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The Borzoi Background

Tradition says that Saluki type sighthounds were originally brought to Russia from Byzantium about the 9th and 10th centuries and again later by the Mongol invaders from the East. The imported sighthounds were crossed with Russian spitz type hunting dogs to increase speed and gain an ability to catch wolves.

Borzaya, translated to mean quick dog, is the Russian term for the various types of native sighthounds. The Russian breed Russkaya Psovaya Borzaya ("Psovoi", "the longhaired Borzoi" in Russian) is the dog we know today as the Borzoi. The Borzoi was popular with the rich and powerful in Russia. For centuries, Borzoi could not be purchased but only given as gifts from the Czar. The most famous breeder was Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievich of Russia, who bred hundreds of Borzoi at Perchino, his private kennel.