The Borzoi, also known as the Russian Wolfhound, the Russian Greyhound, the Siberian Wolfhound, the Borzaya, the Psowaya Barsaya and the Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya, is a large sighthound known for its speed, agility, courage and instinctive prowess at pursuing, overtaking and holding quarry based solely on sight rather than scent. Originally bred for the coursing of wild game in the Russian forests and on open terrain, today these exotic animals are beloved household companions and impressive show dogs, while retaining their field abilities. They are known for their exceptional elegance, glamorous coat, long narrow muzzle, slightly arched back and rounded rump. The Borzoi is dignified, quiet, sensitive and somewhat aloof, and prefers that his human companions behave in a similar fashion. Loyal and affectionate, the Borzoi also can be independent and stubborn. They are highly intelligent, do not tolerate harsh handling and rarely bark. The name “Borzoi” derives from the Russian word borzii or borzyi, which means “swift.” The Borzoi standard was approved by the American Kennel Club in 1905, where the breed is a member of the Hound Group.
Borzois need plenty of space to run. Without sufficient exercise, they can develop destructive habits. Mature males should stand at least 28 inches at the withers and weigh between 75 and 105 pounds. Mature bitches should be at least 26 inches in height and weigh 15 to 20 pounds less than males. Dogs below these respective ranges are severely penalized under the American breed standard, while larger animals are not penalized as long as their extra size does not interfere with their symmetry, speed or stamina. The Borzoi’s long, silky coat, which can be of any color, should be brushed regularly.