Basic Information

Russia and Belarus
Breed Group
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



The aristocratic Borzoi is native to Russia where they were used to hunt wolves. Their name means "swift" in Russian and just looking at these elegant dogs with their sleek, athletic build, it offers an insight into how quick they can be when the need arises. The first person to own a Borzoi in the UK was Queen Alexandra when she was offered one as a gift by the Tsar of Russia. From then on, the breed was to become a much noticed and popular dog throughout the country as well as elsewhere in the world. However, they are not a breed to take on too lightly for several reasons with the first being their large size. The second reason being that these dogs have to be trained by someone familiar with the breed. On top of this a Borzoi needs to be given a ton of daily exercise for them to be truly, happy well-rounded dogs.

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The exact origins of this graceful hound remains a bit of a mystery, but some people believe the breed was developed way back during the 9th and 10th centuries and that the Saluki may well have been used to create these elegant, graceful, courageous and extremely fast dogs.

What is known is that the Borzoi is Russia's most well-known hound and that they were used during the 17th century to hunt wolves. It was a Russian Duke who first imported a number of sighthounds after having travelled to Arabia. These dogs were not robust or strong enough to survive Russia's harsh winter temperatures so the Duke imported several more of these sighthounds only this time he crossed the hounds with native breeds which are thought to have been coursing hounds or shepherd dogs used by the Tartars back in the day.

The Borzoi soon became a popular gift offered to European royals by the Czars of Russia and the sighthounds soon became a firm favourite thanks to their kind, placid natures and exotic looks. In 1903, a man called Joseph Thomas travelled to Russia on a quest to find the perfect Borzoi which he discovered in Woronza at kennels that belonged to His Royal Highness, the Grand Duke Nicholas of Tula and Artem Balderoff.

Joseph Thomas imported a number of hounds from these kennels and it was these Borzois that were to become the foundation breeding stock of dogs both in the UK and on the other side of the Atlantic in America that we see today. Sadly, during the Russian Revolution of 1917, these aristocratic hounds were seen as being bourgeois accessories of the rich and as such many of them were killed. The breed only managed to survive vanishing forever thanks to the dogs that were gifted to people in other countries of the world.

Today, the Borzoi is a popular choice both as a companion and family pet thanks to the very elegant looks and their extremely kind, calm and placid natures.

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