Nicknamed the Russian Hunting Sighthound, the Borzoi is a large dog with a silky, curly coat. You might be interested in adopting this unique dog breed, but not before knowing how much hair cleanup a Borzoi requires.
Do Borzois shed a lot? Borzois are considered moderate to heavy shedders. They undergo seasonal coat drops in the summer and winter. Daily brushing can collect loose and dead hair so it doesn’t float all over the house.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about Borzoi shedding, especially during seasonal shifts. I’ll also discuss Borzoi grooming and where this dog falls on the hypoallergenic scale.
Borzoi Shedding Guide
I won’t sugarcoat it: the Borzoi does shed, and usually quite a lot.
The Borzoi has a silky, medium-length to long coat. Sometimes the fur texture is curly, but that’s different than wiry.
As you may recall, if you’re a regular reader of the blog, dog breeds with a wiry coat such as the Cockapoo are low-shedding. The Borzoi, though, is not.
It’s not only the length and texture of the coat that do the Borzoi no favors. The dog is also double-coated.
After all, the Borzoi hails from Russia, which has some of the most brutal winters on the planet. Without that insulating double layer, Borzois as a whole might not have survived to become the companionable breed we know and love today.
Double-coated dogs will shed seasonally twice per year. The first significant shedding period occurs before summer starts. Your Borzoi will shed to lighten his coat for warmer weather.
The second shedding period is before the winter. This time, the shedding is in preparation for growing a bulkier cold-weather coat, which the Borzoi especially excels at!
You should know that the Borzoi’s fur is rather fine, which makes it more challenging to clean up than thicker or fluffier tufts of hair.
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Grooming Your Borzoi
Although the Borzoi sheds heaps, maintaining the breed’s coat isn’t as challenging as it is for other large dogs.
At least once per day during seasonal shedding periods, you should brush through your dog’s long, silken coat using a comb, a slicker brush, or a pin brush.
When those seasonal shedding spikes abate, you can reduce brushing frequency to every two days, perhaps even every three days.
Brushing your dog is among the best options to combat loose fur all over the house. The slicker brush or comb will collect the dead hair before it detaches from your canine.
Plus, brushing your Borzoi is a great way to spread skin oils across the dog’s body. This can reduce dry, itchy skin, which too can control shedding. After all, obsessively scratching an area often leads to fur loss.
The spread of skin oils will also make your dog’s coat look shiny and appealing.
Outside of brushing your Borzoi, you should make it a point to keep your dog trimmed. The Borzoi’s coat is usually allowed to remain at its default length unless yours is a show dog. Then you’ll want to trim him to proper standards.
Even outside of dog shows, if you feel like your Borzoi’s coat is getting too long, you can clip or trim it, but this isn’t often necessary.
What is necessary is reducing the fur length of the dog’s footpads. If this fur grows too long, the dog can step on its hair when running or walking. This, as I’m sure you can imagine, hurts quite a lot!
The Borzoi doesn’t groom itself to the same degree as the Vizsla but is altogether considered a relatively clean dog due to the water and dirt-repellent outer coat. Even still, a bath every few months or when your dog begins to stink is a good idea!
Here is a helpful video I found on YouTube, showcasing the grooming requirements of the Russian Hunting Sighthound if you want to learn more:
Reducing Excessive Shedding
Excessive shedding is a pain; let’s be honest. Although your Borzoi will always shed more than a single-coated dog, you do have some options to control its excess shedding.
What do I recommend?
I’d start with a checkup at your veterinarian’s office. During the checkup, ask your vet to look for fleas and other parasites that leave your dog itchy and scratchy. As I mentioned before, when a dog scratches a spot too often, they tend to lose hair there.
You should also talk to your vet about your Borzoi’s diet. Their diet may be deficient in the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals a growing dog needs.
Ditching the processed dog food and switching to a more balanced diet will not only reduce your Borzoi’s rate of shedding but can help if he’s overweight as well.
Here’s another reason to reconsider processed dog food. The ingredients in that food often contribute to canine food allergies.
A food allergy in dogs doesn’t manifest in the same way it does in people. Your Borzoi may have increased diarrhea and vomiting as well as itchy skin.
Besides the above measures, I can’t stress enough the importance of grooming your dog. Brush the Borzoi regularly, but make sure you don’t bathe him too often. Doing so will dry out the dog’s skin and increase itchiness!
Are Borzois Hypoallergenic?
When looking for a dog to adopt, many prospective pet owners are concerned with how hypoallergenic their dog is. You may be wondering this too about the Borzoi. Is this breed hypoallergenic?
The answer is that question is a hard no.
First, let me preface this by mentioning how no dog is hypoallergenic since every dog has skin. Why does that matter, you ask? A pet dander allergy is an allergy to a dog’s dead skin, not so much their fur.
So why isn’t the Borzoi hypoallergenic?
If you look at the American Kennel Club’s list of most hypoallergenic dogs, you’ll notice these breeds have something in common. Most are very small and medium-sized at best.
Size does matter when it comes to being hypoallergenic. Larger dogs have more surface area, which means they lose more dander than smaller dogs. That alone disqualifies the sizable Borzoi from being hypoallergenic.
Although you can’t tell by looking at them alone, those AKC dogs are also mostly low-shedding. So that’s another trait a hypoallergenic dog must have.
Why is that? Dander will hitch a ride on loose fur. When a dog doesn’t shed much, dander stays on its body more often.
So, a Borzoi would not be a dander allergy sufferer’s friend in the slightest.
Is a Borzoi Right for You?
Dander allergies aside, if you’re still debating whether you should adopt a Borzoi, this section ought to help!
The Borzoi is a large dog from Russia that was bred in the 17th century for hunting. The first versions of Borzois were a cross between a thick-furred dog (breed unknown) and Arabian Sighthounds. As the centuries wore on, breeding changes eventually paved the way for the Borzoi as we know and love him today.
The regal air the Borzoi carries makes this dog come across as very dignified. The breed has a huge loyal streak and is very affectionate. Those are some winning personality traits for certain.
I wouldn’t recommend the Borzoi in an apartment only because this dog is quite large. Females are 26 inches tall on average, and males are 28 inches. The average weight of a Borzoi is up to 85 pounds for females and up to 105 pounds for males.
That’s not exactly apartment-friendly.
Plus, the Russian Hunting Sighthound is very active, so the dog needs a place to burn off its high levels of energy. A fenced-in yard is ideal.
The Borzoi is quite open to strangers and can warm up to other dogs as well. However, socializing the animals is still required.
As for smaller household pets like cats or rabbits, Borzois may think of them as prey and try to chase or even hunt the animals.
Borzois get along with younger and older children alike. Due to the dog’s imposing size, though, supervision is required when the dog is with your kids. Actually, that’s a good rule of thumb, no matter the dog’s size!
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The Borzoi or Russian Hunting Sighthound is a large, double-coated hunting dog from Russia. Its long, smooth fur and undercoat lead to moderate shedding that gets heavier during seasonal changes. Grooming the dog isn’t difficult but requires some of your time nearly every day.
Although dealing with its fur can be a challenge, the Borzoi will make it worth your while with its affection, love, and friendly temperament.