Chortaya Borzaya translates simply as 'short-haired greyhound'.

About the Hortaya Borzaya breed

The Chortaj or Hortaya Borzaya or Chortaya Borzaya is an Asian sighthound breed that is not recognized by the FCI.

The latter is partly due to the fact that the Chortaj has a variance which cannot be packed into a breed standard. There are five different subspecies with partly very different size and coat.

The history: ancient hunter dog

The Khortaj is said to have been bred in a similar form as a fast hunting dog in the Kievan Rus for more than a thousand years.

In 1951 a breed standard was established in the Soviet Union.

Banner: Shutterstock / Grisha Bruev
Chrotaj breed description, short haired greyhound, giant dog breed, greyhound breed from Russia, Russian dog breed, Chortaja Borzaja, Hortaya Borzaya, Hort, Horty, brown dog with tilt ears in the snow Chrotaj breed description, short haired greyhound, giant dog breed, greyhound breed from Russia, Russian dog breed, Chortaja Borzaja, Hortaya Borzaya, Hort, Horty, brown dog with tilt ears in the snow Chrotaj breed description, short haired greyhound, giant dog breed, greyhound breed from Russia, Russian dog breed, Chortaja Borzaja, Hortaya Borzaya, Hort, Horty, brown dog with tilt ears in the snow Chrotaj breed description, short haired greyhound, giant dog breed, greyhound breed from Russia, Russian dog breed, Chortaja Borzaja, Hortaya Borzaya, Hort, Horty, brown dog with tilt ears in the snow
Alternate Name Хортая Борзая, Chortaja Borsaja, Hortaya Borzaya, Hort, Horty
Origin Russia
Life expectancy 13 - 15 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level high
FCI group not recognised
AKC group not recognised
KC group not recognised

Temperament: Hunting instinct and urge to move

Like all sighthounds, the Chortaj has a strong hunting instinct and an extreme urge to move.

Since it is used almost exclusively as a hunting dog in its home country, often for hunting in a hunter-dog team, it has been strongly bred for obedience. So it can be trained quite well for obedience.

When sufficiently exercised, the Chortaj is calm and peaceful in daily handling.

In a pack, the Chortaj is very social, so it can be kept in a group or used for hunting.

If it is socialized accordingly, it is compatible with domestic animals and can distinguish them well from prey.

Husbandry and training: in any case, keep the dog busy

The Chortaj is an extremely active hunting dog. He has lost nothing in a small apartment.

It needs to be exercised, both physically and mentally, and it needs a guardian who challenges him but is consistent and fair with it. Under the circumstances it can be trained well. Chortaj is not suitable for a beginner.


The Chortaj is a hunting dog and wants to hunt. In its home country it is used either as a single hunting dog on small prey such as hares and foxes or in a group on large prey such as deer or wolves. In doing so, it may well seek out lost prey with its nose. It has a 'soft mouth', so the skins of the killed animal are still usable.

Chortaj are also suitable for racing and coursing, but are not allowed to start officially in most races because they are not FCI-approved.

With good training they are also suitable as companion dogs for riders - but here you have to pay attention to the hunting instinct.


Health of the Chortaj: robust late developer

The Chortaj is a late developer, but also correspondingly long-lived. Chortajs often live 13 to 15 years - if they do not die during a hunt for predators.

Breed-specific hereditary diseases are not known, even HD is extremely rare.

Care: pay attention to the food

The Chortaj is dependent on high-quality dog food, which corresponds to its activity. On the other hand, overfeeding should be avoided. Especially for young animals, the diet should not be too rich in protein, so that the animals do not grow too fast and damage the skeleton. Of course, ears, eyes, claws and paws should be checked regularly and the teeth should be kept free of plaque by chewing or brushing. Otherwise, the Chortaj does not need any special care.

What else you should know

Outside the area of the former Soviet Union the Chortaj is hardly spread and you will have problems to get a puppy.

Picture ID: 1641220492, Breed description of a Chortaj

Chortaj grow relatively large. Males reach a height at withers of 66 to 76 cm, females 60 to 71 cm. The Chortaj appears slender to lean and sinewy. The weight varies greatly from species to species. It lies between 18 and 35 kg. The tail is long and sabre-shaped and somewhat curled at the end. The eyes are large, oval and somewhat slanted. The ears are narrow and small and set at most at the level of the eyes. The muzzle is long and tapers to a point at the nose. The coat varies between the different species, but is never long. It often has a light undercoat in winter. The dogs may be solid or spotted.

Acceptable colors are:

  • White
  • Black
  • Cream
  • Red, mostly with black mask
  • Black and brindle
  • Sable
  • Brindle

The Chortaj has exceptionally good eyesight.

When it moves forward, it does so with a springy, smooth trot - when hunting he does so in a kind of long, fast gallop.

In contrast to many other sighthound breeds, the Chortaj is extremely persistent, and therefore not only capable of sprints.

Fur length short
Fur flat coated
Ear shape Tilt-ear
Tail lang
Anatomy slim, sporty
Size ♀ 60 - 71 cm
Weight ♀ 18 - 35 kg
Size ♂ 66 - 76 cm
Weight ♂ 18 - 35 kg
Suitable For -


  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic condition in dogs where the hip joint is not shaped properly. This leads to pain, stiffness and restricted movement.

Sources and relevant links

Dorothee Dahl (2017). Windhunde.

Hans Räber (2014). Enzyklopädie der Rassehunde, Band 2. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-Gmbh & Company KG.

Other large dogs

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