Breed Description

Black Russian Terriers (BRT), as the name implies, were originally bred in Russia in the 1950’s. After the Second World War, the Russian army began the process of creating a purebred working dog for the army and the police, a dog that had the capability to stop a man, be loyal and be able to withstand climatic changes. Indeed, Black Russian Terrier’s have succeeded as guard, herding and draft dogs.The breeding program for the Black Russian Terrier started by crossing a Giant Schnauzer and an Airedale. The litters of this combination were then crossed and bred in-line. The next breeding combined a Giant Schnauzer and a Rottweiler. Once again, this litter was crossed and bred in-line. The results of these two litters were then mated and the Black Russian Terrier breed was on its way. In addition, other breeds such as the Newfoundland, German Shepherd crosses, Caucasian Ovcharka, East European Shepherd crosses and Great Dane mixes were used in the breeding process.A handsome bearded breed, the Black Russian Terrier stands at 26.5" to 30" at the withers. The only allowable color is black, although some white hairs are permissible throughout the body, but not patches of white hair. He must be tall enough and have proper weight in relation to his height. His movement should show off his strength and elasticity, which is important for his size and duties. He moves freely and is able to jump substantial heights. His coat is harsh on the outer with a softer undercoat. A non-shedding and, for the most part, odorless coat makes him a welcome guest indoors. His profuse coat also makes the Black Russian Terrier able to perform his guarding duties in the harsh weather conditions of our Canadian winters. Indeed, Black Russian Terriers love the winter and enjoy playing in snow.The typical Black Russian Terrier is protective, not vicious, an independent thinker, but most of all, loyal. However, the Black Russian Terrier is a serious breed with strong character and power and that may not make him a suitable breed for everyone. The breed most certainly requires proper socialization and training in the puppy stage so that it will be welcomed in society. This is not a breed that should be left in the backyard to languish; the Black Russian Terrier thrives on human contact and may become aggressive if left alone in a kennel type environment. He is not the type to bark incessantly or for no reason; if he hears or sees something unfamiliar, he will bark. In general, he needs and wants to be part of the family.For the Black Russian Terrier, regular walks are essential to good health. Generally, the breed’s life span is 10 to 12 years. Being a giant breed, hip dysplasia (HD) is a concern. Bloodlines that have well developed muscles and ligaments are far less likely to develop HD. Overworking a young dog is also known to be a factor in causing HD. Therefore, allow time to stabilize joints from birth to 3 months. Until the 10 month stage, allow puppies to exercise naturally, including playing with other dogs and swimming. Keep young pups from exercising over agility type equipment until 10 to 12 months of age. They should not run beside a bicycle until 1 1/2 years of age. In general, do not let puppies overdue it during times of play or hot weather. Puppies and young adults have a lot of energy and they should be able to burn off that energy in a natural way, such as walking. Excessive weight should also be monitored at the puppy stage because extra weight will put a greater load on the joints. Besides HD, another health issue to watch out for is gastric torsion. To avoid this problem, if you feed a commercial dog food, feed twice a day rather than once.Owning a Black Russian Terrier can be an enjoyable experience for a responsible, novice owner. He is not known to be aggressive towards other dogs and is not usually the instigator. He is a good heeler and can often be seen walking without a leash next to his owner. The Black Russian Terrier can be aloof and may not tolerate being handled by anyone other than family; therefore, early socialization is a must. The Black Russian Terrier is not shy; he is brave, reliable and self-confident.As the years have passed, the Black Russian Terrier has adapted himself as an apartment dweller, as well as a lover of the country. He is a favoured guard dog of farmers because he is watchful and does not generally stray from his boundaries. He is also kind to livestock, which is a must on the farm. His love of human contact is what makes him so willing to make any living situation work. Also, conscientious breeders of today have concentrated their efforts on further developing a dog with more intelligence, better temperament and, of course, discipline. Although the Black Russian Terrier is no longer bred to be a man-stopping force, he still retains the ability to guard and protect.The Black Russian Terrier is a large, strong breed. If you like the look of the breed and all it has to offer, go to some of the rare breed dog shows this year and take a look. Talk to the breeders and handlers to get more information on grooming, breeding, feeding and raising your Black Russian Terrier.

BRTCA Breed Description on Temperament

Is The Black Russian Terrier The Right Breed For You?

As a breeder I firmly believe that health is absolutely the most important factor in a great dog - championship titles and awards will not be inherited by a pup, but health problems certainly will. Therefore, it is imperative to consider the health of the pup first and foremost, and furthermore, as a prospective owner, what can be done to assure its long term vitality. Please check the health test results for the parents of your pup.

BRT Health Information