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Graceful and loyal, the Borzoi makes a stunning companion for those looking for someone a little different.

The Borzoi, also called the Russian Hunting Sighthound, was originally bred for hunting wolves in Russia during the 17th century. The Borzoi breed faced near extinction in the 20th century following the collapse of the Romanov dynasty. In the early 1900’s, breeding of Borzois began in the United States and the United Kingdom, and the breed was officialised by the American Kennel Club in 1891.

Ranging from 66 to 85cm in height, and 25 to 48kg in weight, the Borzoi is a large and tall dog breed. They can be bred into most coat colours, including black, white, red, brown, grey, or bicolour. Their life expectancy is around 9 to 14 years.


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Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics



Also known as 

Borzoi / Barzoï / Russian Hunting Sighthound

Bred for



Large breed dog ranging from 66 to 85cm in height, and 25 to 48kg in weight

Weight Range

25 to 48kgs


Black, white, red, brown, grey or bicolour

Life expectancy

9 to 14 years 


Long silky coat, moderate shedding


Affectionate, loyal, athletic

Exercise requirements


Best suited for 

Active households with time for daily grooming

Apartment Friendly

Better suited to larger properties 


The temperament of Borzois is good-natured with plenty of energy. They are affectionate and loyal family pets but can be aloof and sensitive. Like many hunting dogs, they retain an independent streak which can make them less amenable to training. 

Daily exercise is essential for these lovely canine athletes. Whilst they may adapt to apartment living, they are probably better suited to larger properties where they can run and play. Borzois can be family friendly but bear in mind their sensitive disposition which may not be suited to rowdy children and people they don’t know, making them perhaps less ideal for a busy household with children. They are best suited to an active household of experienced dog people with ample time and patience for an elegant Borzoi companion.

Training and socialisation from an early age with other dogs, people and animals is important to ensure good manners later in life and to help ensure that you aren’t overpowered by your Borzoi. Always be cautious when introducing a Borzoi to other pets or animals as they may still retain strong hunting instincts and may show aggression to other animals. 


Borzois have a long coat with moderate shedding that requires daily brushing. Borzois are seasonal shedders and will shed for several weeks once a year. Ear cleaning should also be a part of the regular grooming schedule to help keep the ears clean and free from debris to help prevent ear infections. Teeth cleaning should also be a part of the maintenance routine. Prevent parasites by ensuring your Borzoi is on flea control all year round and tick prevention if you are in a paralysis tick area. 


When choosing a food for your Borzoi, select a premium large breed food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. Make sure your pup always has a supply of fresh, clean water available.

Common health concerns 

From 2016-2020, Borzois visited the vet for cancer, skin allergies, eye inflammation, limb deformities and traumatic injuries amongst other conditions. 

The five most common reasons for a Borzois to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data from 2016-2020.



Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)


Cancers & tumours




Skin conditions, including allergic skin disease




Eye conditions, including keratitis




Developmental limb deformity 




Traumatic injuries, including fractures and wounds



Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular Borzoi names (PetSure data, 2010-2020)

Most popular names

  1. Abbey
  2. Rex
  3. Alfie
  4. Boris
  5. Gypsy
  6. Rose
  7. Willow
  8. Billy 
  9. Bluey 
  10. Bobby 

Most popular female names  

  1. Abbey
  2. Willow
  3. Gigi
  4. Gypsy
  5. Luna
  6. Misha
  7. Piper
  8. Queenie
  9. Rose
  10. Sasha 

Most popular male names 

  1. Rex
  2. Alfie
  3. Boris
  4. Billy
  5. Bluey
  6. Bobby
  7. Gypsy
  8. Jasper
  9. Jojo 
  10. Leonardo

Did you know?

The word “Borzoï” in Russian roughly translates to “fast”.

Where can I get a Borzoi?

Although they are a pure breed of dog, it may be possible to find a Borzoi via a breed specific rescue organisation. You may also find a perfect large dog for you and your family at your local rescue organisation or shelter who needs a loving home. 


  1. American Kennel Club, Borzoi, Accessed on 14/04/2021
  2. Wikipedia, Borzoi, Accessed on 14/04/2021

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Bei Bei
Bei Bei