This gorgeous breed combines two beautiful dogs which, although both lovely, can have very different personalities and traits.
The Borzoi breed was originally known as the Russian Wolfhound, due to the fact that they were used by Russians as hunting dogs. Because of their speed and excellent eyesight, they are sighthounds. Sighthounds hunt using their vision and speed, as opposed to scent hounds that use their sense of smell and their endurance.
The word Borzoi actually originates from the Russian word, Borzói, which means ‘fast’. It’s no surprise, then, that speed is one of their strongest attributes.
Australian Shepherds are a breed of herding dogs, which descend from dogs that were brought over from Spain to the USA in the 16th century – they’ve been in the making for a while! While they are still occasionally used for their herding skills, Australian Shepherds are now most commonly kept for their companionship and affectionate nature.
The mix of these two breeds results in a variety of dogs, that range in color, size, temperament and more. You’re probably wondering how big is a Borzoi Australian Shepherd? How fast are they? What do they look like?
Below, we explore the traits of this beautiful hound, so read on to find out more and have your questions answered!
The History of the Borzoi Australian Shepherd Mix
As with most designer mixed breeds, there is not a lot of clear-cut knowledge surrounding their origin and their past. What we know for sure is that breeding specific types of dogs like the Borzoi-Aussie has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades.
While it is probable that a few of the breed existed before then – for example, due to accidental breeding or small-scale breeders’ experimentations – most of these special dogs only started being made quite recently.
As you now know, Borzois originated in Russia, and were used as efficient sighthounds for hunting. What you might not know, is that they’ve been around since the 17th century.
Just as the Australian Shepherd was originally bred specifically for sheep herding but is now a companionship dog, Borzois have mostly transitioned from hunting dogs into show dogs and house pets.
Both these breeds have separately been bred for human use: hunting and herding. This is true for most breeds of dogs. Their instinctive skills are still strong, but they probably do not have to put them to use quite as much as they used to.
Borzoi Australian Shepherd Personality
Both of these breeds are praised independently for their courage and protective nature. This makes the mixed breed very loyal to its owners and protective of them.
The Borzoi-Aussies tend to have quite strong personalities, so often need an assertive owner who is able to put them in their place and train them to obey. These dogs are incredibly active, so enjoy frequent exercise, and are intelligent enough to form strong bonds with their owners.
They are also very affectionate and are really friendly with children, making them a great family pet. They love being sociable and around people, so do not cope very well with being left alone for hours at a time. This is a sweet dog that wants to give you attention and keep you out of harm’s way.
Borzoi Australian Shepherd Weight and Size
Both Aussie Shepherds and Borzois are pretty sizeable dogs. The mix’s size and weight vary pretty drastically, but they’re usually large. Below are the weight and size details for the independent breeds to give you an idea of what the mix looks like.
- Height at the shoulder: 26” – 30”
- Weight: 70 lb – 100 lb
- Height at the shoulder: 18” – 23”
- Weight: 35 lb – 75 lb
If you take the average of these data, you can get a rough idea of the weight and size of a Borzoi-Aussie, but remember that it does range vastly. They are likely to be shorter and slightly lighter than a Borzoi, but there’s no guarantee!
Borzoi Australian Shepherd Appearance
Borzois come in a range of colors; black, yellow and white, white, red and white, black and white, white and brown, white and gray, and white and sand.
Australian Shepherds’ colorways are equally as varied. In fact, it is often said that no two Aussie coats are the same, due to their unique patterns and color mixes. These colors can be: sand and white; sand, gray and white; black, sand and white; black and white; blue merle and white; red and tan…and the list goes on!
This means that the colors of a Borzoi Australian Shepherd differ completely from one pup to the next. Their coats can have any variety of the aforementioned colors, and they can be mixed in unique patterns. Whatever the color combination, though, these dogs are beautiful to look at.
The coats on Borzois are long and wavy; the coat on an Aussie Shepherd is thick and can be straight or wavy. Therefore, a mix of the two often creates a medium length coat with a hint of waviness. No two dogs are the same, though, so they could have long straight fur, too!
Borzoi Australian Shepherd Health
All types of dogs are prone to developing health conditions, and some more than others. When purchasing a Borzoi-Aussie mix puppy – or any other puppy for that matter – make sure that the breeder you choose can provide a health guarantee on their puppies. This will make it less likely that you will encounter surprise health conditions with your dog.
Also, talk to the breeder to get their opinion on what the most common health conditions are with the breed. The Australian Shepherd Borzoi mix combines the health risks of the two separate breeds, and thus could be prone to allergies, epilepsy, heart disease, eye diseases, and hip dysplasia. These all sound quite dramatic, but remember that nearly all breeds are prone to certain illnesses or health problems.
Talk to your breeder about the healthcare of your individual pup’s litter to make sure you know exactly what to expect.
Borzois tend to live between seven and ten years of age, and Australian Shepherds can live from thirteen to fifteen years. This means that the lifespan of a Borzoi-Aussie mix can be anywhere from seven to 15 years, but it is usually somewhere in the middle.
Borzoi Australian Shepherd Mix Maintenance
Both Borzois and Australian Shepherds usually require moderate maintenance when it comes to grooming. Aussies tend to shed pretty constantly throughout the year, while Borzois only shed seasonally. The Borzoi Australian Shepherd mix can therefore either be a heavy shedder or a light shedder, depending on the litter.
Either way, a good way of keeping the mix well-groomed is to bathe them frequently to help get out loose fur and to keep them clean under all that fur! Bathing them too much, though, can dry out their skin, so talk to your breeder to get their opinion on the frequency of baths.
Having a fur brush to hand is also helpful with this breed; brushing them a couple of times a week will help you to get any loose strands out in one go, as opposed to letting them fall out all over the house!
If you have not already got one, a powerful vacuum would be a good investment if you’re planning on introducing one of these furry friends to your household!
This breed combines two very active breeds, so it needs a lot of exercise regularly. Daily long walks are necessary in order to keep them satisfied and keep their energy levels at a good place.
If they are not exercised enough, they can become a little hyper and may have too much boisterousness around the house. If you want one of these dogs, it is important that you give them the exercise they need and are prepared to devote a lot of your time to walking them each day.
If you don’t take them for regular walks, it is not fair on the dog, as they are bred to be extremely active.
These dogs have rather dominant personalities, so will usually require someone authoritative to train them. They are very intelligent, so can learn quickly, but their active brains also make their attention spans quite short.
To get the best out of your dog when training them, cut the training sessions up into short stints, so that your dog can pay attention to what you are doing together. Because of their origins in sheep herding and hunting, these dogs often pay a lot of attention to other animals. This can give them a drive to hunt or chase. If trained from a young age, though, these dogs can learn to listen when called and to stop chasing animals.
As with all dogs that are being trained, the Borzoi Australian Shepherd responds really well to positive reinforcement. So, during training, make sure to let your dog know when they’ve done something right, and use treats or strokes to show that you are pleased with them. Because of the breed’s loyalty to their owner, they are people-pleasers, so they will pick up on good habits if it is made obvious to them that they’ve done a good job!
Because of their high energy levels, the more you exercise your dog, the more they will concentrate in training sessions, and the easier it will be for you to train them.
As with all dogs, try to get your Borzoi-Aussie to spend time around people and other dogs as it grows up, so that you can socialize it and get it used to all types of interaction.
Every dog is unique, so every dog requires its own tailored feeding regime. Because of this, it is important that you speak to your breeder and your vet about what is best for your dog. Improper care or misjudged feeding can lead to health problems in your dog, so it is important to get an expert opinion before you construct your dog’s feeding plan.
Because the Borzoi Australian Shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia, their diet may be beneficial to them if it is high in fish oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin supplements. These things can help to maintain their joint health and keep their dysplasia risks at bay.
As with all dogs, overfeeding them can lead them to become unhealthy. This is particularly true for the Borzoi-Aussies because of their inclination towards hip dysplasia. Because of this, you must be really careful to avoid overfeeding them.
Another thing that could benefit this dog is to put them on a raw food diet. This has been given to dogs with a wolf background – like the Borzoi – for a long time, and shows great benefits.
Please do consult your breeder and vet before taking on any of this advice, though. As we’ve said, each dog is different and requires unique care and food routines.
There you have it: the beautiful Borzoi Australian Shepherd. This intelligent and loyal dog is great among kids and adults alike; its intelligence makes it easy to train and even easier to get along with, and their temperament means that they would be a great addition to any household.
If you want a dog that is unique and looks like no other, and you’re looking for a pet that will show you affection and protect you, the Borzoi Australian Shepherd would tick all the boxes.
If you’re thinking about getting one of these lovely animals, make sure you’re prepared for the hours of walks and the post-fur-shedding clear-up! These lovely animals will certainly make it worth the effort, though, and will give you back the same effort through their loyalty and affection.