Borzoi Russian Wolfhound Dog Breed Information

Borzoi (from the Russian borzii meaning swift) or dogs very much like them have been known since the 13th century in Russia, where they have long been used by nobles and the upper class for the purposes of hunting. Crosses with large Russian sheepdogs and bearhounds gave the Borzoi the thick coat it needed for the Russian climate. The Borzoi was principally used to hunt wolves, and was therefore called the Russian Wolf Hound. Borzoi would attack a wolf in groups of two or three, pinning it to the ground until the human hunters arrived.

The Russian aristocracy bred the Borzoi for hundreds of years, and by 1861 hunting with Borzoi escalated to the point of becoming the national sport of the aristocracy. But as the Russian aristocracy fell to the communists during the early 20th century, many Borzoi were killed in Russia and the breed largely died out in its native land. Luckily, enough Borzoi had been given to foreign aristocracy over the years to ensure the breeds survival.

In 1889, the first Borzoi arrived in America from England; the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1891. Today the Borzoi is greatly valued for its good looks, intellect and gentle nature. In the west, it is still used by some farmers to control nearby coyote populations.

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