Borzoi, the Russian Wolfhound

borzoi_dog girlThe Borzoi Hunting Sighthound is definitely the most aristocratic Russian dog. Having a rising reputation of a glamour pet, this Russian wolfhound often accompanies celebrities and takes part in luxuries commercials. This coverdog can be easily recognized for its long, narrow head and tall, slender body covered in soft and silky, wavy and a little curly coat of white, tan, bronze and gray combination of colors. In the meantime, the Borzoi is a large, strong and healthy dog with great hunting and sporting abilities.  (Photo Credit: Kim Fleming/Flickr)

Translated from Russian, the Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya means a swift dog. For several centuries the Borzois were bred by Russian nobility to hunt wolves. A pair or trio of Russian wolfhounds would strike a sighted wolf, force it down and hold until the hunters arrive. The Borzoi, as its breed standard states, should have enough muscles and very strong jaws to fulfill this aim.

After the Bolshevik revolution this Russian dog, being one of the symbols of the "tsarist past", was ousted from a new communist life. The fate of the Borzois was left in the hands of several breeding kennels outside the Soviet Union, mostly in the Great Britain, and the US. Thanks to Western breeders this top Russian breed has been saved and returned back to people, including Russians themselves.

The Russian wolfhounds, despite their hunting instincts and speeding powers, have a rather laidback personality. The Borzoi dog doesn't seek the attention of strangers and prefers to share time with its sleeping or reading master rather than with noisy kids. At the same time the Borzoi may get suddenly excited at the sight of a game. It would willingly compete with other dogs in spontaneous or arranged dog racing.

The borzois are not suffering from many diseases that are common for large dog breeds. Overweight, heart problems and dysplasia are quite rare. The most dangerous for this Russian dog is bloat. Their life expectancy is up to 8-10 years, or even more. (Photo Credit: Kim Fleming/Flickr)

Owning a Borzoi dog is both a pleasure and responsibility. The Russian wolfhound may become your devoted friend and a beautiful showpiece for your home, but it surely needs daily exercise. Besides taking marvelous Borzoi pictures you should find time for long walks with your dog and give it a chance for sprints in a large fenced area. Its silky coat requires careful attention too.

borzoi dog_howlingSweet and gentle, the Borzoi represents a well-mannered home dog. It is quite intelligent and can be taught impressive tricks (click for video). And, of course, the Russian wolfhound is a welcome visitor at any National or World Dog Show.

Borzoi Size:

Height: 26 to 32 inches (males about 30, females about 28)

Weight: 55 to 105 pounds (males about 90, females about 70)

Borzoi speed: up to 37 mph (60 km/h)

Breed Names:

Borzoi, Russian wolfhound, Borzoi Hunting Sighthound, Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya, Barzoi

Borzoi Breed Standard

Find a Russian dog name for your Borzoi dog puppy!

Learn some Russian dog commands!

Browse Questions and Answers about Borzoi!

borzoi dog headPhoto Credit: SheltieBoy/Flickr




  1. Richard Dey says

    I was close to Petrov and Xena, famous on Boston's Esplanade in the 1970s. Petrov spent most of his life in a bathtub snoozing; but, when out and about, bounded at terrific speed. The laziest dog I ever knew, Petrov could turn humans into petrified stone at a glance; with friends, they can be unexpectedly timid. Not the smartest dogs on earth, they are unexpectedly friendly and, given half a chance, get along with other dogs quite well. They do need space (lots of space). Females can be difficult to housebreak.Unlike many dogs, Their best feature is that they rarely need to be trained off begging if dry food is available. Their long coats are a bit of work but not as bad as some dogs though, as upland dogs, they are subject to burrs. They also don't take to heat well.

  2. виталий says

    это не волкодав, псовая борзая создана для скорости, её задача догнать и остановить!

    волкодавами в России считаются совсем другие собаки, например кавказкая овчарка...

    • Irene says

      I believe it is a family of a Greyhound. We used to have one in Russia. These dogs are very graceful. No wonder Russian royalties like to show them off.

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