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.