the big friendly giant...

Borzoi are large, lanky Russian wolfhounds which look something like greyhounds with long hair. They look graceful and athletic and that's exactly what they are - elegant couch potatoes on the one hand and tenacious runners with a natural instinct to chase game on the other. In play they may run down another dog, holding it down by the neck as it if it were prey. This is natural behaviour and many Borzoi exhibit it from puppies. However, they know they are only playing and this behaviour is definitely not a sign of fighting or aggression. Borzoi are very gentle dogs. They are quiet, rarely barking and not territorial. In fact, they can seem quite timid and may find children too daunting unless introduced to them very early.

Borzoi will befriend other family pets, but their natural hunting instincts mean that fast moving cats may become “prey”. The hunting instinct is triggered by movement so a lot of socialisation may be necessary with cats and hyperactive dogs.

Borzoi benefit from some obedience training, particularly because they are so strong and fast. The last thing you want is your dog taking YOU for a run. Because they are wilful, you will need to persist to get the level of obedience you want, and each command will take longer than most breeds to learn. They are however, quick to house train - this is part of their dignified nature.

They do shed but a good brush every few days will keep their coat in top shape, silky and shiny.

You won't have to worry about these dogs making a dent in the food budget - they are small eaters for their size. Make sure you adhere strictly to the breeders feeding guide, particularly during their growth period up to 12 months to ensure their bones have optimum nutrition to grow properly.

You also won't have to worry about too many trips to the vet - these are hardy, healthy dogs with few common ailments. The most likely health problem is bloat which is why their diet is important. Also, in keeping with their delicate nature, they don't fare well with any toxins, including some flea preparations, so check with your vet before dousing them with anything.

Finally buy some soft bedding for them because these dogs get BEDSORES!

All in all, if you have time to give your Borzoi some solid exercise everyday, these low maintenance dogs will reward you by being quiet, gentle, unobtrusive companions for up to 12 years.

<ul> <li>Large Dog.</li> <li>Gentle nature - not watchdog material.</li> <li>Very quiet.</li> <li>Moderate shedder.</li> <li>Needs vigorous exercise.</li> <li>Slow to obedience train.</li> <li>Will chase smaller animals.</li> </ul>