Borzoi Standard

BORZOI – Russian Hunting Sighthound

Date of publication of the valid original standard: 4/9/2019


The general appearance of the Borzoi above all is characterized by its height, its rich coat the beauty of colors, the balanced proportions, the elegance and harmony of its contours and movements, which impart to the exterior a distinct nobility.
The Borzoi allegedly descends from the old Russian Greyhound with a slight addition of Krim and Bergwindhund blood. Generally, his characteristics are expressed through noble tranquility and reticence, as well as through self-assuredness and calm dignity. As a coursing hound, the Borzoi is fast and enduring. In a fight he may become a dangerous opponent because, in spite of the elegance of his appearance, he is basically a strong dog which enjoys a fight, and was used in Russia as a hunting dog.
As a hunting dog, the Borzoi should be outstanding based on his sharp sight, great speed (especially for short distances), and courage to attack wild game.
General appearance, as well as temperament, are of primary importance when judging. The general appearance, the most essential proof of the purity of the breed, should never be considered less important, when judging, than other points, no matter how important those may appear.
Size — The height at the withers for the male is 70-82 cm and above; for the bitch, approximately 5 cm less. As a general rule, the larger size will be preferred as long as the harmony, general appearance, and speed are not affected. The height of the withers slightly exceeds the height at the pelvis, or it may be even.
Format — Slightly stretched square format – that means the lenght of the body exceeds the height at the withers by 1 to 2 cm.
Type — Expressly linear or leptosom constitution (long head, long limbs, narrow and flat, but deep in brisket).
Purpose — Used as coursing dog especially for rabbits, fox, and wolf; nowadays in the West often used for racing.

General — In profile, as well as viewed from above, the head should be long, narrow,dry and finely chiseled, and should be converging gradually to the tip of the nose. Its length and width should be in proportion to the length and width of the body and the length and slenderness of the bones. The length of the muzzle is somewhat longer than the cranium. Specifically charasteristics is the forehead-nose profile, which, because of the missing stop, forms an obtuse angle at the eyebrows.
Forehead — Flat, slightly receding towards the back, narrow. Well pronounced occiput.
Muzzle — Strong, long, narrow, dry, and of slight depth, with a very slight arch (Roman nosed) just before the nose, then forming an angle with the edge of the lower jaw. The thin-skinned, dry lips are tight and have black pigmented edges, irrespective of the color nof the coat.
Teeth — The desired bite is a complete, well-fitted, strong scissors or even bite. Over- and undershot are serious faults. The distance between the teeth is greater due to the length of the muzzle.
Eyes — Large, almond-shaped, with the desirable dark chestnut brown color of the iris. Relatively close together, and somewhat behind the center of the head. Expression gentle but vivacious. Eyelids are set obliquely and are of black pigmentation.

Long, well-muscled, flat on the sides, upper contour slightly curved, rich coat, without dewlap.

Back — Forms, especially on the dog, a slight curve, the highest point of which is where the ribcage ends and the loin begins. On the bitch, the upper contour may be flatter. The proportion of ribcage to rear of the dog is 1:1. The entire back, especially however the loin area, is relatively broad and very muscular.
Withers — Not pronounced.
Chest — Relatively long and very deep (reaching to the elbows), however, proportionally narrow and flat (slight spring of the ribs). The forechest is not very pronounced. The brisket forms a convex (downward) curve.
Belly — Well tucked up and slightly pronounced.
Croup — Long, broad and strongly musculed; in continuation of the curve of the back, harmoniously curving downward. The distance between the points of the two pelvis bones should be at least the width of a hand (8 cm).

Set low, sabre or sickle-like, strong, profusely feathered and as long as possible–that is, when pulled between the backlegs, it should reach to the pelvis bone. While in repose, the tail is carried in a graceful curve; when excited, it is carried higher, but not above the backline. A tail, which is rolled, bent sideways, or carried too high is an esthetic fault

General — Long, dry, well muscled, and legs viewed from the front and side are straight.
Angulation — Overall relatively steap. Shoulder and elbow angles are quite obtuse. However, too steep angulation (so-called “pillar legs”) are considered faulty. All bones, particularily the forelegs, are considerably long. The length of the front legs is about one half of the height at the withers.
Shoulders — Long, narrow and flat, but dryly muscled and well connected with the body. The upper edges of the shoulder blade do not extend beyond the vertebrae.
Upper arm — Also long, relatively steep and dryly muscled. The elbows should be directed to the rear, neither turned in or out.
Foreleg — Particularly long and stands vertical. Narrow from the fron, but broad from the side due to the strong muscles. Feathered in rear.
Pastern joint — Strong and only slightly bent.
Pastern — Relatively short and should not be straight.
Feet — Standing parallel, narrow, oval, with nicely arched and tight toes, as well as hard, well-pigmented nails and pads.

General — Also long, but well muscled, and not as straight as the forequarters. The hip, knee and hock joint angles are quite obtuse; however, the opening of the angles is less than on the corresponding joints of the forequarters. Viewed from behind, the legs are straight and parallel, but standing broader than in the front; viewed from the side, they are situated somewhat to the rear.
Upper thighs — Long, broad and very strong, with dry muscles. The rear is heavily trousered; the knee joint is well marked.
Lower thighs — Long and well muscled.
Hock joint — Set deep, strong, broad and dry; viewed fron the side, the contour in front is slightly concave.
Hocks — Short, but longer than in the front, standing straight (vertical) to the ground.
Feet — Same as forequarters.

During slow and fast trot, the gait, the gait is springy and far-reaching; while hunting wild game and until spotted he moves in a moderate trot; during the chase, in a fast gallop with huge, floating leaps.

Thin and generally tight, well pigmented (also on white animals), with no loose skin.

Long, silky, wavy or curled. Especially profuse coat at the neck, lower chest, rear of forelegs and hindlegs. Short hair, small curls, or tightly curled hair are esthetic faults.

White, gold in all shades, gold with silver shading, dark clouded gold, red, black clouded with dark muzzle and legs; grey — from ash grey to yellow grey; brindled, gold, red or grey with extended dark streaks, red black and all shades of these colors. Clearly defined markings (Brand) are permissible but not desirable. Dark coloured dogs typically have a black mask and large, dark markings. All these colors may be one single color or shadings on a white ground. On the single colored dogs, the color is usually darker on the top and gets lighter towards the belly and the rear of the legs.

General appearence, growth, constitution, type: Too high, too
long, too deep, 5 cm undersize.
Color — Too clearly defined markings (Brand); coffee-colored; small spots like polka dots.
Coat — Flat, short, stringy, insufficient coat, isufficiently developed trousers and feathering. harsh coat, dense hair evenly distributed over the entire body.
Head — Noticeable stop; coarse, pronounced cheek bones, muzzle too pointed, light nose.
Ears — Set too low, too wide apart, insufficiently close to the neck, large, coarse, rounded edges.
Eyes — Small round lids, light eyes, light eye rims.
Neck — Round, coarse.
Chest — Too narrow or too round.
Back — Narrow, dip in the back, camel back, roach back ia a very serious fault. A straight back is a serious fault on a dog, a minor fault on the bitch.
Croup — Narrow, insufficient croup.
Belly — Insufficiently tucked up, excessively long.
Forequarters — Weak pastern, elbows in or out, east-west, clumsy gait, heavy gait, signs of rickets.
Hindquarters — Cow-hocked, bow-legged, weakly developed hock joint, too steep in rear, legs too thick.
Feet — Spread toes, round, fleshy paws.
Tail — Short, rolled, carried high, turned/twisted to the side, insufficiently developed feathering.
All defects, depending on the degree, must be regarded as very serious/serious/minor faults.