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Black Russian Terrier… Everything You Need to Know in a Glance!

If you’re looking for the perfect guard dog that also makes a great family pet, you will want to keep the Black Russian Terrier on your “short list” of options. You are also known as the Russian Government, who explicitly designed the Tchiorny Terrier; this dog was big, strong, and highly intelligent, so it could perform various duties, including pulling supplies, guarding borders, and even detecting explosive devices!

But don’t let…

This scares you because at their “core,” the Black Russian Terrier is an incredibly loyal sweetheart whose primary desire is to protect those to whom he belongs, which is why this breed has been able to make the “jump” from the soviet Red Star Kennels to homes throughout the world. But will the Black Russian Terrier be your “right” dog? That’s the…

“Million Ruble question”

And one that we hope to help you answer in this review article of the Black Russian Terrier. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Black Russian Terrier Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Russia

Original Purpose:  Working Dog, Guard Dog

Height:  26 to 30 inches tall

Weight:  80 to 145 pounds

Life Span: 10 to 11 years

Dog Breed Classification: Working

Origins of the Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier is from Russia… obviously! In the early 1940’ss, with the war on just about everyone’s mind, this dog was explicitly designed and bred by the state-owned Red Star Kennel program to create the perfect military dog. What they did was they took the Giant Schnauzer dog breed and cross-bred it with a variety of other “black terrier” dogs, including:

It ultimately creates the Black Russian Terrier, a formidable animal capable of performing complex tasks in some of the most inhospitable environments.

The Black Russian Terrier or BRT…

It is currently recognized by the Federation Cynologique International, an international organization representing the kennel clubs of all countries outside of the United States and the UK. And while the BRT was rarely seen in the United States until a few years ago. Today, he is pretty standard. This is a testament to just how “great” this dog is and probably why the American Kennel Club (AKC) chose to also “officially” recognize the breed in 2004. He is today a famous guard dog.

Physical Characteristics

The Black Russian Terrier breed standard is a large dog, weighing up to 145 pounds and reaching up to 30 inches in height; this is not a dog folks are just naturally going to want to run up on! He has a wavy double coat (that will be black), large ears, and hair that falls over the eyes. And like the Giant Schnauzer, the BRT will also have that classic beard and mustache fur pattern, only his will be longer than the Giant Schnauzer’s. These dogs are also commonly called “blackies” because of their thick black double coat, which comes only in black, with a few streaks of gray.

Personality and Temperament

Whenever you’re talking about a dog that can be as big as the BRT, it’s essential to understand what kind of temperament they are likely to be born with and use these “natural” tendencies to the best of your ability to create a “well-mannered” dog. Otherwise, what you have is a “huge” problem on your hands cause even the most “friendly” 145-pound dog can be a problem if they like to jump up and greet new visitors.

This is why…

Regardless of how “great” the Black Russian Terrier is, if you don’t think that you’re going to be and to put in the time to train them properly, please don’t adopt a BRT. It’s just not going to work! The good news is that if you’re willing to do the work, so will your BRT!   cause these dogs were bred to be able to follow complex instructions, they are pretty easy to train, provided you can get a “handle” on their independence streak.

You see…

The BRT is an independent-minded dog who understands what he wants. That is why you should train and socialize him as a very young puppy so that he sees you as the leader of his pack. He’s also a very active and athletic person who loves running. You’ll want to set him loose at a park or trail so he can burn free!

Grooming the BRT

Taking care of the BRT can be a lot of hard work… Because of his thick beard, your BRT will likely drip water and food from his mustache and beard when he eats or drinks. S, he has to be cleaned up after every meal. P us his thick coat will naturally spicks up a lot of dirt and debris from the house and outside, especially if you give him free rein to roam on his own. You should be sure and give a good brush down twice a week, at least, and expect to need to bathe him every weekend.

Now, at this point, you may be thinking…

“Wo,” this all sounds like a TON of work!”

S”, Let’s take a moment to discuss what makes the Black Russian Terrier a good dog. He is a very loyal dog devoted to his human family. H  will protect you and the other family members and want to follow you everywhere. The beauty of having a dog like a BRT with you is that most folks who have even an ounce of common sense and value their life and well-being aren’t going to think it’s an excellent idea to mess with you with one of these guys around!


Despite what he may look like to “st”  anger,” y”  you’re BRT will likely be a total sweetheart to you. Ready and willing to follow you to the ends of the world and committed to becoming your best friend for life! A ways on alert, he will have one eye on you and one eye looking to see if anyone is trespassing on your property. H  is a courageous dog and will put himself in harm’s and fight off intruders if needed – You can count on him to protect and defend your family in a dangerous situation. As you can see, this big guy also has his “go”d points,” t”o. Us, the Black Russian Terrier, is a VERY healthy breed to boot!

Potential Health Concerns

While the BRT is one of the healthiest and most potent dog breeds, even he is susceptible to specific genetic conditions. That is why getting a DNA test before buying a BRT from a breeder is essential. Specifically, he may suffer from the following health problems…

This is why even though the Black Russian Terrier dog breed is pretty healthy in general, we here at IndulgeYourPet always like to recommend that any new dog owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to be able to purchase a quality pet insurance policy for your new loved one.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, of course not. Until you know what these policies will and won’t be and what it might cost to get insured, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information about who we feel currently offers the “be”t” p”t insurance policies on the market today, check out the Best Pet Insurance Company article.

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