The Black Russian Terrier is a breed of working dogs, developed in Russia, with over seventeen strains contributing to its development. Robust, and powerful, these large dogs have a prominent block-shaped head, short muzzle, small, triangular, folded ears, a big black nose, dark-colored gums, black spot on their tongue and a high set tail. Their appealing presence and remarkable personality make them stand out among most other breeds.
|Other Names||Tchiorny Terrier, Terrier Noir Russe, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Black Terrier, Chornyi, Russian Tchiorny Terrier, Stalin’s Dog, BRT|
|Coat||Double coat with a coarse outer coat and a thick, soft inner coat. Hairs appear on its face giving the impression of a beard.|
|Color||Black with grey hairs|
|Lifespan/ Life Expectancy||10 to 14 years|
|Height||Male: 27 to 30 inches; Female: 26 to 29 inches|
|Weight||80 to 130 pounds|
|Litter size||6 to 12|
|Behavioral Characteristics||Confident, smart, courageous, brave, stubborn at times, loyal, intelligent|
|Good with children||Yes, with supervision|
|Shedding (Does it shed)||Minimal|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||ACA, AKC, ACR, APRI, ANKC, BRTCA, BRAGG, DRA, CKC, NAPR, FCI, NKC|
The development of this robust breed was initiated in the Red Star Kennel of Russia post the Second World War, in between the late and early 1940s-50s respectively, with the purpose of creating a working dog, which could cater to their military needs.
The requirement for a robust and hardy breed, who could endure the chilling cold weather of Russia as well as run for long distances and get hold of intruders, led to the development of the BRT. For this purpose, a total of about 17 breeds were used including the Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler, Giant Schnauzer, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Newfoundland, Great Dane, Borzoi, Laika and the Eastern European Sheepdog.
Employed at the prisons, rail crossings and several military areas like the gulags, they were majorly bred by the Red Star Kennel till 1957. However, since the numbers of dogs were more than required as the gulags started to close during the 1950s, the army began selling off the puppies to civilians. These breeders had a change in their approach, and besides retaining their working skills, they even tried to improve the looks of these dogs. The Soviet Ministry of Agriculture created the first breed standards in 1981. With its popularity spreading worldwide, it reached the U.S.A in 1989-90, and a Russian couple took the initiative of starting a kennel in Mississippi, where the first of this breed was developed.
1955 – Exhibited in Moscow as a working dog
1958 – First breed standards published
1984 – Adopted by the FCI (Federation Cynologique International)
1996 – Second standard for the breed adopted by the breeders of RFW (Russian Federation Working Dogs) and RKF (Russian Kynological Federation) that was more in conformity with the present day BRT.
1996 – Introduced in the United Kingdom for the first time.
1998 – Included in the to the import register by the Kennel Club.
2001- Added to AKC’S Miscellaneous Class
2004 – Added to AKC’S Working Group
A powerful protector and a loyal companion that is what the Black Russian Terrier is.
In fact, their disposition is amazingly versatile, as, on the one hand, they display courage, confidence, determination, and fearlessness, while at the same time, these family dogs are an epitome of a devoted pet, sharing a great bond with their kith and kin, being extremely protective of them.
They do well when kept in the confines of the home while leaving them alone in the yard or kennel, unattended, would make the Black Russian Terrier withdrawn.
Bred as a guard dog, BRTs would express wariness towards strangers and even show aggression if an unknown face tries to intrude its domain, attacking him at the very instant.
Because of its intelligence and balanced temperament, it is often used as service or assistance dogs to provide aid to people with physical disabilities, helping them in their day-to-day work like picking up things from the ground, turning light switches on and off or even assisting them to stand or sit.
Their loving disposition also makes them apt as a therapy dog, providing solace to people with terminal diseases or mental illnesses.
Being extremely affectionate towards the kids of the family, they emerge as their fiercest protector, even going to the extent of sleeping in the little one’s room or keeping vigil outside their doors at night. However, parental supervision is needed when younger ones interact with this mighty breed. Though the breed in totality mingles well with the children they have been brought up with, females have a stronger bonding than the males.
The Black Russian Terrier tends to share a comfortable rapport with other canines as well as pets like cats, rabbits or horses if they have been grown up with them. However, they detest dogs or pets that are dominant or try to establish supremacy over them.
Bathe it only when necessary as doing it too often may result in a dry coat and skin.
Other hygiene measures include brushing its teeth on a daily basis and cleaning its eyes and ears regularly using a damp cotton ball to keep infections at bay.
Because of their high intelligence level, the Black Russian Terrier is a trainer’s delight. However, their stubborn and headstrong nature might not make them a right choice for first-timers.
Give your pet BRT, 4 to 5 cups of dry dog food on a regular basis. Keep a close watch on its diet as overfeeding might lead to bloating.