Borzoi

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The borzoi (/ˈbɔrzɔɪ/) is a breed of domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) also called the Russian wolfhound and descended from dogs brought to Russia from central Asian countries. It is similar in shape to a greyhound, and is also a member of the sighthound family.

The system by which Russians over the ages named their sighthounds was a series of descriptive terms, not actual names. "Borzói" is the masculine singular form of an archaic Russian adjective that means "fast"[1]. "Borzáya sobáka" ("fast dog") is the basic term used by Russians, though the word "sobáka" is usually dropped. The name "Psovaya" derived from the word Psovina, meaning "wavy, silky coat", just as "Hortaya" (as in Hortaya Borzaya) means shorthaired. In Russia today the breed we know as borzoi is therefore officially called "Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya". Other Russian sighthound breeds are "Stepnaya Borzaya" (from the steppe), called "Stepnoi"; and "Krimskaya Borzaya" (from the Crimea), called "Krimskoi".

The plural "borzois" may be found in dictionaries. However, the Borzoi Club of America asserts "borzoi" is the preferred form for both singular and plural (in Russian, the plural is actually "borzýe"). At least one manual of grammatical style rules that the breed name should not be capitalized except at the beginning of a sentence; again, breed fanciers usually differ, and capitalize it wherever found.[2]

Contents

Description

Appearance

Borzoi are large Russian sighthounds which look similar to a number of central Asian breeds such as the Afghan hound, Saluki and the Kyrgyz Taigan. As a general approximation, "long-haired greyhound" is a useful description. Borzoi can come in almost any color or color combination.The long top-coat is silky and quite flat, with varying degrees of waviness or curling. The soft undercoat thickens in winter or cold climates, but is shed in hot weather to prevent overheating. In its texture and distribution over the body, the borzoi coat is unique.

Borzoi males frequently reach in excess of 100 pounds (45 kg), ~120 pounds. Males should stand at least 30 inches (about 80 centimeters) at the shoulder, while females shouldn't be less than 26 inches (about 66 centimeters). Despite their size, the overall impression is of streamlining and grace, with a curvy shapeliness and compact strength.

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