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Your Pet, Our Passion.


The Borzoi is the undisputed aristocrat of the canine world and with their elegant yet haughty demeanour, silky coat and long narrow head, they are instantly recognizable. The Borzoi’s coat comes in any colour other than merle, and is of medium length with a slight wave, and heavier feathering on the legs, undercarriage and tail.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Need to be aware of potential health issues
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
This breed may encounter health problems

The Borzoi breed can suffer from: 
- Degenerative myelopathy, which is a progressive disease affecting the spinal cord. 
- Thyroiditis¹ which can lead to hypothyroidism where the thyroid gland is underactive and does not product enough thyroid hormone, and can result in low energy levels, weight gain and skin problems. 
- Dental problems due to the breed's jaw conformation. 

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing:
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

¹D. H. Conaway, 'Clinical and histological features of primary progressive, familial thyroiditis in a colony of borzoi dogs', 1985, Vet Pathology. 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 7–10 years
Weight: 34kg for females and 41kg for males
Height: 68cm for females and 74cm for males
Colours: Any colour other than merle
Size: Large
Kennel Club group: Hound


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 2/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 1/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 2/5
Grooming needs: 4/5
Shedding: 5/5
white borzoi standing on the trail


As an adult, the Borzoi is a good-natured and gentle dog in the house, taking up surprisingly little space for their size when it suits them. Aloof and reserved with strangers, they can be very affectionate with their own family and exhibit a sense of humour and strong personality that sighthound fans find very appealing.

While not a guard dog, they may alert owners to the presence of suspicious characters and will give good account of themselves if they feel it necessary. Their nature as a sighthound, to course and to chase, must be kept in mind. While they can be raised with cats and small dogs that they view as ‘family’, they will always be predisposed to give chase to fast moving furry objects.

white borzoi dog looking to the right

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Russia

As with many breeds, there is some dispute as to the origins of the Borzoi. However, it is likely that Greyhound-like dogs from ancient Egypt were crossed with the native heavier coated herding and pastoral breeds from northern Russia to produce the Borzois ancestors.

From the 16th Century onwards the breed became refined into the ultimate wolf catching sighthound, working in pairs to bring down a wolf and hold it until a mounted hunter could dispatch the quarry.

Borzois were valued highly by the Czars of Russia, who gifted them frequently to other nobility around Europe, and it is these gifted dogs who saved the breed following the Russian Revolution of 1917, when the breed almost died out.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Captain E J Smith of the RMS Titanic, had a Borzoi called Ben who was famously photographed with him on desk before the ill-feted ship set sail. Thankfully for Ben, he didn’t stay for the voyage.
  • For the film Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, a Borzoi called Nobs provided lead vocals alongside Dave Gilmour on harmonica and Roger Waters on guitar. The song was ‘Seamus’ named after Dave Gilmour’s dog who originally howled in the studio recording but was re-titled ‘Mademoiselle Nobs’ in the film.

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