- Height: 24-30 inches
- Weight: 40-75 lb
- Lifespan: 14-15 years
- Group: not applicable
- Best Suited For: active singles, active families, house with a yard, hunters
- Temperament: active, friendly, vigilant, gentle, trainable, intelligent
- Comparable Breeds: Borzoi, Greyhound
Hortaya Borzaya Basics
Though his name may be strange, the Hortaya Borzaya has a familiar look similar to that of a Greyhound. With long legs and lithe body, these dogs are built for speed. Capable of sighting game from extremely long distances and endowed with excellent stamina, the Hortaya Borzaya is a hunter’s dream dog. Though he is kept almost exclusively as a hunting sighthound, this breed may also do well in a family setting provided his exercise requirements are met.
With long legs and lithe body, the Hortaya Borzaya is built for speed.
The exact origins of the Hortaya Borzaya are unknown but he is thought to be an old Asian sighthound, potentially bred from indigenous dogs in the portion of northern Asia spanning from Ukraine in the north through Russia and into Kazakhstan. Because dogs of this type were bred so extensively by the various peoples of this region, it is impossible to attribute the Hortaya Borzaya to one specific country or people. In fact, there are five different types of Hortaya, each with many subtypes and each adapted to the differing geographical regions from which they hail.
While the Hortaya Borzaya is similar in appearance to other sighthounds like the Borzoi, the Whippet, and the Italian Greyhound, his precise origin is unknown. He is thought to have been developed from indigenous dogs in northern Asia.
The Hortaya Borzaya is a medium- to large-sized breed, so you’ll need to choose a high-quality diet formulated for dogs of his size. While a traditional adult dog formula might work, these dogs are extremely active, and they are mostly used for hunting. As such, an active or working breed formula may be more appropriate.
Though his name may be strange, the Hortaya Borzaya has a familiar look similar to that of a Greyhound.
As a highly intelligent breed, the Hortaya Borzaya is also trainable. These dogs are kept almost exclusively for hunting, so that is when they are at their best. It is important to start training these dogs early, but they generally learn quickly and develop excellent obedience skills. These dogs live to work, and they love nothing more than to run, but they will still follow commands and they can do well when kept in groups with other dogs. Though the Hortaya Borzaya was bred to hunt game, they typically leave domestic animals alone when they are properly socialized.
The Hortaya Borzaya is larger and heavier than he looks, a characteristic somewhat unusual for sight hound breeds. Size varies from one type to another but these dogs usually weigh 40 to 75 pounds with males standing 26 to 30 inches tall and females standing 24 to 28 inches tall.
The Hortaya Borzaya is a gentle, friendly dog that never shows aggression toward humans. As an Asian breed, they can sometimes be reserved and they can also be quite vigilant at times. These dogs exhibit behavior similar to wolves in a pack, so they can do well when kept in kennels with large groups of their breed. They can also integrate well into existing packs. Socialization is important for this breed, especially if he will be around domestic animals and pets.
Common Health Problems
The Hortaya Borzaya is a healthy breed with a surprisingly long lifespan compared to other dogs of its size. These dogs were built for speed and stamina, so as long as their needs for exercise are met they remain quite healthy. In fact, it is not unusual for dogs of this breed to be actively used for hunting until they reach 10 years of age. Generally speaking, there are no breed-specific or inherited conditions known to affect the breed to any significant degree.
The average lifespan for the Hortaya Borzaya is a surprisingly long 14 to 15 years. Though this breed may only be capable of active hunting until the age of 10, it is not uncommon for them to be bred at the age of 8 or 9 years.
As a sighthound, the Hortaya Borzaya has high needs for exercise. Unlike Whippets and Greyhounds, these dogs are not short-distance sprinters – they have excellent stamina and they need to have room and time to run. They have been known to chase game as far as 2.5 miles and they can repeat that distance after even a brief rest.
As a highly intelligent breed, the Hortaya Borzaya is also trainable.
The Hortaya Borzaya is not yet accepted by the AKC or any other major kennel club. The first standard for the breed was published in 1951 in the USSR and it is maintained by the Russian Kynological Federation (RKF) and the national Russian FCI member association. It is not internationally recognized by the FCI.
Like many sight hounds, the Hortaya Borzaya is a lean, lithe dog with a close-lying coat. The coat is short, dense, and straight with an average length of just 1 inch. Colors range from black to white or various shades of cream. Sable or red markings as well as brindle patterns are also fairly common. Most Hortaya Borzaya dogs have a black mask as well as a black overlay and red, tan, or grey markings.
The average litter size for the Hortaya Borzaya is 6 to 8 puppies. These dogs are incredibly intelligent and they learn quickly, so training and socialization can be started from a young age. They can develop a tendency toward independence as well, so training is important to prevent that trait from turning into obstinance.
Photo credits: Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock; DragoNika/Shutterstock