Black Russian Terrier


A large sized Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)27-29in (68-74cm)
Weight85-140lbs (39-64kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black
Lifespan10-14 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size6-12
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftHigh

The Black Russian Terrier is a large and powerful, robust looking dog. The body is well muscled with a deep chest, well-sprung ribs, strong straight legs and a high-set docked tail. The large head has a broad muzzle, high-set hanging ears, a large black nose and dark eyes with a distinctive curtain of hair over the eyes and face. The weatherproof close-fitting coat is dense and wiry, and the colouring tends to be black, sometimes with white hairs mixed in.


Black Russian Terriers are brave and observant dogs that are sociable and like to be around people. They are quite playful and fun-loving, which makes them good companions and family pets, and as they thrive on contact with their owners they don't like being left alone for too long. These are intelligent dogs that are eager to please, and housebreaking can be pretty easy, but these are large dogs that are often stubborn and dominant at times and so they need confident owners. For this reason they are perhaps best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training. Black Russian Terriers tend to get on well with children, but due to their great size are really best suited to older, more considerate kids. They generally get along fine with other household pets including smaller animals, but can often be dominant around dogs that are not part of the family. As these are protective dogs by nature, as well as being very observant of their surroundings, they are wary around strangers and so make effective guard and watchdogs.

History & Skills

Black Russian Terriers originate from Russia, as the name suggests, and were developed following the Second World War by The Russian Red Army as military dogs for guarding police and military buildings and penal colonies. Developed by crossing breeds such as the Airedale Terrier, the Moscow Retriever, the Rottweiler and the Giant Schnauzer amongst others, these dogs are still fairly rare these days.

Breed Specific Ailments

Black Russian Terriers tend to live between 10-14 years. Some of the health problems noted in this breed includes hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA, allergies and if not checked regularly, the ears can be prone to otitis.


Black Russian Terriers are low shedders when groomed correctly, and so can be suited to those suffering with allergies. Their grooming requirements are not high and the coat will need brushing at least once a week to remove dead hair and keep it in good condition. It will also need trimming several times a year thanks to the denseness of the coat.

Exercise & Environment

Black Russian Terriers tend to prefer living indoors to be near their owners and so are suitable for small homes such as apartments, despite their large size. They will need a lot of exercise in the form of a daily walk or jog, but access to an outside yard or garden will not really help meet their exercice needs as they love being near their owners. Any walks should be carried out on a leash because these dogs love to explore to satisfy their curious natures.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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