Black Russian Terrier Photo

Black Russian Terrier Dog Breed Info & Pictures

With a muzzle that’s nearly perpendicular to the skull, the Black Russian Terrier may look like a bit of a blockhead — but this dog is no dummy. Driven by a strong protective instinct, this intelligent breed is known for their courage and power. Their long, thick neck flows into a straight back, and they have a deep, wide chest that slopes up into a tucked-in abdomen. Their high-set tail is sometimes docked, and they have muscular shoulders and hindquarters that power thick legs. The Russian Black Terrier dog stands on round, thickly padded feet that are large enough to give an impressive high five!

One of their most distinctive features is their black, tousled coat that you can't resist reaching out and tousling even more. With a soft, thick undercoat and coarse overcoat, the Black Russian Terrier will be hard-pressed to feel chilly.

Black Russian Terrier Fast Facts

10 - 11 years
100 - 150 lb
80 - 130 lb
27 - 30"
26 - 29"
Black Russian Terier, Black Rusian Terrier, Black Russien Terrier, or Black Russen Terrier.
Chornyi, Mustaterrieri, Russian Black Terrier, Schwarzer Russicher Terrier, Svart Terrier, Tchiorny Terrier


It may be hard to tell whether you adopt a Black Russian Terrier or they adopt you....

Their protective nature means they want to be around their owners as much as possible, and even as adults, they love children. You're especially likely to see females of the breed romping around with kids. Getting Black Russian Terrier puppies used to other people is very important because they have a natural dislike of strangers and will be quick to protect their family from perceived threats. They can also be rather domineering and tend not to get along with other dominant animals. That being said, this breed is typically very mellow and won't bark just for fun.

Ever heard the saying, You can't teach an old dog new tricks? Its especially true for this highly intelligent breed. Training Black Russian Terrier puppies can be relatively easy because their intelligence enables them to pick things up quickly. Even housebreaking and walking on a leash comes almost naturally to them! But their long memory means that retraining them is extremely difficult. Firm but loving training as a puppy can save owners from exhausting a lot of effort to break this dog of bad habits later in life.

It's also important to remember that, while they look like cuddly puppies, if you make a habit of sharing your bed with them as youngsters, you'll have to share it with them as fully grown adults and they can weigh up to 150 pounds!

Caring For a Black Russian Terrier

While you might think these large dogs would want to spend most of their time in a large backyard, they actually care more about staying with their humans....

If your Russian Black Terrier is let out to play, they'll probably just spend most of their time waiting to be let back in the house. This means that they can do well in apartments, as long as they get a half hour of exercise a day.

Although they have plenty of thick, black hair, with regular home and professional grooming, the Black Russian Terrier hardly sheds at all! This is especially great news because this mellow giant will want to spend most of their time lounging on the couch. This is a very healthy breed, but they are vulnerable to issues that often plague larger breeds, including canine hip and elbow dysplasia.

Black Russian Terrier History

Breed History

The Black Russian Terrier is a relatively new breed that came out of you guessed it Russia!...

In the 1950s, Colonel G. Medvedev directed the Red Star Kennel to breed a versatile watchdog that could put up with Russia's harsh climate. Seventeen breeds were used to create the Black Russian Terrier! The most notable contributing breeds were the Airedale Terrier, Giant Schnauzer, and Rottweiler. Although modern-day Black Russian Terriers are rather uniform in appearance, when their original standard was published in 1958, there was a great deal of emphasis placed on behavior, but hardly any on appearance.

As the breed gained popularity outside of the Russian military, fans of the courageous, mellow dog gradually standardized the breed's look, while maintaining the same personality. Soon, this dog spread to the Baltic states, Eastern Europe, and the United States and was recognized as a distinct breed in 1981 by the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture.

The Black Russian Terrier wasn't admitted to the American Kennel Club until 2001, when they were admitted to the Miscellaneous Class. Since 2004, the AKC has recognized them as a member of the working group, deciding not to place them in the terrier group because they bear little resemblance to other terrier breeds. As this breed has become popular in the show arena, some breeders have been focusing more on the physical appearance of the breed, sometimes at the expense of the Black Russian Terriers naturally protective and mellow character.