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Black Russian Terriers in History

The Black Russian Terrier was developed in the former USSR by the state for use as a military / working dogs. 

After the World War II the number of service dogs was greatly reduced, while the demand for them increased: they were needed to guard the prisons and POW camps, as well as industrial and strategic objects. To increase the dog population, they started bringing them from the occupied countries.

Back in the 1930s, the Central School of Cynologists ("Red Star" Kennel) carried out hybrid experiments in order to create new progressive breed for the USSR and the Army. After the World War II the number of service dogs was greatly reduced, while the demand for them increased: they were needed to guard the prisons and POW camps, as well as industrial and strategic objects. To increase the dog population, they started bringing them from the occupied countries. 

This was when Roy the Giant Schnautzer found his way into the kennel. First they crossed him with Airedale terrier bitches. The first litter was received in 1951. On the second stage the Giant Schnauzer was crossed with the Rotweiller. On the third stage the Giant Schnauzer was crossed with the Moscow water dog (Newfoundland X German shepherd X Eastern European shepherd). Then those hybrids were crossed among themselves. Additional breeds were added later on, but their contribution was not significant. 
In 1954 the standard for the Black terrier went into work, and later the same year the dogs were shown at the All-Union Exhibition of Economy Achievements (Moscow) where they received high marks from experts. In 1957 43 Black terriers took part in the All-Union Exhibition of Service and Hunting Dogs. They attracted many of professional breeders, and the breed group was recognized as having future potential. Later that year the 2nd and 3rd generation Black terriers were first time released to private dog owners who praised the dog's qualities and continued their breeding. 

In 1979 the Red Star Kennel and Army Navy and Fleet Volunteer Support Organization (DOSAAF) approved the standard for the Black terrier breed. More than 800 litters have been received by that time, and the majority of more than 4000 puppies were recognized to be in compliance with standard. As the dogs of the breed group reached a relatively high exterior level, became more noble and uniform in type, a new standard which would recognize the Black terrier breed was proposed. The Black terrier became a breed in 1985 and recognized by AKC on July 1, 2004.

BRT Ancestors

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 development include the Airedale TerrierCaucasian Ovcharka, NewfoundlandGiant Standard Schnauzers and the now extinct Moscow Water Dog. BRT were bred for working ability, rather than appearance, and early examples only resembled today's Black Russian Terrier in their build and coat type. 

What is Black Russian Terrier (BRT)?

The Black Russian Terrier (BRT) is of upper medium and tall height, strong and aggressive, suspicious of strangers, enduring, courageous, self-assured, with square or approximately square frame. It adapts well to different climatic conditions, is easily trained, and has a balanced character.

The many years experience of using the BRT as a guard dog and in other functions proved its reliability and endurance. This dog has aristocratic exterior and looks extraordinarily decorative while having a massive bone structure, proportional dimensions, tough and somewhat rough constitution, and impressive muscles. The dog's nervous system type is balanced while the dog is easily excitable and possesses an active defensive reaction. The sex type is also obviously different - males are larger and more steadfast than female ones.

"Blackie" has taken in the best qualities of its ancestors: he has joyful disposition and energy of the Airedale terrier, the strength, courage and endurance of the Rottweiler and Giant Schnauzer, the "Olympic" calm and reserve of Newfoundland. An important advantage of the BRT is the absence of specific "doggy" smell and seasonal shedding. If the dog is brushed and cut regularly it's hair wouldn't be much of a problem in the house. The owner should also have in mind that the BRT is one-family dog and recognizes just one owners: he may refuse being walked by another person even he really needs out.

The dog would prefer the company of his owner to other dogs. He would defend the owner in danger as
 well, not even sparing his own life. The dog wouldn't be scared by most vicious enemy, because he himself is a terrifying weapon when in able hands. The BRT's behavior is guided by the principle "Don't touch me (my family), and I'll leave you in peace as well", and his adequate behavior makes him easy to handle in any situation - he will be calm and obedient in the streets of large city, and when inside, despite his large frame the dog would take relatively little space, will never bother and bug the owner.

The BRT is very caring and tender with his human family, especially children and would tolerate nearly
 everything except maybe disorder. The BRT is amazingly
 trainable and he would understand the orders right away. However, he may pout like a child and have fun like one, too, spreading joy all around him. The BRT may be kept
inside as well as outside the house. The dog wouldn't stand being chained, though: he is too smart for that, and would much rather guard a huge territory roaming free. Aristocratic in his exterior the BRT would be an advantage to any interior decor. 

He is also a genuine antidepressant and affects the human psyche quite positively. Distrustful of strangers, he'd meet owner like he hadn't seen him or her for ages, even after 5 minutes of being alone. I'll tell you from my own experience - I bought the BRT to protect my house and my child. I wanted to have a protective and beautiful dog. Being a first-time dog owner my expectations for its cleanliness and intelligence had been quite high. But Blackie exceeded all those. I love walking my dog - he attract other's attention, and makes some obvious dog ignoramuses stop and stare. 

-Yelena Antipova.
Russian dog fanciers magazine "Drug" ("The Friend") No.3-1994

Black Russian Terriers Breed Information 


Well-bred and socialized Black Russian Terrier is loving toward his family yet reserved around strangers. Just as their Soviet owners had envisioned them to be years ago, today’s Black Russian Terrier has the instinct to guard and protect. Highly intelligent, he learns easily and remembers information (good or bad) for a long time. 

Black Russian Terriers are confident, calm, highly intelligent, brave and loyal. It should never be timid. The Black Russian bonds deeply to its family. Around the house they’re “glued” to their owners. Our dogs are following us constantly 24/7. It took us few times to explain to Teddy that bathroom and the shower is our zone and we really don’t need to be guarded there. Black Russian Terriers are happiest when in a home where they can be close to their family. 

Dog Care

They are very responsive to firm, consistent training, and excel at Obedience competitions. They also perform well in other dog sports, such as Agility, and Schutzhund training. BRT have a low-shedding coat, no smell at all and need grooming several times a month. 

Dog Size

According to the FCI standard (1983), the male stands 27-28.3 inches (66–72 cm) at the withers compared to the female's 25.2-27.6 inches (64–70 cm). The AKC standard recommends 27-30 inches for males and 26-29 inches for females, any dog or bitch under 26 inches being a disqualification. In proportions, a Black Russian Terrier should be slightly longer than tall, 9 ½ to 10 being ideal (FCI standard recommends 100-105).

The Black Russian Terrier must have large bones and well-developed musculature. Females are definitely to appear feminine but never lacking in substance. Light bone, lack of substance, and poor musculature are serious faults. 

Dog Color 

The only acceptable color for the Black Russian Terrier is solid black or black with scattered gray hairs. Any other color is considered a disqualification.

Ideal Owners

The Black Russian Terrier requires a dog-experienced owner. It is adaptable to city, suburban, or country life as long as it is provide with plenty of exercise. 

Contact Us Today

Some time in the past we got in love with a beautiful and courageous breed of dogs – Black Russian Terrier.  The love of this bread took us on journey of selection our dogs learning about the breed, getting to know the show world and finally to breeding. We are passionate about breeding a quality family dog and wish our puppies become members of the best and caring families.  

We currently have or planning to have a litter of Black Russian Terriers and all puppies will need to be adopted by loving families and/or individuals.

We would be happy to answer any of the questions you might have about Black Russian Terriers, the BRT breed or if you need a referral to another qualified BRT breeder who may have puppies available for adoption. Feel free to contact us using online form or give us call at  651-253-9486.