The Borzoi used to be known as the Russian Wolfhound, a breed named after his country and purpose: hunting wolves in the dense forests of his native Russia. He was bred for centuries by the Russian noble class to chase wolves in gigantic and elaborate hunts that often included hundreds of people and other breeds of dogs. After the Borzoi had caught the wolf, he was required to pin the animal down with his strong jaws until the arrival of the huntsmen, who usually freed the wolf back into the forest.
Borzois were imported to America in the 1890s, and have been appreciated here ever since for their gentle, dignified manner and their impressive abilities as swift lure coursers. Lure coursing is a sport in which a hound chases after a lure of three plastic bags speeding over a course, or track. It requires stamina, speed, and agility.
Borzois enjoy long runs and cold weather, but are quiet in the house.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Elegant, a sound runner, with strong neck and jaws, graceful in motion or when still.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, at least 28 inches at withers; females, at least 26 inches. Weight--males, 75 to 105 pounds; females, 50 to 90 pounds.
Borzois are larger and heavier-coated than Greyhounds. Their long, silky coats can be straight, wavy, or curly. The hair on the face and fronts of legs is short. Borzois are usually white with another color such as lemon, tan, gray, or black. And they do shed. A daily brushing helps.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.