|Size:||Large (60 to 100+ lbs.)|
|Lifespan:||Long (12 to 15+ years)|
Borzoi, also known as Russian Wolfhounds, are a giant sighthound breed resembling a long wire-haired Greyhound or Saluki. Similarly, Borzoi were bred for companionship, hunting, and racing, and were the favored pets of royalty and nobility in both Russia and Britain in the 17th century, with Borzoi hunts being elite events. After the Russian Revolution, the breed was threatened with extinction--previously, only the Tsar could give Borzoi to foreigners as gifts. They were popular in the first half of the 20th century as glamorous companions to Hollywood stars. The Borzoi shares many traits--including the need for speed and a sweet disposition--with its sighthound family cousins. Borzoi are sensitive, loyal, and affectionate, and make great family pets in both city and country, but are definitely not for the inexperienced dog owner or independent person who spends little time at home. Although they need the off-leash exercise, be careful letting a Borzoi off its leash in an area that's not completely fenced-in--they can't be caught! Borzoi, like most sighthound breeds, are dogs that give back tenfold in love what they take in time, exercise, and attention.
Borzoi need a daily brushing of their long, dense and curly coats, and do shed. Their only other grooming requirements, however, are monthly bathing, nail clipping, and teeth cleaning. Borzoi, like all sighthound breeds, require lots of daily exercise--including lots of off-leash exercise. Borzoi do best with positive reinforcement in training and, due to their intelligence, will get bored easily with anything but short training sessions. Borzoi also need lots of exercise and attention daily or will become destructive, which, in a breed this large, will cause major household issues. Common health problems in Borzoi are hip and shoulder dysplasia, bloat and gastric torsion, osteo-arthritis, cardiac and eye disorders. Sighthound breeds cannot metabolize barbiturate-based anesthetics, so please work with your veterinarian closely if your dog requires surgery.
Borzoi do best in households with older, considerate kids--these are huge and heavy dogs that can easily knock over a smaller, unsuspecting child. Borzoi should not be trusted around small, fuzzy animals unless they are raised around them, and even then, be cautious: sighthound breeds are instinctive small-game hunters.
For more information on Borzoi or Russian Wolfhound ownership and care, check out the Borzoi Rescue of Northern California.