Developed for use as a military and working dog, the Black Russian Terrier (or BRT) has its origins in the erstwhile USSR, and was bred solely by the state owned Red Star Kennel until 1957. An important element in the Russian Army, the BRT was developed from Airedale Terrier, Caucasian Ovcharka, Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Giant and Standard Schnauzers and the Moscow Water Dog. Initially its appearance was not given much importance as it was bred only to work, which it does with no inhibitions.
A well developed, muscular structure, the Black Russian Terrier is longer than it is tall. Blocky head; oval-shaped, medium-sized, dark eyes; small, triangular, high set ears; muzzle slightly shorter than the back skull; large, black nose; hard and dense coat, forming beard and eyebrows on the face; small mane around the withers and neck; black or black coat peppered with gray; scissor bite teeth; large, bear-like feet, etc; these are some of its physical characteristics.
The acceptable colors are black or black with few grey hairs. However, the grey hairs should be evenly dispersed and not found in patches anywhere in the coat.
Highly intelligent and dependable breed, the Black Russian Terrier is confident, calm and very courageous. Natural guarders and protectors, this breed is loyal and loving to its owners but not very comfortable with strangers. They need lots of human contact and cannot adjust in kennels. Black Russian Terriers are dominant by nature and need a firm hand during training and general handling.
Though a breed that has a long life, the Black Russian Terrier is found to be susceptible to hereditary ailments like hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as progressive retinal atrophy. With sufficient exercise they would do well.
CKC, FCI, AKC, ANKC, NKC, APRI, ACR