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Black Russian Terrier

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Black Russian Terrier

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=162 )

Group: Group 6 (Utility)

General Appearance: The size of the Black Russian Terriers is a larger than an average dog. Black Russian Terriers are strong, with massive bone structure and well-developed muscles. The skin is tight and elastic, without any folds or dewlap.

Dogs of this breed are assertive, wary of strangers and resistant; they adjust easily to different climates. The Black Russian Terrier must yield to training.

Physical Appearance, Sturdy and robust.

Faults - Light frame, poorly developed muscle tone.

Serious Faults - Very light bone structure, weak muscle tone, frail and weak constitution.

Index of Format (Important Proportions), The proportion of the length of the body to the height at the withers is between 100-105% of the height at the withers. [i.e. Square to slightly longer in body]

Fault , The length of the body is slightly too long if it is between 106-108% of the height.

Serious Fault - The length of the body is clearly too long if it is in excess of 108% of the height.

Characteristics: Related to Sex , Should be clearly expressed, depending on the sex. Male dogs are of greater size [more imposing size], more masculine and more massive [stronger] than bitches.

Faults - Minor reversal of the required sexual characteristics.

Serious Faults - Marked reversal of sexual characteristics. Bitchy dogs.

Utilisation -

F.C.I. Classification - Group 2 Pinscher & Schnauzer type.

Temperament: Extremely energetic [vigorous], strong, stable temperament but very lively, with strong defence reactions. Faults - Shyness, excessive excitability, passiveness [laziness]. Serious Faults - Fearful, extremely excitable, extremely passive.

Head And Skull: Long with moderately narrow skull with well rounded cheekbones. The forehead is flat. The stop is marked but not too pronounced. The muzzle is parallel with the topline of the skull. The muzzle is strong, slightly tapering. The length of the muzzle is slightly less than the length of the skull. The moustache and the beard give the muzzle a truncated and square appearance. The lips are thick and full. The upper lip fits tightly to the line of the lower jaw without forming flews [without looseness].

Faults Head too small, forehead rounded, stop hardly marked or excessively pronounced, protruding cheekbones, soft lips.

Major Faults Coarse head, too light or too heavy, rounded head; muzzle short, pointed or turned up.

Eyes: Small, oval shaped, slanted, dark in colour.

Faults Large eyes or eye colour not sufficiently dark. Visible third eyelid.

Major Faults Light eye, cross eyed.

Ears: Attached high on the head, hanging straight down from the base, small and triangular in shape. The front rim of the ear hangs down against the cheekbones.

Faults Ears set too low; long ears, flying ears, ears held apart from the cheekbones.

Major Faults Ears standing up from the base, semi-erect ears.

Mouth: Teeth strong and white in colour, closely positioned. The incisors are positioned in one line; scissor bite.

Faults - Poorly developed teeth, teeth not corresponding with age, damaged teeth which do not interfere with the proper occlusion of the bite. Absence of up to two of the first premolars or absence of one of the first premolars and one of the second premolars. Light tartar build-up.

Major Faults, Very small teeth, missing teeth; incisors not aligned; any deviation from a scissors bite; absence of an incisor or a canine; absence of a third or fourth premolar or any molar. Teeth with severely damaged enamel.

Neck: Long, powerful, lean, set at a 40-45 degree angle to the topline.

Faults - Short neck, blocky neck, showing a dewlap or held low.

Forequarters: Seen from the front, the legs are straight and parallel. The angle of the shoulder-blade with the upper arm is approximately 110 degrees. Elbows must point backwards. The upper arms are short and strong. The pasterns are short and straight.

Faults - Shoulders slightly too straight, elbows turned slightly in or out; Weak pasterns, turned in or out.

Major Faults - Upright shoulders; strong deviation of the elbows in or out; forearm not straight, knuckling over, down on pasterns.

Body: Chest Roomy, deep, with well sprung ribs, reaching to the level of the elbows or slightly below .

Faults - Chest not sufficiently wide, chest not reaching the elbows, ribcage slightly flat.

Major Faults - Barrel shaped ribcage, too wide, not enough let down, flat or narrow.

Withers - High, clearly marked above the topline

Faults - Low, poorly developed withers.

Back - Straight, wide and muscular.

Faults - Weak, narrow or insufficiently muscled.

Loins - Short, wide, muscular and slightly arched.

Faults - Long, insufficiently arched.

Major Faults - Badly coupled, narrow or too arched.

Rump - Wide, muscular, with a barely visible slope towards the tail.

Faults - Horizontal or slightly sloping rump, insufficiently muscled.

Major Faults - Clearly sloping or narrow rump.

Abdomen - Rising above the lower line of the chest.

Faults - Strongly tucked-up or whippet-like abdomen.

Hindquarters: Seen from behind, the legs are straight and parallel, but set slightly wider apart than the front legs. The upper thighs are muscular and well developed. The lower thighs are long and set obliquely. The hock joints are lean and well developed. Rear pasterns strong, long and almost vertical.

Faults - Weak muscle tone, short thighs, slightly cow or bow hocked. Angulation of the hock joint too slight or too strong.

Major Faults - The same as above but more pronounced. Rump too high. Hock joint angulation decidedly straight or over angulated.

Feet: Fore and Hind Thick, with well arched pads, rounded in shape.

Faults - Hare feet. Feet pointing in or out.

Major Faults - Splayed or very turned out feet.

Tail: Set high, thick and docked short, leaving 3 to 4 vertebrae

Faults: Tail set low, incorrectly docked tail

Gait/Movement: Easy, harmonious and effortless A short [non overreaching] trot or gallop are the most typical gaits. When trotting, the legs must move in a straight line, with the front legs converging slightly towards a median line. The back and loin have an elastic, springy movement.

Faults - Legs not moving in a straight line. Insufficient extension of the front or hind legs.

Major Faults - Restricted or clumsy movement. Sideways movement of the hindlegs (crab-like), marked swinging of the croup (rolling movement of the hindquarters), pacing.

Coat: Rough, hard, ample and extremely dense. The seemingly broken coat is between 4-10 cm [1.6- 3.9 in]in length and covers the entire body. On the muzzle, the coat forms a rough, brushy moustache on the upper lip and a beard on the lower lip. Above the eyes, the eyebrows are rough and bristled. On the neck and the withers, the coat is longer and forms a mane. The forelegs, down to the elbows, and the hindlegs, down to the thighs, are covered by a rough and long coat. The undercoat is dense and well-developed.

Faults - Straight hair, not broken. Wavy hair, soft hair, hair longer than 10 cm [3.9 in] Insufficient formation of moustache, beard or eyebrows. Frizzy hair.

Major Faults - Hair too long (in excess of 15 cm [5.9 in], soft hair, falling hair, short hair, smooth hair; absence of furnishings on head or legs.

Colour: Black or black with grey hairs.

Faults - Brown or grey shadings. Small white spot on chest.

Major Faults - Brown or grey coat, reddish patches; white spots on chin, head, neck or legs.

Sizes: Height at the withers

Dogs 66 , 72 cm [25.7- 28.1 in]

Bitches 64 , 70 cm [25- 27.3 ins]

Faults - Slightly leggy or short on the legs.

Height at withers of dogs below 66 cm [25.7 in] or above 72 cm [28.1 in]

Height at withers of bitches below 64 cm [25 in]or above 70 cm [27.3 in]

Major Faults - Rump set too high or withers too low.


Height at withers below 65 cm [25.4 in] or above 74 cm [28.9 in]


Height at withers below 63 cm [24.6 in] or above 72 cm [28.1 in]

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.


Any deviation from the scissor bite

Parti-coloured coat

White markings on feet

Red patches

Grey coat

Absence of an incisor or a canine tooth

Absence of any PM3 or PM4

Absence of any molar.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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OK, so we have a Black Russian Terrier thread!! Now I just need some BRT owners to tell me all about their gorgeous breed! I am completely convinced this will be my next dog (well almost completely :hug: ). What can you tell me....the good, the bad and the ugly! :laugh:

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Guest belgian.blue   
Guest belgian.blue

I wanted a Black Russian Terrier but now I'm addicted to the Belgian Shepherd.

Will check out this place to see if anyone posts!

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I dont own theme but have seen them at the shows over the years & are friends with people that do breed & show.

The most important thing is not to under estimate the breed ,they need owners who are dedicated to The BRT needs & nature.

There is alot of grooming needed.

basically the BRT is like a Bouvier

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I wanted a Black Russian Terrier but now I'm addicted to the Belgian Shepherd.

Will check out this place to see if anyone posts!

Belgian Shepherd is on my short list for my next dog too. I was leaning toward the Malinois, but do not know enough about them yet to make a final decision. I think they may be too active, even for me! Feel free to PM me why you decided a Belgian over a BRT too :).

I have had my eye on a BRT for about 7 years now......so I would really need to hear the negatives to sway me away I think.

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they need owners who are dedicated to The BRT needs & nature.

Couldn't agree more. It is the temperament and nature of the BRT that has drawn me to them, as well as their intelligence and trainability.

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I think if a Mal is too active then a BRT would be as well

Looking foreward to my first purchase of at least one in a couple of years time

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oK I will try and answer these questions as best I can,

they are NOT Bouviers !!

the 4 main breeds in them are Rottweiller, Newfoundland, Giant Schnauzer, and Airedale Terrier

rotties and schnauzers were used for temperament, fearless loyalty, intelligence and working ability, Newfies for size and coat, and Airedales for spark and spirit.

they are different to anybreed of dog I have come across,

they are big strong dogs, who are loyal,protective, loving, fun, playful, very very intelligent.

and they love cuddles and hugs and love to lie on the lounge or bed and watch DVD's with you , lol

I love my girl to bits, and am looking forward to another BRT arriving hopefully early this year,

they are a unique breed,

that seem to understand loads of words and phrases, more so than any other breed we have had, and have very very good hearing.

they look like big cuddly bears and to their families they are, but to strangers they will not tollerate

people forcing themselves onto them, if they dont like you dont force the issue,

they see that as a threat and will react accordingly.

they need loads of socialising, and to be taught good manners.

remember they were bred as guard dogs.....

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

First time BRT owner,

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

This breed was developed and is a guard dog,

the breed was developed in Russia by the Russian red Army, circa 1940's, they needed a all purpose guard dog, that could handle all climatic conditions,

3. How common is it in Australia?

uncommon, we think there are approximately 250 in Australia, with only maybe up to a dozen or so being shown currently in Australia, across four states.

BRT's were allowed to be imported into Australia in 2000, the first dogs arrived in 2001.

they were first imported by Dot and Ross Sweeney from Cimarron kennels.

4. What is the average lifespan?

12-14 years,

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Laid back, calm, very aloof with strangers, extremely protective of their people, and will react instantly if they feel they or their people are in any way threatened, they are unbelievably fast from seemingly lying down asleep to standing and ready to go.

they know what belongs to them and will protect it and their space.

they can also be very lively and playful, BRT's are quick off the mark, and very fast over a distance with long bounding strides.

they love to be with their people, they are the sort of dog that does NOT do well living in a yard or kennels away from their family,

they like to keep an eye on whats going on and their family, they are not clingy like say BC's are, they dont need to sit all over you, they just like to be in the same room but will happily sit on the lounge next to you or on the bed for a cuddle, if you ask them too,

they will be your shadow and constant and very loyal companion,

they can be stubborn, and will decide if they want to do something or not, they are way too big and strong to force them into anything,lol,

they have a terrific memory for faces and places, and routine.

very very intelligent, learn very quickly, good habits and if you are not careful bad ones too, lol.

they love to play, ball games and with other dogs.

they can be vocal and their bark is very loud and booming, lol.

but hey tend to only bark when there is something to bark at.

and BRT's must be taught who is the pack leader/boss from the start, they are very big strong dogs, and if not disciplined and taught manners from the start, it can lead to disastrous results,

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

because they are a large heavy breed, they must be carfeully grown and exercised whilst growing, so doing things like agility are not reccommended until they are well over 12 months old,

we live on acerage so my girl tends to self exercise herself whilst running around with our BC's, a daily walk/run at least but she also has daily runs and playtimes with all the dogs , like chasing tennis balls etc,

but a good daily walk run would be recommended, to keep fit, not fat. they are very muscular big boned dogs

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

No, I wouldnt reccomend it.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

I think they would be happier with a companion dog, regardless of the breed, they like company they love people contact.

so I wouldnt reccomend them to spend long periods alone.

I work from home so I am with my dogs all day.

9. How much grooming is required?

depends, if the BRT is to be a pet, you can have them clipped off, every 6 weeks.

as their fur will grow long and thick, it has a harsh top coat with a very thick undercoat and grows up to about 10cms in length,

if they are shown, they should NEVER be clipped, as this will ruin the coat and they are NEVER hand stripped

anybody who tells you they are stripped, does not know what they are talking about.

they are meant to show the top coat and the soft undercoat when shown.

their coat when showing is meant to be kept neat but natural, and they only allowed to be black, they are allowed white hairs through the coat which is normal, but absolutely no spots or patches of white,

and the coat should move as they do, not flowing, but moving, but also not stiff and rigid, like as in a schnauzer or say a kerry blue terrier, Airedale or for example even a bouvier type coat,

and its hand scissored, slickered and combed, they take a long time to blow dry, longer than one of my BC's.

their leg furnishings a kept longer about 4-5 cm's or so, and the rump is around a 1-2 cms graduating down the thigh and onto leg , the chest and neck are around 3-4cm's , with the ears closely clipped, as is the top of the head with a rectangular/square shape trimmed between the ears, top of the skull.

the forelock must never be cut.

they also have a slight beard under the chin as well.

their coat grows very fast, and when showing will need trimming weekly to keep the shape, they dont shed like normal dogs, EG: Goldies or BC's etc, but they shed way more than a poodle,

they require a good deep combing brushing, every couple of days if in full coat.

and if anybody knows my girl Dee Dee, her nick name is "the lammington", as everything sticks to this coat, lol,

dry grass burrs etc, lol.

they get their adult coat about 18 months to 2 years.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)

my girl is good with small children, if they are taught to be careful and gentle, but remember like any big dog

accidents can happen and children should never be left unsupervised around dogs.

they are very strong dogs, and could easily pull and elderly adult or child over, if not very well trained.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

the usual things like OCD, HD etc, but responsible breeders should be having all breeding stock hip and elbow scored,

having said this I have not heard of any in Australia as yet with these problems, as we are still trying to build up a data base, with a new rare breed this could take a while, to have all dogs xrayed etc.

being a deep chested dog bloat is another thing to keep an eye on, so common sense management of feeding and exercise routines are reccomened.

there are other diseases and problems although not common are know to occur in the breed,

a good list of these can be found on the website.....

Russaird Black Russian Terriers found on the dogzonline BRT webpages.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

what relevent health tests have been done, and see the results/certificates,

and meet and see what the sire and dam of the litter are like,what their personalities are like, see how well socialised they are,

ask to meet or contact other BRT owners or see if you can see references from puppy owners etc.

and dont feel like you are getting the 3rd degree from the breeder when asking about a potential puppy for yourself,

we are just being careful, as these are not the dog for everybody,

hope this helps !!!!

Edited by Libertybrook

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Thank you Libertybrook!! You have echoed my understanding of the breed to the letter. This is definitely sounds like the dog for me!! Now.......just got to wait for my puppy! :laugh: Anyone got a spare dose of patience lying around?? :(

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the 4 main breeds in them are Rottweiller, Newfoundland, Giant Schnauzer, and Airedale Terrier

rotties and schnauzers were used for temperament, fearless loyalty, intelligence and working ability, Newfies for size and coat, and Airedales for spark and spirit.

Very early on in their development, the BRT also benefitted from the blood of the South Russian Ovcharka.


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the 4 main breeds in them are Rottweiller, Newfoundland, Giant Schnauzer, and Airedale Terrier

rotties and schnauzers were used for temperament, fearless loyalty, intelligence and working ability, Newfies for size and coat, and Airedales for spark and spirit.

Very early on in their development, the BRT also benefitted from the blood of the South Russian Ovcharka.


yes they did, and also several other breeds of Russian dogs that are now extinct. aswell as a a few more common breeds

but they kept going back to the four main breeds. :)

Edited by Libertybrook

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Is there any truth in claims that they were developed by KGB?

I have seen BRT in Europe. Magnificent dogs. I could never figure out though, why are they called terriers when they are clearly not.

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Is there any truth in claims that they were developed by KGB?

Well I suppose because it was the Russian Red Army that develpoed them and the KGB being associated with that as well,

rumours would have abounded, but it really doesnt make any difference who developed them, just that they were developed as a guard dog for the Army :thumbsup:

I have seen BRT in Europe. Magnificent dogs. I could never figure out though, why are they called terriers when they are clearly not.

its because of the Airedale Terrier that was included in the main mix, it is a pain having it tacked onto the name because it really gives people the wrong

impression :)

when I first took Dee to her apointment with our local Vet, I told them what she was over the phone, the lovely nurses and the Vet at reception were very confused, ;)

and when I walked in with her they all said they expected something like around the look and size of a miniature schnauzer :laugh:

Edited by Libertybrook

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Yes two are definitely better than one , but three are even more better than two. It is very difficult to stop only on one dog.

"if they are shown, they should NEVER be clipped" - Libertybrook, nobody knows about this in Russia. All BRT's breeders clipped their show dogs if they have reason for this ( for summer, or to clip out damaged coat). But you are absolutely right about hand stripping - they are NEVER hand stripped

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yes Vesper some breeders may do this, and overseeas where BRT tend to have a heavier coat because of the extreme cold they may clip,

but I can only go on whe I have always been taught by local and overseas successful breeders and show people not to clip, :nahnah:

Edited by Libertybrook

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In 1924, the Russian Military Council issued an edict that dogs were to be used for

military purposes and that all departments of the military must employ dog trainers. As a result of this order the School of Junior Dog Training Specialist was formed. This school had military, sports and laboratory departments. The working dogs that were trained for military purposes were used as guard dogs, mine specialists and aides.

Due to the Russians defending their homeland in World War II, many of working dogs in Russia were killed and the state owned kennel,the Central Military School of Working Dogs (CMSWD), also know as the Red Star Kennel,was charged with the responsibility of providing working dogs to the military. The military wanted a large trainable working dog capable of guarding,able to withstand the Siberian subarctic temperatures and a coat that did not require grooming. The dogs were to be used to guard military installations, prisons, prison of war camps and other secret military locations.

Available to the CMSWD were Resenschnauzers(Giant Schnauzers),Newfoundlands,Rottweilers, Airedale Terriers, Great Dane,German Shepherd,Eastern European Shepherd, Moscow Water Dogs, and Caucasian Ovcharka.In their laboratory, experimentation took place between the breeds which resulted in failures of what they were trying to achieve. Eventually, a plan was developed by kynologist (person who is professional trained in the behaviour of dogs)and a biologist whereby they would:

1. Obtain hybrids of riesenschnauzer and airedaleterrier.

2. Obtain hybrids of riesenschnauzer and rottweiler.

3. Cross breed the first and second trend hybrids followed by raising the breed itself.

By nature the Giant Schnauzer is a large dominant, intelligent, easily trained, versatile,and good-natured dog.

The Airedale Terrier is an intelligent, confident, friendly, courageous and fearless dog.

The Rottweiler is a large self assured dog. Orginally bred for cattle driving, the rottweiler is now used for guarding.

To create the Black Terrier, as it was first called, the following dogs were used:

Giant Schnauzers - Sires - Zorab (Reg.7411D), Roy (Reg.U720P), Shaitan

Airedale Terriers - Dams - Sotta(Reg.4U78C), Sima (Reg.47U3C), Sembi(4942C), Salma (Reg.48U6C)

Rottweiler - Dams - Uda (Reg.59UOY),Una (Reg.58UOY), Femka (Reg.7OU5OP), Urma (Reg.73UOY).

Roy, the Giant Schnauzer was bred with different dams to produce dogs with black coats and is considered to be the foundation dog of the Black Terrier. As different breeding occured there many faults including faulty bites, incomplete dentention, undescended testicles, white spots, and other traits that were not in accordance to what they were looking for. As the experimentation continued, descendant dogs that were found not desirable were eliminated from the programme.

In 1955, The Red Star Kennel showed their Black Terrier offsprings at the National Agricultural Exhibition.They were well received and obtained the well important Gold Medal and diploma of excellence for the breed.

Experimentation continued and it was not until 1957 the Red Star Kennel began to offer second and third generation Black Terrier puppies for sale to private buyers and breeders.

It was not until 1958 that a standard was published for the Black Terrier Breed. The standard was published in a book entitled "Manual for Training and Usage of Military Dogs". There were conflict among the private breeders and the Red Star Kennel as to the standard. The private breeders wanted a breed where disposition, temperament and working abilities were fundamental. The Red Star Kennel wanted a breed where the dog's dispostion remained as a guard dog intended to serve in the military and that grooming should not play an important part of the standard as military dogs were kept in kennels and were easliy managable with short hair.

In 1970 puppies were shipped to Finland and other parts of Europe. The Black Terrier was becoming a dog to be reckoned with.

From 1958 to 1979 breeding and experimentation continued. In 1979, the Red Star Kennel and the Army Navy and Fleet Volunteer Support Organization (DOSAAF) finally approved the standard for the Black Terrier breed. By then were over 800 litters produced amounting to well over 4,000 puppies all which conformed to the standard.

Early in the 1980's the Black Terrier was shown in International competitions and a lot of interest was shown in these dogs. In 1981, the Black Terrier was accepted as a breed by the russian authorities.

On September 29th 1983 The Black Terrier was accepted by the The Fédération Cynologique Internationale,the World Canine Organization. An FCI Standard was established and revised on February 19th, 1996.

In 1992, the Black Terrier was renamed to the Black Russian Terrier (BRT).

As the Black Terrier was becoming a known dog, the dogs were being taken to other countries by migrant russians. The dog was introduced into Canada by Rita Golski of Kalinka Kennels. Rita Golski began breeding her "Kalinka" Black Terriers and started to sell her puppies to the United States of America (U.S.A.). As migrant russians began to go to the U.S.A., some of them began to import the Black Terriers from Russia and other parts of Europe. Today, the Black Russian Terrier is a rarity in North America.

In March 1996, the American Kennel Club listed the Black Russian Terrier with Foundation Stock Services (FSS). In August of 2001 the Black Russian Terrier was allowed to compete in the Miscellaneous Class. In July 2004, the Black Russian Terrier was fully recognized in the Working Group Classification.

Prior to 2002, the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC),the governing body in Canada did not recognize the Black Russian Terrier and breeders had to show their BRTs with other clubs who recognized the breed. Most breeders had to register their BRTs with the AKC which allowed them to participate in shows in the United states.

In 2002 the CKC allowed registration and BRT owners were permitted to compete in the Miscellaneous Group. As off this writing the CKC has still not granted full recognization to this breed.

With the exportation of the Black Russian Terrier to other parts of the world, the BRT is called and known by different names and is referred to as the Black Terrier, Russian Pearl, Tchiorny Terrier, Chornyi, Svart Terrier, Terrier Noir Russe, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Sort Russisk Terrier, Blackie, Terrier Ruso Negro, Czarny Terier Rosyjski and lastly BRT.

[ history ] Breed Standard

Breed Standards for the Black Russian Terrier varies throughout the world because of the various governing organizations. It should be noted that if one is interested in exporting or importing a Black Russian Terrier it is very important to know what the rules are concerning tail docking. In some countries there are specific rules against the docking of tails. It is suggested that existing Kennel Club in that country be contacted for tail docking information.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is the World Canine Organization which as off this writing comprises of 84 member countries. Participating countries, use the FCI Breed Standard as warranted. Under the FCI, the Black Russian Terrier is called Tchiorny Terrier and is classified under Group 2, Section 1.

The American Kennel Club (AKC)recognized the Black Terrier as a breed in July 1st, 2004, and was classified in the Working Group. The breed standard can be found here. The American Rare Breed Association recognizes the BRT and uses the FCI standard. The United Kennel Club is a separate entity, recognizes and uses their own breed standard for the BRT.

In order to control, track and register dogs, the Government of Canada under the Ministry of Agriculture enacted the Animal Pedigree Act. This legislation led to the formation of the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). As off this writing the Black Russian Terrier has not been formally recognized by the CKC, however, the CKC using a breed standard has listed the Black Russian Terrier in the miscellaneous class. Although the CKC is the governing body, another organization the Canine Federation of Canada located in Quebec, Canada uses the FCI breed standard. Prior to the CKC "recognizing" the BRT, owners either had to go to the United States to show their BRTs or show their dogs at the Rare Breed Club of South Western Ontario who recognized the breed using FCI breed standards.

In England, the Kennel Club, the Black Russian Terrier Interim Breed Standard was first established on September 1st, 2000. Since 2000, there were many revisions to the breed standard.

The Australian National Kennel Club recognizes the Black Russian Terrier under Group 6 (Utility) of their listings.

To find out more about the Black Russian Terrier Breed Standard in a particular country it is suggested that you research the topic on the Internet using your favourite search engine.

[ history ] Working Abilities

The Black Russian Terrier is a highly intelligent and yet a sophisticated dog. He was bred to serve in the military as a guard dog to protect prisons and secret military installations. The BRT always show protecting instincts and will guard and protect his family to the end.

In some countries the BRT is used as police dogs

The BRT's intelligence makes him an excellent student at Obedience Trials and Carting

[ history ] Grooming


Black Russian Terrier

for an Exhibition

from Olga Vorobjeva


“Black Terrier”

issius No. 8/98

Many amateur breeders know that it is very important to present a dog on a show in a proper way. It is what your pet´s career depends on sometimes. I´d love to share my experience of 10 years of preparing dogs for shows with your, dear admires of Black Russian Terrier.

It was long ago when people thought the Black Terrier (BT) doesn´t require any particular care. That is, washing him one time per year in a nearby pool, using ordinary soap is enough.And you may go to an exhibition having produced him from his kennel, on a huge chain.

Today nobody is shocked by the way the girl-participants are prepared for various shows – “Miss Russia, Universe and so on. The dog show should be treated like this, too.

All participants must be thoroughly prepared for the show: they must be taught to move, exhibit themselves correctly. Their owners schould know how to trimming, to cut the hair.

It´s like art – to prepare a proper blackie. Do you remember the 60s and the people who dressed nicel in oder to look “smart?” They were “smart” because they were not like others. The BT is “smart” in his way. He´s elegant, sporty, self-assured, like nobody else – he´s smart.

Well, now let´s talk preparations. How can one produce a stylish animal out of a bear-like “something” ? Let´s start from the very beginning – trimming.

Trimming means thorough combing out and extracting expired hair, which easily and painlessly falls out. You don´t have to torture your dog with pulling out hairs which do not want to pinch off – it´s no good. And if you insist you´ll receive bruises on the body of a dog, mistrustfulness for your hands and the increase of gray hair that will appear in some time.

It should be mentioned, that while the BT was changing his appearance and while he retrained a rich decorative hair, the hair lost its Wire-like structure which it used to be (with the dogs of old standards).

When the puppy is one year old, it´s time for him to get accustomed to a new procedure – combing out his hair. The comb with rear teeth is just what you need. Don´t forget that the dog doesn´t have any personal ambitions and he doesn´t care if he is smart or not. But he thinks it´s his life, his job – to stand haircuts, combs and exhibitions – because he was born a terrier.

You are to try not to deliver any pain to a dog. If so, in 2-3 months a dog will take his procedure with pleasure – it´s some kind of a massage to him. Just find 5-10 minutes a day to take a comb and extract some inevitable spikes.

BT´s hair requires a lot of care, it´s some kind of art that can be taught. Usually, we must take into consideration the speed of hair growth, but the average date is 7-10 days before the exhibition. Before you make his haircut, the BT should be combed and washed afterwards.


Special shampoo for dogs (it´s better to use the one for show-dogs) is diluted and beaten up until the foam appears. The coat is impregnated with this foam and then thoroughly washed away. Then it´s useful to apply the rinsing balsam, which is helpful in a way of restoring normal skin functions.

You can even rinse the coat with lime juice of beer – the hair becomes stronger.

Then, wring out the coat, and wipe it dry with a towel. You can use a fan, but you must remember that drawing off the hair will result in getting the untypical poodle-like coat. When the coat is dry, it is combed and now you may use your scissors.

Haircut (Head)

Comb the hair both on the skull and muzzel in the direction of growing, extracting dead hair. Cut the hair on ears – both inside and outside. Though, it´s better to cut the inner side of the ears in the last turn, after all dog has been already cut, because small spiky hairs in his ear make him shake his head which is rather annoying. Ears should be cut with the electric or mechanical shaving machine, but you can use scissors. The direction is from the tip of the ear to the bulk of it.If the hair hangs on both sides of the ear making the effect of “large ears”, cut it away. Be careful and do not hurt the dog!

Forehead. Start from eyebrows and with the help of a shaver make a “platform” Its width is equal to the width of the skull, and the length is from eyebrows to the ear. The rest of the forehead is cut with scissors so that short hair smoothly turns into long, from one to two cm. Its makes available the formation of a “cap” which is designed on the back of the head and makes the effect of prolonged head.

After you have finished the forehead, it´s time you cut the cheek-bones. Draw off the ear and shave the hair at the base of the ear. Then, thoroughly cut the cheek-bones, leaving about 1,75 cm. The cheek-bones must be absolutely flat. If the dog has a wide skull – cut the cheek-bones even shorter. If the skull is long and narrow – leave more hair. That will remedy the situation.

After you decided what length of the hair you´ll leave on cheek-bones, it´s time for the next step. Now the head must be given the shape of a “brick”. It is done by leveling the change between long hair on the muzzle and beard and short hair on the cheekbones.

The head should have rectangular shape if you look from above and triangular shape from the side view. The fringe must be like continuation of the forehead, emphasizing its straight lines and parallel to the muzzle.

Improper fringe distorts the parallelism of forehead and muzzle. All hair distorting rectangular shape of the head are to cut away. Them comb the head again and check your work up.

Haircut (Neck and chest)

Draw a line from the base of the ear to the junction of the jaw and the neck. Cut short from the base of the ear to the neck and try to form a “shirtfront”. Now it´s time to get down to the neck.

Comb the hair in direction, opposite to the direction of growth. Cut the excessive hair with scissors, form a mane. Try to level the section of withers, otherwise you´ll get a shaved neck coming out of hairy body. On the left and right sides of the neck long hair (2-3 cm) turns into very short. The mane must look like a continuation of the neck. The length of the mane depends on the peculiarities of the build of the concrete dog. If the neck is thin and long – the hair is longer and if the neck is short and massive – leave shorter hair.

There are such word in the standard of the breed:

“… The front part of the chest overhangs the

elbowline…” I think it´s good to emphasize this feature.

Draw a line from the chest bone, by the shoulderblade. Here is the border between short hair on the lower part of the neck and long hair on the shoulders. Don´t make this border sharp. All lines of the haircut are smooth, they turn one into other without any decorativeness and fancifulness, which is more suitable to decorative breeds.

All parts of body should be in the same scale. Just remember, that moderateness is peculiar to this breed. Leave 1-2 cm starting from the chest bone. Form the front of the chest with scissors. Properly cut front makes the effect of “rushing forward”.

If the chest is well-developed, you don´t have to leave long “skirt”. The sharp line of the chest (which must not be more than 10 cm lower than the elbow line) turning into stomach is good. Besides, if the chest is already well developed, the excessive mass of hair will create the effect of squat build. If you try to hide an undeveloped chest under the long skirt, you´ll attract the attention of an expert to the very feature.

The length of the hair on the shoulder is about 3-5cm.

Once again, you must consider the build of your dog, especially the width of the chest. If the chest is not very wide, do not try to make it wider by leaving more hair.

You´d better physically develop your pet.

The back is also cut with scissors to get a strict line from withers to the tail. Length of hair on the back is about 3-5 cm, the same about sides and chest. Keep in mind that you can both spoil your dog with a haircut and emphasize its positive features.

The BT has salient ribs, so do not make the body flat, but also don´t leave much hair – that will make the dog “heavy”.

The tail cut evenly, 2-3 cm are left. The inner (back) side of the tail and the geitals are cut as short as possible. If the tail is short, you may leave longer hair on its tip-

that´ll make it longer.

Haircut (Forequarters)

The forequarters should be thoroughly combed against the direction of the hair growth. Cut away the excessive hair, form a “Column”. Thick bundles of hair in between fingers are cut away. The paw must look round.

Haircut (Hindquaters)

Start cutting from the elbow, (1-2 cm above it). You may use the shaver. Cut the back side of the thighs, up to the anus. On the thigh the length is 3-5 cm , and the longer hair is smoothly replaced by shorter. If you properly cut the thigh, you can hide many faults and weakness of the build.

Id`like to mention once more that after the haircut, the BT must have nice, natural lines of the silhouette. His appearance must be self-assured and powerful and by no means decorative.

[ history ] Puppy Chart

The Black Russian Terrier Puppy Chart shown below gives information regarding growth stages of a puppy from ages 2 to 10 months old. If a puppy is not in the ranges shown, it is suggested that the breeder or a veterinarian be contacted.

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They say some 17 breeds were used but hard to knw how many washed out and actally made it in the program.The dog they call the Moscow Water Dog was only bred by Red Star Kennels and comprised of a cross between Caucasian ovcharka, Newfoundland and German Shepherd.

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In 1952 - 1954 a considerable quantity of the first generation broods were obtained. After the dogs were raised, they were tested for working qualities and the best dogs were chosen for futher breeding. Beginning with the third generation the work was carried out to improve the breed. In the first group of this generation the best dogs was the sire Khaitar (86U9x), born in 1952 by riesenschnauzer Roy and airedaleterrier Sotta. It was a large male with a strong physique, a strong skeleton, a nice riesenschnauzer type head with dark eyes and healthy strong teeth. It had a well developed torso, a moderately wide and deep chest. The height in the withers was 63 cm, the weight was 32 kg. For exterior and working qualities he got exellent marks.

The second group of specimen was obtained from riesenschnauzer Roy and rottweiler Ouna who gave birth to two brothers Azart and Vakh in 1956. They were characterized by a coarce strong build, a massive skeleton, well developed muscles, a broad and deep chest. They had good working qualities and met all the requirements of a universal military dog. Vakh was 70 cm high in the withers. In addition, males Arai (from Roy and Ourma), Chubarik and Ahul (from Roy and Ouda) were used for further breeding.

In 1955 the broods of the first and second generations for the time were demonstrated at the Exhibition of Economic Achievement and recieving a high mark. The next stage of breeding work involved raising of crosses as such, perfecting working qualities by a strict choice and selection of the best dogs for subsequent mating. Then it was time for a mass transfer of the puppies to utility dog breeding clubs and other farms for raising and breeding.

This breed has been recognized first in Finland then Sweden, Holland, Germany, USA and many other countries. Due to great interest black terrier shown in many countries and owing to absence of any requlations, the dog livestock is continually flowing abroad where the breed recieved the name "Black Russian Terrier"

Kinological journal 1/90

A. Stepanshov

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OK I will try to add photo of Best Bitch on National show in Moscow in 2009. Owners clip her every summer and this dog is from very famous Moscow's kennel.


Edited by vesper12

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