Borzoi Dog Breed

This breed is loyal and affectionate pet to its human family.
By: PawCulture Editors
Borzoi dog breed resting outdoors on a grassy field.

About the Borzoi Dog Breed

An elegant, graceful dog breed, the Borzoi was originally bred to hunt wolves in Russia. Today it is mostly thought of as an animal companion.

Borzoi Physical Characteristics

The Borzoi is a large dog with long legs and a high abdomen. Its head is long and narrow with dropped ears. 


The Borzoi can be seen in various colors or combination of colors, though it is most commonly seen in white with patches of a secondary color.


Long and silky with a dense undercoat.

Borzoi Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Borzoi is affectionate and loyal to its human family.

Things to Consider

If not properly socialized at a young age, the Borzoi can sometimes be quick to snap at children or cats.

Borzoi Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Borzoi fares well in the country or city. 

Special Requirements

The Borzoi requires regular exercise and grooming.

Borzoi Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Borzois:


Borzoi History and Background

For several hundred years, the Russian aristocracy bred the Borzoi or “Russian Wolfhound.” In the 13th century, hare hunting was a popular sport and after two or three centuries, coursing hounds were crossed with tall Russian sheepdogs and bear hounds to increase the original breed’s coat and size. This was required to hunt wolves in very cold climates.

The first Borzoi model was documented in a book dealing with Borzoi hunting rules in the 1600s. It is said that there had never been such a large-scale focus on a hunting dog before. Countess serfs took care of the dogs on large estates and the hunts were always grand occasions. One account says that hounds, beaters, horses, and hunters were brought in on a train of more than 40 cars. Another train carried the Grand Duke and nobility. More than a hundred Borzoi took part in the hunt. Initially scent-hounds and beaters trailed the wolf and hunters on horseback followed them. When a wolf was spotted, a pair of Borzoi was then let loose. The dogs attacked the prey together, until the hunters arrived.

Towards the end of the 1800s, there were as many as seven different subtypes of the breed in Russia. The Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaevich retained the current Borzoi standard that descended from the Perchino breed. Most of the early imports in America were brought straight from the Perchino doghouses. The Russian Czar gifted many Borzoi to visiting royalty. The conclusion of the Russian Revolution put an end to the prosperity of the nobility and subsequently numerous Borzoi died.

In the United States, this breed became famous as a glamorous dog that accompanied movie stars. The Borzoi is popular as a pet and is mostly liked for being an excellent model, coursing dog, and show dog.