If you’re thinking about adopting or buying a Borzoi, then you’re probably wondering whether they’re good pets. In this article, I’m going to discuss all things Borzois, and explain the pros and cons of owning a Borzoi.
Whether they’re a good pet for you, depends on your lifestyle and circumstances. It also depends on the type of dog you hope to own.
With that said, let’s crack on!
What Exactly is a Borzoi?
If you’re not familiar with the name, you’ll definitely be familiar with the image. These dogs are considered glamorous and are often associated with royalty.
Borzois are sighthounds, which means that they will have a genetic pull to love all things running and chasing.
They’re very tall dogs, but incredibly slender. They can weigh in any region of 60 to 120 pounds. Their coat is iconic and requires a good amount of maintenance and care.
Furthermore, they have a very silky coat, which means they will need to be brushed at least once a week. A lot of Borzoi owners will get their dogs professionally groomed, which may or may not be vital for your Borzoi, depending on your maintenance skillset.
Generally speaking, compared to a lot of breeds, Borzois are considered to be clean, quiet, and well-mannered. They are not particularly aggressive dogs. With patience, Borzois can be good at obedience. When it comes to training, you may find it a little difficult, but each dog has their problems.
With Borzois, it’s more the case of ensuring they are probably contained, and obedience is diligently practiced. As stated, they love to run and chase things.
This is a natural intrinsic, and you will need to ensure you have trained your Borzoi to come to you during recall. Otherwise, you run the risk of chasing after your dog, which can be very dangerous. Moreover, you will have to ensure that your house is properly fenced. As they are large dogs, they can jump reasonably high.
Ensuring that they cannot escape because if they see something they want to chase, they’ll likely give it a good go. While this is basic dog training, because Borzois are sighthounds, the drive can be higher. You should ensure during your training and pull times, you involve activities that feature running and fetch.
Where Do Borzois Originate From?
These beautiful dogs are said to originate from Russia. The Borzoi was originally called the Russian Wolfhound and can be traced back to 1650s Russia. Interestingly, the breed standard in 1650 is not too far from the modern-day breed standard.
As you can imagine, these dogs were popular with the Russian aristocracy. They were bred to hunt wolves and were very popular. Unfortunately, in 1873 the political and economic status resulted in a lot of Borzois dying. The Imperial Association was formed, and this breed was protected.
A number of Borzois in America today can be traced back to the bloodline of the Borzois that were protected by the Imperial Association.
Sadly, the Russian Revolution which started in 1917 resulted in the slaughter of many Borzois. It is very sad and occurred due to their strong association with the Russian aristocracy.
By this point, Borzois were already breeding within America, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1891, meaning they have a good level of protection. It was at this point, that the Borzoi received its name, and left the past title of Russian Wolfhound.
What’s The Personality of a Borzoi Like?
So, now that you know a little about the history of a Borzoi, we’ll now dig into the personality traits.
If you’re adopting or buying a Borzoi puppy — training needs to start from the get-go. They’ve very capable and smart from a young age, but if you don’t train them young, they will grow to be very independent and stubborn. Given the size of the dog, it can be dangerous for you, and the dog, if this occurs.
Borzois are family dogs. They need companionship and love. Borzois are very gentle dogs and overall have a calm temperament. This can quirky change to ecstatic, given they love to run — but this is the fun nature of the dog.
With that said, they can also be quite independent. If they’re doing something for you, consider it as a favor.
The Borzoi will be your loyal companion. It’s no surprise, given the history of the breed. They are sadly known to experience separation anxiety, which can be a big issue if not fixed from a young age. I would not let that put you off this dog, as it is common within a lot of breeds, and can be changed.
The Borzoi is a sweet dog at heart. They love to play and appreciate affection.
Borzois and Kids
If you have small children, and you’re thinking about getting a Borzoi, you need to question how your child interacts with pets. This is not a dog that should engage in rough play. A child must respect the dog, and understand that they cannot tease it (like with any dog).
They can be quite tough sensitive, and may not react well to being startled. As Borzois are very big and strong, you should be extra cautious.
What’s more, Borzois are very sensitive. If they are in a high-stress environment, it can make them physically and emotionally unwell. If your house is stressful (lots of screaming, and loud noises) it can cause digestive problems and neurological issues.
If you want to own a Borzoi, then your house should be relatively peaceful. Like all dogs, they cannot be in stressful environments.
If you have well-behaved children or older kids, then a Borzoi should be suitable for you.
What About Exercise?
If you haven’t gathered already, Borzois need a fair amount of exercise.
They require around 40 minutes to one hour of exercise a day. This is a moderate amount of exercise, as some breeds require two hours of exercise a day. Ideally, this should be split up throughout the day. It should also involve different activities. They need to run, so make it fun for them.
Ideally, you should have a large garden that they can play in within the day. They cannot be kept in small enclosures. Even when they are relaxing, they require a lot of space to rest.
Yes, of course, they are, but it depends on your lifestyle.
If you have a house full of lovely, but energetic and slightly manic children, then no, a Borzoi isn’t for you. Perhaps when your children are older, but it will be too stressful of an environment for a Borzoi.
Likewise, if you live in a flat, it’s not the dog for you. The way around this would be to ensure your Borzoi is getting a minimum of an hour walk a day, with some extra walks and actives. They will also need activities to stimulate their brain.
When it comes to their temperament, they are lovely dogs, but a little independent. They’ll love you, but if they’re doing something for you, they’ll mutter ‘be grateful’ under their doggy breath. They are loyal, and generally quite calm dogs.
Borzois do make great pets, providing you have the right circumstances for the Borzoi to thrive. It’s a real case of it’s not me, it’s you (which the Borzoi would agree with).