The breed was approved and the descriptive standard was written in 1650. It has not changed much since then. It is about 30 - 32 inches (75-80cm) tall at the withers (its back near the shoulders). It weighs between 75 and 85 pounds (35 to 40kg). Borzois have a long coat. They can be any color from solid white to brown and white, gray and white or brindle. They can also be all black. People who take care of Borzois have done a good job of stopping health problems. Borzois do not have many of the problems other breeds have with health.
In Russia, they were well liked by the royalty. It was illegal to sell them. They were given to those who did something special for the Tzars. They feature in Russian novels e.g. in Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina". During the Russian revolution, most of the breed were killed because they were a symbol of royalty. A few were taken from the country.