Are Borzois Easy to Train?

Borzoi in the woods.

This Russian native breed is one of the favorites among families. With an oversize build, attractive coat, and gentle nature, we see no reason why it shouldn’t be. Its approachable personality makes it a great companion to kids. Like most hounds, the Borzoi is intelligent and adaptable, but how easy are they to train? 

Training a Borzoi is not easy, and can definitely test your patience. Because it is an intelligent and independent dog, you cannot expect it to obey you right away. Consequently, you will need to have a strong will and plenty of patience to train a Borzoi.  

The origin of Borzoi dates back to the mid-1200s, with the early name of “Russian Wolfhound” given to it by the Russian royals. They are fantastic hunters and were originally bred to hunt game like wolves, hare, and fox. Though today you’ll usually see them as house pets. While training a Borzoi to carry out specific activities requires time and effort, there are tricks and tips to smooth out your training.

Are Borzois Easy to Train?

Think of Borzoi as a long-haired greyhound – an enormously tall greyhound, to be exact. It has an extraordinarily narrow and long face, agile legs, and silky, long coat. Of course, we love its calm and polite temperament, don’t we? 

But to give you an idea, you may likely encounter challenges while training Borzoi, particularly if you’re a novice dog owner. Not to mention it can be slower in learning new commands when compared to all other breeds of canines. 

As stated in the Borzoi breed profile of the American Kennel Club, the dog is independent and tends to become stubborn from time to time. Though, it is intelligent and highly affectionate with its household family. Here is a video explaining how a Borzoi can be firm on not doing things it isn’t fond of doing in the first place. 

These may discourage you from adopting Borzoi on your next visit to a local dog shelter. But worry not because you can still have a successful, fun training session with this adorable pet. All you need is patience (apparently) and an efficient training method, and you’re all set! 

Why It’s Best to Start Training as a Puppy

We’re sure many of you are already aware of the benefits of training and socializing your dog during the puppy phase. Even experts recommend this. For dogs, puppyhood is a significant stage, especially the first 3-4 months. If you failed to teach your pet the necessary skills and behavior during this phase, you’ll have a tough time training them later on, given the breed’s stubborn character. 

You can start the training if you think it is the right time to do so. Although the typical age could be anywhere between 6 and 18 weeks, and it also applies to other breeds. Your training goal should include exposing it to new animals, locations, and people, teaching impulse control and polite play, as well as housetraining. Not only will it strengthen the relationship between you and your pet, but it will also help provide stimulating activities and shape the dog’s confidence. It additionally prevents Borzois from having anxiety or overly timid personalities.

Teach only basic activities until they get a bit older. Refrain from over-exercising. A short physical activity, preferably 10 to 20 minutes, is enough for a growing puppy. Do remember that training them is trickier compared to adult Borzois. You will need lots of positive reinforcement and patience, so be sure you are prepared. 

Give Positive Reinforcement at All Times

A Borzoi is a sensitive dog, just like some other dog breeds. That’s why it makes an ideal addition to a tranquil, harmonious home as it has high emotional and physical sensitivity. It easily becomes stressed out if people are loud or if a family is constantly engaged in tension.  

It’s crucial to take this into account when training them; give positive reinforcement as often as possible. It could be praise whenever he obeys your commands or a reward for doing something good, or vice versa. Never punish or shout at him for not paying attention.

Otherwise, he will totally ignore you or do the reverse of what you requested. In severe cases, harsh reinforcement causes aggression or worsens unnecessary behavior among dogs. 

Crate Training Your Borzoi Can Be Easy 

Borzois easily find comfort in a crate and enjoy their personal space, so it may be a breeze time training them. Make sure the crate has enough space to accommodate its immense size. They must be able to stretch out, turn around, and stand full height in a way they feel at ease. Here’s one of our favorite crates we recommend:

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Stock it up with a comfy, safe bed sheet, and just leave the door open. You can start getting them interested in the crate by putting the food inside. If your dog seems comfortable already going in and out on its own, then you can consider closing the crate door. 

One crucial thing: do not force him. Again, you are only pushing him farther. You have to be cautious when enticing him to use the crate because a single mistake can make him feel frustrated and stuck. 

A positive association also rules here. Why not give your Borzoi a treat after going into the crate? A toy like a nibble ball or stuffed toy is also ideal too. Think of an activity you can associate with crate training to help them become accustomed to it – something they would enjoy spending time for long hours. 

Use the Right Commands in Training Borzois

The words you are using when training a Borzoi dog also play an essential role. It is not only about learning your commands efficiently but also developing a sense of respect for you. We will also consider its high sensitivity reaction, so ensure to use only kind words. 

For instance, do not say “No Fido” or “Bad Fido” (obviously using your dog’s name and not Fido). By calling their name, you are making them confused. He will think that he had done something undesirable. As possible, use his name in nice things, whether related to food or praises, among others. An example is saying, “Good boy Fido”. 

Once you determine the correct commands, stick to them, as you want to ensure they associate that command with whatever action you are trying to achieve.

Other Tips to Make Training Go Smoothly

It’s important to know that sighthounds, like Borzoi, are not your typical dog. They are very intelligent and can be strong-willed. If you want them to do as they are told, we suggest you practice being consistent. This is much harder than it sounds and is where most dog owners fail.

Socialization is important 

You should start socialization training the moment your new Borzoi enters your home. This allows the dog to acclimate to its new environment and his new family members.

Do not yell when trying to stop Borzoi from barking

When training this breed to stop barking, avoid yelling at them. Your dog might only bark a lot more. Say something like, “Quiet” with a composed and firm voice. Give an affectionate pat or a treat as a way to praise him. 

Set rules for potty training

Potty training will also be tricky and take some time. The first rule, make sure your pet has quick access to the potty. You can also use a urine mat as an early alternative. Next, use a cage or crate to prevent it from wandering around the house and having accidents.  

Keep the training short and fun

Borzois may not like the idea of doing long training sessions. Keep it only to 5 or 10 minutes with a maximum of 20 minutes, as have mentioned above. Do it 3 to 5 times on a daily basis to start. 

Be consistent 

Make training your Borzoi a disciplined and systematic routine, and they can become well-behaved dogs. All family members should reward your Borzoi with similar behavior to avoid misperception on its part. 

A Borzoi is undeniably an excellent house companion with a temperament so gentle, loving, and kind. It is not naturally the most obedient breed when trained, yes, but having these tips above would surely ease out your qualms. As Borzoi of America emphasizes, make dog training a fun activity rather than a chore.

People Also Ask:

Are Borzois aggressive?

A Borzoi is not an aggressive dog. While all dogs have the ability to be aggressive, a properly socialized and trained Borzoi is usually very gentle and calm.

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