The Borzoi, or Russian Wolfhound, is a ‘sighthound’, originally bred to pursue, or "course", game. Their hunting instinct means that Borzois are generally better with adults and older children, or in a home with only other dogs. New owners should be mindful that, although Borzois have a wonderfully sweet and gentle nature, they grow to be quite large dogs, so their living quarters should be planned accordingly.
Borzoi health issues
Borzois are subject to the same health issues that affect all larger dogs, including bone problems associated with rapid growth. Their deep chest can lead to gastrointestinal disorders such as bloat, while low thyroid levels may require supplementation. Cancers and heart diseases can also be a problem in older dogs. Fortunately, most Borzois enjoy lives free from serious illnesses, and the breed is very hardy and low maintenance. Of course, how a puppy is raised and the care it receives will affect its general health. Here are a few useful tips for keeping a Borzoi happy and healthy.
The best puppy diet
Borzoi puppies thrive on a few small meals throughout the day, rather than one large one. The best food to serve includes fresh chicken, beef, turkey, fish, or game such as venison. Always choose the best dog food brand available, and check online for superior pet foods – for example at http://www.pedigree.com/. Adult dogs will benefit from a raised feeder, available from any pet store.
Appropriate puppy exercise
Borzois need exercise to develop their muscle tone. An hour-long walk every day, or two 30-minute walks, is ideal for adult dogs. With Borzoi puppies, the walks should be initially shorter with a gradual build up to the adult level. Always use a leash when outdoors; the hunting instinct remains very strong and, without a restraint, the pup may bolt in pursuit of a cat or a squirrel, heedless of commands. Finding a safe spot for a run is also important – a fenced area is a must before undoing the leash.
Borzoi dog grooming
Regular grooming from a young age will get your Russian Wolfhound puppy used to the weekly brushing that its long, silky adult coat will require. Occasionally, clip the hair between the toes and use an ear cleaner. Bathe the pup about two or three times per year, carefully washing hair and then towelling dry. As long as the approach is gentle, most Borzois enjoy bathtime.
Good dog habits
Known for their stubborn streak, Borzois can be tricky to train but it’s certainly worth persevering. Basic commands should not be a problem, as the dogs are quite intelligent. However, Borzois have the knack of manipulating their owners – especially when food is involved – so beware of giving in when those soulful eyes start staring imploringly at a dinner that’s not meant for them.
All dogs require regular check-ups, and an experienced veterinarian will be aware of the ailments that can trouble Borzois. Make sure your Borzoi puppy gets used to being handled by the vet, so any current or future health problems can be promptly sorted out.
Finally, make time for gentle play and be prepared to shower the puppy with lots of love and affection – owners will be amply rewarded by this experience!
About the author: The article is guest written by Dave, a professional writer and researcher. Specially for the Russian Dog website.
Photo Credits: ROVER_JP/Flickr