Facts and Information on the Black Russian Terrier Dog Breed

When you see a Black Russian Terrier for the first time, you’ll think that he’s covered in a blanket which is actually his big fur. These elegant black beauties are confident and clever guard dogs who aren’t pure terriers. They are people-oriented dogs that will go where the action is present. Keep reading to learn more about this magnificent breed. 

Breed NameBlack Russian Terrier
Other NameBlack Pearls of Russia
Dog Breed TypeWorking dogs
Parent BreedsRottweilers, Airedales, Giant Schnauzers 
Height26-28 inches
Weight80-140 pounds
Life Expectancy10-11 years
Coat TypeTousled double coat
Common ColorsBlack, Tan, Salt and pepper
Grooming NeedsMedium 
TemperamentStable, Energetic, Confident, Lively, Brave, Hardy
Apartment LivingSuitable for apartment living
Health ConcernsDwarfism, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)  
Overall HealthHealthy 
Intelligence LevelLow to medium 
Energy LevelHigh 
Litter Size6-12 puppies

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability 3 stars

Adaptive to apartment living 3 stars

Suitable for new owners 2 stars

Sensitivity range 4 stars

Comfortable being alone 2 stars

Comfortable with cold weather 4 stars

Comfortable with hot weather 3 stars

All about friendliness 3 stars

Lovable with family 4 stars

Kid-friendly 5 stars

Dog-friendly 2 stars

Frank with strangers 2 stars

Grooming and Health Requirements 3 stars

Shedding quantity 3 stars

Drooling capacity 3 stars

Effortless to groom 2 stars

Overall health 3 stars

Capable of weight gain 3 stars

Size 5 stars

Trainability 3 stars

Effortless to train 4 stars

Smartness 4 stars

Capable of biting 4 stars

Tendency to attack prey 2 stars

Urge to howl or bark 3 stars

Wanderlust personality 3 stars

Physical Requirements 4 stars

Energy range 3 stars

Intensity 5 stars

Exercise Requirements 4 stars

Playful personality 5 stars

Vital Statistics 






The Black Russian Terrier dogs were initially bred to be guard dogs. They develop their protective instincts once they grow a year old. This gorgeous black beauty is a combination of power, agility, size, and intelligence. These dogs love their humans and want to be on their side all the time, making them perfect pets for families. These dogs will crave your love and attention, so make sure you give them. They are working-class dogs that are quite easy to train and respond well to consistent training. They give respect to their owners and expect the same in return. 

Their smartness can scare you sometimes. If you can’t tolerate a pet being smarter than you, then the Black Russian Terrier is not the one for you. These dogs have a history of working with the police and the military. Contrary to their size, these dogs don’t mature early. You’ll see them perform actively more outside than inside. 

Often people get kennels for their pets, but the Black Russian Terrier is not one of those pets that’ll live in a kennel. These dogs are people-oriented and want their humans by their side. When they see someone strange in their house, they’ll first make sure of the stranger’s behavior and then accept them. However, once they sense any danger, there’s nothing that can stop them from protecting their family. 


The Soviet Army Scientists were behind the breeding of the Black Russian Terrier to get an excellent working dog. These dogs adapt to the shivering winters of Russia as their breeding is done to patrol with the soldiers on the border. The scientists didn’t want a whole new breed; they just needed a dog who could fulfill their military requirements. 

Their breeding took place in the Red Star Kennel. This was established under the Red Army and had full government resources for help. Purebred dog breeding was put to a stop during the Russian revolution, economic problems, and World War II. Geneticists and breeders didn’t have enough homebred stock for breeding work. 

However, they did great work. They needed a dog with stamina who could chase and catch intruders, run long fence lines, and can survive the harsh weather. The crossing of Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers, and Airedales was done, but there were 17 breeds that were crossed, including the Great Dane and some huge Russian breeds like the Ovcharka. 

Also goes by the pet name Blackies, these dogs worked at prisons, rail crossings, and military venues, and they were good at their job. Military venues like the gulags started closing during the 1950s as there were more than enough dogs, and the Army started selling these puppies to the general public. The first breed standard for these dogs was created by the Soviet Army in 1958.


The Black Russian Terrier is a huge and powerful breed. You will get scared if you see a full-grown Black Russian Terrier for the first time. These dogs grow tall, between 26-29 inches. They don’t even need to bark, and their size is enough to scare anyone away. Now, you can go on your night walks with your pet. 


The Black Russian Terrier dogs are confident, brave, and serene. They radiate tranquility and confidence thanks to their stable nervous systems. As the military did their breeding, you can expect them to have an alert, self-confident, and loyal personality. If these dogs didn’t have emotional stability, no one knows how dangerous they could become. 

These dogs are highly intelligent, and that’s why it becomes so effortless to train them. Firm and consistent training is the best form of training for these dogs. The earlier you start their training, the easier it becomes to get them on their best behavior. The Black Russian Terrier is fond of children and will even protect their friends. 

The Black Russian Terrier wants to be a part of the family, so make sure you make them feel like it. Backyard life doesn’t suit these dogs. You should give blackies attention and care all the time if you want them as your pet. 


Generally, the Black Russian Terrier is a healthy breed, but there are some health issues associated with them you need to know about.

  • Allergies
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)


Never ever keep your blackie alone in the backyard while you chill inside the house. They will keep waiting for you to play with them or until you let them in. These dogs are hungry for human contact, and if you can’t provide them with this, you probably shouldn’t get them as your pet. They are the happiest when they get to spend time with their humans. When you have to do some work, give them toys like the Buster Cubes to keep your pet busy. These dogs adapt well to apartment living as long as they get enough mental and physical stimulation. You can get a crate for your dog so they can sleep separately, not keep them locked in there all day. Maintain your pet’s dental and nail hygiene to keep them well-groomed and healthy. 

Feeding and Diet

The dietary requirements of the Black Russian Terrier are unique, just like every dog breed. Their feeding needs depend on a lot of factors like age, size, and health, among many others. As these dogs grow, their dietary needs change. That’s why before feeding your dog anything you like or see on the internet, you should consult your vet first. They will do a proper analysis of your dog’s unique needs and then make a diet plan accordingly. 

Coat color and grooming

The most common color of the Black Russian Terrier is black, of course. You might see variations of black color in different dogs. These dogs have moderate grooming needs as they have a double coat. Brush their coat weekly to avoid matting. Use a stripping comb, an undercoat rake, and a slicker brush for this. 

Children and other pets

The Black Russian Terriers are friendly dogs that bond well with other pets and children. They will protect everyone in their group. Early socialization helps to maintain this behavior positively.


The Black Russian Terrier doesn’t shed that much though you might notice little lumps of hair unless you brush them from time to time. 

Male vs. Female attitude

There’s no noticeable difference in the attitude of male and female dogs of this breed.


If you’ve convinced yourself to get the Black Russian Terrier as your pet, then prepare yourself to devote at least half an hour of your time to your pet’s daily exercise. These dogs need mental stimulation along with physical stimulation. Letting your dog play alone in the backyard doesn’t count as exercise. 

Little known facts

Creating the Black Russian Terrier was a challenge back then, and as many as 17 breeds were used for this purpose.

FAQ on breed

  1. Where do the Black Russian Terrier dog breeds come from?

Russia, Soviet Union

  1. What is the best diet routine for a Black Russian Terrier?

This energetic breed should be given a nutritional diet.

  1. How much exercise is required for a Black Russian Terrier?

At least half an hour daily

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