The Borzoi has the beauty, elegance, carraige and personality to match his regal heritage. This breed was once a favorite among Russian aristocrats and admired by the Russian czar's court. He is fast, agile, sometimes aloof, and very clean. They are also sweet and intelligent.
The Borzoi is faithful to his owners and cautious with strangers. He is normally not tolerant of unpredictable young children and may bite without warning. As a result, this breed needs early training and socialization. The training however should not be overbearing because the Borzoi proceses information slowly and will shut down if pushed. Patience and consistency are the keys. As a hound he will be less willing to please humans than some breeds.
The "sit" command is especially difficult to teach because of the the breed's boney, lanky structure and lack of body padding. The "come" command is crucial and must be perfected because this breed's great speed enables him to disappear from sight in seconds. He has a high prey drive and will seize and kill small animals before the owner can react. He can also be dog-aggressive.
Like all sight hounds, the Borzoi must be allowed time to be by himself. Do not expect him to be as affectionate as a Golden Retriever although they can be affectionate to their owners. Owners who are used to the cat mind-set will appreciate this breed most, but it would likely be a mistake to own a cat also.
He needs a bed or thick blanket to lie on because he does not have much muscle or fat on his body and can get pressure sores if his sleeping area is not properly cushioned.
The Borzoi is typically not suitable to live in an apartment, although he can adapt to one as long as he is getting plenty of space and exercise. A quiet environment without unpredictable events and young children is best. As mentioned, small animals can be a problem because of his high prey drive. He needs to run, and this is only possible if you have him trained to come when called and if he is socialized among other dogs and people.
Owners should be calm and easygoing leaders who do not necessarily want a dog that is too affectionate. If you are the nervous, hyperactive or pampering type you should avoid this breed. Also, elderly and disabled owners may have trouble training and exercising this breed. He should not be left alone in a yard because he can easily jump a six-foot fence.
The Borzoi was once known as the Russian Wolfhound. He is a Russian sight hound and was developed by crossing the now extinct Lapp sled dog with the Collie. Iniatially, he was used to chase rabbits, foxes, and wolves in packs. His speed, strength and agility allowed him to range far ahead of the mounted hunter. He would axquire the prey by sight, run it down, and hold it at bay until the hunter finally arrived. The first Borzoi was brought to the U.S. from England in 1889.
This breed stands between 26 and 28 inches at the shoulder and weighs 65 to 100 pounds. His body is lean, leggy and athletic. The Borzoi's long, silky and shedding coat requires some maintenance. The coat is usually wite with black, tan or lemon markings. It was developed to protect the breed from cruel Russian winters.
The Borzoi is sensitive to drugs, may be a picky eater and has a tendency to bloat. Your best bet is to feed him small meals 2 or 3 times a day and avoid exercise after meals.
This breed will generally live about 10-12 years and have an average litter size of 6 pups. Litter size however varies greatly from 1 to 11. In fact a 1 pup litter is fairly common.
If you love this breed or know someone who does, you'll find a great selection of Borzoi gifts at Your Breed Store.
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