Black Russian Terrier Dog Breed

This dog is a loving, loyal and smart breed that enjoys learning new things.
By: PawCulture Editors
Black Russian Terrier

About the Black Russian Terrier Dog Breed

Originally developed in Russia as a guard dog, the Black Russian Terrier is well-known today for its courage and strength, as well as its endurance.

Black Russian Terrier Physical Characteristics

The Black Russian Terrier has a large robust frame with a deep chest and an abdomen that is slightly tucked. Its head is long and wide and its ears are short and dropped.


As its name implies, the Black Russian Terrier is most commonly seen in black.


The Black Russian Terrier has a medium to long coat that can be wiry or straight in texture.

Black Russian Terrier Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Black Russian Terrier is loving and loyal to its human family. It brave and makes a wonderful watch or guard dog. It also is smart and enjoys learning new things.

Things to Consider

The Black Russian Terrier is often not recommended for first time dog owners. It can become overprotective and requires regular exercise to expend extra energy. Additionally, though it gets along with children, the Black Russian Terrier fares better with older children.

Black Russian Terrier Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Black Russian Terrier fares well in the country or city as long as it is able to get enough exercise.

Special Requirements

The Black Russian Terrier requires regular grooming.

Black Russian Terrier Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Black Russian Terriers:


Black Russian Terrier History and Background

In the mid-20th Century, the Soviets had to find the right working dog for their military. As there weren’t good qualified dogs to suit their purpose, they imported mostly German breeds to their state Red Star kennels. Roy, a Giant Schnauzer born in 1947, was the most impressive import. This dog was mated with other breeds like the Moscow Water Dog, Airedale Terrier and Rottweiler. All the successful resultant crosses were black and could be differentiated from other breeds as the Black Terrier group. However, the best dogs were then inter-bred and by the late 1950s, the public could obtain the second- and third-generation dogs.

The principal criteria for breeding were versatility and working ability and steps were taken to improve the form. The functions of the Black Russian Terrier were performing military tasks like detecting explosives and mines, pulling sledges, transporting supplies, finding wounded soldiers and border guard duty. The dogs were also used for military operations in Bosnia and Afghanistan.

A standard was registered in 1968 and, in 1984, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognized the breed. The popularity of the dog increased as Black Russian Terrier breeders were taken to other countries. The AKC accepted the breed as part of the Miscellaneous class in 2001 and it became a part of the Working Group in 2004.