Borzoi Dog Breed | Borzoi - The Fastest Dog -TDS
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Borzoi Dog Breed | Borzoi – The Fastest Dog -TDS

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Borzoi – Dog Breed

The Breed History
Perhaps as early as the 1200s, Russian aristocrats bred fast sight hounds for hunting and the breed started to take form. Dogs such as the Bearhound, southern coursing hounds of the Tartars, and Owtchar sheepdogs were reported as progenitor breeds. Some also report Saluki and Greyhound as part of the mix. The first breed standard dates back to 1650. Aristocrats used to carry out elaborate wolf hunts, using pairs or trios of Borzois, one horsemen and foxhounds to flush quarry. The first specimen may have been sent to England in 1842. The importation to America began in earnest in the 1890s. The name in Russian is “borzii,” meaning swift.

Breeding for Function
Historically, they functioned in the hunt to pin down the quarry (usually wolves) until the horsemen arrived. They were also successfully used to hunt fox and hare. Today they are popular in lure coursing events, obedience, and as valued companions due to their gentle nature and trainability.

Physical Characteristics
Height at Withers: female 26″ minimum (66 cm), male 28″ minimum (71 cm).
Weight: females 75-90 lb (34-41 kg), males 75-105 lb (34-48 kg).
Coat: The coat is variably curly but long and silky. Short hair is present over the head, and long feathers are found on tail and hindquarters. They possess a prominent neck frill. Any color or color combination is acceptable. Daily brushing and regular bathing are recommended. They have a moderate shedding tendency.
Longevity: 9-13 years
Points of Conformation: Graceful movement and lithe conformation characterize the Borzoi. Males are noticeably heavier set than the females. The skull is very long and narrow, slightly domed and somewhat Roman-nosed in profile. The stop is not prominent, ears are small and obliquely set, eyes are dark with dark palpebral rims. The nose is large and pigmented black. The thorax is very deep and narrow, and neck slightly arched and muscular. The topline is slightly curved, back is short, and abdomen is tucked up. Long bones of the limbs appear oval; narrow when viewed from the front, but are straight. The feet are well knuckled up and the dewclaws are generally removed. Hindquarters are wider than forequarters. Their long tail is set low and carried low in a curve. A powerful springy gait is desired.

Recognized Behavior Issues and Traits
Reported breed characteristics include: Courageous in the hunt, protective of their owners, tractable, intelligent, affectionate with owners, sensitive, some are aloof, faithful, good with children (best if raised with children); may chase cats or small dogs if not brought up with them. Is active outdoors but quiet in the house, has moderate to high exercise needs, and early training is needed. They can sometimes be independent and a bit stubborn. If off leash, the Borzoi should be in a fenced enclosure. Can be destructive if bored. Considered alarm barkers not guard dogs.

Normal Physiologic Variations
Sight hounds have lower normal ranges for T4 and T3 concentrations compared to other breeds.

Drug Sensitivities
Anesthesia: Sight hounds require particular attention during anesthesia. Their lean body conformation with high surface-areato- volume ratio predisposes them to hypothermia during anesthesia. Impaired biotransformation of drugs by the liver results in prolonged recovery from barbiturate and thiobarbiturate intravenous anesthetics. Propofol, and ketamine/diazepam combination are recommended induction agents.

Inherited Diseases
Hypothyroidism: Breeding studies of autoimmune thyroiditis in the breed suggest an autosomal recessive inheritance. Thyroid auto-antibodies are usually present by 2.5 years of age. 11.5% positive for thyroid autoantibodies based on testing at Michigan State University. (Ave. for all breeds is 7.5%)
Elbow Dysplasia: Polygenically inherited trait causing elbow arthritis. OFA reports 2.9% affected.