Black Russian Terrier

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Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier is strong and agile to traverse rocky terrain or overtake an adversary with a large boned and well muscle. Reliable and intelligent, this breed has strong protective instincts, and courage is also a must. Bred to guard and protect, these striking black dogs are devoted to their families and protective of children today.

Other Names Black Terrier, Chornyi, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Russian Black Terrier, TChiorny Terrier, Terrier Noir Russe
Color Black, Salt & Pepper
Height Males: 26-31 inches. Females: 25-29 inches.
Weight Males: 80-143 pounds. Females: 80-143 pounds.
Life Span 10-12 years
Personality Intelligent, Calm, Powerful
Exercise Needs Lots of Activities
Popularity #114
Groom Needs Daily Brushing
Kids Friendly Yes with supervision
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog Yes
Family Dog
Litter Size 6-12 puppies

Black Russian Terrier Pictures

Black Russian Terrier Video


The first thing you realize about the Black Russian Terrier is that he is bold and big – but did you know that actually, he’s not really a terrier at all. This so-called terrier is in actual fact classified as a working dog. He’s bright, smart, and with plenty of brawn. They reach a height of around 30 inches at the shoulders and weigh in at around 150 pounds. They have double coat of medium length, always black. It’s no surprise that these dogs are used in both military and police. Nevertheless, they make faithful and loving companions, needing to feel connected to their home and owners. If you are a new dog owner, the size and smartness of this dog might overpower you because he does require firm and consistent leadership, with plenty of exercise, attention, and a happy home. They can take up to 3 years to mature. They will definitely sound the alarm when an intruder is around. He needs a daily walk of at least half an hour, as well as taking every opportunity to keep him mentally engaged and stimulated. His coat is described as tousled, curly, or wiry. It needs daily brushing, as well as clipping to keep him in good condition; and failing to maintain coat will make him get into tangles and matting.

Living with Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier requires regular and frequent maintenance to prevent matting. Begin accustoming your Blackie to being brushed and examined when they’re a puppy. 

Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when they’re an adult.

Blackies don’t shed a lot, but those dogs with longer coats may leave little clumps of hair everywhere unless brushed regularly.

Weekly brushing with a slicker brush, an undercoat rake, and a stripping comb to is necessary. Bath only when they’re dirty by using a shampoo made for dogs to avoid drying out their skin and coat.

The Blackie beard soaks up water which they can then spray liberally around the house, so the beard may need a little extra attention during grooming.

Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. 

Handle their paws frequently–dogs are touchy about their feet–and look inside their mouth. 

Brush your Blackie’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Their ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. Then wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Remember not to insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.

Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Black Russian Terriers consider themselves members of the family and should live indoors near their people. Your Blackie needs daily exercise and mental stimulation, at least half an hour each day, including walks, runs, disc games, obedience, or agility.

A BRT who doesn’t get enough exercise will become unhappy and destructive, and one who doesn’t spend enough time with his human family can develop aggressive tendencies.

Hanging out alone in the back yard is not exercise; even if that’s what you intended, your Blackie will just spend the time at the door waiting to be let back in.

They’re always happier when you’re hanging out with them with the need for human contact. They are eager to take part in brisk walks, long runs, bike rides, swims, and hikes with his owner. When you’re not playing with your companion, puzzle toys such as Buster Cubes are a great way to keep that active mind occupied.

Black Russian Terriers benefit from having a medium to large enclosed yard where they can exercise and train daily, without worrying about the approach of unknown dogs or people. It’s crucial the yard be secure and that you don’t leave your BRT alone outside for long—otherwise he could escape and be a danger to himself and others.

Puppies don’t need as much hard exercise as adults, and, in fact, you shouldn’t let them run on hard surfaces such as concrete or let them do a lot of jumping until they’re at least a year to eighteen months old.Otherwise large-breed pups like the Blackie may stress their still-developing skeletal systems, which can cause future joint problems.

Generally, the Black Russian Terrier requires about 3 to 4.5 cups of good quality dry dog food each day to meet his nutrition needs, given in two feeding. The quality of dog food you buy makes a difference— the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog.

But the amount of the dog food will vary with your BRT’s activity level size, age and metabolism. Talk to your veterinarian about the optimal diet and quantity of food for your Black Russian Terrier.

Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. So watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level to keep your Blackie in good shape. Also you should feed them twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. 

Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. 

The Black Russian Terrier is typically a healthy breed, but just like other breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (which can lead to vision loss and blindness), dwarfism, and urinary tract stones, allergies, etc. 

Not all Black Russian Terriers will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering this breed.

Also a Black Russian Terrier’s ears should be checked regularly, and the teeth should be brushed regularly.

There are several health tests considerations specific to the breed, such as hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, ophthalmologist evaluation, JLPP DNA test and cardiac exam. 

Responsible Black Russian Terriers breeders will test their stock for conditions or communicate with other dedicated breeders regularly, working together for breed health and preservation of the breed’s unique qualities.

Total Annual Cost: $3239

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

An owner who is not willing or able to train a powerful, willful animal should not get a Black Russian Terrier. Black Russian Terriers are extremely intelligent and eager to please and are fairly easy to train.

Socialization needs to start in puppyhood and continue throughout the dog’s lifetime in order to prevent aggressive behavior. The BRT is intelligent and learns quickly.

Basic and advanced training are important for the Black Russian Spaniel. Involve them in agility training, dog sports, or advanced obedience to keep them busy and happy.

Obedience training also needs to start as early as possible and should continue well into adulthood. Obedience classes can help you curb your Blackie’s behavior, as they help satisfy his need for mental stimulation and work.

Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Blackie doesn’t have accidents in the house or get into things they shouldn’t. Crate training at a young age will help your Blackie accept confinement if they ever need to be boarded or hospitalized.

But never put your Blackie in a crate all day. It’s not a jail, and they shouldn’t spend more than a few hours at a time in it except when they’re sleeping at night. As people-oriented dogs, they aren’t meant to spend their lives alone or in a crate.

They’ll respond well to training methods that use positive reinforcement—rewards such as praise, play, and food—and is likely to happily take commands from their trainer. They just need to know who’s in charge.


This dog was born in the Soviet Army’s Red Star kennel. 

It was immediately before and during the Cold War era that Soviet scientists were given the job of developing an ‘ideal’ working dog – they wanted to use this dog to patrol their borders, chase down intruders, and protect and guard work camps, etc. This dog had to have endurance and ability and not succumb to the icy cold weather as well. 17 breeds are said to have been used to arrive at a dog called the Black Russian Terrier. 

When the military camps closed, etc. the Red Army sold off the dogs to civilians, so these dogs entered the public sector in 1957. A while later, in 1958, the Soviet Army published the first breed standard for this amazing dog but it was only in 1981 that the Soviet Ministry of Agriculture declared the Black Russian Terrier as a breed. Private breeders started aiming to enhance the appearance of the dogs.

It was also around the end of the Cold War that the first Black Russian Terriers were imported to the United States, gaining recognition at the AKC in 2004.

Helpful Information


Breed Club Link:

Breed Club Rescue: The Black Russian Terrier Rescue Association

Breed Club Rescue Link: