FCI-Standard N° 193 / 22. 11. 2006 / GB
BORZOI- RUSSIAN HUNTING SIGHTHOUND
(Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya)
TRANSLATION : R.K.F., revised by U. Fischer, R. Triquet and J.Mulholland.
ORIGIN : Russia.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID
STANDARD : 25.10.06.
UTILIZATION : Hunting sighthound, racing and coursing hound.
CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : Group 10 Sighthounds.
Section 1 Long-haired or fringed
Without working trial.
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 Tsars 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
GENERAL APPEARANCE : 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. Harmony of form and movement is of prime
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
• 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 depth of the chest is approximately equal to half the height at
• 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
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.
HEAD : Viewed from above as well as from the side, 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 the skin.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : Narrow; seen from above : elongated into an oval shape; seen
in profile, almost flat.
Stop : Only very slightly marked.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Large, mobile, considerably prominent in relation to the lower
Top of muzzle : Long, filled out in all its length, slightly arched near
Muzzle : 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
Lips : Fine, clean, well fitting. The eye-rims, the lips and the nose are
black whatever the colour of the coat.
Jaws/Teeth : Strong underjaw. Teeth white, strong; scissor bite or
Eyes : Large, very slightly prominent, expressive, dark hazel or dark
brown, almond-shaped, but not slit-eyed, set obliquely.
Ears : Small, thin, mobile, set on above the eye level and backwards,
pointing almost towards the nape of the neck when not alert. The
tips of the ears are 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.
NECK : Long, clean, flattened laterally, muscled, slightly arched,
never carried high.
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 ahead of the middle of the loin or 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 articulation.
Belly : Well tucked up, the underline rises abruptly towards the
TAIL : In shape of sickle or 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
naturally, the tail hangs downwards. In action, it is raised, but not
above the level of the back.
General appearance : 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 a little superior to half the height at
Shoulders : Shoulder blades are 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 planes to the median plane of the body.
Forearm : Clean, long, of oval cross-section; seen from the front,
narrow, seen in profile, broad.
Metacarpus (pastern) : Slightly oblique in relation to the ground.
General appearance : Seen from behind : straight, parallel, set
slightly wider than the forequarters. When the dog is standing
naturallly, the vertical line dropping from the ischiatic tuberosity
(point of buttocks) must pass in front of the centre of the hock joint
and of the metatarsals.
Upper thigh : Well muscled, long, placed 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.
Metatarsus (rear pastern) : 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.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : 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
SKIN : Supple, elastic.
HAIR : Silky, soft and supple, wavy or forming short curls, but
never small tight 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. The coat on the neck is dense and
COLOUR : All colour combinations, but never with blue, brown
(chocolate) and any derivatives of these colours.
All the colours may be solid or pied. The fringes, « breeches »,
featherings of the tail are considerably lighter than the ground 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. Subjects exceeding the maximum height are
acceptable provided the typical morphology is preserved.
FAULTS : 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 and its effect
upon the health and welfare of the dog, especially:
• Small, abnormally worn teeth. Absence of one PM2.
• PM1s and M3s are not taken into account.
• Flecks of the same shade as the ground colour.
SEVERE FAULTS :
General appearance :
• Stocky appearance ; short trunk.
• Heavy, round bone.
• Soft tissues.
• Blunt muzzle.
• Very pronounced stop.
• Very pronounced zygomatic arches.
• Occiput not pronounced.
• Lack of one PM3, one PM4 (lower jaw), one M1 (upper jaw),
• Deep set; yellow or light; slit eyes (too narrow palpebral
aperture); showing haw.
• Thick, coarse, with rounded tips.
• Presence of dewlap.
• Sagging; straight back in males.
• Goose rump.
• Pendulous, insufficiently tucked up.
• Coarse; in action, falling downwards.
• Scapular-humeral angle too open (straight shoulder)
• In or out at elbows.
• Forearm : Of round cross-section. Any deviation of the
• Knuckling over.
• Weak in pasterns.
• Over angulated or too straight angulation.
• Close behind or spread hocks.
• Tendency to broad, round, thick feet; cat feet, flat feet; spread
• Colour : Flecks on the body of another shade than the ground
DISQUALIFYING FAULTS :
• Aggressive or overly shy.
• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities
shall be disqualified.
• Overshot or undershot mouth.
• Wry mouth.
• Lack of one incisor, one canine, one carnassial tooth (PM4-upper
jaw – M1-lower jaw), lack of more than 4 teeth (any four teeth).
• Faulty position of one or both canines of the lower jaw which,
when the mouth is shut, can damage the upper gums or the palate.
• Wall eye.
• Corkscrew tail, broken tail (fused vertebrae), docked, even
• Presence of dewclaws.
• Brown (chocolate), Blue.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed
typical conformation should be used for breeding.