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Black Russian Terrier

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Black Russian Terrier Profile

Country of Origin:

The Black Russian Terrier originated in the former Soviet Union and was created by the military run Red Star Kennel. They are also referred to as Chornyi, Terrier Noir Russe, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Black Terrier, Tchiorny Terrier, BRT and Stalin's Dog. The Black Russian Terrier was created as a military working dog, bred to withstand the varying climate differences throughout the country. Several breeds were utilized in creating the Black Russian Terrier. These breeds included Airedale Terrier, Caucasian Ovcharka, Newfoundland, Giant Schnauzers, Standard Schnauzers and the Moscow Water Dog, which is now extinct. The Black Russian Terrier was bred for a working ability with little concern regarding appearance. Black Russian Terrier's of today only vaguely resemble the original Black Russian Terrier. They received recognition from the FCI in 1984, but gained AKC recognition in 2004.


The male Black Russian Terrier can reach heights of 25-29 inches, while the female will reach heights of 25-28 inches. The breed can weigh in between 80-143 pounds, however, male Black Russian Terriers tend to appear a bit bigger than females.


The coat of the Black Russian Terrier should always be black, while some individual gray hairs are expected and acceptable. Any white or brown within the coat is a disqualification. The coat will feel hard to the touch and is very dense. The hair on the face of the Black Russian Terrier should create what appears to be eyebrows and a beard. The Black Russian Terrier's coat is a double coat that has a soft undercoat while the top coat is far coarser.


The Black Russian Terrier is a family oriented, affectionate, curious and protective breed. They will be eager to please their owner and will take direction well. However, it is important that you do not allow the Black Russian Terrier to do anything as a puppy that you may not want them to do as an adult, as these dogs are quite large and will want their way. The Black Russian Terrier makes an effective guard dog for their family, as they are suspicious of strangers and will instinctively protect the home as well as its inhabitants. However, if the Black Russian Terrier is left to live outside in a kennel, the dog could potentially become protective of its kennel, even against its owner. The Black Russian Terrier is quite curious and as a puppy will get into anything they can. It is imperative to give firm but loving redirection when this occurs.


The Black Russian Terrier is a very loving and energetic breed that loves to play with children well into adulthood. They constantly seek the attention of their family so if you are not available to the dog for long periods of time, this breed may not be for you. The Black Russian Terrier will do well with other non-dominant animals in the home. It is possible for a Black Russian Terrier to live in a home with another large male, but only if the owner has made themselves entirely dominant over both dogs. The pack master must exert dominance over this breed to ensure the dog is fully aware who the leader of the pack is.


The Black Russian Terrier requires a moderate amount of grooming. They should be brushed on a weekly basis and stripped if the coat is too soft. The beard and eyebrows should never be touched, however the body will need trimming 2-3 times per year. It will be necessary for you to remove hairs from the Black Russian Terrier's ears as well as the underside of the paws. The Black Russian Terrier can live comfortably in an apartment with proper exercise. They will not be very active indoors, as they will most likely be following you wherever you go.


The Black Russian Terrier is very eager to please and will learn quickly. They do require a firm and consistent pack master, but will respond better to a slightly more loving approach. It is necessary to begin training at a young age, as the Black Russian Terrier will grow to a relatively large size and may be more difficult to correct. The Black Russian Terrier must be made to know that they do not rank above the human members of its pack. When walking your Black Russian Terrier, it is imperative that the dog heel beside you and never lead. In the dog's mind the leader is the one in front.


The Black Russian Terrier is very playful and will enjoy outdoor play in a large area. However, they will still require a long daily walk and may get hyperactive and destructive if they do not get enough exercise.