Russian Standard for the Borzoi


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. Desirable height at the withers for males: 75-85 cm, for females: 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.

In its everyday life 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.

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 great length.

Faults: Light or massive construction; stocky appearance or high on the legs.

Serious faults: Soft, coarse constitution; short trunk; aggressive towards people. 


Combination of colours: white with yellow of all shades, white with wolf grey, white with light fawn, white with  red, white with black. All the colours above mentioned may be solid or pied. The fringes, "breeches", featherings of the tail are considerably lighter than the background colour. For the overlaid colours a black mask is typical.

Faults: Fleck of the same shade as the background colour; striking tan markings.

Serious faults: Fleck of shade other than that of the background colour. Brown, chocolate, all lilac shades.


Silky, soft and supple, wavy of forming short curls.

On the head, the ears and the limbs - is satiny, silky, short, close lying.

On the body - is quite long, wavy; on the regions of the shoulder blades and the croup, the hair forms finer curls; on the ribs and thighs - is shorter; the hair which forms the fringes, the "breeches" and the feathering of the tail - is longer.

Faults: Dull, tousled; fringes, "breeches", feathering of the tail sparse; straight hair; fine curls all over the body.

Serious faults: Stiff, bristly.


Supple, elastic

Faults: insufficiently supple and elastic

Serious faults: loose skin


Strong bone structure, but not massive. The bones are rather flat.  Muscles lean, well developed, especially on the thighs, but not showing in relief.

Faults: Light bone structure, insufficiently developed musculature.

Serious faults: Heavy, coarse bone structure, round bones.


Lean, long, narrow, aristocratic head. 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. Skull seen from above, narrow, elongated into an oval shape, seen in profile, almost flat. Stop very slightly marked. Nose is large, mobile, considerably prominent in relation to the lower jaw. Muzzle is long, filled out in all its length, arched hear 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 are fine, clean, well fitting.

The eye-rims, the lips and the nose are black whatever the colour of the coat.

The head is so elegant and lean that the principal veins show through the skin.

Faults: 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.

Serious faults: Soft tissues, blunt muzzle.


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 of forward; sometimes one or both ears are erect like "horse" ears.

Faults: Low set, not set on backwards.

Serious faults: Ears thick, coarse, with rounded tips. 


Large, expressive, dark hazel or hazel coloured, very slightly prominent, almond shaped, set obliquely.

Faults: Small, round, light hazel, third eyelid too developed.

Serious faults: Deep set, blue, grey, yellow eyes colour.


White, strong, full dentition, scissor bite.

Faults: Small, decayed, abnormally worn; pincer bite in subjects aged not early than 6 years old, absence of P-1, P-2 (not more than 3  teeth).

Serious faults: Any deviation from the scissors bite (overshot or undershot bite, pincer bite in subjects aged earlier than 6 years old, irregular bite), absence of incisors which prevents judging the bite, absence of more than 3 premolars, absence of P-4, absence of any molar M, except M-3.


Long, clean, flattened laterally, muscled, slightly arched, carried rather low.

Faults: Short, carried high.

Serious faults: Dewlap or loose skin at level of throat; neck of round cross-section.


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 articulation.

Faults: Chest narrow, flat, not deep, sternal line much higher than the level of the elbows.

Serious faults: Chest hollow in its front part, barrel - ribbed.


Back is 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 first or second lumbar vertebra.

Faults: Narrow with a hollow at the level of the anticlinal vertebra, too arched.

Serious faults: Sagging, straight back in males.


Long, prominent, muscled, moderately broad.

Faults: Short, straight, narrow.


Long, broad, slightly sloping. The width of the croup measured between the two hip bones must not be less than 8 (eight) cm.

Faults: Narrow, short, steep.

Serious faults: Very narrow, very short, excessively steep (goose rump).


Forelegs clean, muscled. Seen from the front perfectly straight and parallel. 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 body. Forearm is clean, long, of oval cross-section; seen from the front, narrow, seen in profile, broad. Pastern slightly oblique in relation to the ground. The height of the forelegs from the elbow to the ground is equal or little superior to half the height at the withers.

Faults: Scapula-humeral angle too open; in or out at elbows; forearm slightly crooked; pastern too short, too oblique, too straight; feet turning slightly in or out.

Serious faults: Important deviations from the points described; knuckling over; forearm of round cross-section.


Seen from behind: straight, parallel, set slightly wider than the forequarters. When the dog is standing true, the vertical line drooping from the ischiatic tuberosity 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.

Faults: Over-angulated or too straight angulation. Close behind or spread hocks. Feet toeing in.

Serious faults: Important deviations from the points described.



Lean, narrow, of elongated oval shape (called "harefeet"); toes arched, tight.

Nails long, strong, touching the ground

Faults: Fleshy or flat feet, spread toes.

Serious faults: Flat feet with spread toes.


In shape of sickle of sabre, low set, thin, long. Passed between the hindlegs, it must reach up to the hip bone, 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.

Faults: Set high or too low; tip of the tail in ring shape, falling sideways; feathering sparsely developed; short tail.

Serious faults: Coarse; in action  falling downwards; cracked tail; congested tail (at spin), cutting off.


English translation by Oksana Gernute


Historical Borzoi Breed Standards on the Valeska website


"Any color acceptable"


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