Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Troy

Borzoi

29 posts in this topic

Troy   

The Borzoi

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=110 )

Group: Group 4 (Hounds)

General Appearance: Well balanced, graceful, aristocratic, dignified and elegant.

Characteristics: A coursing hound which must be courageous, powerful, and of great speed.

Temperament: Sensitive, alert and aloof.

Head And Skull: Head long, lean and in proportion to dog's size and substance. In bitches, head finer than in dogs. Well filled in below eyes. Measurement equal from occiput to inner corner of the eye and from inner corner of eye to tip of nose. Skull very slightly domed and narrow, stop imperceptible. Head fine so that bones and principal veins can be clearly seen. Viewed from side, forehead and upper line of muzzle form an almost straight, slightly convex line. Jaws long, deep and powerful; nose large and black, nicely rounded, neither cornered nor sharp. Viewed from above, the skull should look narrow, converging very gradually to tip of nose. Occipital process very accentuated.

Eyes: Dark with intelligent, keen and alert expression. Almond shaped, set obliquely and placed well back but not too wide apart. Eye rims dark. Eyes not light, round, bulbous or staring.

Ears: Small, pointed and delicate. Set high but not too far apart. Nearly touching at occiput; when in repose, folded back along neck. Should be active and responsive; may be erect when alert, tips sometimes falling over.

Mouth: Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Full, strong dentition desirable.

Neck: Slightly arched; reasonably long and well muscled. Free from throatiness, flattened laterally, set at an angle of 50-60 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the body.

Forequarters: Shoulders clean, sloping well back. Muscular but not loaded. Fine at withers but not accentuated. Forelegs clean and straight. Seen from front, narrow like blades; from side, wider at elbows, narrowing down to foot. Elbows directed backwards, turning neither in nor out. Pasterns slightly sloping, strong and flexible. Length of forearm nearly equal to half total height at withers.

Body: Chest, ribs of narrow oval cut, great depth of brisket, reaching to elbows, giving great heart and lung room, especially in mature dogs. Breastbone slightly pronounced with adequate width between elbows, and abdomen very tucked up. Back rather bony, muscular and free from any cavity, rising in a graceful curve with well balanced fallaway. Highest point of curve is situated over last rib. Curve is more pronounced in dogs than bitches. Loins broad and very powerful with plenty of muscular development. Fallaway long and well muscled. Width between hip bones at least 8 cm (3 ins.).

Hindquarters: Quarters wider than shoulders, ensuring stability of stance. Thighs long, well developed with good second thigh; hind-legs long and muscular; stifles well angulated; hocks broad, clean and well let down. Posterior line of hock vertical. Seen from side, legs slightly set back.

Feet: Front feet oval, toes close together, well arched over strong, thick pads. turning neither in nor out. Hind feet hare-like, i.e. longer and less arched.

Tail: Long, rather low set; when measured between thighs reaches up to top of nearest hip bone. Well feathered, carried low in a graceful curve. From level of the hocks, may be sabre- or slightly sickle-shaped but not ringed.. In action, not rising above level of back.

Gait/Movement: Front, straight with long reach, pasterns springy. Hind, straight with powerful, driving hocks; moving wider than front. Viewed from side, appearance in action should be that of effortless power.

Coat: Silky, flat, wavy or rather curly (but never woolly). Short and smooth on head, ears and front of legs; much longer on body with heavy feathering on backs of legs and hindquarters, tail and chest. Neck carries a large, curly frill; more profuse in dogs than bitches.

Colour: Any colour acceptable.

Sizes: Minimum height at withers:

Dogs: 74 cms (29 ins) .

Bitches: 68 cms (27 ins) .

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Diva   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

I am a long time pet owner, who shows sometimes, does a bit of obedience training and, recently, lure coursing.

All of my responses below are drawn from my own experience or personal research - but I don't claim to be a breed expert and I hope a Borzoi breeder will come into the thread eventually to post their perspective.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

The Borzoi is a Russian breed which hunts by sight, traditionally using its speed to catch hares, foxes, and wolves. In the early days of the breed in the Western world it was often called the Russian Wolfhound, but Borzoi is the official name. 'Borzoi' is derived from a Russian word for 'swift' and can be applied to other sighthounds in its country of origin - the full Russian name for the breed is Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya, which very roughly translates as Russian long-coated sighthound.

Borzoi-like dogs have been known from Russia since the 13th century, and some authorities claim as far back as the 11th century. The first 'standard' for the breed was written in the 17th century, and the breed is said to derive from sighthound breeds from countries to the south, such as Arabia, mixed with longer-coated Russian shepherd and bear hunting dogs to improve the breed's ability to survive harsh local conditions.

By the mid-19th century, wolf hunting with Borzoi was a favoured sport of the Russian aristocracy. Hunting parties could consist of over one hundred Borzoi, which may represent a number of estates with many kennels breeding their dogs for a specific coat color or physical type. When a wolf was spotted, three dogs, normally a dog and two bitches, were slipped to pursue the wolf and capture, pin and hold it until the hunter on horseback arrived. While hunting ability was paramount, the Russian elite also wanted a spectacle, and the appearance of the hounds was considered important too. The breed fared poorly during the Russian revolution, being too associated with the hated nobility, but is still hunted (not on wolves!) as well as shown in Russia today.

3. How common is it in Australia?

The breed was a little more popular in the eighties, but has never been a common dog here. Currently somewhere between 40-120 are probably bred in any given year.

4. What is the average lifespan?

10-13 years.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Mine have been very bonded, gentle and affectionate with their family, friendly with everyone as youngsters but becoming more aloof and reserved with strangers as they matured. They are a usually a quiet breed, well behaved in the house, graceful and elegant, quite dignified in public but with the ability to be a total clown in private. They are well mannered and easy to train for day-to-day behaviours, but are not natural obedience competitors, although they can reach the highest levels of competition when trained with commitment and the right approach. They do not usually thrive with rough or harsh handling, and aren't a good breed for ill-mannered children.

They can have a strong prey drive and love of the chase and should be well socialised as youngsters with smaller dogs and any other animals you want them to behave well around as adults. They should not be let off-lead in unfenced areas, as their chase instinct can kick in and when running flat out they have little regard for traffic or other hazards. If not trained and socialised otherwise they may be a hazard themselves to small, fluffy, fast-moving critters.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

A 45 minute walk a day has been plenty for mine, as long as they get the occassional free run in a large safe area where they can really open up and sprint.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes, but only if they understand what they are getting - that a Borzoi is a big, fast, and sometimes independent-natured dog with a sighthound temperament, definately not a run-of-the-mill dog.

A puppy should be selected to match the household as the differences in temperament between puppies can be significant. I have had Borzoi pups that have been perfectly behaved from the time they landed paw in my house, and others who were full-on and over the top until they matured. A novice owner should aim for a more laid back individual. Having said that, my first dog was a Borzoi and it was a completely wonderful experience.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Some adults can, but it is not preferred.

9. How much grooming is required?

A good thorough brush once a week is enough for most of the year for a non-show dog, and that could take anything from 1/2 hour to an hour depending on how much coat the dog has. A couple of times a year coats will change and more grooming is needed then to avoid coat ending up everywhere. The coat is a lot easier to look after than it looks and, apart from a few areas on the body, is not particularly prone to knotting if it has the correct texture.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

An adult Borzoi can be very gentle in its interaction with people. Puppies vary in their boisterousness but I think they would generally be too big and bouncy for the infirm or for small children without good management. Few Borzoi like rough handling and small children should always be supervised when with them, for both the dog's and child's sake.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Some claim there are no hereditary problems in the breed but heart, eye and thryoid issues are not unknown. Bloat and bone cancer are also diseases the breed can suffer from, but I am not sure if they arise from the breed's build and size, triggered perhaps by environmental factors, rather than from a specific genetic basis - although some lines may be more susceptible than others.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be).

See at least the dam of the litter for yourself, some individuals can be shy and the temperament of the dam is important. Ask to see other realtives if you can for the same reason, and quiz the breeder on the health of their stock - although as no health testing is commonly done you will have little to go on there. If you feel uncomfortable, try another breeder. A novice owner is probably going to want a good source of advice as the dog grows, and you will do better with a breeder willing to stay engaged with you as questions arise.

(edited for clarity)

Edited by Diva

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alyosha   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Owner, exhibitor, future breeder....

General adorer of this fantastic breed.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

See Diva's post above - I think it's covered. :(

3. How common is it in Australia?

Not as common as it should be. Most people don't know what a Borzoi is, and think they are everything from a Greyhound cross to a Rough Collie cross or anything in between. There are good breeders in almost every State, but you may need to go to a show to see one - even then you may not as there are often very few at smaller shows in NSW and the ACT. Victoria enjoys slightly higher numbers.

4. What is the average lifespan?

12 years +.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Devoted to their owners and families, but not in a fawning or grovelling way at all. Like other sighthounds some are aloof around strangers. Many Borzoi are quite attentive to their owners, being good at "reading" moods and their surroundings. Many have an uncanny ability to appear quietly at their owner's side when their owner is unhappy or worried.

I was told for many years that they might not be suited with very young children and was put off, for a few years, having them as a result. What a shame, as they are some of the best family dogs I can imagine. Mine will happily be handled by my young children, and love nothing more than being sprawled out on the living room floor being stepped over and generally in the middle of everything and everyone. My children have also met Borzoi belonging to other breeders and I have seen a simliar gentle response, particularly from female Borzoi.

They don't respond to rough treament and will sulk as a result. If they do anything unacceptable a sharp word is generally more than enough to change their behaviour. They also don't enjoy rough and tumble play and aren't suited to rough handling by unsupervised children, but this would be the same for nearly all breeds.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

If I get busy and don't get out for a walk mine love a game of fetch (yes, some sighthounds play fetch!) or tug of war in the yard, and will run around together. They love a 30 minute of so walk, with a good off lead gallop if a safe fenced area is available. Again this is individual, some loving longer or shorter walks.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

That depends on an owner's expectations of their dog. I find them very relaxed to live with, easily trained in the sense that they don't like being told off and remember well. They are often undemanding in many senses. Sighthounds in general enjoy short periods of activity punctuated by long period os lying about conserving energy for the next burst. As a consequence breeds like Borzoi make excellent house pets. They don't often suffer from destructive of noisy tendencies, and are generally calm and quiet - in between zoomies that is!

I would recommend them for a first time owner that didn't necessarily want a dog that fetch the newspaper on command or be instantly obedient with minimal training. They need to be kept safe and on lead in public as they will run fast when they feel like it and will not pay any heed to hazards such as roads etc.

They are a beautiful coated dog with quite minimal grooming requirements so are good for new dog owners in that respect.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

That would depend on the individual. Some are happy to wait for their owner, and sleep the day away. Some are more suited to being included in a pack and having another dog (and yes, they actually do really enjoy the company of other Borzoi). For example, my male dog is unconcerned about being alone, as long as he gets his one-on-one time with me.

9. How much grooming is required?

A brush once a week with a pin brush and comb is sufficient. The long fringes can be fragile and shouldn't be brushed with hard slicker brushes. The hair is not prone to matting in general. Males have more coat than females. Males will shed a little seasonally but won't "drop" their coat like females will. This happens like clockwork 8 weeks after a girl is in season. The up side of this is that they tend to drop their coat all at once, so you have a snowstorm for three days and then they are finished for another six months. The heavy fringes, trousers and neck coat on mature males can take some time to dry after bathing and a good dryer is recommended. A good dryer also comes in handy for blowing out coat during changes - saving hair from your couch or carpet!

As with all coated breeds watch for seeds and small mats between toes and in ear fringes etc, and any soiling of trousers which can happen sometimes.

Borzoi have lovely "wash'n'wear" coats. They can be covered in mud in the morning, and white and clean in the afternoon. Dirt falls out of their dry coats very easily indeed, like magic!

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Mine have been raised with young children but have also been selected as pups for temperaments that are suited to family life. They can certainly be lovely gentle dogs with young children if raised and socialised correctly.

I find them generally lovely with older people and they can make lovely therapy dogs for nursing home visits and similar. They are a height that makes them easily reached by infirm folks, and they are usually not jumpy or licky dogs.

They are acutely aware of their personal space, and may jump away quickly if startled. This doesn't necessarily denote nervousness.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

They are generally a healthy breed. Like mentioned above, thyroid problems have been seen in the breed.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

As with any large breed ensure that a puppy is selected for soundness of mind as well as body. Meet parents of puppies if possible. Good breeders will openly talk with you about your thoughts, whether good or bad.

Good breeders will also offer ongoing support to puppy buyers. Borzoi puppies go through many weird and wonderful growth stages before they become elegant adults at between three and four years of age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sheridan   

I imagine that the gene pool in Australia must be fairly small. Are breeders importing new dogs on a regular basis that are unrelated to the current gene pool?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Diva   

There are a number of imports around from the USA, Sweden, UK, Russia and I think there's one from Hungary too.

How unrelated they are once you go back more than a couple of generations is not something I have checked, sometimes they look fairly unrelated over five generations but not once you dig deeper. The imports from each country are often related themselves as a small number of overseas kennels are heavily represented.

I used to think a small gene pool was likely to be an issue, particularly given the effect on the breed of the Russian revolution. But I recently came across a 2002 Russian study of genetic diversity in the breed and it was higher than I expected.

IMO the thing which has preserved its fairly good health status is that it was bred up until modern times as a performance animal and tested in the field. As that rigourous selection process becomes less of an influence over time and selection for show perfomance becomes the main criteria more problems may well arise. The influence of lure coursing in some countries may be a balance to that, as long as the breed doesn't split into coursing and show types.

Edited by Diva

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Diva   

Esky, when I got my first one I was told anecdotes by other owners of their 'zoi not much liking strange Huskies and Mals, even GSDs, because of the resemblance to wolves. But I've had seven now and none of mine have ever reacted differently to those breeds. I've come to think it was just a bit of a romantic story really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Elkie1   
Esky, when I got my first one I was told anecdotes by other owners of their 'zoi not much liking strange Huskies and Mals, even GSDs, because of the resemblance to wolves. But I've had seven now and none of mine have ever reacted differently to those breeds. I've come to think it was just a bit of a romantic story really.

I love this breed... I own elkhounds and some of the Borzoi I have come across have taken a liking to my elkies. I know that Alyosha's puppy lovesplaying with my elkie. :laugh:

I find this breed to be very eligant :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More posts, please? I'd love to learn more. :laugh: I've always admired zois and told myself that if I were to have two 'staple' breeds, after the BC, a zoi would definately be my next choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe go check out the sighthound thread in the breed sub forum. on a side note there is a borzoi x border collie in rescue atm. can't remember which state though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks pixie :laugh: btw oberon is absolutely gorgeous. I was actually thinking of showing if i were to get a zoi :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

First time owner, and now showing.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

See other posts.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Not very common. Its a rarity for someone to recognise the breed. And not very many at shows in QLD

4. What is the average lifespan?

see other replies

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

I'll just speak from my experience with my boy. He is fun loving dog and is up for rough play, fetch games in the yard. But he is also quite happy to do absolutely nothing all day. He is only 18 months old so he's not an adult yet, but he has happily spent life as mostly an indoor dog without complaint. He's a bit dominant and early on we had to become respected pack leaders to him. He is smart but wont follow commands unless there's something in it for him. This is part of that independant borzoi nature. That said he does sit, drop, roll over. He isn't terribly destructive like many puppies(of other breeds) can be.

He's a chaser, very typical of a sighthound. very alert and an attention seeker(this part is not typical)

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Mine is fairly happy with some fetch games, and tag once or twice a day, sometimes just zoomies. We also walk him most days.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

from what i've heard most borzoi would be good for the first timer. I had one that didn't care if you told him off which is so not typical. I love his proud personality though.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Absolutely. Mine is often alone at home. He just thinks he'll sleep the day away if i'm not there.

9. How much grooming is required?

very little considering the coat. I brush mine maybe once or twice a week mostly due to grass seeds. He always looks clean and doesn't smell doggy. Before i started showing i washed him once a month.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

My kids were 3 and 5 when i got my Borzoi. He chased them and was pretty rough with them. I'd say they were a bit too young for his level of play. i'd say over the age of 6 is more appropriate. My now 6 year old handles his antics and he respects her. They're not your typical childs dog for playing with. just my opinion from my experience with one borzoi

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

not that i'm aware of.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Find a breeder you are comfortable with. My breeder is amazing and we are still in contact despite being states apart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lhok   

While helping my friend do some research on the breed I found a little piece of information that I found to be interesting. It stated that they are very clean dogs and some dogs need privacy bushes else they won't go to the toilet in the yard if they can be seen.

Is that true?

--Lhok

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Diva   

In my experience they do tend to be very clean and easy to housebreak and I've often heard the privacy bush comment too. I wouldn't say they need privacy bushes, but a lot of them do prefer to toilet out of sight and I think they would probably not be very happy being kept somewhere where they had to toilet very close to where they sleep or eat.

I've had several that always made sure they toileted as far away from the house as they could and if I have them off lead anywhere and they need to go, all of them will all trot off a distance before doing so and preferably duck behind a bush - maybe it's just so I have to walk a way to pick it up, LOL.

I can't guarantee all of them are like that, like most breeds if raised as puppies so that they have no choice but to go near where they live they get used to doing so. But generally, they are a very clean breed.

Edited by Diva

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when mine was a pup he would flat out refuse to go in public. always waited till he got home.

Now he will go in public but will make sure he can see whats going on around him while doing so.

In terms of being clean. He gets very dirty sometimes but generally the the dirt comes out of the coat easily and they do groom themselves a little but not like cats do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alyosha   

Mine can't stand being dirty, dusty yes, and running around in mud a bit yes, but not toilety-dirty. They look with great disdain on dogs that make a mess near their bed or food. Mine have their favourite toilet spots in the yard - mostly behind trees etc.

They have somewhat magical coats - they can look like this one minute - this is ungroomed on a rainy, muddy day:

Mudmonster.jpg

And this when they dry out - this is ungroomed on a dry day (but a bit older so longer coat!):

Ursie2.jpg

:) Dirt falls off them beautifully!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just loved reading through all your posts. Partner and I are new to showing Borzoi, we have a pair and another pup on order. Here's a pick of them last year at 9 months. Their show debut.

post-53560-0-82667300-1430699127_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*kirty*   

Does anyone here have cats and Borzoi? Can it be done? Are bitches particularly 'bitchy'? And are they noisy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Diva   

I have inside cats and Borzoi, always have and it has worked fine. Outside cats might well be different though. As always it depends on the individuals and how you manage them. Most Borzoi don't bark much. You get the occasional one that guard barks so watch for that but mostly it is a very quiet breed. Some sing a bit. I don't find the bitches bitchy. I run multiple bitches together without a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*kirty*   

Thanks Diva. Have been given some very different advice from someone so wanted to check with people who own and love the breed! :) I was told they are noisy and have the highest prey drive of all sighthounds and should not be kept with cats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×