black russian terrier

Black Russian Terrier: Bold and Confident

Three words describe the Black Russian Terrier: bold, confident, and affectionate. These brave dogs are popular among families looking for a loving home companion. To stay happy, Black Russian Terrier dogs require frequent human interaction. They are also great playmates for children.

Black Russian Terrier History

The Black Russian Terrier originated in the Soviet Union during the 1950s. The Russians needed working canines to train for military use only during World War II. The Russians imported hundreds of dogs from other countries to find the best working dogs.

Roy produced the first generation of Black Russian Terriers. An exceptional Giant Schnauzer, mixed with females from different breeds, had the first generation of Black Russian Terriers. Crosses with the Rottweiler, Airedale Terrier, and Moscow Water-Dog were the most successful. Each of them was black, and the best were bred among themselves.



Puppies from the second and third generations were distributed to various family breeding programs by 1957. The breeders’ goal now was to improve the dog’s versatility as a working dog while also enhancing conformation.

The Black Russian Terriers worked for the military to locate wounded soldiers, pull sleds, detect bombs, and perform various other tasks. They participated in missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Afghanistan.



As more Black Russian Terrier breeders relocated to different parts of the world, the dog’s popularity skyrocketed. Although a breed standard was created in 1968, the international Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) did not recognize the breed until 1984. The AKC classified the dog as a Miscellaneous class member in 2001 and a Working Group member in 2004.

Although its name is Black Russian, its coat can also be of different colors.  The AKC’s parent club for the breed is the Black Russian Terrier Club of America, Inc. The first Black Russians came to the United States in the 1980s, and the BRTCA was founded in 1997.



Black Russian Terrier Temperament

Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier is a fantastic dog and the perfect companion. These dedicated friends are incredibly loyal and intelligent, making them great protectors of their families. As they are confident, they have no problem standing up for themselves or those around them when necessary.

On the other hand, this self-assured demeanor gives them a healthy respect for strangers that does not necessarily translate into immediate friendship. But with patience enough to earn their trust, you will be rewarded with genuine affection from this calm and fearless pooch.

The BRT cannot be left outside like a dog; it needs human interaction. They are highly devoted friends and always want to be around their family.  To prevent the breed from being overly protective, obedience training and ongoing socialization are essential. 

The Black Russian Terrier does very well in agility and obedience competitions. They possess a level of intelligence that puts them above many other breeds, allowing them to excel at activities such as herding, scent work, protection, and tracking. Even more impressively, they demonstrate a keen willingness to please their owners–so when it comes to mastering tricks and commands during competitions, these furry friends are right on point. The Black Russian Terrier will answer your call whether you’re looking for a companion or an agility ace.

What Colors Can A Black Russian Terrier Be?

The BRTCA asserts that black is the only acceptable color for the dog. This makes sense because black is part of its name. However, the AKC accepts other coat colors, including blue, sable, black and tan, and salt and pepper.

The majestic and strong Black Russian Terrier is a truly regal breed, sure to captivate anyone with its size and presence. But in addition to its confidence and poise, the Black Russian Terrier comes in various colors you may never have expected.

Although most commonly seen in black or dark gray, these dogs can also be brown, or sable, or brindle. Sometimes they even have patches of color like tan or reddish-brown on their legs and chest! Even within each shade, the coat might be either solid or tinged with lighter colors throughout – making your Black Russian Terrier just as unique and special as any other breed of dog.


Caring for the Black Russian Terrier

Social connection with family members is just as important to Black Russian Terriers as physical activity. The breed has an innate drive to work, as evidenced by its history. They need daily exercise. They require ongoing obedience and agility training to help meet the dog’s urge for action.

The Black Russian Terrier is one of the most silent canines you will encounter. This breed is amiable and quiet in the house, and you can trust it around little children. It also does not bark a lot.

They can live outside, although keeping them inside at night is preferable. Thorough brushing twice weekly is required, as is a trim every six to seven months.

Cost of a Black Russian Terrier

If you’re looking for a dog that enjoys loyalty, intelligence, and good relationships with people, the Black Russian Terrier could be just what you’re looking for! But be aware–this breed comes at a cost. The average price of a Black Russian Terrier puppy varies from $1,800 to $5,000, depending on its pedigree.

Many reputable kennels will charge extra for specific titles or champions in their family tree and specific colors. While it may be expensive upfront to purchase one of these pups, they require minimal grooming costs since they rarely shed and have hypoallergenic coats. Plus, once you get your Black Russian Terrier settled in, they will provide a lifetime of devotion and affection!

Black Russian Terrier Health Issues

The Russian Terrier is a huge dog, 26–30 inches tall and weighing 80–130 pounds.   A Black Russian Terrier’s 10–12 years life span is above average for such a big dog.

The Black Russian Terrier is an energetic and intelligent breed, but there are some health concerns parents of these pups should be aware of. Generally, these dogs are known for their strong and healthy constitution; however, potential risks to watch out for include hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and heart murmurs.

Responsible owners should also regularly groom their Black Russian Terriers to check for skin disorders such as hypothyroidism and allergies. Fortunately, nutrition and exercise are the best preventative measures against any issue arising from poor lifestyle choices or genetics. By taking proper care of your four-legged family member with regular sessions with a vet, you’ll ensure they remain a healthy and active pup throughout their life.

The average Black Russian Terrier life span is 10 to 11 years.  Veterinarians recommend that the breed be examined for abnormalities in its eyes, hips, and elbows. Dwarfism and PRA are uncommon.




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