The borzoi is originally from Russia and its name means “fast”. As early as the 14th and 15th centuries, the borzoi was bred to hunt hares, foxes, and wolves. The breed was even known as the national dog of Russia until around 1914. They enriched the pompous hunts of the nobility with hundreds of animals of their breed and often appeared as popular motifs in art.
During the Russian Revolution, almost all dogs of the nobility were destroyed, which almost made the borzoi extinct in Russia. Since the breed was already so famous by then, there were breeders in England and the USA who had started to import and breed this breed.
The breed was called the Russian Wolfhound in the US until 1936 when it was eventually given the name Borzoi (from the Russian word “borzyi” meaning “fast”). The breed has been recognized by the FCI since 1956.