Black Russian Terrier

Other names/Nicknames:
  • Tjorniy Terrier
  • BRT
  • Blackies
Country/Date of origin:
  • Russia
  • 20th century
  • 25 to 30 inches
  • 80 to 130 pounds
  • Tends to be one-person dog.
  • Intensely loyal.
  • Protective of both family and property.
  • Suspicious towards strangers.

Developed in Russia just after World War II, the Black Russian Terrier was created to fill a need for a large, fearless, utility dog for military and police work.  Base stock was the Giant Schnauzer, Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler, and the Russian Newfoundland or Russian Diver (a cross of Newfoundland with different breeds).  The result was a hardy dog that looks like a stocky version of the Giant Schnauzer but with a more actively protective personality.  The breed originated in the military kennel, Red Star, near Moscow.  For a long time now, St. Petersburg has been the source for quality Blackies.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union, export restrictions relaxed and the Black Russian Terrier, commonly known as the BRT, is finding new friends around the world.

Body Type:
  • A large, well-muscled dog that resembles a stocky, Giant Schnauzer.
  • Dog must be robust, rather massive, and have good bone structure.
  • Ears are natural, of medium size, and hang down from the cartilage with the front edge lying close to the cheek (like the Rottweiler’s).
  • Tail is docked to four or five vertebrae (to be four- to six-inches in the mature dog).
  • The double coat is thick and wiry, giving the dog a shaggy, tousled look.
  • Only color accepted is black with a few gray hairs allowed on the back.
  • Any markings, gray or any other color, is a disqualification fault.
  • Grooming is moderate.
Health and Wellness:
  • Hip dysplasia.
What you should know:
  • Becoming very popular in Europe.
  • There are over 300 BRTs registered with the Black Russian Terriers Club of America.
  • Males can be dog-aggressive with large breeds because of the tendency to dominate.
  • They get along with cats and other small pets.
  • Early socialization and obedience training are very important.
  • For a person without experience with working dogs, a female is a better choice.
  • Blackies are very sensitive with owners and must be handled firmly but not roughly.
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