A graceful, elegant Sighthound, the Borzoi was developed by the Russian aristocracy. Known as the Russian Wolfhound before 1936, the Borzoi was originally bred to hunt wolves, often in packs of more than a hundred dogs. The first Borzoi was brought to the U.S. from England in 1889; today the breed is prized for its beauty and talent in the show ring, as well as its skill in lure coursing. Farmers in Western states still rely on the Borzoi to control coyote populations.


Large; females 26 to 30 inches, 65 to 85 pounds; males 28 to 33 inches, 85 to 105 pounds.


Any color, with or without markings.


Intelligent, sensitive, and well mannered; described as catlike in their independent nature. Affectionate with family, but reserved with strangers. Strong chase instinct.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Runner or active owner with fenced yard.


Daily exercise (leashed walk plus a sprint in a well-secured area), patient and consistent obedience training, socialization, regular brushing and bathing, cool quarters.

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.