I Want to Buy A Borzoi

Can anybody help me? I really like the look of these dogs-but I am told, they are quite unique among breeds. People tell me that they need to run a lot, that they are “one man” type dogs, and that they are prone to detression. Can anybody advise me? Also, I never see these dogs advertised in my area (New England) -can anybody direct me to a rescue organization?
Finally-as members of the greyhound family-are Borzois really affectionate?

I think you can make a few generalizations (and so I will) about sighthounds.

Sighthounds instinctually will operate fairly far away from you if given a chance. They were bred to run down game without much input from their handlers. That means they must always be on a leash or in a fenced-in yard. There are a few places, like a lure-coursing event, where they might also run free. Train them early to come when called (good luck!!!). They’re not a take-to-the-park-for-frisbee kind of dog. You could use a long training leash if necessary.

Socialize any dog at an early age. Sighthounds can be very aloof, so this applies doubly.

Sighthounds have sensitive skin that reacts poorly to flea collars. Use a good spray like Zodiac, and bomb your house once or twice a season with Zodiac bombs.

Sighthounds are difficult to anesthetize. Make sure you mention this at your vet’s office before any operation. You may be talking to the receptionist, and the receptionist may be ignorant of this. Hopefully the vet won’t be.

Find the one tasty thing that gets your dog’s attention when you’re trying to get him/her into the house. Teach your dog the name of that one tasty thing. I have had excellent luck with peanut butter.

This is from 11 years’ experience living with an Ibizan Hound. Good Luck!!!

Ditto on all of the above. Also remember the Borzoi is a wolf hound - a group not noted for their cuddliness in general. And then there is the coat. Be prepared to spend a couple hours a day, morning and night on the dog’s coat. In any case I strongly discourage purchasing a dog simply because you like it’s looks. See the masses of Dalmations destroyed after that miserable movie if you need a for instance. I suggest you painstakingly research this dog and see if you meet its needs. Talk to a reputable breeder. Then think it all over again before you take the plunge. A pure breed is a big expense for just a house dog. Are you thinking of showing? That’s a whole other kettle of fish, and a lot more expense.


The look of a dog is the LAST reason you select one. After you have determined what kind of temperment you are looking for, you find out which dogs fit that temperment and pick the look you like from those.

Dogs are not all alike, by any stretch. They vary as widely in personality as they do in looks…even more confounding is the fact that even within a breed, there is no guarantee your particular dog will conform to the expectations you have for it based on a breed standard. There is too much sloppy breeding going on.

I was gonna go into some questions here, but dog threads keep coming up…I’m going to make one about what questions you need to answer HONESTLY before you get ANY dog.

Lemme just say this: they are not furniture, and they are not cats. They require a GREAT amount of attention, patience, and care, and they require it from 7-17 years.

Think hard.


egkelly, I found this site http://www.dogbreedinfo.com when I was investigating dog breeds.

I have heard that sighthounds also do not do well with cats or other small animals. May be just a story, but one to consider if you have cats or other pets.

These are pretty big dogs and will need a lot of excercise, which also means lots of grooming.

People who own them seem to be loyal to that breed of dog, you just don’t see many around and when you do it’s usually someone who has three or four of them.

The owners, like many who own minority breeds of dog, have their own club and a sense of community.

There are a few UK clubs but I manged to dig up a good US one for you.


For more general info


They seem to be very houndlike, enjoying luxury but deceptively game when it comes to hunting.

Even when just playing with other dogs they can get too boisterous, they run at full tilt and use their momentum to flatten them, even big dogs like Rotties, you get 70lb of dog hit you at 40+ mph and it’d flatten you too.
This is also the reason why cats and small dogs just don’t stand a chance.
If you live in an area with a lots of cats and small dogs then you will need strict control as they can have a strong hunting instinct.

BTW, these dogs really do need company, you will have to be prepared to own at least one other dog, preferably large.


Please, don’t buy a dog. Adopt one. Ditto everything Stoid said. Really good breeders who are not puppy mills are hard to find. And when you do, it’s gonna cost you, but it will be worth it. The puppy mills will cost almost as much, but chances are that you will get a dog with a lot of genetic problems due to the amount of inbreeding. I don’t know that Borzis have that particular problem, but you run that risk whenever if you are determined to buy a ‘purebreed’
I have two dogs. One is a mutt who came from the Champaign Humane Society and cost me all of $50. He’s now 7 and I’ve only spent about $500 for his medical bills since he was 6 weeks old.
My other dog is an alleged pure AKC registered Minature Pinscher. I adopted her a few years ago because her owner abused and neglected her, required too much work. Lilly, (the dog) nails were so long when she came into the hospital that they had curled under and impaled her pads. Her feet were infected and she couldn’t walk. She was bald and afraid of everyone. She’s got a good gig now, and is the sweetest little soul. Sorry to go on about her, but here’s my point. I spent $300 on her the first week because she had a cracked molar. She is prone to weird skin problems, and there always seems to be something funky going on with her. I’m not complaining, I wouldn’t give her up for the world, but you need to prepare yourself for how much the dog will cost to support after that initial big cash outlay.
know what I mean?

What they said. No, really. The average cost to raise a dog from puppyhood to old age (including food, vet bills, toys, grooming, and general maintenance) is about $1000 a year. That’s an average, mind you. Big, active dogs cost more. One would expect a dog like a borzoi, with its unique coat, to have a much higher grooming expense.

A few things to consider:

  1. In the United States, each year, an average of seven MILLION (no, I am not making this up) unwanted cats and dogs are euthanized. If you want a dog, make damn sure you know what you’re getting into. Example - Dalmatians are not good pets for people with kids. Did that stop them from going out and getting one without doing the research? Kudos to you for asking around before taking the plunge.
  2. Look into rescue organizations. Go to pounds. You wouldn’t believe the quality and quantity of animals that wind up in the pound. The average pound animal is two years old, healthy, and even-tempered. There are a lot of pure-breds there, too (we adopted a pure-bred Golden Retriever a year ago). You may not get AKC papers, but, if it’s a family pet, does it matter?
  3. Spay/neuter. Huge, huge factors in the health of your pet as well as reducing the overpopulation.

As you can probably guess, this is my passion. I’ve been involved with what has become the largest no-kill organization in Phoenix for over four years, and I was just named to the Board of Directors. Part of our job is letting people know the plight of animals in the pound. There’s nothing wrong with getting the dog of your choice. Just make sure you look before you leap!


Yes, they are gorgeous.

Personal anecdote ahead:

When I was growing up, for a while - one lived across the street. The owner had tried very hard, and basically failed to train it to behave decently around anyone (or any animal) that wasn’t him. He also claimed that he was told that that’s how the breed tended to be (despite what the website says). The dog was fast and strong and mean. It could only be walked late at night when the owner could pretty much count on everyone being inside. But there were the infrequent stories of it getting loose or out of control - One time, my parents came home late, my mom walked the babysitter home, and on the way back the dog treed her. He also managed to break his owner’s daughter’s arm.

Part of me knows that with good training and care, the grand majority of dogs of any breed can be perfectly nice, docile, sweet animals. The other part is screaming that it has never seen a rogue Golden Retriever.