7 Fun Facts About the Russian Wolfhound

One of the supermodels of the canine world, the Borzoi is a breed with a long and aristocratic history. Ancestors of the Borzoi are believed to have been brought to Russia in the 13th century by Kublai Khan. As the wolfhound dog breed developed, the Borzoi quickly became a favorite among Russian aristocracy and royalty.

Despite its elegant appearance, the Borzoi is, in fact, a working dog and makes a great watchdog. It's classified within the hound group by the American Kennel Club. This breed is known for its silky coat and distinctive narrow head. Here are seven fun facts about this unique breed.

1. The Borzoi, known as the Russian wolfhound until 1936, is a sighthound.

These hounds were bred to hunt wolves, small animals, and other prey. Consequently, even in pet capacity, they are prone to chase anything that moves thanks to their wolf hunting background.

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2. The word "borzoi" is actually the masculine singular form of an antiquated Russian word for "fast."

Appearance-wise, the Borzoi is sometimes described as "a Greyhound wearing a coat." Their powerful hindquarters lead to long, slender legs; these large dogs are built for speed.


3. The Borzoi is a relatively quiet dog and is not prone to much barking.

With an independent personality and the occasional stubborn streak characteristic of the breed, it has often been described as having a cat-like temperament. Early socialization and obedience training is important and can help these dogs learn how to best behave with their families.

4. The Borzoi was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1891.

The first registered dog was named Princess Irma.

5. Bred for speed, a Borzoi can reach speeds of 35-40 miles per hour on the run.

Their looks are reminiscent of the Arabian greyhound and their speed makes them ideal hunting dogs.


6. The first Borzoi came to America in 1889 when a Pennsylvania man, William Wade, imported her from England.

Her name was Elsie.

7. According to the American Kennel Club, the Borzoi dog breed is the 99th most popular dog breed in the United States.

Want to learn more about the Borzoi? You can find out more breed information here.

If you'd like to add a Borzoi puppy to your home, the Borzoi Club of America, Inc. offers valuable information that can help you to learn more about this breed. Familiarize yourself with the breed standard, learn about health issues like bloat and progressive retinal atrophy, get details on life expectancy, and decide if this breed is for you. Then, find responsible breeders with puppies for sale and enjoy your new Borzoi puppy.