One of the defining features of a Borzoi is their beautiful long coat that swishes gracefully as they trot around. However, they shed – a lot. And they shed year round. If you do not like the idea of vacuuming or sweeping often, a Borzoi may not be for you.
On the bright side, their coats do not need to be trimmed, so the total amount of work required to deal with your Borzoi’s amazing coat is primarily limited to cleaning your floors and the occasional bath.
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Characteristics Of A Borzoi Coat
They were originally bred in the cold climate of Russia, so they tend to feel comfortable in the cold and their soft undercoat gets thicker in the winter months or when they live in a cold location. In the summer months is when this thick undercoat is shed heavily to prevent the dog from getting too hot. Despite this, Borzois are known to shed all year round and if you have a white Borzoi, you won’t be able to hide from the trail of hair left on your clothes after a cuddle session. There are some steps you can take in their grooming routine to help reduce the amount of shedding, but you will not be able to stop it completely.
Their overcoat is usually flat and silky, but it can also be coarse or curly depending on the dog’s genetics. Around their neck, hindquarters, and neck are where they usually have the most hair and has a feathery quality. Their coat can come in many different colors from red, blue, white, and a range of patterns from brindle to piebald. So
As puppies, Borzoi dogs have fluffy coats that they shed completely between 6 to 12 months and by looking at their coat as a puppy you can usually tell what their adult coat will look like. If they carry the curly coat gene then this will be apparent in their puppy coat with small, tight curls that look a bit messy but very charming when they have fully blossomed.
When you look at Borzois, you can see their long, silky coat and must think of all the hard work that had gone on behind the scenes to achieve that. But, have no fear because there are not as difficult to maintain as you may think. They are pretty good at keeping themselves clean and you don’t need to trim it like you do with other long-haired dog breeds. Since they have hairy paw pads, it can be beneficial to trim them regularly to prevent grass seeds and other debris from getting trapped and causing ulcers. As well as this, you need to trim their nails regularly as you would with any dog breed to ensure they don’t dig into the skin.
Since they shed all year round, it is recommended to brush them twice a week so that the brush can get the loose hair instead of it being released slowly onto the couch and floor over the course of the week. During the summer months when your borzoi is shedding their undercoat, it is best to brush them once a day.
When you brush your Borzoi do not use a wire slicker brush as professional groomers say that they can cause permanent damage to the coat. Instead, you can use a pin brush which is great for removing tangles, loose hair, and debris from the coat.
To brush your Borzoi properly, spray the coat with a mist bottle to get it a bit wet. You can also mix a small amount of detangler or conditioner into the water to help any tangles come away. Then brush the coat in sections and in the direction of the hair growth. For the areas such as the neck, hindquarters, and tail, you can use a 2-in-1 comb and if you encounter big mats it is advised to work it with your fingers before going into it with the comb to prevent damaging the hair and skin.
Borzoi coats are dirt-resistant which cuts down the number of baths they need by a fair amount. You cannot avoid the inevitability of your Borzoi getting dirty eventually, especially with the high exercise requirement that they have. When this happens, a bath may be in order. Before you do so, you should brush them thoroughly to prepare the coat for bathing. It is important that you use a shampoo specifically designed for dogs because it doesn’t have the chemicals that human shampoo has that can cause irritation to the dogs’ skin.
Dog shampoo has all the necessary ingredients to result in a very shiny and healthy coat that will likely not be achieved by human shampoo. Wet the dogs’ coat with warm water and lather in the dog shampoo and lather well. Rinse completely and if the directions on the shampoo call for it, repeat the process and lather in the shampoo again before rinsing it completely. Towel dry the coat and go over it again with a brush to make it look clean and silky like a Borzoi coat should.
Keep in mind that your dog could have sensitive skin or an allergy that can rule out some dog shampoos so be sure to do a small patch test first before bathing the whole dog. If your dog has bad allergies or the dog shampoos on the market are too harsh for their sensitive skin, you can easily make your own at home that does not use any harsh ingredients and will do wonders for your dog’s coat.
Homemade Dog Shampoo
An excellent recipe for a dog shampoo that works best for dry skin consists of just three ingredients, 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal, ½ cup of baking soda, and four cups of warm water. When you have gathered all of the ingredients together, use a coffee grinder or food blender to grind the oatmeal before pouring it into a big bowl with the baking soda, and then add the warm water until it is the consistency of shampoo.
If your Borzoi does not suffer from dry skin, then you can make a basic dog shampoo instead that will get the job done of cleaning the coat of grime and leaving it shiny. For this shampoo, the ingredients can be found in your kitchen; 2 cups of warm water, ½ cup of white vinegar, and ¼ cup of non-toxic dish soap. Since they are all liquids, you just need to mix them all up into a spray bottle and apply it to your dog’s coat after you have wet it with warm water.
Do Borzoi shed? Yes! However, the Borzoi coat is surprisingly low maintenance because it looks after itself by being dirt-resistant and not needing to be trimmed. Borzoi coats need very little attention while providing a very elegant appearance. And even though Borzois shed all year round and especially heavily during the summer, this shedding is really the only thing that you as the owner need to deal with regarding your canine friend’s fur.