around 12 months of age.

Are Borzoi dogs healthy?

Borzoi dogs are generally a healthy breed, but like any dog, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the health concerns that may affect Borzoi include:


  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!


  • Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone


  • Degenerative Myelopathy - a disease that causes nerves in the lower spine to not work properly

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your dog or want to discuss further if a Borzoi is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Borzois

BorrowMyDoggy has 37 Borzoi members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

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