Due to each dog breed’s different personality traits, physical characteristics, and needs, not every dog is suited to every person or family. To make sure you choose the right breed, you should do some research to find out what you can about the breed to ensure it is the right fit for you and your lifestyle. If the Borzoi is a breed you are considering, there are some facts that you should know about the breed. Here are 10 things that you might not know about the Borzoi.
1. It Comes from Russia
The Borzoi originates from Russia, and the breed dates back to the 17th century. They were created by crossing an Arabian sighthound with thick-coated breeds. The modern version of the breed was created by crossing the Hortaya, Stepnaya, and the Ukrainian-Polish version of the old Hort. Western sighthound breeds were added to the mix to give the dog more height and weight. Some other names by which the Borzoi is known are the Russian Hunting Sighthound and the Russian Wolfhound.
2. They Were Used for Hunting Wolves
Originally, the Borzoi was used for hunting wolves, as they had the height, speed, and weight necessary to fulfill this task. The Borzoi was a popular choice amongst the aristocracy, as they enjoy hunting as a pastime. Later, people used the Borzoi for various other hunting purposes, such as hunting foxes and rabbits. Now, the Borzoi is often kept as a companion rather than as a working dog.
3. They Were Introduced to Other Countries in the 19th Century
During the Soviet era, the Borzoi was usually only found in Russia, and they were very rare in other countries. During the 19th century, they were introduced to Western Europe, Scandinavia, and America. A female Borzoi call Tasha was born in England during the Second World War. She belonged to Buster Lloyd-Jones, a noted vet, and founder of Denes natural pet foods. Tasha is the pedigree ancestor of most British Borzoi dogs.
4. They Are a Large Dog Breed
The Borzoi is a large dog breed, and males are usually larger than females. Males are usually between 30 and 33-inches tall, while females usually measure between 27 and 31-inches in height. Similarly, dogs weigh between 75 and 105 pounds, while the weight range of females is between 55 and 90 pounds. Making sure your dog maintains a weight within the healthy weight range is essential for their health.
5. The Borzoi has a Double Coat
Like many dog breeds originating from countries with a cold climate, the Borzoi has a double coat. The undercoat is soft, and it thickens during winter or if the dog is living in a cold climate to keep the dog warm. In warmer weather or if the Borzoi lives in a location with a hot climate, it sheds most of the undercoat to keep itself cool. A Borzoi’s outer coat is silky and long, and it may be straight, wavy, or curly. Features of the coat include feathering on the hindquarters and a frill on the neck. The Borzoi coat comes in almost any color.
6. They Are Shy and Sensitive
Although a Borzoi will bond well with its family and display loyalty, they are shy and sensitive creatures that can often find it difficult to meet new people. However, their shyness is displayed by an unwillingness to have people touching them, and they do not display any aggression around strangers.
7. Early Socialization is Essential
If you choose to have a Borzoi, then including socialization as part of their training is essential. Due to their shyness, you must introduce them to strangers from a young age, or they will continue to find it hard to meet new people into adulthood. Early socialization is especially important if you have children or other dogs. The Borzoi does not like to have their personal space invaded, so they are not necessarily the best option for those who have children or other dogs. However, if socialization takes place from a young age, they can learn to adapt to these living environments.
8. The Borzoi Needs an Active Lifestyle
The size and nature of a Borzoi mean that they need an active lifestyle. According to the American Kennel Club, they need around one hour of exercise each day. Plenty of activity is essential to prevent boredom and to maintain your Borzoi’s health. They also benefit from varied activities for mental stimulation, such as walking along different routes, running, and ball games. Ideally, a Borzoi is suited to an active family that lives in a house with a large garden and who are willing to commit to the physical demands of this breed.
9. They Are Associated with Some Health Conditions
According to Dog Time, the Borzoi is sensitive to some drugs, especially anesthetics, due to a lack of body fat. Therefore, your vet must be aware of the dog’s sensitivity to certain drugs. Likewise, it is advisable to take care of areas where pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, and other chemicals are used due to their sensitivity. Other health problems that may affect this breed include eye conditions, hip dysplasia, and von Willebrand’s disease. In addition, Borzoi dogs are often fussy eaters, and some dogs suffer from bloat after eating.
10. The Borzoi Appears in Many Books and Films
The Borzoi is a canine character in many books and films. Some of the books in which this breed appears include Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace,’ George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Everybody’s Political What’s What?’ and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Beautiful and the Damned.’ Movies with a Borzoi include the animations ‘Lady and the Tramp’ and ‘Rover Dangerfield.’ Furthermore, the Borzoi is used as a symbol by Alfred A. Knopf publishing house and as a mascot by the 27th Infantry Regiment of the United States Army.