Borzoi Coat and Color

Figure 21.
Nice coat for a bitch. More or less can still be correct.

The Standard allows for a huge range of coat types, with no preference given as long as it is "long and silky - not woolly". It may be flat.... wavy....or rather curly. Most coats are some combination of all three. Puppies tend to have curly coats, and often keep their curls until the first big coat blow at 9 - 12 months. Curly coats in adults are not nearly as common today as they once were.

Bitches are not expected to carry big coats, and they usually have a lot less feather than a male. They tend to drop some or a great deal of coat after every season. Many bitches have a thick, dense coat that stands out all over the body very evenly, as if it has been trimmed, with thick, full britches and tail. This is a very typical "plush" bitch coat that DOESN'T require any trimming to enhance the body. It is not "out of coat."

The range of climate in this country means there is great variation in undercoat. Lots of undercoat can make a good dog look coarse, and very little undercoat can make a Southern dog look very spare. Within the very wide range of standard allowed coat types, your main concern in judging should be, "Is it soft and silky?" "Is it healthy skin?" Beyond those two items, tread carefully. Nowhere in the Standard does it say the longer the better.

Remember, coat comes and goes…… structure is forever!

The Borzoi can be any color, from black to white, and everything in between. There are many interesting patterns and combinations of colors within the breed. Liver may exist but true liver would be prohibited by "nose black" and to the best of my knowledge there is no blue merle, although there are now several other kinds of blue.

Be careful of the optical illusions produced by different colors and patterns, some of which affect the impression of body length, shoulder placement, expression, length of neck and width of backskull. There is no such thing as a mismark. While you may personally find some colors more attractive than others, as a judge, you do not have the luxury of ANY color prejudice and certainly do NOT practice affirmative action for any color!