The Borzoi is a member of the Hound Group who is blessed with a striking and elegant appearance. Well behaved with a quiet demeanor makes this breed one of the most well-mannered dogs you can have as a house pet. When outside, the Borzoi loves to chase any small animal in sight. Calm around children, moderately affectionate, and sensitive to their owners this furry friend is ideal for a family. Timid is a word often used to describe the Borzoi. They are especially timid around strangers.
The Borzoi: A Brief History
The Borzoi, also known as the “Russian Wolfhound,” traces its origin to Russia and has been around since the Middle Ages. The breed goes back to when the Russian aristocracy bred them for hunting.
The Borzoi were used to course hare as early as the 13th century. In order to increase the breed’s size and improve their coat so that they could hunt in cold weather the breed was crossed with coursing hounds, Russian sheepdogs, and bear hounds. The common practice of that time was to hunt with 3 dogs: 2 males and 1 female, and when a wolf was spotted, they were unleashed. The three would take down the animal with precision until a hunter arrived to claim the kill.
When the 1800′s rolled around there were seven different types of Borzoi in Russia. The Borzoi we know today are descended from the Perchino type. Many Borzoi were killed in the Russian Revolution. The only reason the breed survived is because of foreign royalty that had Borzoi kennels. Today you can see the Borzoi modeling in magazines, at dog shows, or even being used as coursing hounds.
Care for the Borzoi
Plenty of physical exercise is a must with the Borzoi, just as it is for any of the Hound Group. Several laps around an open field and daily walks on the leash are the ideal regimen for this breed. This breed loves to sprint. If you can keep them in a fenced-in yard during the day it would go a long way to keeping this precious pooch happy.
Though these dogs can live outside, they should sleep in the house with the rest of the family. This breed does not tolerate heat well, but can deal with moderately cold temperatures. The Borzoi has heavy grooming requirements, as they need a heavy brushing three times a week. The Borzoi’s coat is very long and sheds often.
Borzoi Health Concerns
The Borzoi’s average lifespan is between ten and twelve years. Gastric torsion is their only major health concern. Hypothyroidism and cardiomyopathy are minor health problems that may show up. It is suggested by veterinarians that you get your Borzoi tested for thyroid and cardiac problems.