Borzoi illustration


The wolfhound of the Imperial Russian aristocracy

Breed characteristics

Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home
Large house
More than once a week
Coat length
Over 10 years
Vulnerable native breed
Town or country
Size of garden
Large garden

About this breed

The Wolfhound of the Russian Aristocracy, the Borzoi's elegant curvaceous outline and luxuriant coat and long, lean head make him a memorable and imposing sight. The word Borzoi means 'swift'. Borzois hunted in pairs and held the wolf down until the hunters arrived. The breed was well established in Russia by 16th century and was probably developed from Greyhound type dogs crossed with long haired sheepdogs and imported Irish Greyhounds and wolf dogs.

Hunting with Borzoi in Russia was the pastime of the aristocracy, with the hounds followed on horseback and both dogs and horses often wearing brightly coloured hunting silks. The completion of a successful hunt was marked by a ceremonial feasting in tents. Many of the Russian aristocracy maintained large kennels of Borzoi.

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Hound breed group

Breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or by sight. The scent hounds include the Beagle and Bloodhound and the sight hounds such breeds as the Whippet and Greyhound. Many of them enjoy a significant amount of exercise and can be described as dignified, aloof but trustworthy companions.

Colour Watch

Category 0: Breeds with no NBS colour registration options. 

Read more about Colour Watch.

Breed Standard colours 

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:

  • Black & White
  • Black
  • Brindle
  • Black Sable
  • Blue
  • Blue & White
  • Blue Brindle
  • Blue Sable
  • Cream
  • Cream &
  • White
  • Cream Brindle
  • Cream Sable
  • Fawn & White
  • Fawn Brindle
  • Fawn Sable
  • Gold & White
  • Gold Brindle
  • Gold Sable
  • Grey
  • Grey & White
  • Grey Brindle
  • Grey Sable
  • Lemon
  • Lemon & White
  • Lemon Brindle
  • Mahogany
  • Mahogany & White
  • Mahogany Brindle & White
  • Mahogany
  • Sable
  • Red & White
  • Red Brindle
  • Red Sable
  • Red Sable & White
  • Self Black
  • Self Fawn
  • Self Gold
  • Self Red
  • Silver
  • Silver & White
  • Silver Brindle
  • Silver Sable
  • Tortoiseshell
  • Tortoiseshell & White
  • Tricolour
  • White
  • White & Black
  • White & Blue
  • White & Brindle
  • White & Cream
  • White & Fawn
  • White & Gold
  • White & Grey
  • White & Lemon
  • White & Mahogany
  • White & Red
  • White & Red Sable
  • White & Sable
  • White & Silver
  • White & Silver Sable
  • White & Tortoiseshell
  • Wolf Sable

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.


Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following (or equivalent) schemes, tests and advice.

Currently there are no additional health screening schemes or DNA tests for this breed. You may want to speak to your breeder, vet or local breed club about any health issues in the breed.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our health test results finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding co-efficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

To contact your breed health co-ordinator please email 

Lorraine Harvey


Breed watch

Category 2

Particular points of concern for individual breeds may include features not specifically highlighted in the breed standard including current issues. In some breeds, features may be listed which, if exaggerated, might potentially affect the breed in the future.

Read more

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

There are not currently any additional breed specific restrictions in place for this breed.

Looking for a puppy?

Looking for a Borzoi? Explore our list of puppies and rescue dogs for sale near you.

More information

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