Breed Characteristics

Valeska Bela Adoro Birchwood

Borzoi are a sight-hunting breed and their structure and behavior reflects this heritage. They have a strong chase instinct, will hunt small animals including domestic pets and livestock, and are very, very fast. They can be taught to live with small animals such as cats under controlled circumstances, with the best success being through exposure from puppyhood on.  However, they will always be first and foremost a sight-hunting breed, and should not be acquired with the intention of changing their nature any more than you would choose a husband or wife with the thought that you will change them, attempts at which will only make both you and the borzoi unhappy. Instead, consider whether you would enjoy the activities a borzoi would enjoy, such as long off-lead walks in sparsely populated areas, straight racing, oval track racing, or in the few states where it is available, open field coursing.

Borzoi are not: territorial (they will leave any size acreage and travel large distances),  a guarding breed (they will not protect your property from the meter reader or anyone else, though they may protect your person from threat of harm),  a farm dog (they will not stick around and leave the livestock and wildlife unmolested), an ideal dog for roughhousing with rowdy children (they are body sensitive and sound sensitive, and are not comfortable with rough pushing and pulling, sudden movements, and loud noise).

Borzoi are: beautiful to look at and to watch in motion or at rest; quiet (they bark less than most dogs); sensitive (they are body and sound sensitive and quite responsive to the signals they perceive from you, and they are not clumsy in the house), smart (meaning that they figure things out quickly, not that they are slavishly obedient), large ( males at maturity from 85 to 100 pounds, females from 65 to 80 pounds), fast (like you wouldn't believe--with a top sprint speed of just under 40 mph), need a lot of free playing exercise as puppies to develop well (off lead play with another puppy or dog in a large enclosure for several hours per day; not on-lead road work or anything of that regimented nature), and need to be taught using positive methods.

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