In World War II, a lot of canine soldiers in Russia have been killed. As a result, Russia needed new canine soldiers. In the year 1950’s a project called Red Star kennel was established. This project aimed to create a new breed with a specific standard and use. They wanted a large aggressive dog, has high endurance and is highly trainable and manageable. Thus, the Black Russian Terrier was created.

three Black Russian Terrier

Various breeds contributed to the lineage of the Black Russian Terrier. One breed is the Giant Schnauzer which was known for its large size, dominance, intelligence, and trainability; traits that are highly valued by the project. Another breed is the Airedale Terrier that is well-known for its confidence, courage, and fearlessness. The Rottweiler, being a self-assured and confident breed, was also used in the project.

Traits and Behavior

Bred as military dogs, Black Russian Terriers are naturally protective. However, they don’t initiate attacks or display aggression unless needed to. In other words, this breed is more defensive than aggressive. This nature makes them perfect guard dogs.

Their keen senses and protective instincts also make them good watchdogs.

Black Russian Terriers will not fail to alert you when there are suspicious activities around you and your home. These strong and protective dogs are surprisingly gentle and patient with children. They adore kids and would love to play outside for long periods with them.

This breed is very loyal to its master. They want to create strong bonds with people and animals and have a great desire to be with others.

Leaving this dog inside a kennel or a house alone for long periods is not best. This breed can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone often.

Black Russian Terriers are very easy to train. They are intelligent and quick to learn. They are also reliable and eager to please their owners.

Puppies show the inert intelligence that the breed possesses.

They are quite adaptive and playful. They are also curious and inquisitive; therefore, strict supervision is needed during their early years as they tend to wander and explore.

Pet Care and Diseases

Black Russian Terriers are active dogs that require at least 30 minutes of exercise daily to keep them healthy and stimulated. They would enjoy interactions with humans and activities like fetch, hiking and playing ball.

If not exercised or trained properly, they may get destructive, vocal, and anxious.

The breed’s thick and long coats need to be brushed two times a week to remove tangles and prevent matting. A conditioner may help when removing tangles on their long coats. Trimming may be done 2 to 3 times a year.

Bathing them should only be done occasionally to retain the natural protective oils on their coat. Trimming the nails and hairs on their pads are also needed. Their ears and teeth should also be checked for infections.

This breed is healthy and robust. They can live up to 14 years. However, like most terriers, they do suffer from hereditary diseases such as Hip and Elbow Dysplasia. Other health concerns include Hyperuricurosia, Bloat, and eye problems.


Black Russian Terriers are large, athletic, and powerful dogs. These large, powerful, athletic and muscular dogs are well-suited to work in a Russian military camp. Males of this breed stand at 27 to 30 inches and weighs roughly around 110 to 112 pounds. The females are generally smaller and less muscular than the males. Their proportionate body has large bones and a sturdy structure.

Black Russian Terrier walking

The breed’s head is slightly flat with rounded cheekbones. Their ears are triangular and are set high in the skull. It also falls close to its head and is not erect. Their oval eyes are usually dark in color with tight black rims. Their black nose is accentuated with a moustache and a beard.

Their double coat makes them resistant to the weather. A harsh, guard outer hair covers the softer and shorter undercoat.

Their fur is wavy and not wiry nor straight. The standard color for this breed is a solid black coat, but some scattered grey hair is allowed.

General Information

The estimated life expectancy of this breed is 10-14 years. The average litter size is about 6-12 puppies. Other names for this breed include Black Terrier Tchiorny Terrier, Chornyi, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Russian Black Terrier. BRT and Stalin’s dog are two of its nicknames.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to Black Russin Terriers. Click this link: http://www.brtca.org/