Black Russian Terrier

Breed Summary

The Black Russian Terrier is large, majestic, and mysterious, especially when all that hair is hiding his eyes. They are a robust, balanced, agile, and powerful dog. Their coat is a double coat and hard with a coarse outer guard hair over a softer undercoat. They have large bone and well-developed muscles, with impressive strength and endurance. The Black Russian Terrier is stable in temperament, possessing self-assurance and courage.

Country of Origin: Russia

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 118 of 196

AKC Classification: Working Group

UKC Classification: Terrier dog

Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day

Height: Female: 26-29 inches.; Male: 27-30 inches

Weight: Female: 80-130 lbs.; Male: 80-130 lbs

Physical traits: Well-balanced, Large, Strong

Coat: Length: Medium

Characteristics: Rough and thick, slightly waved

Color: Black

Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Personality traits/Temperament: Intelligent, Calm, Powerful

Energy Level: High

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: Low

Tendency to Bark: High

Tendency to Dig: High

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years


The Black Russian Terrier is a healthy breed. Their life expectancy is 10 to 12 years. However, they are prone to certain hereditary diseases like allergies, urinary tract stones, hip and elbow dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy, which can cause vision loss and blindness. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential. As with all breeds, the ears and teeth of Black Russian Terrier’s should be checked and brushed regularly.


The Black Russian Terrier needs high-quality dog food to fulfil its nutritional requirement. Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Any diet should be appropriate according to the different dog’s stage (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so monitor your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level frequently. Don’t provide human foods that are not safe for them. Consult with your veterinarian in case of any emergency.


Black Russian Terrier needs early socialization training, which needs to continue throughout the dog’s lifetime to prevent aggressive behavior. Obedience training also needs to start as early as possible and should continue well into adulthood. They are dominating and will become pushy with anyone they can intimidate. Training should be consistent, but always reward-based, never punishment-based. They are intelligent and learns quickly if they treated with kindness and respect.


The Black Russian Terrier needs at least 30 or 40 minutes of exercise every day. They always want to take part in walks, long runs, bike rides, swims, and hikes with their owner. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. They are likely to play with a ball or a flying disc with his owner in the backyard. Boredom can lead to developing destructive behavior to them and they become aggressive when they don’t get enough opportunity to spend enough time with their human family. They excel at canine sports such as obedience, agility, rally, and Schutzhund (protection) competitions.

Fun Fact

A Moscow kennel, called the Red Star, developed the Black Russian Terrier in the 1930s for the sole purpose of putting the breed to work in the military.


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