General Information

Dog NameBlack Russian Terrier
Other NamesTchornyi Terrier
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypeTerrier
GroupWorking Group
Country of OriginRussia

Physical And Size

Min Life Span10
Max Life Span12
Min Ideal Weight for male38
Max Ideal Weight for male54
Min Ideal Weight for female36
Max Ideal Weight for male54


Intelligent Rank
Affection Level
Social Needs
Watchdog Ability


TemperamentCalm, Smart, Courageous
Prey DriveNo
Fighting DogNo


Stranger FriendlyLow
Child FriendlyHigh
Cat FriendlyMedium
Apartment FriendlyMedium
Senior Citizens FriendlyMedium
Service DogMedium
Search and Rescue DogMedium
Biting PotentialLow
Country of OriginRussia
Nicknames and Other NamesBRT
Tchornyi Terrier
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupWorking Dog
Guardian Dog
Bred Forworking, guarding, and companion
Recognized ByAKC, FCI, UKC
Life Span10-12 years
Ideal Weight80-130 pounds (male and female)
Ideal HeightMale: 27-30 inches
Female: 26-29 inches
Fur TypeSlightly wavy, rough, dense
Common ColorsSalt and Pepper
AvailabilityModerately available
AchievementsMilitary dogs
Suitable for ApartmentsNo
Used in World WarUsed as a service dog in
World War I and II
Most Similar ToGiant Schnauzer

Black Russian Terrier is a medium to large-sized dog breed which was bred to be a military dog. They are a very active dog that needs an active owner with an open space house where they can perform their regular activities. They are not suitable for apartment life.

Black Russian Terrier is a powerful dog with a head that is proportionate to the body. The eyes are oval, set wide apart and the ears are medium length, triangular and set high. They have a double-coated, slightly wavy coat. The hair falls from the head to the level of eyes and their muzzle is covered with mustache and beard.

Origin and History

The origin of the Black Russian Terrier is in Russia as a working dog. It was created by the team of scientist and a group of breeders that wanted a super dog for the Russian army.

It was bred in a Red Star Kennel by the Soviet Army scientist as they need a military dog with a protective and suspicious towards strangers temperament. It was bred by crossing Giant Schnauzer with different breeds like Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler, and Newfoundland after World War II.

The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 2004 as the member f the working group. It ranks 118 of the 193 AKC registered breed.

Is Black Russian Terrier Child-Friendly?

Black Russian Terrier is gentle and tolerant of small kids, so they make an excellent companion for them. They love spending time with them and are always protective of kids. Although they do great with children, their interaction should always be supervised as they might accidentally knock over small kids and hurt them.

Black Russian Terrier posing with a older girl
Black Russian Terrier posing with a older girl.
Image Source: Instagram-@blackpowderkennel

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The temperament of the Black Russian Terrier is calm, intelligent, and affectionate towards its people. Although they are a calm dog, they are very protective of their people and guard them like a good guard dog. However, they do not tend to be aggressive but will alert their people by barking.

Behavior: Black Russian is a very active dog that needs regular exercise to keep itself healthy physically and mentally. If they do not get the required amount of exercise, they will become destructive and anxious. Therefore, take them out for a walk, run, play or hike regularly.

Personality: The personality of Black Russian Terrier is friendly, active, and suspicious. It is a great family companion it is loving and affectionate towards its people. It is protective of its people and their property due to which they are suspicious of any approaching strangers.


Training Black Russian Terrier is not a hard job to do as they are eager to please their owner. Although a firm and consistent leadership are needed. If you do not develop a leadership upon them, they will take themselves as a leader and training will become tough after that.

Reward them with treats and lots of vocal praises which will encourage and motivate them to be focused on the training.

Video of Residential Training Black Russian Terrier.


  • Although the Black Russian Terrier has got the word terrier on its name, the American Kennel Club has kept it under the working group.
  • It is believed that 17 breeds were used to create the Black Russian Terrier.
  • The Soviet military used this dog as a guard dog at border crossings, prisons, and military installations

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesHip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy,
Urinary Stones, Elbow Dysplasia
Vaccination RequiredRabies, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parvovirus, Canine Parainfluenza,
Leptospirosis, Kennel Cough,
Canine Coronavirus
SheddingNone to Minimal
DroolingAverage Drooler
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyModerate Chance
AllergiesSkin and Food Allergies
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 25%-30%
Fat: 8%-12%

The Black Russian Terrier is generally a healthy breed with few possibilities of hereditary health problem.

  • Hip Dysplasia: The condition where the hip joints are either underdeveloped or dislocated is called hip dysplasia. It causes sharp pain on the back of your dog making them difficult to move from one place to another.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: It is mostly caused due to hereditary and your dog will face night blindness in the beginning and slowly began to lose sight during the day too. Consult a vet for proper and timely treatment.


The Black Russian Terrier comes in following colors:

  • Black and Tan
  • Sable
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Salt and Pepper


Black Russian Terrier puppy
Black Russian Terrier puppy.
Image Source: American Kennel Club

Size: The average height of the Black Russian Terrier is between 26-30 inches and the average weight is between 80-130 pounds.

Cost: The average cost of the Black Russian Terrier is between $1200-$1500 USD.

Similar Dog Breeds to Black Russian Terrier

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