Borzois, also once known as the Russian Wolfhound, are a beautiful breed of dog. They are tall, with a soft fur coat, and well-loved by their owners.
Known as being graceful and dignified, they are often compared to being the cat of all dog breeds, as they tend to be quite polite and reserved in their temperament.
But like all dogs, they still harbor that wolven instinct, somewhere deep down, and could therefore potentially be aggressive. Aggression in dogs mainly comes from specific upbringings and situations, but some dog breeds are more prone than others.
So where do the Borzois stand? Is it a particularly aggressive breed? Or is it calm? Are there any cautionary steps you should take when owning a Borzois? Any signs to look out for?
Table of contents
We’re going to tell you all about it! From the different types of aggression, when to be careful, and the standard temperament for this beautiful dog.
Let’s get right into it!
Overview of the Borzois Temperament
It is important to remember, first and foremost, that all dogs will have their individual personality and their own way of reacting to different people and situations.
So although learning about the breed’s temperament is very important, and can play a big part, it is even more important to know about the dog’s upbringing and the way in which the dog has been treated throughout life, as this will have conditioned the immediate patterns of behavior.
That being said, the breed of the dog plays a part in that it provides you with the underlying behavioral patterns, the ones especially tied to instinct, which are the ones the dog will use when they are not thinking, and just acting.
So…are there any signs of aggression in the Borzois temperament? Let’s take a look at their main traits:
Quiet and Respectful
The Borzois are most often considered to be very quiet and respectful, as they act in quite a dignified and graceful manner. They are well-behaved and generally quiet. Although they are also full of energy when it comes to playing!
Shy and Reserved
Generally speaking, when Borzois dogs are introduced to new people or animals, their primary reaction is to be reserved and shy, quite the opposite of aggressive behavior!
A dog breed known as gentle can’t exactly be considered aggressive, and the Borzois are definitely careful with how they move and interact with things around them. Of course, there are also exceptions to this.
Borzoi dogs require companionship and do not do well when left alone for long periods of time.
Independent and Aloof
The reason why Borzoi dogs are often compared to cats is that they are quite independent and do not require your constant attention or intervention. They are very self-sufficient. However, this also makes them come across as aloof in front of strangers, which is why some don’t consider them to be friendly.
One thing to note with Borzoi dogs is that they tend to be quite touch-sensitive. If someone invades their personal space or becomes overbearing, they might snap, which is what you should be careful of.
Intelligent and Intuitive
Borzois are a highly intelligent breed of dog, and highly intuitive. They’re good at picking up emotions and tensions in their surrounding area. However, this makes them vulnerable to bad or stressful situations, as well as difficult upbringings.
With this overview of the temperament of the Borzois, we can’t really see any worrying signs indicating that they are aggressive in any way. If anything, a few traits might suggest aggressive reactions in very specific situations. But let’s dive in a little deeper on the matter of aggression in this dog breed, keep reading!
Are Borzois Aggressive Towards People?
Let’s talk about Borzois dogs and possible aggression towards people. Are they ever aggressive towards people? Be it strangers, or people they know?
As a general rule, no. Borzois are quite gentle, and would never initiate aggressive behavior without cause. Of course, this can depend on the upbringing the Borzois has had, as all dogs can become aggressive when they’ve been abused or mistreated.
But generally speaking, the only time when you should worry about your Borzois becoming aggressive towards other people, is when said people invade the dog’s space or become overbearing.
Borzois are also touch-sensitive, so they can become easily startled or become defensive when touched out of the blue, especially if it’s someone they don’t know or trust.
That being said, even in these circumstances, Borzois dogs are more likely to retreat and scatter away, due to their shy and reserved nature, rather than confront the situation and snap in anger.
Are Borzois Aggressive Towards Other Animals?
Okay, so what about Borzois and aggressiveness towards other animals?
Once again, we wouldn’t class them as a dog that is particularly aggressive, even towards other animals. Especially not towards other pets that they are already familiar with and used to.
However, Borzois are a wolfhound, originally bred for hunting and catching prey animals. This means they have a very high drive to chase smaller prey animals when they see them run.
This means that they might become aggressive towards cats, or smaller animals, or even other smaller dogs. But not in a trying to bite them or hurt them kind of way, but rather just the urge to chase them down and pin them down, which of course can be very stressful for the poor animal in question.
To avoid this, it is important to put your Borzois through proper training and to keep them under careful supervision when left off-leash. Especially because they are full of energy, and will not hesitate to run away and do their own thing before coming back!
Video: Borzoi Care – Training Example
One behavior that make a borzoi dog seem aggressive is jumping. In this official video from Brain Training for Dogs, Adrienne Farricelli, professional dog trainer, shows how she trains her dog, Maggie, not to jump. If you want to learn Adrienne’s techniques for your pet Borzoi, get her class here.
Let’s get to the conclusion and the final verdict. Are Borzois dogs aggressive? We have to say no.
As a general rule, they do not showcase any signs of aggression in their standard temperament, and they do not tend to react with aggression, even in stressful situations.
They prefer to hide away and retreat, and will only react aggressively when pushed to a limit, or when they are not properly socialized to deal with strangers and new circumstances.
If you want to make sure that your Borzois is not a danger, in any way, then the most important thing you should do is include plenty of socialization within their training, from as young an age as possible.
Make sure your Borzoi is used to being submitted to new scenarios, and to new people, as well as other animals. Make sure that your Borzois feels reassured and confident, and this will lower the risk of them reacting significantly.
It is also important that your Borzoi has a safe space to which they can retreat when stressed or overwhelmed, as they very much prefer to hide away, due to their shy and reserved nature. Giving them a space where they can feel calm and protected, is vital in setting your dog up for success.
But put simply, Borzoi dogs are gentle, shy, and friendly. They are not prone to aggression, and cannot be considered to be an aggressive dog. As long as they are well-trained and socialized, they will be great in any scenario and situation, so you can rest easy.