Whippet vs. Borzoi: Comparing Two Graceful Sight Hounds

Whippet vs. Borzoi: Comparing Two Graceful Sight Hounds

Are you considering adding a sight hound to your family but can’t decide between a Whippet or a Borzoi? Look no further! In this article, we will compare these two graceful breeds to help you make an informed decision. From their appearance and temperament to their exercise needs and training requirements, we will delve into the similarities and differences between Whippets and Borzois. By the end, you will have a clear understanding of which breed suits your lifestyle and preferences best. So, let’s dive in and explore these elegant sight hounds!


Size and Proportions

Whippets and Borzois are both elegant breeds of sight hounds that share certain similarities in their appearance, but they also have distinct differences when it comes to their size and proportions.

The Whippet is a medium-sized breed, typically weighing between 25 to 40 pounds (11 to 18 kg) and standing at a height of around 18 to 22 inches (46 to 56 cm) at the shoulder. They have a sleek and muscular body, with a deep chest and a slim waist. Whippets are known for their graceful and athletic build, which allows them to reach great speeds during sprints.

On the other hand, Borzois are larger in size compared to Whippets. They are often referred to as the "Russian Wolfhounds" due to their noble and regal appearance. Borzois can weigh anywhere between 60 to 105 pounds (27 to 48 kg) and stand at a height of around 26 to 32 inches (66 to 81 cm) at the shoulder. They have a long and lean body, with a deep chest and a slightly arched back. Borzois possess an elegant and majestic presence that sets them apart from other breeds.

Coat and Colors

When it comes to their coat and colors, Whippets and Borzois also showcase distinct characteristics.

Whippets have a short and smooth coat that lies close to their body, providing them with a sleek and streamlined appearance. Their coat comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including solid colors like fawn, brindle, black, blue, and white, as well as various combinations of these colors.

On the other hand, Borzois have a long and silky coat that forms a natural flowing mane around their neck and chest, giving them a luxurious appearance. Their coat is usually thicker and requires more grooming compared to Whippets. Borzois come in various colors and patterns, including solid colors such as white, black, grey, and tan, as well as different combinations of these colors.

In conclusion, while both Whippets and Borzois belong to the sight hound family and share certain similarities in their appearance, their size, proportions, coat types, and colors differ significantly. Whippets are smaller and possess a short, smooth coat, while Borzois are larger and have a long, silky coat. Understanding these differences can help individuals make an informed decision when considering these graceful sight hounds as pets.


Whippet Temperament

Whippets are known for their calm and gentle temperament. They are affectionate and friendly dogs that make great companions. Despite their athletic nature, they are often described as couch potatoes and enjoy cuddling up with their owners. Whippets are generally quiet and well-mannered, making them suitable for apartment living. They are also good with children and other pets, making them a great choice for families.

Borzoi Temperament

Borzois have a more independent and reserved temperament compared to Whippets. They are known to be dignified and somewhat aloof, often appearing reserved around strangers. However, once they form a strong bond with their owners, they can be very loyal and affectionate. Borzois are generally calm and well-behaved indoors, but they have a strong prey drive and may chase small animals. Due to their sensitive nature, they may not be the best choice for families with young children or other energetic pets.

Exercise and Activity

Whippet Exercise Needs

Whippets are energetic and active dogs that require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They have a high energy level and love to run and play. A minimum of 30-60 minutes of exercise per day is recommended for whippets.

One of the best ways to meet their exercise needs is through daily walks or jogs. Whippets also excel in various dog sports such as lure coursing, agility, and obedience training. These activities not only provide physical exercise but also mental stimulation for the breed.

It is important to note that whippets have a strong prey drive, so they should always be exercised in a securely fenced area or on a leash. They have incredible speed and can easily chase after small animals or birds if not properly controlled.

Borzoi Exercise Needs

Borzois, also known as Russian Wolfhounds, are graceful and elegant dogs that have moderate exercise needs compared to the high energy levels of whippets. They are known for their incredible speed and endurance, but they are also quite content with a more relaxed lifestyle.

Borzoi exercise needs typically include daily walks or runs, but they don’t require as much exercise as whippets. A good 20-40 minutes of exercise per day is usually sufficient to keep them in good physical condition.

Similar to whippets, Borzois also enjoy participating in dog sports such as lure coursing and obedience training. These activities can provide mental stimulation and help maintain their overall fitness. However, it is important to avoid overexertion or excessive exercise, as Borzois are prone to certain joint and muscle issues.

Overall, while both whippets and Borzois require regular exercise, it is essential to tailor their exercise routines to their individual needs. Whippets thrive on high-intensity activities and require more exercise, whereas Borzois have a more moderate exercise requirement but still benefit from regular physical activity.

Training and Intelligence

Whippet Training

When it comes to training Whippets, their intelligence and eagerness to please make them relatively easy to train. Whippets are known for their quick learning abilities and their willingness to follow commands. They thrive on positive reinforcement and respond well to reward-based training methods.

To ensure successful training, it is important to start early and be consistent with your Whippet. Basic obedience training, such as teaching them to come when called, sit, stay, and walk on a leash, should be introduced from a young age. Whippets also excel in agility training, as they are incredibly athletic and enjoy the mental and physical challenges it provides.

It is important to remember that Whippets have a sensitive nature, so harsh training methods or punishment should be avoided. They respond best to gentle guidance, positive reinforcement, and plenty of praise. With proper training and socialization, Whippets can become well-behaved and obedient companions.

Borzoi Training

Borzoi training requires a slightly different approach compared to Whippets. While they are intelligent dogs, Borzois can be independent and have a more laid-back attitude towards training. They have a strong prey drive and may become easily distracted by their hunting instincts, so consistency and patience are key when training a Borzoi.

Start training your Borzoi early on and focus on basic obedience commands. Positive reinforcement techniques work well with Borzois, as they respond positively to praise, treats, and rewards. Training sessions should be kept interesting and engaging to keep their attention.

Borzoi training may require a bit more time and effort compared to Whippets. They have a sensitive nature and do not respond well to forceful or aggressive training methods. It is important to be firm yet gentle with your Borzoi and provide them with consistent guidance. With patience and persistence, Borzois can become well-trained and obedient companions.

Intelligence Comparison

Both Whippets and Borzois are intelligent breeds, but they may differ in terms of their problem-solving abilities and trainability. Whippets are known for their quick learning abilities and eagerness to please, making them highly trainable dogs. They are often quick to pick up commands and enjoy learning new tricks.

On the other hand, Borzois may be a bit more independent and have a slightly lower trainability compared to Whippets. They are intelligent dogs but may require more patience and consistent training to achieve desired results. Borzois have a strong prey drive, which can sometimes distract them during training sessions.

However, it is important to note that intelligence alone does not determine a dog’s worth as a companion. Both Whippets and Borzois can excel in various activities and become well-behaved pets with proper training and socialization. Understanding the unique needs and characteristics of each breed can help in tailoring the training approach for maximum success.

Health and Lifespan

Whippet Health

Whippets are generally known to be a healthy breed with few major health issues. However, like any other dog breed, they are prone to certain health conditions. One common health concern in Whippets is hereditary deafness. It is important for potential Whippet owners to obtain their pet from a reputable breeder who conducts hearing tests to ensure the puppy is not affected by this genetic condition.

Another health issue that Whippets may face is hypothyroidism, which is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in Whippets include weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help in early detection and proper management of this condition.

Additionally, Whippets can be sensitive to certain medications, including anesthesia. It is crucial for owners to inform their veterinarian about their Whippet’s breed when administering any medication or undergoing any medical procedures.

Borzoi Health

Borzois, like Whippets, are generally a healthy breed. However, there are a few health conditions that potential owners should be aware of. One of the common health concerns in Borzois is bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). This is a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists. Immediate veterinary attention is required if a Borzoi shows symptoms such as a distended abdomen, restlessness, or unsuccessful attempts to vomit.

Another health issue that Borzois may face is osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. This breed is known to be more susceptible to developing this condition compared to other breeds. Early detection and proper treatment are key factors in improving the prognosis for Borzois affected by osteosarcoma.

Routine check-ups, a balanced diet, and regular exercise can help maintain the overall health and well-being of Borzois.

Lifespan Comparison

When comparing the lifespan of Whippets and Borzois, it is important to note that both breeds have relatively similar life expectancies. On average, Whippets live between 12 to 15 years, while Borzois have a slightly shorter lifespan of around 10 to 12 years.

However, it is essential to understand that individual factors such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall healthcare can influence the lifespan of any dog, regardless of its breed. Providing a nurturing environment, regular veterinary care, and a well-balanced diet can contribute to extending the lifespan of both Whippets and Borzois.

In summary, both Whippets and Borzois are generally healthy breeds with a few specific health concerns to be aware of. By being proactive in their healthcare and providing a loving and supportive environment, owners can help ensure their Whippets and Borzois live long and healthy lives.

Suitability as Pets

Whippets as Pets

Whippets make excellent pets for individuals or families looking for a graceful and gentle companion. These dogs are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them great for households with children or other pets. Whippets are also quite adaptable and can adjust well to different living situations, whether it be a small apartment or a larger house with a yard.

One of the advantages of owning a whippet as a pet is their low maintenance requirements. They have a short and smooth coat that does not require frequent grooming, making them a suitable choice for individuals who prefer a low-shedding breed. Whippets are generally healthy dogs with few genetic health issues, which means they are less likely to require expensive veterinary care.

Furthermore, whippets are known for their intelligence and trainability. They are quick learners and can excel in various activities, including obedience training, agility, and even scent work. Their natural athleticism and speed make them excellent contenders in dog sports.

Borzois as Pets

Borzois, also known as Russian Wolfhounds, are majestic and elegant dogs that can make wonderful pets for the right owner. They are known for their calm and gentle temperament, which makes them suitable for households with a relaxed and quiet atmosphere. Borzois are generally good with children and can form strong bonds with their family members.

Although Borzois have a long and silky coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting, they are considered moderate shedders. This means that with proper grooming, their shedding can be managed effectively. Despite their long coat, Borzois are relatively clean dogs and do not have a strong odor.

Borzois are intelligent dogs but can be independent at times. They may require consistent and patient training to ensure they understand and obey commands. Early socialization is also important for Borzois to prevent shyness or timidity. It’s worth noting that due to their hunting instincts, Borzois may have a strong prey drive and should be supervised around small animals.

Comparison as Pets

When comparing Whippets and Borzois as pets, both breeds offer unique qualities and characteristics. Whippets are more adaptable to different living situations and have lower maintenance requirements, making them suitable for individuals or families with a busier lifestyle. They are highly trainable and excel in various activities.

On the other hand, Borzois are more suitable for individuals or families who can provide a calm and quiet environment. They require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health but are generally moderate shedders. Borzois have a gentle nature and can form deep bonds with their owners, although they may need more time and patience during training.

Ultimately, the choice between a Whippet and a Borzoi as a pet depends on the owner’s lifestyle, preferences, and ability to meet the specific needs of each breed. Both breeds can bring joy, companionship, and elegance to their owners’ lives.

In conclusion, both Whippets and Borzois are elegant and athletic sight hounds with their own unique characteristics. While Whippets are known for their smaller size and exceptional speed, Borzois are renowned for their regal stature and gentle demeanor. Whether you are looking for a companion that excels in agility or a majestic show dog, both breeds offer distinctive qualities that make them excellent choices for dog enthusiasts. Ultimately, the decision between a Whippet and a Borzoi will depend on your lifestyle, preferences, and ability to provide the necessary care for these graceful creatures. Regardless of your choice, both breeds are bound to bring joy, beauty, and companionship to your life.