(AKC Hound Group)
Weight: 75 to 105 pounds (male); 60 to 90 (female).
Availability: May take some effort to find.
ORIGIN : Russia.
UTILIZATION : Hunting sighthound, racing and coursing hound.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY : The Russkaya Psovaya
Borzaya has been an integral part of the national culture and Russian
history for 9 centuries. The French Chronicle of the XIth century
shows that three Borzois accompanied the daughter of the Grand Duke
of Kiev, Anna Iaroslavna when she arrived in France to become the
wife of Henri I. Among the owners and breeders there were many
famous people including Tsars and poets : Ivan the Terrible, Peter the
Great, Nicolas II, Pushkin, Turgenev. The creation of the famous
kennel Â« Pershinskaya okhota Â» by the illustrious breeders the Grand
Duke Nicolai Nicolaevitch and Dimitri Valtsev had great importance.
From the end of the XIXth century, the Borzoi is seen in the biggest
breeding kennels of Europe and America.
GENERAL APPEARANCE : Dog of aristocratic appearance, of
large size, of lean and at the same time robust constitution, of a very
slightly elongated construction. Females are generally longer than
males. Strong bone structure but not massive. The bones are rather
flat. Muscles lean, well developed, especially on the thighs, but not
showing in relief. Harmony of form and movement is of prime
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
â€¢ In males the height at the withers is equal or barely superior to that
from the summit of the croup to the ground.
â€¢ In females these two heights are equal.
â€¢ The height at the withers must be slightly inferior to the length of
â€¢ The depth of the chest is approximately equal to half the height at
â€¢ The length of the muzzle, from the stop to the tip of the nose, is
equal or slightly superior to that of the skull, from the occiput to
BEHAVIOR / TEMPERAMENT : In its everyday life the Borzoi
has a quiet and balanced character. At the sight of game it gets
suddenly excited. It has a piercing sight, capable of seeing very far.
Its reaction is impetuous.
HEAD : Viewed from above as well as from the side, lean, long,
narrow, aristocratic. Seen in profile, the lines of the skull and muzzle
form a long, slightly convex line, the line of the sagittal crest being
straight or slightly oblique towards the well marked occipital
protuberance. The head is so elegant and lean that the principal veins
show through the skin.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Narrow; seen from above : elongated into an oval shape; seen
in profile, almost flat.
Stop : Only very slightly marked.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Large, mobile, considerably prominent in relation to the lower
Top of muzzle : Long, filled out in all its length, slightly arched near
Muzzle : The length of the muzzle from the stop to the tip of the nose
is equal or slightly superior to that of the skull, from the occiput to the
Lips : Fine, clean, well fitting. The eye-rims, the lips and the nose are
black whatever the colour of the coat.
Jaws/Teeth : Strong underjaw. Teeth white, strong; scissor bite or
Eyes : Large, very slightly prominent, expressive, dark hazel or dark
brown, almond-shaped, but not slit-eyed, set obliquely.
Ears : Small, thin, mobile, set on above the eye level and backwards,
pointing almost towards the nape of the neck when not alert. The
tips of the ears are situated near each other or directed downwards
along the neck and close to it. When the dog is alert, the ears are
carried higher and on the sides or forward; sometimes one or both ears
are erect like horse ears.
NECK : Long, clean, flattened laterally, muscled, slightly arched,
never carried high.
Withers : Not marked.
Back : Broad, muscled, elastic, forming with the loin and croup a
curve which is more pronounced in the males. The highest point of
this curve is situated ahead of the middle of the loin or in the region
of the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebra.
Loin : Long, prominent, muscled, moderately broad.
Croup : Long, broad, slightly sloping. The width of the croup
measured between the two hip bones (iliac crests) must not be less
than 8 cm.
Chest : Of oval cross-section, not narrow, yet not wider than the
croup, deep, well developed in length, spacious, reaching down almost
to elbow level. The region of the shoulder blades being flatter, the
chest gets gradually wider towards the false ribs, which are short; seen
in profile, it forms a change in slope. The ribs are long, slightly
prominent. The forechest is slightly prominent in relation to the
Belly : Well tucked up, the underline rises abruptly towards the
TAIL : In shape of sickle or sabre, low set, thin, long. Passed
between the hindlegs, it must reach up to the hip bone (iliac crest),
furnished with abundant feathering. When the dog is standing
naturally, the tail hangs downwards. In action, it is raised, but not
above the level of the back.
Forelegs clean, muscled, seen from the front perfectly straight and
parallel. The height of the forelegs from the elbow to the ground is
equal or a little superior to half the height at the withers.
Shoulders : Shoulder blades are long and oblique.
Upper arm : Moderately oblique; its length is barely superior to the
length of the shoulder blade. Angle of the scapular-humeral
articulation well pronounced.
Elbows : In parallel planes to the median plane of the body.
Forearm : Clean, long, of oval cross-section; seen from the front,
narrow, seen in profile, broad.
Metacarpus (pastern) : Slightly oblique in relation to the ground.
HINDQUARTERS : Seen from behind : straight, parallel, set slightly
wider than the forequarters. When the dog is standing naturallly, the
vertical line dropping from the ischiatic tuberosity (point of buttocks)
must pass in front of the centre of the hock joint and of the
Upper thigh : Well muscled, long, placed obliquely.
Lower thigh : Long, muscled, placed obliquely. The femoro-tibial and
the tibio-tarsal articulations well developed, broad, clean; the angles
must be well marked.
Metatarsus (rear pastern) : Not long, placed almost vertically.
All the articulations are well angulated.
FEET : Lean, narrow, of elongated oval shape (called Â« harefeet Â»);
toes arched, tight; nails long, strong, touching the ground.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : When not hunting, the typical gait of the
Borzoi is the extended trot, effortless, very supple and lifting; when
hunting the charging gallop is extremely fast, with leaps of great
SKIN : Supple, elastic.
HAIR : Silky, soft and supple, wavy or forming short curls, but never
small tight curls. On the head, the ears and the limbs, the hair is
satiny (silky but heavier), short, close lying. On the body, the hair is
quite long, wavy; on the regions of the shoulder blades and the croup,
the hair forms finer curls; on the ribs and thighs, the hair is shorter; the
hair which forms the fringes, the Â« breeches Â» and the feathering of the
tail is longer. The coat on the neck is dense and abundant.
COLOR : All color combinations, but never with blue, brown
(chocolate) and any derivatives of these colors.
All the colors may be solid or pied. The fringes, Â« breeches Â»,
featherings of the tail are considerably lighter than the ground color.
For the overlaid colors a black mask is typical.
Desirable height at the withers : dogs : 75 – 85 cm,
bitches : 68 – 78 cm.
In males, the height at the withers is equal or barely superior to that
from the summit of the croup to the ground. In females, these heights
are equal. Subjects exceeding the maximum height are acceptable
provided the typical morphology is preserved.