The Black Russian Terrier (or simply BRT) is a Russian breed of dog developed originally as a guard dog. It is rare outside its native country and is just starting to be recognized elsewhere; for example, it is one of the AKC’s most-recently recognized breeds, gaining full status in July of 2004.
(Alternative names: Black Terrier, Tchiorny Terrier, Chornyi, Russian Bear Schnauzer)
Black Russian Terrier Appearance
Male Black Russian Terriers are bigger and heavier built than bitches; the male stands 25-29 inches (64-74 cm) at the withers compared to the bitch’s 25-28 inches (64-72 cm) with a tolerance of 1.3 inches (3 cm) or more if the dog is well proportioned. The breed weighs 80 to 143 pounds (36-65 kg).
Black Russian Terrier Temperament
The Black Russian Terrier is a confident, calm, highly intelligent, brave and loyal breed. It should never be timid, and will not hesitate to defend the people that it loves if it thinks they are threatened. Black Russian Terriers may seem aloof, but they need human companionship and bond deeply to their family. They are wary of strangers and take a long time to warm up to unfamiliar people, thus they make excellent guard dogs. Black Russian Terriers are dominant by nature and need confident owners who have experience handling similar dogs.
Black Russian Terrier Care
The Black Russian Terrier, because of its breeding as a working dog, has a very strong “work ethic”, and needs a job to do in order to be happy. Early training is a must, as it will exploit any owner who has failed to establish clear dominance, and it’s just too big to not be trained. They are very responsive to firm, consistant training, and excel at Obedience competitions. They also preform well in other dog sports, such as Agility, and Schutzhund training.
Black Russian Terrier Health
The Black Russian Terrier is a generally healthy and somewhat long-lived dog (lifespan of 10-14 years), however it is prone to certain hereditary diseases. These include:
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Black Russian Terrier History
The Black Russian Terrier was developed in the former USSR by the state for use as a military/working dogs. The breeding stock was largely imported from the occupied countries, especially East Germany. Breeds used in the developement include the Airedale Terrier, Caucasian Ovcharka, Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Giant and Standard Schnauzers and the now extinct Moscow Water Dog. It was bred for working ability, rather than appearance, and early examples only resembled today’s Black Russian Terrier in their build and coat type. It was bred solely by the state owned Red Star Kennel until 1957, when some puppies where sold to civilian breeders. These breeders began to breed for looks (as the original was rather plain) while retaining working ability. The breed was recognized by the FCI in 1984.