Russian Borzoi puppy (5 months) lying on a white background


Breed Characteristics

Elegant, graceful. Not a barker. Likes to keep itself clean. They handle cold very well. The Borzoi is a well known escape artist, therefore a fenced-in yard is strongly recommended. There is a rare but definite proclivity to fierceness against enemies. As with all sighthounds, the Borzoi will race after a small fleeing animal and not hear you calling it back. Not ideal for a first-time dog owner.

Is the Borzoi approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



Russia, Middle Ages. Borzois were first bred by crossing the Arabian Greyhound with other longer haired Russian sheepdogs. These dogs were called Russian Wolfhounds in America until 1936, when it was renamed "Borzoi," coming from the Russian term ”borzii,” which means swift. Also known as the Russian Hunting Sight Hound.

Original Purpose

The Borzoi was used for hundreds of years to hunt wolves, fox and hare in the open planes of Russia. As the breed became more popular it was used more and more as a companion dog and its temperament became more docile.

Behaviour and Temperament

Borzois are known to be docile, calm, gentle, reserved, independent, and courageous.

What are some Physical Features of the Borzoi?

66 to 86.5 cm; 27 to 50 kg. The Borzoi is similar in shape to the Greyhound. Males are considerably larger than females. The top line curves upward; this is to provide for the double-suspension gallop characteristic of Borzoi and other sighthounds—it’s what makes them so fast. All colours and patterns, but white with spots is most common.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Silky, shiny with feathering; either flat or wavy. High maintenance; daily brushing is required to prevent mats. The male Borzoi has a longer, thicker coat than the female and needs more attention. Professional grooming is desired; trimming of the wavy thick coat is required every 6 weeks. Elementary grooming is recommended monthly to make sure their ears are clean and free from infection. Moderate shedding; females tend to shed more than males. Estimated grooming charges in Singapore: Full, S$100 - S$150, Basic, S$80 - S$95.

Life Expectancy of the Borzoi

8 to 12 years.

Have a Borzoi?

Health Concerns

Bloat (feed small but more frequent meals), bone cancer, dental problems, allergic dermatitis, PRA, cataracts, retinopathy, heart disease. The Borzoi is sensitive to anaesthesia, like most sighthounds.

Exercise Needs

High; the Borzoi needs plenty of exercise to maintain their fitness. Makes an excellent jogging companion, however as it is very likely to bolt off after any prey that catches it sight, extra caution is recommended. Loves the outdoors and needs room to run.


Surprisingly good in apartments with frequent exercise. The Borzoi is relatively inactive and peaceful indoors that it may escape attention.


Generally tolerant of gentle older children but not playful; may be too big for toddlers. It is not ideally suited for being a child's companion, as it does not take well to roughhousing play. Some Borzois can be reserved or timid with strangers. Very good with other dogs and prefers other sight hounds mostly. In fact, it is recommended that Borzoi not be the home’s only dog. However, Borzoi are not to be trusted with small, fluffy dogs or cats that may remind them of game, supervision is recommended.


Low; they are easily bored. Obedience classes are a must with this breed; they can be trained in obedience, but it should be noted that they are hounds, and as such are more freethinking and less willing to please than some other breeds. They require gentle, consistent training; an experienced handler is desired.

Recommended Activities

Search and rescue, police and military work, therapy dog, lure-coursing.