With strangers, most Borzois are polite but reserved. Because of their great size and strength, they require early socialization to avoid either aggression (rare) or skittishness/shyness (more common).
Though usually sweet and docile, they can be touch-sensitive and may react with lightning reflexes if grabbed unexpectedly or startled. This is a not a breed to be taken lightly or teased.
Borzoi don't need miles of running, but they certainly can't get by with leashed walks around the block and a small yard. These dogs need access to a large fenced area – fenced because they are chasing addicts with sharp eyesight for movement. If something catches their attention on the horizon, they will take off and not come back. The fence should be high – a Borzoi can clear six feet with little effort.
Most people have no experience with how lightning-fast Borzoi really are. They might be fine with other family pets, but I personally wouldn't keep a cat or small dog with a Borzoi.
I was a witness to a tragic event where a Borzoi killed a small dog. The Borzoi simply reared up and plucked the little dog right out of its owner's arms and killed it. Not out of malice. Simply because the small dog triggered prey instincts in the Borzoi.
The Borzoi is more sensitive to drugs than the majority of other dog breeds. They are also likely to be picky eaters. Some Borzoi are prone to bloat, so it is best for them to be fed two or three small meals per day. This breed typically lives for 10 to 12 years. They average 6 puppies per litter, but can have anywhere from 1-11 puppies per litter.
The borzoi is a breed of domestic dog. Affectionate family dogs, Borzoi are nonetheless a bit too dignified to wholeheartedly enjoy a lot of roughhousing. Borzoi are typically quiet, clean, and well-mannered, although challenging to train beyond the level of simple good house behavior. Although generally good with children, it may not be playful enough to satisfy some children.
The best way to find a Borzoi through a reputable breeding is to go through the national club. Have you owned one before? I imagine that all breeders in this breed will require you to have a high fence. Borzoi shed a lot as well, though I don't think they have particularly high exercise requirements.
Something to bear in mind is that Borzoi are both sighthounds and a giant breed, so breeders have two things they would like buyers to have experience with. That said, everyone is new to a breed once and so long as you research the quirks of this breed you should have a good chance at securing a breeder.
For example, you might want to be aware of:
Highly unreliable recall in sighthounds
More than likely NEVER being able to let your Borzoi off leash anywhere unfenced because of that
High prey drive in sighthounds
More than likely an inability for a Borzoi to live with cats because of that
Potential for predatory drift also (chasing and injuring small dogs) because of that
A need for a fully fenced yard or you ALWAYS taking them out on leash if not, due to prey drive and wanderlust
A need for reduced exercise in giant breeds while they're young and growing
A specific diet for growing young giant breeds
Their sheer size and weight - can you handle it?
Their lack of inclination to obey - don't expect easy obedience
Their potential for bloat and ways to prevent it
The higher cost of everything with a giant breed - equipment, food, vet bills, etc
Look into all the above and don't be afraid to ask breeders questions, meet their dogs, etc. Let them know what you'll do to manage a Borzoi's quirks and whatever you do, don't open the conversation by asking something like 'any brindle puppies available and how much?'. Send a long email describing your lifestyle, the research you've done and what you're looking for.
My old friend has a Borzoi since puppyhood. They always had tons of different pets: several dogs, a bunch of cats (indoor/outdoor) and birds. The dog was a complete couch potato and never had an issue with the cats, who varied on levels of friendliness. I don't think there's a guarantee but with proper training and early intervention, it's quite possible.
I've always wanted a borzoi! I haven't made one yet but they are one of the default breeds! I'll make one for a really high end, upper wealth lady and share it!
My borzoi was lazy as hell. Remember, these dogs rode in carriages to their hunts. They didn't have to walk like the lesser dogs. They still have that royal, privileged attitude. They are not long distance runners. After a mile, they are done. My borzoi wouldn't even complete a full lure course. Your best bet is to find a breeder who breeds for coursing. They will at least have the right attitude.
I'm not experienced with Borzoi's in real life, but I have always heard that sighthounds are better for shorter sprints, rather than longer runs. Someone with more knowledge can definitely correct me though!
I do know that they can't be off leash, so if you're looking for a trail dog, a Borzoi probably won't work.
The Borzoi is an affectionate, smart dog that is very loyal to their family. They are alert and highly aware, and they can do well in an obedience-oriented environment. Because they are a type of hound, they are less willing to please humans than some breeds. Trainers of this breed should execute firm patience and mutual respect. The Borzoi likes to keep himself clean by licking. They rarely bark. They are very fast and don’t possess any sort of territorial instinct, so they shouldn’t be trusted off of a leash. This breed is usually good with other dogs, but should be supervised with small non-canine pets. The Borzoi should be trained and socialized properly from an early age. Because they don’t particularly enjoy rough-housing, the Borzoi isn’t an ideal companion for small children. They do, however, love spending time with children that will treat them kindly and gently.
Borzoi are a beautiful, intelligent, loyal, affectionate breed. Athletic and graceful, they nevertheless love to relax and snooze in a comfortable home. Although they are very large dogs, they are quiet and sensitive dogs that love to be someone’s personal pet. If you have room for a Borzoi and the time to provide daily exercise – or a large, fenced yard – this is a wonderful breed that you should definitely consider.
I have always loved the look of sighthounds, especially those elegant long faces, but wanted to have a good recall which is why the smooth collie is a decent compromise. As Borzoi were a small part of the foundation of the collie, I'm inclined towards them. In fact sometimes you can get a "throwback" - a collie with a Borzoi-ish head which I find pretty neat.
Anyway, the whole "Let them run free" is a problem. Sighthounds can run faster than they can think. Not to say they are stupid but that they have strong instinct to chase, quick reaction times and are just really really fast. Letting a sighthound run free in an unfenced field is a good way to lose that dog.