Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier dog breed was developed by the Russian military as a versatile, trainable, working dog. The Airedale Terrier, Giant Schnauzer, and Rottweiler were the primary breeds used, but Newfoundlands and the Caucasian Ovtcharka were also a part of the mix. The Black Russian Terrier was recognized as a breed by the USSR Ministry of Agriculture in 1981.

The large, powerful Black Russian Terrier breed stands 26 to 30 inches tall and weighs 90 to 150 pounds. The head is large and broad, the eyes are small and dark, and the ears are dropped. The body is slightly longer than the dog is tall at the shoulders. There is a thick undercoat. The outer coat is black and is straight to wavy.

The Black Russian Terrier dog has a terrier beard, eyebrows, and mustache. This breed’s coat does need some grooming upkeep. It must be brushed regularly, and every four to six weeks it needs to be trimmed. The beard is often wet and may need drying, combing, or special care. Black Russian Terriers need daily exercise. They will enjoy a couple of walks a day but also need time to run, play on the agility course, or chase a ball. Without exercise, and if left alone too much, they are prone to making their own fun.

This dog breed is very watchful and protective, so early training and socialization are very important. The training should be structured and firm yet fun. There shouldn’t be too much repetition; this breed is designed to be highly trainable. Black Russians can have fun with training, too, though they can be mischievous and a bit stubborn. Training should continue in some form (obedience, trick training, canine sports) into adulthood. The Black Russian Terrier can be a great family dog for an experienced dog owner who understands the breed’s needs.

Black Russian Terrier is good with older children who treat her with respect. She may not be good with other dogs, especially those of the same sex. She is usually good with smaller pets. Health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia and eye problems.


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