Frequently asked questions
Does the Borzoi make a good house pet?
Absolutely! The Borzoi is a gentle, quiet, loving companion with a marvelous personality. He can be a clown or a prince and will definitely add so much joy to your life. WARNING: One is never enough!
Are Borzoi good with children?
When introducing a Borzoi into a family where there are young children, there are points to consider in order to make the transition as positive as possible. With a bit of time and quiet patient training, you and your family will enjoy a fun-filled and harmonious life with your Borzoi companion.
If the Borzoi is a puppy, remember that puppies are active, energetic and fast-growing. The size of the Borzoi must be remembered where young children are concerned and children should not be encouraged to pick up the puppy because in no time at all, the puppy’s size (height), weight and activity will make this an impossible task for the child.
Children as well as Borzoi puppies need to be taught how to play safely with one another. With your help, both must learn to act gently and respectfully towards one another. Supervision is always recommended.
Older Borzoi are more settled and depending on how they are introduced into a family environment, there should be no problems. Again it must be stressed that children do need to be taught how to behave around animals. No animal enjoys having its hair and tail pulled, and although some will be more tolerant, it is important that children learn as soon as possible that this treatment is not acceptable.
Are Borzoi good around other animals?
It is quite common to find Borzoi living very happily in households where there are other breeds of dogs, cats and even some tamed wildlife. Wonderful stories abound of Borzoi and cats, and small dogs sharing the same food dish and favourite sleeping area throughout entire lifetimes with nary a problem and then mourning the death of that special companion. Again, it is a question of training and establishing some ground rules for one and all to live by. As always, it is essential to understand the nature of the Borzoi and to never underestimate its instinct to course anything that moves. (This is rarely done in the house!) If the instinct to chase is aroused, it is highly unlikely that anything you say will stop it once started. The instinct to course is that strong! So, an ounce of prevention in the way of supervision is always recommended.
Is the Borzoi a long-lived breed?
With good and loving care, the average life-span for the Borzoi is 10 to 12 years.
Do the Borzoi have specific health concerns?
For the most part, Borzoi do not have health problems that will compromise their quality of life. Most diseases that are known to be quite common in other breeds are rarely seen in Borzoi as for example, hip dysplasia. PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) and OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) are sometimes found in the breed but most breeders have tried to maintain clear bloodlines by removing known carriers of these diseases from their breeding programs.
There are definitely two health issues to become informed about where Borzoi are concerned. Borzoi like all members of the Sighthound family are sensitive to a number of anaesthetics. Discuss this condition with your veterinarian long before any surgery is required. It could save your Borzoi’s life.
The other health problem in Borzoi(and any deep-chested dog)is the occurrence of bloat and torsion. Bloat occurs when gas or food or gastric secretions fill the stomach and the stomach visibly enlarges or distends. Torsion happens when the stomach flips and twists closed, preventing any blood flow or even more critical, the escape of any gas. (Torsion usually results from bloat, but not always.) The actual cause of these problems has yet to be determined for a fact and studies are ongoing. However, there are some common sense points to live by: It is prudent to take care that feeding and excessive water/fluid intake should not accompany vigorous exercise, or vice versa. Avoid feeding foods that contain soy as this creates gas.
Much has been written about bloat and torsion and you would be well advised to become informed on these critical medical conditions. Bloat and torsion require IMMEDIATE VETERINARY INTERVENTION. From onset to death is considered to be less than an hour. Quick action has resulted in the survival of many dogs who have gone on to live long, problem-free lives. So, don’t panic, just act fast!
Do Borzoi shed a lot?
Yes, Borzoi shed a fair amount. Females shed after every heat cycle and both males and females will shed with the change of seasons, especially spring. Spayed females will shed the same as males. Regular grooming is certainly beneficial to the Borzoi and they do enjoy it! And it does help somewhat in keeping the hair in one’s home/car under some semblance of control (or so we tell ourselves!) A good vacuum cleaner for your home helps is a must!
Do Borzoi require a lot or regular grooming?
Regular grooming ensures a healthy coat and a happy Borzoi. For those who do not look forward to the job of grooming, take heart as the amount of grooming required is minimal as compared with other long-haired breeds! The Borzoi’s coat texture is silky (this is an important breed characteristic – See Breed Standard) and as a result, easy to maintain. Dirt and mud do not cling to the silky coat; if the Borzoi is wet and muddy, let him dry and then brush out the coat. You will be surprised to see how easily even the muddiest coat will “clean up”.
An important aspect of regular grooming is the personal time this allows you with your Borzoi and the opportunity to check that all is well in terms of healthy skin, any possible existence of cuts, bruises, lumps and bumps and so on. Aside from not particularly enjoying having their tails brushed, Borzoi do love being groomed.
Regular teeth cleaning (brushing) and nail clipping are also important.
Is the Borzoi an “outdoors” dog?
The Borzoi enjoys being outside, in the fresh air and they do prefer the cooler temperatures over the warmer ones. Because of his “double” coat, he can tolerate the cold far more than one would suspect and often Borzoi are seen relaxing in the snow and obviously enjoying “snowbathing”. They should however, be protected from any cold wind. In the summer weather, it is essential to keep them cool and protected from the heat and sun. A kiddy pool is one great way to provide your Borzoi with a cool relief in the hot weather.
Do Borzoi require exercise?
In order to keep a Borzoi in condition and good muscle tone, regular exercise is necessary. The best exercise for the Borzoi is free running in a secure area. Running with another Borzoi or dog of similar size and running ability will stimulate a competitiveness and the desire to run as often a Borzoi on its own loses interest in exercise for one. The optimum amount of exercise per day would be about a half hour to an hour of running but failing this, Borzoi do well with a good brisk walk and a large, fenced back yard for free running. A Borzoi should never be allowed to run free near traffic and other dangerous areas. Always remember that the Borzoi is a coursing Sighthound and follows its instinct to chase. In this mode, he is oblivious to anything and everything but the “prey” he is pursuing which can and often does result in tragedy. Always keep your Borzoi on lead except in secured or fenced areas.
It is interesting to note that the Borzoi does not become hyper or “off the wall” if he is denied regular exercise as is the case with some breeds. He is happy just to spend time with his human family and be a couch potato.
What colour is the Borzoi?
The Borzoi comes in every colour from white to tri-coloured, to red, grey and brindles. All colours are shown successfully and again, for the Borzoi fancier, colour is a matter of personal choice.
Is there a marked difference between a male and a female Borzoi?
Aside from the obvious gender differences, yes, there is a distinction in size (see Breed Standard) with the males being noticeably larger and more heavily-coated than the females.
In terms of personalities, both the male and the female make wonderful companion and the difference is a matter of personal preference.