Russian Black Terrier

Last Updated on March 8, 2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on November 18, 2015.

Russian Black Terrier
Russian Black Terrier

The Russian Black Terrier is powerful and robust, with highly developed muscles and large bones. He’s of proportionate build and balanced structure, a little longer than tall in his withers.

Bitches usually aren’t as muscled or substantial in size but this may be dependent on environment and lineage.

Colour: The gums, nose, and eyes have a dark color and he’s a black dog with only a few grey or white hairs.

Height: Males are 66-72 cm measured at the withers. Females are 64-70 cm measured at the withers.

Coat: The rough outer hairs are thick and have a softer undercoat. The muzzle should have a bearded lower lip and a brushy, rough mustache on the top. The eyebrows should be bristled and tough as well.

Russian Black Terrier History

In the early 1950s, Russia started developing a protection and guard dog for its army. The government-owned Red Star Kennel, is the location chosen for this purpose. The goal was to make a big, highly-spirited military dog with an even temperament. The dog should be keen to work and easily able to cope with the radical climates of Russia.

The main breeds that were used in the developmental process were the: Giant Schnauzer and Rottweiler (for working ability and even temperament), Newfoundland (for coat and size) and the Airedale (for his spirit). In the early times, other dogs were also used, among them were several terriers that no longer exist. These other breeds included: East European Shepherd, Caucasian Ovcharka, and Great Dane. By the 1970s, the main dogs that were combined to create the Black Russian Terrier were firmly established.

In 2001, the first Russian Terriers were brought into Australia. These were the: Zornoi James Bond (“Stryka”) from Finland and the Best Guard Deniza (“Zaya”) from Russia via Finland. These dogs were chosen for their working lines and even-natured temperament by Ross and Dot Sweeney.

These dogs and their various progeny proved successful in numerous roles such as agility, tracking, obedience, and conformation showing. Several dogs were determined to be ideal for later work as therapy dogs.

Russian Black Terrier Temperament

The Black Russian Terrier isn’t known to have a dominating nature but can be stubborn or wilful and has proved to have great intelligence. They have a strong, well-balanced characters but aren’t ideal for everyone.

This breed can be aloof around strangers and if not socialized early in life, may not tolerate anyone outside their family handling them in any way. They’re courageous, lively, reliable and confident dogs.

They usually tolerate other dogs unless they feel threatened and then they go on the defense. Having a long memory, they’ll recall previous incidents with other dogs and with specific people.

This breed has been developed to be an excellent protection and guard dog. He’s easy to train and thrives on stimulation. In Europe, he’s used for sledding and herding in addition to protection work.

They enjoy living with families but dislike boarding kennels, being kept in garages or outside, or not being allowed human contact for lengthy time periods.
They take a while to mature, both behaviourally and physically; the females are slightly faster than the males in these areas.

Due to their temperament and size, they’re not regarded as typical pet. As true guard dogs, they should have experienced owners with previous knowledge of these types of breeds. However, in the ideal household, they’ll flourish and will tolerate other animals as well as children.

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  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page