For those who are looking for a polite, quiet, dignified companion dog, a Borzoi is the perfect choice. Rowdy as puppies, once Borzoi reach adulthood, their personality is often compared to that of a cat. While they love affection, Borzoi can entertain themselves (constructively), and do not require constant supervision. They don't bark much and are so light on their feet that you can't even hear them coming across a wooden floor.
Borzoi need lots of exercise to keep their long, lean bodies healthy. They are excellent running companions, and can even keep up with bikers. Despite their laid-back nature in the home, apartments are not the best living space for a Borzoi. A house with a fenced in back yard for chasing balls is ideal. Small children should be supervised when playing with a Borzoi. Though they like kids, they dislike overly rough behavior and can snap or bite if pushed too far.
Borzoi are hound dogs, and like all hounds, can be a challenge to train. They are independent and don't like being told what to do. A confident, gentle hand is required, and patience is a must. Positive reinforcement and treats work best – discipline only causes this stubborn dog to dig his heels in.
Socialization is important with a Borzoi. They can be wary of strangers, and if not taught to be around new people and accept new situations, they can become anxious or aggressive, though usually the problem with Borzois is timidness.
While Borzoi are polite with people and tolerant of other dogs, they should be kept away from rabbits, cats and small dogs. They are sighthounds, bred to track and chase small game, and if they get their sights on a smaller pet, disaster could ensue. For this reason, Borzoi should never be left off leash in an area that is not fenced. The number one cause of death in the Borzoi is getting hit by a vehicle. Once a Borzoi has a small animal in his sight, he will zero in and take off like a shot, and it is nearly impossible to break the spell.
Borzoi are extremely sensitive creatures and if there is a lot of tension in the home, they will pick up on it and can actually become physically ill. They need a harmonious home to prevent anxiety and sickness.