FCI-Standard N° 193
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID
UTILIZATION: Hunting sighthound, racing and coursing hound.
Borzoi is a hunting sighthound to be used mostly for chasing hare and
fox, less for wolf hunting. Combines high agility with endurance and
the ability to tackle a game deftly at once. Successfully used for
coursing and racing.
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 10 Sighthounds.
Section 1 Long-haired or fringed Sighthounds.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The history of the Borzoi dated
from the XV century, to the Mongol invasion. The Tatars used
sighthound of Arab origin – Koutsi, while the Russian hunters did not
have sighthounds; when hunting they used extraordinary strong
Loshaya dogs, who were able to catch and kill a deer or even an elk.
Koutsi and Loshaya crossbreed dogs became the prototype of the
Borzoi. These dogs were depicted on the prayer book belonging to
Grand Prince Vasily III, Ivan the Terrible father. In XVI–XVII
centuries new bloods of Polsky Chart (Polish Greyhound) added the
nobility to their descendants. Having grown the fame of these dogs
crossed the borders of the Russian Empire.
Further development of the breed was influenced by crossbreed with
the Klock – a huge, strong and fierce bearded Courland Sighthound.
Their descendants became dogs without beards, with long, fine hair.
They marked the beginning of “Gustopsovy” Borzoi type.
The bloods of Greyhound added to the breed at the same time initiated
the appearance of “Chistopsovy” Borzoi type. Bloods of Mountain
(Gorsky) and Crimean Sighthounds known by their endurance were
The Borzoi became the result of this multi-breed crossing. The
vigilance, agility and expedition of the Borzoi in pursuing the game,
its ability to flash-like rush, to tackle the game deftly at once, its
savageness and courage, all these important qualities proved out to be
very useful when hunting the game in short in irregular terrain. The
Borzois were also successfully used for hunting in steppes, where it
was required to work on longer distances.
Hunt with large packs of sighthounds and hounds and with special
horses – “hunters” – appeared in the XVIII–XIX centuries. Such hunts
consisted of up to several hundred dogs and differed from one another
in type and working abilities. The Pershino hunt by Grand Duke
Nikolai Nikolaevich was especially renowned, for both the exquisite
beauty of the dogs, and their speed and passion for the game.
The first Congress of Borzois lovers was organized in 1874, but only
in 1888 the Moscow Hunting Society adopted the first standard of the
Borzoi, where a type of the Borzoi was unified after all.
N.P. Yermolov was the author of this standard. The fundamental
principles of this standard still remain the same despite changes made
in the XX and XXI centuries – in 1925, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1969, 1980,
1993, 1995 and 2006 years.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Dog of aristocratic appearance, tall,
lean and strong, harmoniously built, rather high-legged, fairly narrow
in body. Slightly elongated format. Females are longer than males.
Skin is thin, elastic, without folds. Muscles lean, elongated, very well
developed. Bone structure is strong but not massive.
In males the height at the withers is equal or 1–2 cm more than the
height at the point of sacrum.
In females these two heights are equal.
The length of the body somewhat exceeds the height at the withers.
The depth of the chest is equal to almost half of the height at the
The height at elbows is slightly superior to half of the height at the
The length of the muzzle, from the tip of the nose to the stop, is
slightly superior to that of the skull, from the stop to the occipital
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Temperament is calm; visual
response is well evident.
Typical gaits: before the game to be found – slow trot and even walk;
in chasing the game – full gallop.
The attitude towards people is neutral to friendly.
HEAD: Aristocratic, narrow, long, in proportion to the general
appearance; the head is so lean that the principal veins are shown
through the skin. Viewed from the side the top lines of the head form
a long, slightly convex line. Superciliary arches and zygomatic arches
are not pronounced.
Skull: Seen from above, narrow, elongated, oval-shaped. Seen in
profile, almost flat. Occiput is well pronounced.
Stop: Hardly visible.
Nose: Large, always black in any coat colour, considerably prominent
in relation to the lower jaw.
Muzzle: Long, lean, well filled out in all its length, straight or slightly
downfaced, slightly arched near the nose. The length of the muzzle,
from the tip of the nose to the stop, is slightly superior to that of the
skull, from the stop to the occiput.
Lips: Tight, well fitting, fine, with black edging whatever the coat
Jaws / Teeth: Teeth white, strong, incisors are closely spaced; canines
are not too wide apart. Scissor bite. Level bite is permitted but not
desirable. Complete dental formula. The absence of 3rd molars (M3)
and one or two P1 is acceptable.
Cheeks: Flat, not pronounced.
EYES: Large, almond-shaped, dark brown to brown; eyelids are with
black edging, tight-fitting.
EARS: Small, thin, mobile, pointed-tipped, covered with short hair.
Set on above the eye level, set closely and backwards, pointing
towards the nape of the neck. The tips of the ears are placed near each
other, directed downwards along the neck and close to it. When the
dog is alert, the ears are carried higher on the cartilages; their tips are
directed sideward or forward. Sometimes one or both ears are erect
like horse ears.
NECK: Long, dry, muscled, slightly arched, oval-shaped (slightly
flattened laterally), of medium set.
Topline: Is a smooth arch.
Withers: Not marked.
Back: Broad, muscled, supple, flexible.
Loin: Rather long, arched, muscled, broad. Together with the back
forms the smooth arch, which is more pronounced in males, than in
females. The highest point of this arch is in its middle, that is the
region of the 1st or 2nd lumbar vertebrae.
Croup: Long, broad, moderately sloping. The width of the croup
measured between the two iliac tubers must not be less than 8 cm.
Chest: Oval in cross-section, deep, not narrow, yet not wider than the
croup, let down almost up to the elbow-joints. Viewed from the side
the forechest is somewhat prominent and places almost at humeroscapula level. In shoulder blades region the chest is rather flat, but
towards the false ribs gets gradually wider. Definitely shortened false
Underline and belly: Abruptly tucked up towards the flanks.
TAIL: Sickle- or sabre-shaped, thin, long, with dense and abundant
feather. Passed between the hind legs and flanks, it must reach up to
the iliac tuber. When the dog is standing naturally, the tail hangs
downwards. In movement it is raised, but not above the back level.
General appearance: Forelegs lean, muscled, seen from the front
perfectly straight and parallel. Shoulder muscles are well developed.
The height at elbows slightly superior to half of the height at the
Shoulder: Shoulder blades are long and oblique.
Upper arm: Long, moderately oblique. Angle of the scapular-humeral
articulation is well pronounced.
Elbow: In parallel planes to the median plane of the body or slightly
turned out (“in field”).
Forearm: Long, clean, of oval cross-section; seen from the front,
narrow; seen from the side, broad; points of elbows strongly
Metacarpus (pasterns): Rather long, slightly oblique.
Forefeet: Lean, narrow, of elongated oval shape (called “harefeet”);
toes long, arched, tight; nails long, strong, touching the ground.
General appearance: Lean, bony, muscled; well angulated. Seen from
behind, straight and parallel, set slightly wider than the forequarters.
When the dog stands naturally placed slightly behind. The vertical
line dropping from the point of buttock (sciatic tuber) must run along
the front edge of the hock and rear pastern (metatarsus). All the
articulations are well angulated. The hindquarter muscles are very well
developed especially on upper thighs.
Thigh: Long, strong.
Lower thigh: Strong, as long as the thigh.
Hock joint: Wide, dry, with well-developed heel bone (calcaneum).
Metatarsus (rear pasterns): short, placed vertically, straight.
Hind Feet: Lean, narrow, of elongated oval shape (called “hare feet”);
toes long, arched, tight; nails long, strong, touching the ground.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: In everyday life the typical gait is the
extended, free, easy trot. When hunting the gait is full rushing gallop.
SKIN: Thin, elastic, tight fitting (with no wrinkles).
Hair: Long, supple, silky, light, wavy or forming large curls. Small
curls are permitted.
The hair of different length on different parts of body: on the head, the
ears and the interior side of the limbs the hair is very short, close lying;
on the back and the neck the hair is longer and often wavy; on the outer
side of thighs and the sides is shorter and may form finer curls.
The feathering is rather long and shining. The feather is located on the
neck (forming a “muff”), on the lower side of the chest and belly, on
the back side of the forelegs antd thighs. The feather is from below the
tail; at the tail root the curls are usual.
Colour: White; pale of different shadings (red-fawn, grey-fawn, silverfawn: pale with light-grey shading); light red or light gray at the root
of the hair with darker red or grey main colour; red with black overlay
hair often combined with dark muzzle (sable); grey (from ashy to
yellowish-grey); brindle: pale, or red, or grey main colour with dark
stripes, like stria on marble; red; black; transitional colours between
red or black.
All the colours may be solid, pied and with tans. Typically, any colour
tends to lighten up downwards.
Any colours from white to black in any combination are acceptable,
except of brown, blue, isabella (lilac) and their shadings, i.e. dilute
colours with not black nose.
Desirable height at the withers:
males: 75–85 cm
females: 68–78 cm
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 and its ability to perform its
Over- or undersize by 2 cm against indicated in the Standard.
The length of the body more than 10% or less than 5% superior to
the height at the withers.
Eyes not big enough; deep set; round in shape; light (all shades of
Teeth small; diastemas between teeth; absence of one or two PM2.
Absence of one or more incisor(s) due to injure, if the bite is
Topline is not smooth enough. Pronounced withers. Arch not
symmetrical. The highest point of the topline evidently shifted
towards the croup.
Belly insufficiently tucked up; paunchy, pendulous.
Tail a bit short, too high in carriage, with lateral deviation, with
Abundant flecks on the body of the same shade as the base colour.
Too straight, furry, dull, tousled coat; fringes and featherings
poorly developed; lacking in feathering. Equal length of the coat
all over the body; coat too harsh in shedding.
Head coarse with loose, thick skin; pendulous lips. Seen from the
profile, blunt muzzle due to the nose not prominent enough. Very
Bleached (not dark enough) colour of nose, eyelids or lips in all
colours. Partly depigmented (pink) nose, lips, eyelids (without
signs of injuries).
Eyes small; yellow; weak-sighted; with third eyelid too much
Absence of any teeth not mentioned under “Faults”.
Ears low set; not placed closely directed downwards along the
nape of the neck; set wide apart; too big; thick, heavy, coarse with
tough cartilage; with rounded tips.
The length of the body is the length of the body more than 12%
or less than 3% superior to the height at the withers. Over- or
undersize by more than 2 cm.
Neck set high or low, round in cross-section.
Sloping topline from well pronounced withers towards the root
of the tail; pronounced roached back, straight back in males.
Loin narrow, short, too long (the length of the loin is comparable
to the length of the back), straight.
Belly not tucked up.
Fore arms massive, with bones round in cross-sections.
Fleshy feet rounded or flat, splayed toes.
Tail short, thick, with no feathering.
Vivid flecks on the body of different colour than main colour;
colour on the body not lighted up downwards.
Abundant coat on entire body, excessive undercoat, rough, hard,
bristle coat not in shedding, lack of featherings.
Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities.
Colour: brown (including cocoa, coffee, chocolate); blue, isabella
(lilac), dilute colours with the tip of the nose other than black in
Completely depigmented (pink) nose, eyelids, lips.
Eyes: of all shades of grey, green, blue; eyes of different colours.
Teeth: overshot or undershot; wry mouth. Uncomplete incisors if
densely spaced; missing at least one canine, if not broken. Lack
of correct interlock of upper and lower canines. Jaws nonlocking.
Legs: knuckling over. Presence of dewclaws.
Tail: corkscrew, broken (fused vertebrae); docked, even partially.
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.