The Borzoi, known as the Russian Wolfhound in the United States until 1936, is indeed Russian in origin. The first breed standards were written in Russia in the year 1650. Kept largely by aristocracy, the Borzoi was a popular choice for the national sport of hunting. More than 100 Borzoi from several different kennels would be gathered together for hunting events. When a wolf was spotted, two females and one male would be released from their leashes to chase down the wolf and capture it. The hunter would then follow on horseback to kill the wolf.
In 1889, the Borzoi came to the United States, where he has mostly enjoyed the leisurely life as a beloved companion animal – with one exception. Given their hunting heritage, Borzois are often employed to control coyotes in the American West.
Borzoi are highly intelligent and are as gentle as they are large – which is to say, very! They make excellent dogs for single people and families, and are generally very good with children. They require daily exercise, but given their delight in chasing anything that moves, exercising on a lead or in an enclosed space is recommended. Their long coats require frequent brushing to avoid the development of mats.
Intelligence aside, Borzoi are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions
that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget
. Some of the conditions and illnesses Borzoi are prone to include eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy and micropthlamia; heart conditions such as tricuspid valve dysplasia; skeletal disorders such as cervical vertebral instability (Wobbler Syndrome); and gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance
covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Borzoi inherits more than just a high prey drive, you’re covered