The Black Russian Terrier is brave, observant, alert, protective, companionable and affectionate. Black Russian Terriers thrive on the companionship with their family and should not be kept away in a kennel outdoors. Black Russian Terriers have natural guarding and protective instincts and are always ready to protect their family and property. Generally Black Russian Terriers get along well with children, other dogs and household pets, but are rather reserved with strangers. Black Russian Terriers are quick to learn and are easily house trained. They need early and consistent training during puppyhood before they grow into large powerful dogs.
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Black Russian Terriers need a reasonable amount of grooming to keep their coats looking tidy and healthy. They should be brushed at least once a week and will need professional trimming about 2-3 times a year. Depending on the coats condition it may need to be stripped (the dead hairs plucked out), especially if the coat is soft. The hair between the pads of the feet and and in the ear canals should be removed. Black Russian Terriers shed very little or no hair, making them good pets to have inside.
Black Russian Terriers are energetic with tremendous stamina and must be kept well exercised and fit. Generally this breed loves to play in water and snow and should be taken on long walks with opportunities to run freely and play off the lead.
The Black Russian Terrier was developed by the Russian Military back in the 1930s. This breed evolved from selective cross-breeding with Rottweilers, Airedale Terriers and Giant Schnauzers. They were bred with the intent of fulfilling the need for large, working terriers that were capable of doing a variety of tasks while being able to withstand the harsh Russian winters. Black Russian Terriers became formally recognized in the 1940s and it's breed standard was revised in 1993.
General Appearance: Large, powerful, agile and alert.
Color: Black and ashen (black with random white or grey hairs interspersed).
Coat: The outercoat is wiry, thick, rough and about 4-10cm (1.5-4 in) in length. The undercoat is thick and tight. Shorter-coated dogs have a reasonably flat and wavy coat. The head should have a beard, moustache and overhanging eyebrows.
Tail: Set high, customarily docked, thick and carried vertically.
Ears: Set high, triangular, short, pendant and hanging close to the cheeks.
Body: The body is strong, agile and heavily boned with well developed muscles. The back is broad, level and strong and the chest is deep and broad. The croup is muscular, broad and slightly sloping and the short loins are well-developed and muscular. The abdomen is well tucked-up and the forechest is not prominent.
- Despite the large size of Black Russian Terriers they can live happily in an apartment, provided they get sufficient exercise. These dogs do not manage well if kept away from their family such as in a kennel and thrive on human companionship.