Canadian Standard for the Borzoi
Origin and Purpose
The Borzoi was originally bred for the coursing of hare,
fox and wolves on more or less open terrain, relying on sight
rather than scent. To accomplish this purpose, the Borzoi
must be courageous, powerful, and capable of great speed.
Special emphasis is placed on sound running structure, strong
neck and jaws, keenness to game, and agility combined with
A well-balanced hound which is graceful, aristocratic
and dignified. The Borzoi should always possess unmistakable
elegance with flowing lines, graceful in motion or repose. Dogs
masculine without courseness, bitches feminine and refined.
Sensitive, alert to the environment with a
quiet dignity. Aggressiveness or shyness undesirable.
Dogs 28-32 inches (71-81 cm), and bitches 27-30
(68-76 cm) at the withers. The height at the withers is equal
to the height at the hips, or the withers slightly higher. Extra
size is no disadvantage when it is not acquired at the expense
of symmetry, soundness and efficiency.
Coat and Colour
Silky in texture, never harsh, wiry or course.
Coat may be flat, wavy or rather curly. Short and smooth on
head and ears as well as on forelegs and hind legs below the
hock. Much longer on body with heavy feathering on backs of
forelegs, hindquarters, tail and chest. On the neck, the frill
is profuse and rather curly. Coats tend to be more profuse in
males. Quantity of coat and undercoat is determined by maturity
and seasonal changes. The undercoat is dense and soft. Any colour
or pattern acceptable.
Skull and Muzzle: Head long and lean and in
proportion to the dog's size and substance. Viewed from above,
the skull should look narrow, converging very gradually to the
tip of the nose. The occipital process is accentuated. Well
filled between and below the eyes. Measurement equal from the
occiput to the inner corner of the eye (canthus) and from there
to the tip of the nose. Skull slightly flat to slightly domed
and narrow. Stop almost imperceptible. Head fine so that the
direction of the bones and principal veins can be clearly seen.
Seen from the side, the head and muzzle form a smooth, uninterrupted
and slightly convex line. From the end of the nasal bone the
nasal cartilage slopes slightly down to the nostrils. Nose large,
black, nicely rounded and over-reaching. Mouth: Jaws deep, long
and powerful, with proportionally large teeth. Scissor bite
preferred, level bite acceptable. Full dentition preferred.
The lips are black rimmed, thin and well stretched. Eyes large,
neither bulbous, staring nor sunken. Expression is kind, intelligent
and alert. Eyes dark brown, placed well back but not too wide
apart. Eyelids set somewhat obliquely. Eye rims black and slightly
almond shaped. Ears small, pointed and fine-leathered. Set high,
not too far apart: tips nearly touching behind the occiput;
when in repose folded back along the neck. Should be active
and responsive; may be erect when alert, the tips sometimes
The neck should be well set on, widening gradually into the
shoulders; clean, free from throatiness, slightly arched,
well muscled, flat on the sides. The length of the neck should
be approximately equal to the length of the head.
Withers not accentuated. Shoulders clean, sloping back, flat
muscled. Forelegs, when seen from the front, appear bladed,
clean and straight, elbows neither in nor out. Seen from the
side, width at the shoulder narrowing down to the pastern;
elbows directed to the rear in a vertical line to the withers.
Pasterns slightly sloping, strong, flexible and springy. The
length of the forearms is about half the total height at the
Chest: rib cage relatively long, of oval cut, slightly sprung,
great depth of brisket to the level of the elbows. The sternum
is slightly pronounced with adequate width of forechest. The
abdomen is well tucked up. Back: rising in a graceful curve
over the loins. The highest point of the curve is situated
over the last rib. The spines of the vertebrae are prominent
and the pelvic bones palpable. The curve may be less pronounced
in bitches than in dogs. Loin: broad, powerful and very muscular;
not long. Croup: long, wide and well muscled with a gradual
fall away. The greatest width is at the hip joints.
Hindquarters wider than shoulders. Hind legs long and very
muscular. Thighs long and well developed with good second
thigh. Stifles well angulated, hock joints broad, clean and
set low. Posterior line of the hock is vertical. When seen
from the side, the legs are slightly set back where a line
can be dropped from the end of the pelvis (tuber Ischii) through
the knuckles of the foot.
Harefoot, well padded, never flat, neither turned in nor
out. Toes close together and well arched. Hind feet longer.
Removal of dewclaws optional.
Long, rather low set, the tail bone reaching well below the
hock joint. Well feathered, carried low in a graceful curve.
In action may be used as a counter balance but not rising
above the level of the back except when galloping. From the
level of the hocks the tail may be sickle-shaped but not ringed.
A typical trot is a gait of moderate speed. At the trot,
the front legs must reach well out with pasterns strong and
springy. The rear legs are wider apart than the front while
walking, but the feet tend to move closer to the midline as
the dog accelerates. A flexible back is observable. When viewed
from the side, there should be a noticeable drive with a ground
covering stride. The overall appearance in motion should be
that of effortless power, agility, smoothness, and grace.
Hackney action or restricted gait is not desired. When in
pursuit of prey, the dog moves at a very rapid gallop showing
full extension and flexion of limbs and back exhibiting great
speed and endurance.
The foregoing description is that of the ideal Borzoi. Any
deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to
the extent of the deviation, keeping in mind the original
purpose of the breed.
A male animal should have two apparently normal testicles
fully descended into the scrotum.