Russian Black Terrier

Russian Black Terrier picture


The origin of the Russian Black Terrier is quite unique. The government of the Soviet Union in the 1940s developed this breed as a working dog for military, police and guard dog purposes. It was bred and raised exclusively at the state-owned Red Star Kennel in the USSR until 1957. Foundation stock included the Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Giant Schnauzer, Moscow Water Dog and Airedale Terrier. The Red Armys goal was to develop a general-purpose guard dog that could withstand the harsh Russian climate. Once the Russian Black Terrier moved into the hands of civilian breeders in the late 1950s, it began to resemble the breed as we know it today. Russian Black Terriers are considered fairly rare dogs outside their native Russia.

Official breed status was given to the Black Terrier in 1981.


The Russian Black Terrier is a large, imposing dog with a signature black coat. Height at the withers: Dogs 68 -77cm (27 30 1/2 ins), Bitches 66 -72cm (26 28 1/2 ins). Its head is block-shaped, with a distinct beard, moustache and eyebrows.

The coat is coarse, medium in length and a few grey hairs may be spread through-out the coat.

This dogs tail is held high above the back and is docked in some countries, but in the UK it is a full tail.

According to the Russian breed standard, the BRT is characterized by a well-tempered, lively type higher nervous activity with an active defense reaction. The same characteristics are mentioned in FCI Standard no 327 concerning the BRT behaviour. The dog is well trainable and easily governed by a man.

Uncontrolled aggressiveness, shyness, or high excitability are disqualification faults.

The dog is affectionate, well balanced, distrustful to strangers, self-confident, and brave. The dog instantly stands on the defensive in dangerous situations but relaxes as soon as the danger is over.


Like all large breeds the Russian Black Terrier can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia.

They can also suffer from Urate Stones-Uric Acid Excretion (Hyperuricosuria).

In general they are a healthy breed and somewhat long-lived dog, with a possible lifespan of 10-14 years.