• Overview

    Borzois have style and speed. Their name means swift in Russian, and their quick, graceful movements help them live up to that name, but they are also calm, mild-mannered and laidback indoors. Borzois are very large dogs who stand over 2 feet tall (males can be up to 2 feet, 8 inches tall). Borzois require some special treatment and plenty of attention during grooming, but they are gentle, loving dogs who love to run just as much as they love to relax.

  • Personality

    Borzois are quiet, independent dogs, but don't mistake their lack of outward affection for aloofness. Borzois are undemonstrative, but they are incredibly dependent on their owners. Borzois are trusting of their owners, but they need to be show that they are loved and appreciated, or they have a tendency to become shy and anxious. They do need consistent training and a firmly defined set of rules to follow, but training should never be harsh, because Borzois are sensitive to their owners' tones of voice.

    Although they are remarkably fast runners with a gait similar to the Greyhound's, they prefer short sprints to long-distance workouts, and they are not particularly high-energy. In fact, they are languid and relaxed indoors, where they're content to curl up at the foot of their owner's bed without rising to greet visitors. Outdoors, Borzois love to roam. Some can never be let off leash without taking off in pursuit of the first moving object they see. Borzois have extremely strong jaws — one snap can quickly kill a small mammal — so don't let them play with your guinea pig without supervision.

  • Coat Care

    Borzois have silky coats that are either mid-length or long. The coats are much fuller on males, especially around the long neck ruff. Borzoi's coats are flat-lying, wavy or slightly curly. The hair around the chest, stomach, legs and tail is longer and slightly feathered. Borzois' coats come in many colors, but they are most frequently seen in white with lemon, tan, gray or golden markings.

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Brush your Borzoi's long hair twice a week with a pin brush and a metal comb to remove tangles. Check for mats behind the legs and ears. Using a wire slicker brush on the Borzoi's coat will ruin the coat's soft, silky texture. Borzois shed seasonally, more often if they live in a warm climate, so they need daily brushing during that time.

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Borzois keep themselves rather clean, and their coat repels dirt and water, so they may not need to be bathed as frequently as other dogs with combination coats.

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Hair Clipping

Trim between the Borzoi's footpads occasionally, because this hair has a tendency to grow too long and become painful while Borzois are running.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Small dogs, like Dachshunds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Papillions and Japanese Chins, and dogs with hanging ears like the Saluki,  have sensitive ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Papillions and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.