Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier is a breed of dog developed originally as a guard dog and police dog. It is rare outside its native country and is just starting to be recognized elsewhere; for example, it is one of the AKC's most-recently recognized dog breeds.

Black Russian Terrier Appearance

The Black Russian Terrier gives the impression of great strength, athleticism, and courage. This dog breed should be rustic (but not coarse) in appearance, and should not look as though its coat is sculpted or trimmed. It should never appear to lack substance or be weak in any way. Males should be noticeably more masculine than females.

Black Russian Terrier Coat

The Black Russian Terrier coat is hard and dense, never soft, woolly, silky or frizzy. It should be between 4-10 cm (1.4-4 inches) in length. It should form a beard and eyebrows on the face, and a slight mane around the withers and neck that is more pronounced in males. The coat is low-shedding and the colour is black or black with some gray hairs.

Black Russian Terrier 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) with a tolerance of 0.4 inches (1 cm) less or 0.8 inches (2 cm) more. The breed weighs 77 to 154 pounds (35-70 kg). Larger individuals are not uncommon in Russia, since the RKF standard (1996) adds 0.8 to the standard values, with a tolerance of 0.8 inches (2 cm) less or 1.2 inches (3 cm) more. Nowadays, even larger individual are tolerated if the dog is well proportioned and retains correct movements. 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).

Black Russian Terrier Temperament

Black Russian Terriers are confident, calm, highly intelligent, brave and loyal. It should never be timid. The Black Russian Terrier may seem aloof, but needs human companionship and bonds deeply to its family.

Black Russian Terrier Care

The Black Russian Terrier, because of its breeding as a working dog, has a very strong "work ethic", and needs a job to do in order to be happy. Early training is a must, as it will exploit any owner who has failed to establish clear dominance, and it's just too big to not be trained. 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. The Black Russian Terrier have a low-shedding coat, and need grooming at least once a week, more for show dogs. The Black Russian Terrier needs lots of exercise, and may become hyperactive and destructive if it doesn't have a chance to burn off its energy.

Black Russian Terrier Health

The Black Russian Terrier is a generally healthy and somewhat long-lived dog (lifespan of 10-14 years), however it is prone to certain hereditary diseases:

  • Major concerns
    • Hip dysplasia
  • Minor concerns
    • Elbow dysplasia
    • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

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