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Dog Breeds - Alaskan Malamute






Black Russian Terrier

(also known as the Black Terrier, Tchiorny Terrier, Chornyi,

Russian Bear Schnauzer)

Black Russian Terrier


Developed in the former USSR to be used as a guard and protection dog for the Russian Army, the large and high-spirited Black Russian Terrier proved to be a universal military dog with a stable temperament, always willing to work and able to withstand the dramatic climatic differences in Russia.  The breeds used in the development of the Black Russian Terrier were primarily the Newfoundland (this is where its size and coat originates from), Rottweiler and Giant Schnauzer (inheriting their temperament and working ability) and Airedale Terrier (for “spirit”). It was by the 1970’s where the foundation dogs of what has become the Black Russian Terrier of today were established. In the past it was rare to see these dogs outside their native country however over the years the breed has now mainly spread to the Balkans, Ukraine, Siberia, Finland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the United States.  These dogs have now proven to be successful in a variety of roles including obedience, tracking, agility, conformation showing and as therapy dogs.



The highly intelligent Black Russian Terriers are also known to be confident, calm, brave and loyal. Not known to be timid, the Black Russian Terrier may be aloof with strangers and, unless socialized early, may not tolerate handling by anyone outside the family. Slow to mature they are generally dog tolerant but may defend themselves if threatened. They also possess a long memory and will remember prior incidents with certain dogs (and certain people).  Because they were originally bred as a guard and protection dog they are highly trainable and thrive with a variety of stimulation and in Europe are being used for both herding and sledding as well as for protection work.


Height: 64-72cm (25-28in)

Weight:  35-70kg (77-154lbs

The large, powerful and robust Black Russian Terrier gives the impression of great strength, athleticism, and courage. This large boned and well developed muscular dog should be rustic in appearance, and should not look as though its coat is sculpted or trimmed. With small, dark brown to black, oval shaped and slightly slanted eyes this dog’s whiskers and beard give the muzzle a squared-off shape and the head an overall ‘brick’ type shape.  The colour is black with a few white or grey hairs and there should be dark pigmentation in the eyes, nose, and gums.  The Black Russian Terrier's coat has outer hairs which are rough and thick with a softer undercoat and on its muzzle, the coat should form a moustache on the upper lip and a beard on the lower lip. Above the eyes, the eyebrows should appear rough and bristled.



The Black Russian Terriers coat is hard and dense but never soft, woolly, silky or frizzy and from approximately 18 months of age onward their coats start to change from being a soft puppy coat to a harsher adult coat.  It is during this period that some matting will occur as the puppy coat sheds into the harsher coat coming through. Even though their coat is low-shedding, these dogs are not suitable for a first time groomer as they require time and lots of patience as they need to be brushed at least weekly and professionally groomed at the dog grooming parlour every six weeks.

Life Expectancy

12 – 14 Years


Health Concerns

Even though the Black Russian Terrier is a generally healthy it is prone to certain hereditary diseases with the major concern being Hip dysplasia and minor concerns being elbow dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.  It is important to note that if intending to agility train this breed you should wait until it is approximately 12 months old so as not to cause any damage to growth plates and joints from increased impact.  Because of their size and quick rate of growth a high quality diet is a necessity for this breed.  It is not recommended that canned or processed meat is fed to these dogs.  Fresh pet mince with a good quality dry biscuit should be on the menu.



For its emotional health, this dog needs your love, respect, and the companionship of you and your family and because of its breeding as a working dog, needs a job to do in order to be happy.  Early training is important as these dogs will exploit any owner who has failed to establish clear dominance, and basically they are just too big to not be trained.  Requiring lots of exercise, they may become hyperactive and destructive if they don’t get the opportunity to burn off their energy. It is in the right household however where they flourish where they are able to easily tolerate children and other animals.  These dogs are not just your average pet and do well in a housing situation opposed to their dislike to being kenneled, kept outside in yards or garages or removed from human contact for long periods of time. These dogs are a true guarding breed and need to be with experienced dog owners and preferably those with prior knowledge of working/guarding breeds.


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Terriers; dogs in this group were bred to drive foxes, rabbits and other quarry from their underground retreats. A few in this group include Airedale Terrier, Norfolk Terrier and Bull Terrier to mention a few.




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Working Dogs: This group  includes more breeds than any other. These dogs were bred to do a variety of work from guarding, herding, pulling sleds and rescue for example. A few in this group include Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Australian Cattle Dog and Bullmastiff to mention a few.




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