Black Russian Terrier | Information & Dog Breed Facts


The Black Russian Terrier or Chornyi Terrier is tall, handsome and an elegant watchdog and protector. Despite its name, this dog does not belong to the group of terriers, but to the pinscher and schnauzer dogs.

The breed of Russian Black Terrier can rightly be called unique. These large dogs surprisingly combine strength, endurance with friendliness and playfulness.

Representatives of the breed are unpretentious, easy to train, they adore children, are ready to play with them for days. The owners and admirers of this species claim that the Russian terrier is a person in the guise of a dog. All because of high intelligence, high mental abilities and emotionality.

Terrier noir russe

Putting a black Russian terrier on a chain, leaving alone is a not advised. Such a pet needs to constantly communicate with the owner, with the rest of the family. A properly raised, trained dog will become a reliable protector, loyal companion and friend.

Origin of the Black Russian Terrier

In the 1940s, the Soviet armed forces decided to create a breed of highly versatile working dogs, able to respond well under different conditions and eager to defend theirs in all circumstances. For this, they selected the most appropriate breeds of dogs from those countries under Soviet occupation.

The most distinguished breeds in the creation of the Black Russian Terrier were the giant schnauzer, the airedale terrier and the rottweiler. In 1957, the dog resulting from these crossings was presented to the public and the first Black Russian Terrier was handed over to civilians.

In 1968, the first breed standard was awarded to the International Cynological Federation, but this organization officially recognized the Black Russian Terrier only in 1984. In 2001, the breed was also recognized by the American Kennel Club. Today, it is a little-known breed, but it benefits from a circle of fans and admirers, especially among sports fans with protective dogs.

Black Russian Terrier

Physical characteristics of the Black Russian Terrier

The Russian terrier belongs to large dog breeds. It has a robust, athletic build. Its muscles are well developed. Females are inferior to males both in height and weight.

The growth of adults is 70-78 cm, weight is about 52-60 kg.

The same massive elongated head rests on a massive neck. The ears are drooping, triangular.

Dark oval eyes, not too large, set wide apart. Eyelids are black, not sagging, dry.

The back of the nose is straight, the nose is large with well-opened nostrils. The muzzle is adorned with a bushy mustache, beard and eyebrows characteristic of all terriers.

Cheekbones are round. The jaws are powerful. The teeth are large, scissor bite.

The physique of the black Russian terrier is powerful, muscular. The line of the back is straight, the loin is strong. The chest is deep. The ribs are convex.

The tail is thick, saber or sickle-shaped. High set. Cupping is allowed (at the third vertebra).

The legs are straight, parallel. The feet are wide, rounded, which allows the black Russian terrier to move freely in the snow. The nails are dark.

The step is a typical gait, a sweeping trot. Long jumps due to powerful hind limbs.

The coat is thick, hard to the touch. Length about 6-14 cm. The remaining hair is straight, slight waviness is allowed. There is a soft undercoat.

Obviously, the Color of the black Russian terrier is black, slight blotches of gray hair are allowed.

Black Russian Terrier

Character of the Black Russian Terrier

These dogs are energetic, suspicious of strangers and aggressive. They are excellent protection dogs, both for their powerful structure and for their assertive and courageous character. It is very important to socialize these dogs at an early age, as they tend to be suspicious and aggressive towards strangers.

With their family, and especially with known children, they tend to be excellent pets and very friendly. They can get along with dogs they know, but tend to be dominant or sullen with unknown dogs. They can also learn to live with other pets.

The Black Russian Terrier can cause problems for inexperienced owners. Although it may become an excellent pet, we must consider it a working dog, with a predisposition to react aggressively to real or fictitious threats. Therefore, the Black Russian Terrier does not adapt well to life in densely populated large cities, unless its owner is a connoisseur of protective dogs.

Black Russian Terrier


Fulfilling the state order to create the Black Russian Terrier breed, canine breeders should have got a dog that is not predisposed to most diseases. The task was completed, and the Russian Terrier is very rarely ill, easily tolerates significant temperature changes, is not susceptible to disease. He is not afraid of colds and various types of viruses.

Stalin’s dog’s health is strong, and the immune defense is strong. Representatives of the breed live on average up to 10-15 years.

A common problem in all terriers is the fungus that affects the mustache and beard. In addition, there are several other health problems that are sometimes observed in the Black Russian Terrier:

  • Dysplasia of the joints – the dog feels severe pain, cannot move freely, limps. With severe neglect of the disease, complete immobility is possible.
  • Juvenile laryngeal paralysis – due to a mutation inherited in an autosomal recessive manner.
  • Hyperuricosuria – the accumulation of uric acid salts and the formation of stones.
  • Otitis – can affect one or both ears at once, inflammation causes purulent discharge, redness and an unpleasant smell from the ears.
  • Entropion, ectropion – cannot be treated, an operation is required to eliminate it.
Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terrier

Basic care

Keeping a black Russian terrier on a chain or in an aviary is not recommended. This is a very sociable dog; it needs to be close to family members. If it is not possible to accommodate a Russian terrier in the house, arrange a fence around the perimeter of the yard, install a warm, large booth and ensure frequent contact with the pet.

It is unacceptable to leave him alone for a long time, since as a result this terrier can become aggressive, spiteful and irritable.

Keeping a black Russian terrier in an apartment has its own difficulties. This dog barks not often, but snores loudly in a dream. More representatives of the breed are not neat. After eating, food remains on the beard and mustache.

You need to immediately wipe the dog’s face with a towel, if he has time to dust himself off a couple of times, then you have to wipe the walls too. Such inconveniences are 100% compensated by the loyalty of this terrier.

Daily walks are vital for the black Russian terrier. Two walks a day are recommended, each lasting at least an hour. At the same time, keep in mind that this dog needs active training, classes for at least half an hour a day.

Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terrier

In general, caring for the Black Russian Terrier is not very difficult. Its luxurious wool takes the most time. The main thing is that all the procedures outlined below should be carried out on time, in good faith:

  • We comb out the wool 2-3 times a week.
  • A trimmer is required, the first procedure is carried out when the puppy is 6 months old.
  • The haircut should emphasize the strength, power of the Russian Terrier. Excessive decorativeness is not welcome. The longest hair in most cases is left on the legs and on the face.
  • Black Russian terrier dogs are not very fond of bathing, but this procedure is necessary. We bathe the pet about once a month without overusing detergents. After each walk, wipe the coat with a damp towel and wash your paws.
  • Teeth brushing twice a week. You will need a special paste. It is also important that the terrier’s diet includes solid food or natural vein bone treats. These treats prevent the formation of tartar.
  • We cut the claws with a clipper designed for large breeds as they grow. This procedure is performed about six times a year.
  • We regularly trim the hair between the toes. After each walk, we examine the paw pads for injuries or splintering.
  • Eyes and ears are regularly examined. We carefully clean the auricles once a week using special products.


the Black Russian Terrier needs a lot of exercise and a lot of companionship. Although it is a working dog, it is not a canine dog and suffers a lot when it stays alone for a long time. In addition to three daily walks, this dog must do more intense exercises.

Canine sports, such as obedience tests or agility, can be helpful in channeling the energy of these dogs. However, care must be taken not to injure the joints as these dogs are prone to dysplasia of the elbow and hip.

It is also important that dogs get the right amount of exercise so that they burn off excess calories or they can gain too much weight, which can lead to all kinds of health problems. Obesity can shorten a dog’s life for many years, so it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s waistline from the start.

Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terrier


If you get a Black Russian Terrier puppy from a breeder, he will give you a feeding schedule and it is important to follow the same routine, offering it the same puppy food to prevent swelling of the belly.

Older dogs are not known to be difficult eaters, but that does not mean they can receive a lower quality diet. It is best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, ensuring that it is a good quality food that meets all its nutritional needs.

The diet of the Black Russian Terrier must be balanced. About 70% of the total diet is meat products, offal.

Dogs of this breed need good nutrition during the growth period, containing proteins, carbohydrates and vegetable fats in a ratio of 50-40-10.

If you buy dry food, choose it according to your dog’s age.

One feeding must contain dairy products. Offal should not be given to puppies under six months of age.

Fermented milk products can be given throughout the dog’s life.

Black Russian Terrier dogs digest ready-made dry food very well, these animals practically do not have allergies, so many owners prefer to feed their pets with them.

Cool clean water should be available around the clock in the drinker.

We feed adults 2 times a day, young dogs 3-4 times a day, puppies 5-6 times.

Black Russian Terrier

Training and education

The Black Russian Terrier is smart and quick-witted, he has an excellent memory. That is why it is not difficult to train such a dog, as well as to control its actions.

The stubbornness and independent temperament of the Black Russian Terrier interferes with ideal training. Leadership and strong-willed character of the owner will help to cope with this. He must establish contact with the pet, establish trust and show that he is the undisputed leader.

If there is no experience in raising large guard dogs, it is recommended to contact a cynologist. Under his leadership, it will be possible to raise an adequate, controlled, guard terrier.

Aggression in the breed should not be developed. These are already aggressive dogs, it is important to keep them under control.

Lessons should be interesting, varied, in some moments spend them in a playful way.

Black Russian Terrier Fun Facts

  • The Russian Terrier was bred by order of Joseph Stalin himself.
  • RFT combines the best qualities of more than 15 different types of dogs.
  • The postage stamp of Russia (2015) depicts a Black Russian Terrier.
  • RFT is suitable for use as a guard in the extremely cold climatic zones of Russia.
  • The reaction of the black Russian terrier is so lightning fast that it surpasses even the reaction of a cat.
  • RFT is the ideal travel companion. This dog perfectly adapts to any climate, quickly adapting to new conditions.
  • The Black Russian Terrier usually thinks over the implementation of a new command and then executes it.
Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier Breed Highlights

The modern black Russian terrier is still used as a guard dog. Only the majority of the breed’s representatives fulfill their duties in families, and not at military, government facilities.

The Russian terrier is a serious, strong dog with a rather high level of aggression. If you are not sure that you can raise it properly and provide it with the required living conditions, do not rush to adopt or buy a puppy. First, familiarize yourself with the main advantages and disadvantages of the breed, then make a decision.

Positive points

  • The Black Russian Terrier is a pet and a loving and faithful companion.
  • It is smart and in good hands, easy to train.
  • It has a low-loss coat.
  • It is a very playful dog and likes to play interactive games.
  • Beautiful exterior.
  • Endurance, strength.
  • Devotion.
  • Excellent watchdog qualities.
  • It gets along well with children.
  • It tolerates both cold and heat normally.
  • Good health.

Negative points

  • The Black Russian Terrier is wary and fears people it does not already know.
  • It has a great sense of prey.
  • This dog needs a lot of mental stimulation and daily exercise.
  • The Black Russian Terrier suffers from separation anxiety when left to itself.
  • Puppies can be difficult to find and expensive.
  • Food bills are high and veterinary bills can also be high.
  • Stubbornness, willfulness.
  • High level of aggression, requires strict control.
  • Need daily physical, mental stress.

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