The Borzoi was originally a fast hunting dog from Russia, courageous and reputedly capable of hunting wolves! He is very large and strikingly tall, so would need to live in a large house with a large garden and ideally have easy access to the open countryside. He needs frequent exercise and the chance to run at speed. His longish, silky coat needs daily grooming to prevent tangles. He can be sensitive and aloof but usually very loyal to his owners. The Borzoi doesn’t make a very suitable family dog.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 5.5% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS918.83
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- Bloat/torsion (stomach fills with air and can twist, requiring urgent vet treatment) Common in deep chested breeds
- The very long, thin legs are susceptible to injury during fast movement.
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
Degenerative Myelopathy (DM).
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Hypothyroidism (lymphocytic thyroiditis ) (lethargy, changes in coat, obesity)
- Borzoi multifocal chorioretinal lesions (areas of retinal degeneration)
- Primary lymphodema (accumulation of fluid within the tissues, due to blockage of the lymph glands)
- Factor 1 (fibrinogen) deficiency (blood clotting disorder)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (CDRM) (see DNA tests above)
- Cancer: osteosarcoma
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: