Are Borzoi Dogs Related to Collies?

While it's possible that the collie and the borzoi share some long-ago ancestry, that lineage is lost in the mists of time. The borzoi, also known as the Russian wolfhound, developed as a hunting dog for the Russian aristocracy, not a herding dog like the collie. As the Russian name suggests, wolves were this giant breed's primary prey. Borzoi were first imported to Britain around 1830.

Borzoi History

The borzoi sports a long, sleek head, similar to that of the greyhound. These two breeds likely shared some ancestry, as they are both sight hounds. That means they hunt by vision rather than scent. The borzoi also descends from the Russian bearhound, the Russian sheepdog and hunting dogs of the Tatars. The breed standard for the borzoi first appeared in 1650, with little variation in modern times.

Collie History

The collie's origins also date back hundreds of years, although an official standard wasn't created until the 19th century. The ancestors of today's collie were working dogs, herding sheep and acting as drovers -- guiding livestock to market. Unlike the borzoi, the collie was the dog of the common English and Scottish farmer, not that of the British aristocracy.