The Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier is known by many names; the Russian Black Terrier, the Pearl of Russia, the Tchiorny Terrier, the BRT or simply as the Blackie. This breed is a willing partner that is adaptable to many situations and makes a wonderful family and working companion.

Origin &History​​

The BRT Today

The development of the Black Russian Terrier began in the former Soviet Union with the goal of producing a military dog for the Red Army who could work independently and withstand various climatic condition. The Giant Schnauzer was used for its intelligence and stamina; the Airedale for its leadership, temperament, and stamina; the Rottweiler for its firm stature and fearlessness. It is thought that approximately 17 breeds were used in the development of the BRT.

The ancestry of all BRTs today can be traced back to the original Giant Schnauzer, Rottweiler, Airedale used by the Soviets during breed development. Other breeds including the Newfoundland were added to the mix in later years.

  • 1958 -- First Breed Standard was published.
  • 1981 -- The BRT received breed status in the former USSR.
  • 1984 -- BRT became recognized by the FCI (Group II).
  • 2002 -- CKC added BRT to Miscellaneous class.
  • 2004 -- AKC gave BRT full recognition to the Working Group

  The Black Russian Terrier is an intelligent, loyal, and protective companion. That is best suited for the experienced dog owner or willing to learn individual. 
The Black Russian Terrier can be a wonderful family member, with a desire to please his/her family. Consistent, early and lifelong obedience and socialization training is a requirement. A solid foundation will result in a well balaned 

Breeding & Health

Temperament and Working Qualities
The Black Russian Terrier is a large versatile working dog that is loyal, extremely intelligent, independent, and protective without undue aggression. Black Russians make a steadfast loyal friend and a faithful partner. A BRT loves and needs to have a job to do. You do not have to be a dog expert to appreciate this breed’s superior intelligence and balanced temperament.
BRTs belong to the Working Group of dog breeds. The Working Group includes some of the most intelligent breeds that were created to perform specific duties. The Black Russian Terrier's original purpose was to guard and protect. The BRT is a natural worker, controllable, and easy to train. The BRT enjoys being the center of attention whether in the show ring or surrounded by family at home.
Balanced temperament and remarkable trainability make the BRT a perfect companion and family member. These traits allow BRTs to excel in many canine sports and performance events, such as conformation, obedience, rally obedience, draft dog work, nose work, tracking, agility, and Schutzhund/IPO. BRT's are very intelligent and get bored with repetitive and monotonous training. The Black Russian Terrier is a dog that ideally should be trained and worked regularly to provide important mental stimulation.

The BRT wants to be your partner in everything you do, your shadow, your helper, your buddy, and your protector. Consistent training and proper socialization will result in a well-balanced BRT that will be enjoyed by all who cross his/hers path.
BRTs can be obedient couch potatoes at home until something is required of them, then they will become instantly alert and ready to work. A natural athlete, a BRT can delight its owner with agility and speed while outside, yet a BRT is calm indoors and definitely becomes ‘one of the family’. The Blackie has an amazing ability to adapt to the lifestyle of his family. If you are a very active person who enjoys jogging, biking, skiing, hiking, swimming, etc., your BRT will be there with you. If you are less athletic and just want to walk with your BRT that will suit them just fine. The breed is at its happiest when it is with its family! The Blackie is relaxed and independent at home. 
The BRT is a large muscular dog that needs a moderate amount of exercise to maintain a healthy body condition. Similar to many large breed owner you must be diligent and take great care to protect hips, elbows, and ligaments of a growing puppy. Do not let a growing dog play on slippery surfaces, run down stairs, and do not allow strenuous physical activity such as biking, long distance running and pulling until the puppy stops growing. As this is a slow maturing breed growth plates often do not officially close until 2 years of age (this varies on an individual basis).
The BRT is best suited for an experienced dog owner. However, a first-time owner who is consistent with training and socialization can create a well-balanced dog. A BRT can be wonderful with children and other animals providing proper socialization has taken place. A BRT usually accepts and protects everyone and everything you have at home. With the right family, the Black Russian Terrier makes a wonderful friend.

CKC Breed Standard
General Appearance
The size of the Black Russian Terriers is a larger than an average dog. Black Russian Terriers are strong, with massive bone structure and well-developed muscles. The skin is tight and elastic, without any folds or dewlap. Physical Appearance– Sturdy and robust.
Dogs of this breed are assertive, wary of strangers and resistant; they adjust easily to different climates. The Black Russian Terrier must yield to training.
Extremely energetic [vigorous], strong, stable temperament but very lively, with strong defence reactions.
Dogs 66 - 72 cm (26 - 28 inches) at the withers Bitches 64 - 70 cm (25- 27 inches) at the withers
Male dogs are of greater size [more imposing size], more masculine and more massive [stronger] than bitches.
Important Proportions – The proportion of the length of the body to the height at the withers is between 100-105% of the height at the withers. [i.e. Square to slightly longer in body]
Coat & Colour Coat
Rough, hard, ample and extremely dense. The seemingly broken coat is between 4-10 cm (1-4 inches) in length and covers the entire body. On the muzzle, the coat forms a rough, brushy moustache on the upper lip and a beard on the lower lip. Above the eyes, the eyebrows are rough and bristled. On the neck and the withers, the coat is longer and forms a mane. The forelegs, down to the elbows, and the hindlegs, down to the thighs, are covered by a rough and long coat. The undercoat is dense and well-developed.
Black or black with grey hairs.
Long with moderately narrow skull with well-rounded cheekbones. Forehead: is flat. Stop: is marked but not too pronounced. Muzzle: is parallel with the topline of the skull. The muzzle is strong, slightly tapering. The length of the muzzle is slightly less than the length of the skull. The moustache and the beard give the muzzle a truncated and square appearance. Lips: are thick and full. The upper lip fits tightly to the line of the lower jaw without forming flews (without looseness). Eyes: Small, oval shaped, slanted, dark in colour. Ears: attached high on the head, hanging straight down from the base, small and triangular in shape. The front rim of the ear hangs down against the cheekbones. Mouth: Teeth strong and white in colour, closely positioned. The incisors are positioned in one line; scissor bite.
Long, powerful, lean, set at a 40-45 degree angle to the topline.
Seen from the front, the legs are straight and parallel. The angle of the shoulder-blade with the upper arm is approximately 110 degrees. Elbows must point backwards. The upper arms are short and strong. The pasterns are short and straight. Front dewclaw removal not required. The presence or lack thereof must not influence the judgement of the dog.
Chest Roomy, deep, with well-sprung ribs, reaching to the level of the elbows or slightly below. Withers: high, clearly marked above the topline. Back: straight, wide and muscular. Loins: Short, wide, muscular and slightly arched. Rump: wide, muscular, with a barely visible slope towards the tail. Abdomen: rising above the lower line of the chest.

Seen from behind, the legs are straight and parallel, but set slightly wider apart than the front legs. Upper thighs: are muscular and well developed. Lower thighs: are long and set obliquely. Hock joints: are lean and well developed. Rear pasterns strong, long and almost vertical. Feet: Fore and Hind Thick, with well-arched pads, rounded in shape. Rear dewclaw removal is desirable but not required. The presence or lack thereof must not influence the judgment of the dog.
The tail is thick, set moderately high, and is carried at an approximate 45-degree angle from the horizontal. When the tail is docked, there are 3 to 5 vertebrae remaining. An undocked tail is not to be penalised. The preferred shape of an undocked tail resembles a sickle or sabre. The abdomen is moderately tucked up and firm.
Easy, harmonious and effortless A short [non-overreaching] trot or gallop are the most typical gaits. When trotting, the legs must move in a straight line, with the front legs converging slightly towards a median line. The back and loin have an elastic, springy movement.
Light frame, poorly developed muscle tone.
The length of the body is slightly too long if it is between 106- 108% of the height.
Minor reversal of the required sexual characteristics.
Shyness, excessive excitability, passiveness [laziness]
Head too small, forehead rounded, stop hardly marked or excessively pronounced, protruding cheekbones, soft lips.
Eyes: large eyes or eye colour not sufficiently dark. Visible third eyelid.
Ears: set too low; long ears, flying ears, ears held apart from the cheekbones
Mouth: poorly developed teeth, teeth not corresponding with age, damaged teeth which do not interfere with the proper occlusion of the bite. The absence of up to two of the first premolars or absence of one of the first premolars and one of the second premolars. Light
tartar build-up.
Neck: Short neck, blocky neck, showing a dewlap or held low
Shoulders slightly too straight, elbows turned slightly in or out; Weak pasterns turned in or out
Chest not sufficiently wide, chest not reaching the elbows, ribcage slightly flat.
Low, poorly developed withers
Back: weak, narrow or insufficiently muscled.
Loins: long, insufficiently arched
Horizontal or slightly sloping rump, insufficiently muscled
Strongly tucked-up or whippet-like abdomen
Hindquarters: weak muscle tone, short thighs, slightly cow or bow hocked. Angulation of the hock joint too slight or too strong.
Hare feet. Feet pointing in or out.
Tail set low, incorrectly docked
Gait: legs not moving in a straight line. Insufficient extension of the front or hind legs.
Coat: straight hair, not broken. Wavy hair, soft hair, hair longer than 10 cm [3.9 in] Insufficient formation of moustache, beard or eyebrows. Frizzy hair
Colour: Brown or grey shadings. Small white spot on chest
Size: Slightly leggy or short on the legs
Height at withers of dogs below 66 cm [25.7 in] or above 72 cm [28.1 in]
Height at withers of bitches below 64 cm [25 in]or above 70 cm [27.3 in]
  • Any deviation from the scissor bite
  • Parti-coloured coat
  • White markings on feet
  • Red patches
  • Grey coat
  • Absence of an incisor or a canine tooth
  • Absence of any PM3 or PM4
  • Absence of any molar

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
Roger Caras