The Borzoi Standard
APPEARANCE - The Borzoi was originally bred for
the coursing of wild game on more or less open terrain, relying on sight rather
than scent. To accomplish this purpose, the Borzoi needed particular structural
qualities to chase, catch and hold his quarry. Special emphasis is placed on
sound running gear, strong neck and jaws, courage and agility, combined with
proper condition. The Borzoi should always possess unmistakable elegance, with
flowing lines, graceful in motion or repose. Males, masculine without coarseness;
bitches, feminine and refined.
HEAD - Skull slightly domed, long and narrow, with scarcely any perceptible
stop, inclined to be Roman-nosed. Jaws long, powerful and deep, somewhat finer
in bitches but not snipy. Teeth strong and clean with either an even or a
scissors bite. Missing teeth should be penalized. Nose large and black.
EARS - Small and fine in quality, lying back on the neck when in repose with
the tips when thrown back almost touching behind occiput; raised when at
- Set somewhat obliquely, dark in color,
intelligent but rather soft in expression; never round, full nor staring, nor
light in color; eye rims dark; inner corner midway between tip of nose and
NECK - Clean, free from throatiness, slightly arched, very powerful and well
SHOULDERS - Sloping, fine at the withers and free from coarseness or lumber.
CHEST - Rather narrow, with great depth of brisket.
- Only slightly sprung, but very deep,
giving room for heart and lung play.
BACK - Rising a little at the loins in a graceful curve.
LOINS - Extremely muscular, but rather tucked up, owing to the great depth of
chest and comparative shortness of back and ribs.
FORELEGS - Bones straight and somewhat flattened like blades, with the narrower
edge forward. The elbows have free play and are turned neither in nor out.
FEET - Hare-shaped, with well-arched knuckles, toes close and well padded.
HINDQUARTERS - Long, very muscular and powerful with well bent stifles; somewhat
wider than the forequarters; strong first and second thighs; hocks clean and
well let down; legs parallel when viewed from the rear.
DEWCLAWS - Dewclaws, if any, on the hind legs are generally removed; dewclaws on
the forelegs may be removed.
TAIL - Long, set on and carried low in a graceful curve.
COAT - Long, silky (not woolly), either flat, wavy or rather curly. On the
head, ears and front of legs it should be short and smooth; on the neck the
frill should be profuse and rather curly. Feather on hindquarters and tail, long
and profuse, less so on chest and back of forelegs.
COLOR - Any color, or combination of colors, is acceptable.
SIZE - Mature males should be at least 28 inches at the withers and mature
bitches at least 26 inches at the withers. Dogs and bitches below these
respective limits should be severely penalized; dogs and bitches above the
respective limits hould not be penalized as long as extra size is not acquired
at the expense of symmetry, speed and staying quality. Range in weight for males
from 75 to 105 pounds and for bitches from 15 to 20 pounds less.
GAIT - Front legs must reach well out in front with pasterns strong and
springy. Hackneyed motion with mincing gait is not desired nor is weaving and
crossing. However, while the hind legs are wider apart than the front, the feet
tend to move closer to the center line when the dog moves at a fast trot. When
viewed from the side there should be noticeable drive with a ground-covering
stride from well-angulated stifles and hocks. The overall appearance in motion
should be that of effortless power, endurance, speed, agility, smoothness and
FAULTS - 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 importance of the contribution of the various features
toward the basic original purpose of the breed.