Borzoi vs Greyhound: Determining the Better Sighthound

Most of us are fascinated by fast cars and technologies as they all seem cool and advanced. If you are a dog lover, a canine that exhibits the same incredible speed would satisfy your taste and preference. If there are any dog breeds worthy of consideration, they would be the splendid Borzoi and the classic Greyhound.

Photo from: flosbackyardgarden (IG)

Both are large canines that share the same deep chest, slender legs, and a long muzzle. They have a 270-degree range of vision which aids them to easily spot a quarry from a 1.5-mile distance. Considerably, Borzois and Greyhounds are excellent family dogs.

What are each dog’s edges from the other? 

This is a vital question before bringing home a puppy. If you can manage, getting a pup from both breeds might be a great idea, but what if you have to choose only one?

Today’s article will speak about their differences as well as their similarities for you to weigh upon before you conclude a judgment. Keep reading!

Breed Origins

Borzoi

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For centuries, Russian aristocrats dedicated their time to breeding the Borzoi. This swift-looking breed descended from working hounds that came from Russia in the 17th century. Mainly, the canine was made for the purpose to accompany humans in their pursuit of hunting games.

Typically, a pack of Borzois is added among many other hunting dogs for a higher rate of success in capturing prey. Hunters would need around 20 to 25 of these large dogs before the hunter can give the targeted prey his final blow.

It was in the 1650s when the breed standards were established and the Borzoi gradually got its way in several places worldwide. The most notable person to have brought this dog to America is William Wade of Pennsylvania. 

Greyhound

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There is no absolute document that can point us where the Greyhounds have originated from, but speculations suggest that they might’ve come from the Middle East. However, this dog breed shares a striking similarity in appearance with the ancient sighthound which then leads us to the Egyptians and the Celts. 

At around 6,000 BC in Turkey, domesticated dogs who have slender bodies are evident in temple arts in the city of Catal-Huyuk. Another 4,000 BC funerary vase in Iran was decorated with drawings of a dog that bears the resemblance of a Greyhound.

Historically, people don’t just include anything in arts and sculptures unless that has some sort of a religious or social significance in the society. With that, we can only assume that the ancient dogs were important for people and that they could be the forerunners of the modern Greyhound. 

Size, Appearance, & Coloring

Borzoi

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The Borzoi is a fairly large canine whose coat is much longer than the typical Greyhound. If he runs, the wind gracefully blows off his hair in a graceful manner which adds up to his speedy-look quality. Paired with his long yet muscular legs, the Borzoi can swiftly run up to 36 mph.

His lengthy muzzle also complements his whole look making him appear longer than any other canine. His neck and jaw are strong and his teeth have a scissor bite.  Overall, he is composed of a narrow chest, a tucked abdomen, and a long feathery tail which he rests between his hindquarters.

Male Borzois can reach 28 inches and up while females have an ideal height at withers of 26 inches. Their mass can be anywhere from 60-105 pounds depending on the gender.

The Borzoi can come in several colors which include:

  • Black
  • Grey
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Cream
  • Fawn
  • White 
  • Sable
  • Brindle 

Greyhound

Photo from: malcolm.the.greyhound (IG)

A Greyhound comes close to a Borzoi only that his coat is shorter and close to the body. He is streamlined and slender making him capable of running at a speed of 45 miles per hour. Wholly, he exudes a dignified aura with a friendly vibe due to his non-intimidating looks.

The Greyhound has a long muzzle with a reasonably broad head, strong legs, and a tail that tapers.

Female dogs stand up ideally for about 27-28 inches while males are much taller as they can be 28-30 inches. Their body weights can be around 60-70 pounds which highly matches their body structure despite being considered as large dogs.

The coat comes in a variety and the common ones you can see are:

  • Black
  • Grey
  • Blue
  • White
  • Red

Personality Traits

Borzoi

Borzois have this pack mentality making them prone to separation anxiety if they don’t receive enough attention from their owners. Although they are large canines, remember that they are still dogs who are delighted about the idea of affection. They would love to play games with you or be petted while they fall asleep on the couch.

When it comes to being around other pets, Borzois have a strong instinct to chase smaller animals. If your Borzoi is not exposed to socialization training, your pet cat will not last the day unharmed so ensure that before meeting other animals, your Borzoi knows how to behave well.

Additionally, the Borzoi would love it if your family has older kids. That means he would get to have playmates who have endless energies that can match his. Be careful and do not compromise, however, every time your kids get near this dog. Whatever dog breed you have, you should supervise the interaction to avoid any mishaps.

Greyhound

The Greyhound’s temperament is affected by his genes, upbringing, and training. Generally, this dog breed is non-aggressive, friendly, and sensitive. At home, he will try to put himself in the middle of any conflict to lessen the tension, therefore, peaceful and loving homes are the right place for him.

Although the Greyhound is amiable, strangers approaching him will make him either distant or aloof. To win his trust, you either have to be non-suspicious or simply be generous by giving him treats.

In a whole sense, he is also considered to be cat-like due to his high sense of independence. He can be left alone for a maximum of 4 hours and anything beyond that can cause him a heartache so either hire a pet-sitter or manage your schedule so your dog won’t show bad behaviors. 

Trainability & Intelligence Level

Borzoi

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The Borzoi is one of the least easy to train dogs due to his extreme dislike of repetitive tasks. Because of the possibility of showing off stubbornness, some might think that the Borzoi is not a very smart breed. This is not true at all.

Borzois are just independent at times and would rather think for themselves rather than follow someone. As a Borzoi owner, establishing yourself as the leader plus creating a genuine relationship will tick his eager-to-please attitude and make him obey you. 

Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcements will most likely motivate a Borzoi to keep up with the daily drills. Also, train a Borzoi the Borzoi way and don’t expect him to show results that can only be evident while training a Border Collie or a German Shepherd.

Greyhound

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In Stanley Coren’s book, The Intelligence of Dogs, the Greyhound is placed 86th out of 138 qualifying dog breeds. He might be in the bottom and is considered an averagely smart dog, but the Greyhound’s unique intelligence begs to differ.

Greyhound owners have attested that training this breed can be quite different than when they would upskill a working dog breed. In drill sessions, a Greyhound has to understand the worth of such training, and then you’ll see if it’s up to his interests or not. 

If ever he willingly obeys you, the Greyhound would take great leaps of progress. However, once he successfully finishes a trick, he would find it pointless to repeat the same act.

Exercise Needs

Borzoi

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Considering he’s a sighthound, Borzois would love to spend a fair amount of time outside, sniffing and exploring the environment. Do so in a secured area and your dog’s well-being is guaranteed. You can also accompany him for peaceful walks around the neighborhood which must be divided into shorter sessions throughout the day.

On average, a full-grown and healthy Borzoi would need an hour of steaming off. 

Greyhound

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You must evaluate if your living environment can provide the dog’s exercise needs. Regularly, the Greyhound would need a couple of opportunities to run around or go on a walk with his owner. 

If ever you have to let your dog have the liberty to have a couple of runs, the area must be secured. If he gets to jog with you, make sure your Greyhound has been thoroughly trained to go off-leash first. 

Knowing that this is a canine with a sharp vision, spotting prey from a distance will instantly divert his interests, and running after a loose and swift dog will make it almost impossible for any owner to catch up.

Grooming Needs

Borzoi

Grooming is easier if you have a Borzoi. This dog loves to remain neat and clean and his coat is not difficult to manage. For any potential owner, simply take note that his coat has to be cleaned and brushed at least twice a week, his nails should be trimmed, and the teeth must remain clean and healthy.

Should you decide to trim a Borzoi, do so slowly or opt for a professional groomer. Whatever you take off won’t be instantly replaced so coat grooming should proceed with caution.

Greyhound

Thanks to the Greyhound’s very short coat, grooming maintenance won’t be that overwhelming. It’ll only take a few minutes to complete the entire pampering session which can take place at least once a week. Since doggy odor is almost out of this breed’s vocabulary, frequent baths are unnecessary.

Make sure you only use canine products in dealing with his coat and skin to avoid dryness or itchiness. Check his nails, teeth, and ears too to ensure he’s free from infections.

Health Issues

Borzoi

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Borzois that are ethically bred are generally healthy. However, some conditions may still show later in their lives as health can be affected by their food & diet, genetics, and lifestyle. Here are what commonly strikes a Borzoi dog:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia

Greyhound

Photo from: dylan.the.greyhound (IG)

Just like other dog breeds, Greyhounds are susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. With proper treatment and a stronger immune system, this breed can overcome such conditions. Other health challenges he may face are:

  • Blood clotting
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism 

Breed Popularity

As per the American Kennel Club’s breed popularity rankings, the following dogs are placed on their respective current standings out of 200 dog breeds:

Borzoi: 103rd

Greyhound: 145th

Cost

The price for each puppy varies according to quality. A Borzoi puppy can be bought for $2000-$5000. Meanwhile, a Greyhound puppy will only cost you $1500-$2500. Adoption is going to be cheaper as you’ll only be charged $50 to $200.

Fun Facts

Borzoi

  1. Russia perfected this breed.
  2. Borzois were used to locate wolves.
  3. Puppy heads take 3 years to mature.
  4. Borzois are prone to bloating
  5. Excellent escape artists!

Greyhound

  1. He’s the only dog breed mentioned in the Bible.
  2. He’s the second fastest dog breed on Earth.
  3. He spends 75% of his running time on air.
  4. Some greyhounds sleep with their eyes open.
  5. Some of them are physically unable to sit.

Which One Is a Superior Sighthound?

Both canines are great at spotting interesting sights from afar. When it comes to speed, the Greyhound may come a bit faster than the Borzoi, but still, both are speedy dogs. Temperament, maintenance, and price might be some of the major areas where you can scrutinize. Nevertheless, both breeds are good family dogs that can bring fun and challenge to your everyday life!

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