Black Russian Terrier

Working Group

Two Black Russian Terriers lying on ground in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 26-29 in, Males 27-30 in

Weight

80-130 lbs

Life Expectancy

10-12 yrs

History

The Black Russian Terrier was developed near Moscow around the 1930's at the Red Star Kennel, a kennel established by the Soviet government that aimed to produce a perfect military dog for the Russian Army. The World Wars and economic depression has essentially wiped out most pure breeds from Europe, so there was very little for the kennel to work with. The Black Russian Terrier was developed from over 17 breeds including the Giant Schnauzer, Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler, and Newfoundland. The breed was the ideal Russian military dog, with the strength to down and hold prisoners; the stamina, intelligence, and alertness to patrol borders; and the thick coat to protect against the frigid nights in the region.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Black Russian Terriers will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★★☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆

★☆

★☆

★☆

★★☆☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★


Energy Level

★☆


Sensitivity

★★★★☆


Noise Level

★☆


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★☆☆

Common Traits

Very affectionate and people-oriented

Can be stubborn at times and require firm, consistent training

Take a few years to reach full maturity

Make great guard dogs and will take cues from caretaker whether a stranger is a friend or not

Highly intelligent and need a job to perform or frequent mental stimulation to be happy