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Black Russian Terrier

Quick facts

Black Russian Terrier AKC Group: Working
Height: Male: 25-29 inches, Female: 25-28 inches
Weight: Male: 80-145 pounds, Female: less than the male
Colors: Solid black or black with scattered gray hairs
AKC recognized in: 2004

The Black Russian Terrier, or BRT for short, is one of the dog breeds most-recently recognized by the AKC. It gained full acceptance only in 2004. This status was very much hard-earned simply because it is not deemed to be a true Terrier.

This can be explained by the fact that there were more-or-less 20 breeds involved in developing the BRT. For such a short-named fellow, it has quite a long history linked to various breeds such as the Rottweiler, Airedale, Newfoundland, Giant Schnauzer, and the former Moscow Water Dog (or Russian Water Dog), among many others.

The controlled breeding happened under the supervision of Soviet breed specialists in a 1940's army kennel known as Red Star. Their target was to create an all-around dog which is massive in size, robust in built, and high-spirited in temperament. The new breed would be utilized by the USSR for military operations as a working dog.

The world of cross-bred BRT opened to the world when a number of them were sold by the state to civilian citizens sometime approaching the 1960's. From there, the breed spread all around Europe to the United States.

As to the other names by which it goes by, the Black Russian Terrier has also been vaguely referred to as the Tchiorni Terrier, the Tchiorni, or the Terrier Negro Ruso.


Black Russian Terrier Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level three paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children two paws
Friendliness: Other Animals one paw
Friendliness: Other Pets one paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability four paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

Massive and robust, the Black Russian Terrier tends to give an impression of strength and courage. In appearance, it should be rustic but not coarse. Neither should it be too sculpted or finely trimmed. For instance, the coat can be hand-stripped but the muzzle and beard should never be touched. Otherwise, this makes the BRT appear weak and lacking in substance.

Male BRTs are also meant to appear and behave in a distinctly more masculine way than their female counterparts.

All else aside, BRTs have braved through so many years to be recognized as a breed. They share the common trait of being calm and confident without being shy or timid. Aloof at first, they will prove to be loyal and affectionate to their owners because the bonds they form grow deep.

More companion dogs now than the military ones of their origin, BRTs are still keen and observant. Their intelligence tells them to be suspicious of strangers and wary of new places. It springs from their natural protective instinct running strong.

Health and Exercise

The Black Russian Terrier has a life expectency of between 10 and 14 years.

Black Russian Terriers are generally healthy, but are subject to certain conditions, including:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Hyperuricosuria - over production of uric acid in the urine. This can lead to bladder and kidney stones. This is an inherited condition, so check the breeders history.

Because a young Black Russian Terrier will grow into a large and powerful dog, establish your leadership and accustom it to a leash. Let it expend its energy through play in an enclosed yard and through daily, stimulating exercise. Not suited to kennel life, establish its quarters within your home and close to your family so that good behavior can be reinforced.

Black Russian Terriers are relatively inactive indoors, and tend to stay on the porch when let out, even when they have a large yard. These dogs crave companionship from their family, and will never be far off or out of sight. This dog breed does relatively well living in an apartment.

An Black Russian Terriers coat consists of wiry, tight and close-lying hair, and it has both eyebrows and a beard. A light brushing weekly is recommended, which will keep shedding to a minimum.

Visitor Comments

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