These tall, elegant sighthounds carry their long, narrow heads with pride. Borzoi coats are silky and of medium length with heavy feathering (longer hair) on the legs, undercarriages and tails. The coat comes in white, gold, red, grey, black roan and patched. The adult female stands at a minimum of 68cm and weighs around 34kg. Adult males measure a minimum of 74cm and weigh approximately 41kg.

I've looked after dogs before, so I have some experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd love a large dog
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I've got time for grooming every other day
I prefer quiet dogs that only bark from time to time


Borzois have been used for coursing wolves in Russia since the 17th century. A Russian duke imported several sighthounds from Arabia, but they could not survive Russia's harsh winters. The second time around he crossed the hounds with native-coated breeds, possibly Tartar coursing hounds or long-legged shepherd dogs. Because of their gentle temperaments and exotic appearances, the Borzoi dog breed made ideal gifts from the Czars to the crowned heads of Europe. After the Russian Revolution in 1917, Borzois were associated with the ruling class and many kennels were destroyed; the breed only survived thanks to the original gifts to the western world.


Despite their size, these good-natured dogs are gentle and calm in the house. They can be rather aloof and distant with strangers. They will tolerate other dogs who are similarly-minded to themselves but they must be introduced to cats and other household pets at an early age, as they will always react to the sight of a fleeing animal.


The Borzoi breed is generally a healthy, robust one. As with many breeds, some hereditary eye conditions can occur, and breeding dogs should be eye tested. Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland) can be an inherited condition in this breed.


Although Borzois are relatively quiet in the house, they do need at least an hour's daily exercise, preferably more, and large, open spaces to run and walk. However, do remember these are hounds, and they will instinctively run off after any prey that is spotted, so care must be taken.


Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Borzoi is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.


The silky, wavy Borzoi coat needs regular grooming (two or three times a week) and the hair between the pads must be trimmed frequently. During the moulting seasons they will cast copious amounts of hair.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Tall and elegant-looking, Borzoi are a Sighthound breed with a strong 'chase' instinct and a calm demeanour. Read more about this breed online with Purina.

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

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What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information