Dog Breeds 101: Borzoi

Dog Breeds 101 – Borzoi - WP
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According to the American Kennel Club’s breed standard, the Borzoi was originally bred for coursing wild game on an open terrain, relying on sight rather than scent. To accomplish this, it needed particular qualities to chase, catch and hold its prey. It was developed to have sturdy legs, strong neck and powerful jaws. The graceful Borzoi possesses an unmistakable elegance. [1]

The breed’s written history can be traced back to 1650, when the first breed standard was written in Russia – the Borzoi’s homeland. Back then, the dogs were known as the Russian Wolfhound and they were bred by nobles as coursing hounds. It is believed that they developed by crossing the Russian Bear Hound (hunting dogs kept by the Tatar people) and the Owtchar (a tall sheepdog). The first Borzoi imported in the United States was named Elsie which was purchased from Britain by William Wade. In 1891, the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. Today, there is little difference between the modern Borzoi and its ancestors in Russia. They remain to be the same, glamorous-looking sighthounds which were considered to be one of the greatest treasures of Czarist Russia. [2]

This is a dog bred for running and it can fiercely hunt big game in extremely cold climates. Its jaws are so powerful it can even trap a wolf. The Borzoi has a long, silky coat that can be curly, flat or wavy, effectively protecting it from snow and cold weather. It tends to be shy around strangers but they are generally good with children. Often described to be quiet and good-natured, the Borzoi is an example of a perfect indoor house dog. However, once it is outdoors, it loves to run wildly and even chases small running animals. To prevent accidents, it should only be let out in a fenced area. [3]

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