Borzoi

Sensitive, independent, and gentle

Borzoi

With fashion model good looks, the tall, curvy Borzoi and member of AKC’s Hound Group turns heads on all fronts. An elegant figure with a distinctive head and silky coat, this aristocratic sighthound traces its 1650 creation by Russian nobles to Arabian Greyhound and heavy-coated Russian dog ancestors.

Initially called a Russian Wolfhound, the large, powerful coursing hound chased hare, fox, and wolves across icy Russian open fields and held its quarry until the huntsman arrived.

Russian royalty kept hundreds of Wolfhounds for lavish hunting expeditions, but many of these dogs later met a devastating fate. By 1873 political unrest forced the Russian nobility to relinquish their property and abandon the 75- to 105-pound hounds. Some Borzoi were exported to the U.S., and in 1936, the name changed to Borzoi, which means swift.

A symbol of luxury, the Borzoi was a favorite subject of artists during the Art Deco era. Today the giant Borzoi makes a quiet, sensitive, and smart home companion. ~EWG

Breed Standard

Official Standard for the Borzoi

Borzoi Club of America

General Appearance: The Borzoi was originally bred for the coursing of wild game on more or less open terrain, relying on sight rather than scent. To accomplish this purpose, the Borzoi needed particular structural qualities to chase, catch and hold his quarry. Special emphasis is placed on sound running gear, strong neck and jaws, courage and agility, combined with proper condition. The Borzoi should always possess unmistakable elegance, with flowing lines, graceful in motion or repose. Males, masculine without coarseness; bitches, feminine and refined.

Head: Skull slightly domed, long and narrow, with scarcely any perceptible stop, inclined to be Roman-nosed. Jaws long, powerful and deep, somewhat finer in bitches but not snipy. Teeth strong and clean with either an even or a scissors bite. Missing teeth should be penalized. Nose large and black.

Ears: Small and fine in quality, lying back on the neck when in repose with the tips when thrown back almost touching behind occiput; raised when at attention.

Eyes: Set somewhat obliquely, dark in color, intelligent but rather soft in expression; never round, full nor staring, nor light in color; eye rims dark; inner corner midway between tip of nose and occiput.

Neck: Clean, free from throatiness; slightly arched, very powerful and well set on.

Shoulders: Sloping, fine at the withers and free from coarseness or lumber.

Chest: Rather narrow, with great depth of brisket.

Ribs: Only slightly sprung, but very deep giving room for heart and lung play.

Back: Rising a little at the loins in a graceful curve.

Loins: Extremely muscular, but rather tucked up, owing to the great depth of chest and comparative shortness of back and ribs.

Forelegs: Bones straight and somewhat flattened like blades, with the narrower edge forward. The elbows have free play and are turned neither in nor out. Pasterns strong.

Feet: Hare-shaped, with well-arched knuckles, toes close and well padded.

Hindquarters: Long, very muscular and powerful with well bent stifles; somewhat wider than the forequarters; strong first and second thighs; hocks clean and well let down; legs parallel when viewed from the rear.

Dewclaws: Dewclaws, if any, on the hind legs are generally removed; dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed.

Tail: Long, set on and carried low in a graceful curve.

Coat: Long, silky (not woolly), either flat, wavy or rather curly. On the head, ears and front of legs it should be short and smooth; on the neck the frill should be profuse and rather curly. Feather on hindquarters and tail, long and profuse, less so on chest and back of forelegs.

Color: Any color, or combination of colors, is acceptable.

Size: Mature males should be at least 28 inches at the withers and mature bitches at least 26 inches at the withers. Dogs and bitches below these respective limits should be severely penalized; dogs and bitches above the respective limits should not be penalized as long as extra size is not acquired at the expense of symmetry, speed and staying quality. Range in weight for males from 75 to 105 pounds and for bitches from 15 to 20 pounds less.

Gait: Front legs must reach well out in front with pasterns strong and springy. Hackneyed motion with mincing gait is not desired nor is weaving and crossing. However, while the hind legs are wider apart than the front, the feet tend to move closer to the center line when the dog moves at a fast trot. When viewed from the side there should be a noticeable drive with a ground-covering stride from well-angulated stifles and hocks. The overall appearance in motion should be that of effortless power, endurance, speed, agility, smoothness and grace.

Faults: The foregoing description is that of the ideal Borzoi. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation, keeping in mind the importance of the contribution of the various features toward the basic original purpose of the breed.

Approved June 13, 1972

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