This is the Official AKC Standard for the Borzoi that is in effect in
It was last modified in 1972.
General 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
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 attention.
Eyes - 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 mid way between tip of nose and occiput.
Neck - Clean, free from throatiness; slightly arched, very powerful and
well set on
Shoulders - Sloping, fine at the withers and free from coarseness or
Chest - Rather narrow, with great depth of brisket.
Ribs - Only slightly sprung, but very deep giving room for heart and
Back - Rising a little at the loins in a graceful curve.
Loins - Extremely muscular,but rather tucke dup, owing to the great
depth of chest and comparative shortness of back and ribs.
Forelegs - Bones straight and some what flattened like blades, with the
narrower edge forward, The elbows have free play and are turned neither
in nor out.
Pasterns - strong.
Feet - Hare-shaped, with well-arched knuckles, toes close and well
Hindquarters - Long, very muscular and powerful with well bent stifles;
some what wider than the forequarters; strong first and second thighs;
hocks clean and well let down; legs parallel when viewed from the rear.
Dewclaws - Dew claws, if any, on the hind legs are generally removed;
dew claws 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
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 should 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 l05 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 hindlegs are wider apart than
the front, the feet tend to move closer to the centerline when the dog
moves at a fast trot. When viewed from the side there should be a
noticeable drive with a ground-covering stride from well-angulated
stifles and hocks.
The over-all appearance in motion should be that of effortless power,
endurance, speed, agility, smoothness and grace.
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.
Approved June 13, l972 by the Borzoi Club of America.