Brillian BORZOI!

The Borzoi, or as he was known earlier, the Russian Wolfhound, is a tall, elegant dog, streamlined in every sense of the word. He is aerodynamic in structure – built for speed, grace and elegance. If they are fed good food, kept free of worms and fleas, given exercise, love and good grooming, they are a dog to be proud of when walking down the street, as well as a wonderful, faithful companion at home.

 

Jane Bishop

Jane Bishop

Historical facts…
Originated in Russia, they were made to hunt wolves by the Russian nobility. These dogs hunted in pairs,while the hunters rode on horseback. They were rarely seen outside Russia, unless given as a gift to foreign nobility. Several dogs went to England, which was the salvation for the breed. During the Russian Revolution, most symbols of aristocracy were destroyed, including the lovely Borzois.
Aristocratic looks…
The Borzoi is a Sighthound, which means that he hunts by sight, rather than by scent. Because of this, he must be able to run quickly and turn sharply, to keep the quarry in sight. They are large, elegant, and loving dogs. The head is long and narrow, with a strong jaw to hold powerful teeth. The proper dark colour, shape and set of the eyes give the Borzoi an elegant expression of true aristocrat. The shape of the eyes is similar to that of an almond (oval). The ears fold back in what is called a rose ear, tightly held together behind the head with the tips of the ears nearly touching.
Since he is a running hound who must be agile, both front and back legs are sound and powerful. The front legs are straight and strong with bones that are bladed, not round. Power for drive and speed is generated by the hindquarters which is long, muscular, powerful and wide. They carry a long, silky coat with lovely feathering on the back of the front legs, neck, chest, tail and back legs.
While they often have a white colouring with markings of colour, they can also be solid colours from light gold to black. Brindle is also acceptable.
Temperament…Royal Hound
While they are capable of hunting and bringing down a wolf, they are wonderful with people and other animals. Most Borzois love children, especially if they become accustomed to them early. They are sweet and loving dogs to live with.
They do love to be held and petted by their pet parents. They tend to be quiet, and though they are large in size, they are hardly noticeable in the house as they are happy to lie down and sleep quietly. Generally they do not bark much, and should never be considered a dog who would be expected to guard property.
Living with Borzoi…
They can be kept in an apartment, but they are most happy living where they can have plenty of exercise in a fenced area.  They love to run for a few minutes, and then return to the house, where they like to lie on the sofa or bed, preferably in air conditioning.
Easy grooming…
Their grooming is relatively easy. The silky hair allows dirt to fall out easily, and does not become tangled unless left unbrushed for periods of time. Generally a good brushing every week is sufficient to keep the coat nice. They shed a considerable amount during the change of seasons. The soft undercoat they grow to keep them warm in the winter is shed out as warmer weather arrives.  During this time, daily brushing is recommended. The toenails should be kept short, and the teeth and ears should be kept clean.
Games they play…
They are a hound, however, and with their love of running, they cannot be trusted loose outside a fenced area in most situations. If they simply see a paper blowing in the wind, they are likely to forget their pet parent and his commands, while they happily run after the object of their attention.
Some Borzois will chase a ball or Frisbee, but their favourite thing is to run as fast as they can. They can exceed 30 miles per hour. Their second
favourite pastime is being loved, or sleeping – preferably on your couch or bed.
Pup care…
Puppies will develop most properly when allowed free exercise (in a safely fenced area) to run and play. When puppies are raised with either too little exercise, or taken on long runs when their bones are growing, it can cause serious developmental problems.  They should be fed a diet not too high in protein, fat or calories, so that they grow slowly. If a puppy is allowed to grow too quickly, he can have very painful, crooked legs.
Health…
As Borzois have such a deep chest, they are prone to Bloat or Torsion.  So, they should not be fed large amounts of food and allowed to exercise right before or after eating. There is belief that dog food with soy can also cause bloat. For this reason, a quality dog food that does not contain soy or soy products is recommended.  There are some heart problems seen in the breed and some thyroid problems.
If you have decided that you can give a Borzoi a lot of love, attention and room to run then you are sure to have a faithful, fun and loving companion for a long time.
(Jane Bishop has been breeding Borzois for over 40 year and has produced over 40 champions, including dogs who have been ranked in the top 10 in both the US and Canada. Her kennel name is Korsakov and she is also an American Kennel Club judge, approved to judge some of the Sighthound breeds.)