FCI Standard for the Borzoi
Brief historical summary:
The Russkaya Psovaya borzaya has been an integral
part of the national culture and Russian history for 9 centuries.
The French Chronicle of the Xith century shows that three Borzois
accompanied the daughter of the Grand Duke of Kiev, Anna Iaroslavna
when she arrived in France to become the wife of Henri I. Among
the owners and breeders there were many famous people including
Tzars and poets: Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Nicolas
II, Pushkin, Turgenev. The creation of the famous kennel "Pershinskaya
okhota" by the illustrious breeders the Grand Duke Nicolai Nicolaevitch
and Dimitri Valtsev had great importance. From the end of the
XIXth century, the Borzoi is seen in the biggest breeding kennels
of Europe and America.
Dog of aristocratic appearance, of large size,
of lean and at the same time robust constitution, of a very
slightly elongated construction. Females are generally longer
than males. Strong bone structure but not massive. The bones
are rather flat. Muscles lean, well developed, especially on
the thighs, but not showing in relief.
In males the height at the
withers is equal or barely superior to that from the summit
of the croup to the ground.
In females these two heights are equal.
The height at the withers must
be slightly inferior to the length of the body.
The depth of the chest is approximately
equal to half the height at the withers.
The length of the muzzle, from
the stop to the tip of the nose, is equal or slightly to
that of the skull, from the occiput to the stop.
Behaviour / Temperament:
In its everyday life the Borzoi has a quiet
and balanced character. At the sight of game it gets suddenly
excited. It has a piercing sight, capable of seeing very far.
Its reaction is impetuous.
Lean, long, narrow, aristocratic. Seen in profile,
the lines of the skull and muzzle form a long, slightly convex
line, the line of the sagittal crest being straight or slightly
oblique towards the well marked occipital protuberance. The
head is so elegant and lean that the principal veins show through
Skull: Seen from above, narrow, elongated
into an oval shape; seen in profile, almost flat.
Stop: Very slightly marked.
Nose: Large, mobile, considerably prominent
in relation to the lower jaw.
Muzzle: Long, filled out in all its
length, arched near the nose. The length of the muzzle from
the stop to the tip of the nose is equal or slightly superior
to that of the skull, from the occiput to the stop.
Lips: Fine, clean, well fitting. The
eye-rims, the lips and the nose are black whatever the colour
of the coat.
Jaws/Teeth: Teeth white, strong; full
dentition; scissor bite.
Eyes: Large, expressive, dark hazel
or hazel coloured, very slightly prominent, almond-shaped, set
Ears: Small, supple, mobile, set on
above the eye level and backwards, almost towards the nape of
the neck, the tips of the ears situated near each other or directed
downwards along the neck and close to it. When the dog is alert,
the ears are carried higher and on the sides or forward; sometimes
one or both ears are erect like horse ears.
Long, clean, flattened laterally, muscled,
slightly arched, carried rather low.
Withers: Not marked.
Back: Broad, muscled, elastic, forming
with the loin and croup a curve which is more pronounced in
the males. The highest point of this curve is situated in the
region of the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebra.
Loin: Long, prominent, muscled, moderately broad.
Croup: Long, broad, slightly sloping.
The width of the croup measured between the two hip bones (iliac
crests) must not be less than 8 cm:
Chest: Of oval cross-section, not narrow,
yet not wider than the croup, deep, well developed in length,
spacious, reaching down almost to elbow level. The region of
the shoulder blades being flatter, the chest gets gradually
wider towards the false ribs, which are short; seen in profile,
it forms a change in slope. The ribs are long, slightly prominent.
The forechest is slightly prominent in relation to the scapular-humeral
Belly: Well tucked up, the underline
rises abruptly towards the abdomen.
Tail: In shape of sickle of sabre, low
set, thin, long. Passed between the hindlegs, it must reach
up to the hip bone (iliac crest), furnished with abundant feathering.
When the dog is standing, the tail hangs downwards. In action,
it is raised, but not above the level of the back.
Forequarters: Forelegs clean, muscled,
seen from the front perfectly straight and parallel. The height
of the forelegs from the elbow to the ground is equal or little
superior to half the height at the withers.
Shoulders: Shoulder blades long and oblique.
Upper arm: Moderately oblique; its length
is barely superior to the length of the shoulder blade. Angle
of the scapular-humeral articulation well pronounced.
Elbows: In parallel plane to the median plane of the
Forearm: Clean, long, of oval cross-section;
seen from the front, narrow, seen in profile, broad.
Pastern: Slightly oblique in relation to the ground.
Hindquarters: Seen from behind: straight,
parallel, set slightly wider than the forequarters. When the
dog is standing true, the vertical line dropping from the ischiatic
tuberosity (Point of buttocks) must pass in front of the center
of the hock joint and of the metatarsals.
Upper thigh: Well muscled, long, places obliquely.
Lower thigh: Long, muscled, placed obliquely.
The femoro-tibial and the tibio-tarsal articulations well developed,
broad, clean,; the angles must be well marked.
Metatarsals: Not long, placed almost vertically.
All the articulations are well angulated.
Feet: Lean, narrow, of elongated oval
shape (called "harefeet"); toes arched, tight; nails long, strong,
touching the ground.
When not hunting, the typical gait of the Borzoi
is the extended trot, effortless, very supple and lifting; when
hunting the charging gallop is extremely fast, with leaps of
Hair: Silky, soft and supple, wavy or
forming short curls. On the head, the ears and the limbs, the
hair is satiny (silky but heavier), short, close lying. On the
body, the hair is quite long, wavy; on the regions of the shoulder
blades and the croup, the hair forms finer curls; on the ribs
and thighs, the hair is shorter; the hair which forms the fringes,
the "breeches" and the feathering of the tail is longer.
Colour: Combination of colours: white
and yellow of all shades; white and wolf grey (banded hair,
agouti); white and light fawn with black overlay, white and
red; white and red fawn with black overlay, white and brindle;
white and black.
All the colours above mentioned may be solid
or pied. The fringes, "breeches", featherings of the tail re
considerably lighter than the background colour. For the overlaid
colours a black mask is typical.
Desirable height at the withers:
dogs: 75-85 cm.
bitches: 68-78 cm
In males, the height at the withers is equal
or barely superior to that from the summit of the croup to the
ground. In females, these heights are equal.
Any departure from the foregoing points should
be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault
should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
- Light or massive construction.
- Stocky appearance or high on the legs.
- Light bone structure.
- Insufficiently developed musculature.
- Abrupt stop.
- Profile of the head is distinct wedge shape due to exaggerated
height of the skull
- Forehead broad.
- Zygomatic arches developed.
- Muzzle short. Bridge of the nose too narrow
- Superciliary arches prominent.
- Small, decayed; abnormally worn.
- Pincer bite in subjects aged more than 6 years old.
- Absence of PM1 and PM2 (not more than 3 teeth).
- Small, round, light hazel.
- Third eyelid too developed.
- Low set, not set on backwards
- Back narrow with a hollow at the level of the anticlinal
vertebra (11th thoracic vertebra); too arched.
- Loin short, straight, narrow.
- Croup narrow, short, steep.
- Chest narrow, flat, not deep; sternal line much higher than
the level of the elbows.
- Belly only slightly tucked up.
- Set high or too low; carried high; tip of the tall in ring
shape, falling sideways; feathering sparsely developed; short
- Scapula-humeral angle too open.
- In or out at elbows
- Forearm slightly crooked.
- Pastern too short, too oblique or too straight.
- Feet turning slightly in or out.
- Over-angulated or too straight angulation.
- Close behind or spread hocks.
- Feet toeing in.
- Tendency to be a little too broad, slightly round, fleshy
(thick) or flat; spread toes.
- Dull, tousled; fringes, "breeches", feathering of the tail
sparse; straight hair; fine curls all over the body.
- Flecks of the same shade as the background colour; striking
- Soft constitution, coarse constitution.
- Short trunk.
- Heavy, coarse bone structure.
- Round bones.
- Soft tissues.
- Blunt muzzle.
- Teeth: Pincer bite in subjects aged less than 6 years.
- Eyes: Deep set; yellow.
- Ears: Thick, coarse, with rounded tips.
- Dewlap or loose skin at level of throat; neck of round cross-section.
- Coarse, in action, falling downwards.
- Important deviations from the points described; knuckling
- Forearm: Of round cross-section.
- Important deviations from the points described.
- Broad, round, "cat feet", flat; spread toes.
- Hair: Stiff, bristly.
- Colour: Flecks of shade other than that of the background
colour; all lilac shades.
Behaviour / Temperament:
- Aggressive towards people.
Teeth: Any deviation from the scissors bite
(overshot or undershot bite); wry jaw, absence of incisors
which prevents judging the bite, absence of more than 3 premolars,
absence of P4, absence of any molar except M3.
Lower canines set backwards from their normal
position thus possibly touching the upper gums or the palate
- Eye: Wall eye.
- Tail: Corkscrew tail, broken tail (fused vertebrae), docked,
- Presence of dewclaws.
- Colour: Brown, chocolate.
NB: Male animals should have two apparently normal
testicles fully descended into the scrotum