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Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Black Russian Terrier


Visitors attending dog shows, or strangers walking by often ask the question “What type of dog is that. I have never seen a dog like that before, how can that dog see and other numerous questions regarding our Black Russian Terriers.

Well today I am going to answer some of these questions.

Bogdan standing in a free stacked position in front of  wooden fence
Black Russian Terrier Bogdan Iz Teremka


During the Second World War, the Russian Military used their dogs to perform war tasks such as sniffing out bombs, guarding prisoners of war, acting as couriers to carry messages from one command to another command. As a result of these activities, many brave dogs died leading to a decline of military dogs.

The Russian government decided that they had to have a new dog which would be able to withstand the very cold Siberian climate, be a guard dog with nice attributes as having nice gait. So the Russian authorities made an edict that the Red Star Kennel, which was part of the Russian militia to undertake the development of this new dog.

The Red Star Kennel undertook this project by first breeding a Giant Schnauzer with a Rottweiler and then breeding the off springs to different breeds of dogs namely the Airedale Terrier, Caucasian Ovcharka and New Foundland Dog just to name a few. It has been reported that approximately 17 dog breeds were used to evolve to what is now known as the Black Russian Terrier.


The Black Russian Terrier is a large dog.

The males can attain a weight of 140lbs (64kgs) to 160lbs (73kgs) and reach a height of over 30” (76cm).

The females are smaller than the males and can weigh anywhere from 99lbs (45kgs) to 120lbs (54kgs) and reach a height of 26” (66cm) to 29” (74cm).

If one decides to show their Black Russian Terriers, there are specific rules pertaining to heights, grooming and other physical attributions with respect to this breed. One should familiarize oneself with the:


The Black Russian Terrier was bred to be a guard dog and as such he is one. It is his true nature. He knows the difference between danger and safety. He is a very intelligent and smart dog. The breed standard describes him as being all of and weary of strangers. As he is an alpha dog he needs to be owned not by first time dog owners but by owners who have had prior experience with alpha dogs. Obedience training is a must and must be started as early as three months of age and continues to when the owner feels that he is comfortable trained. Once he is settled with his family, he shows all his love and his real temperament for you.

(l-r) Judge with ribbons, Blitzen, Lana and Glasha
Championship for Black Russian Terriers Blitzen and Glasha handled by Lana


The Black Russian Terrier has a double coat. It’s undercoat can be described as thick and soft while it’s overcoat can be coarse and wiry. It’s overcoat may vary from dog to dog depending on the dog’s pedigree and can be like human hair. The coat must be brushed at least every two days to keep it mat free.

There are many kennels on the Internet who have described that the Black Russian Terrier does not shed. This is a falsification. The Black Russian Terrier does shed but in a different way. Since his coat is like human hair, he sheds very small balls of hair. Brushing him twice a week will eradicate most of his shedding.

Since the Black Russian Terrier is relatively a new breed and a rare breed, not to many professional groomers know how to groom him. The best advice is to speak to your breeder who can advise you or teach you how to groom him. Grooming the Black Russian Terrier is an art and speciality.


As with all dogs, health issues are a great concern. The Black Russian Terrier has his own health issues, but with prudent judgement when purchasing a Black Russian Terrier, you can alleviate some of the serious problems by purchasing a puppy from a reputable Black Russian Terrier Breeder. How to find a reputable breeder? Read my article on this.

Instead of writing on the health issues of the Black Russian Terrier, you can read it all at Black Russian Terrier Health Issues.


The World Animal Life Expectancy indicates that the Black Russian Terrier life span is from 10 to 12 years of age. With this reporting, it is known for a fact that Black Russian Terriers can live up to 14 years of age.

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