Black Russian Terrier – BRT Dog

Black Russian Terrier – BRT Dog

Westerners usually don’t know what a BRT dog (Black Russian Terrier) is. It is also known as Blackie, Black Pearl of Russia, and Chornyi Terrier after the Russian word чёрный, meaning ‘black.’ You can also hear the term ‘Stalin dog,’ since this military breed was created in USSR, in the period after World War 2.

Large Black Terrier is a self-assured and confident dog deeply affectionate and dedicated to its family. Calm temperament is a desired trait, but it shouldn’t be shy or insecure. Since it is a relatively new breed, it is still rare outside of Russia, but more people look for a pet to rely on and entrust the family and property protection. In such a case, the great Russian Terrier is the one.

Everything You Need To Know About The Black Russian Terrier:

1. History

In the 1940s, the Soviets decided to create a suitable military dog, mainly by using imported German breeds. They started with Giant Schnauzer, Roy, and bred it extensively with females from a few different breeds in Red Star kennel.

The most successful offspring were black crossbred puppies created from females of 17 different breeds, including Rottweiler, Great Danes, Airedale Terrier, Newfoundlands, Moscow Water-Dog, and giant Russian bear dog (Caucasian Shepherd Dog).

The best dogs from the so-called Black Terrier group were bred among themselves, and their second and third-generation offspring formed a new breed by 1957. They immediately got border guard duties and military tasks that included pulling sledges, detecting mines, and saving wounded soldiers in the harshest weather.

The Soviet Ministry of Agriculture recognized the new large Russian dog in 1981, while the international FCI officially recognized it in 1984. Russian Terrier dog came to the US in 1989 or 1990, when a Russian immigrant couple registered a kennel in Mississippi. It also appeared in a few European and Scandinavian dog shows but was pretty unknown before becoming a member of the Miscellaneous class in 2004. The AKS officially recognized Black Russian Terrier in 2004 as 135th registered breed, and it became a regular Working Group member.

2. Personality

Black Russian Terrier dog is courageous, loyal, and confident, but also calm and stable, making it an excellent pet. Keep in mind that this KGB dog is primarily designed to guard and protect, and it could be dangerous without perfect emotional stability.

When you pick out this huge Russian dog, you will get a family member suitable for inside living. Although it will need a lot of fresh air and adequate training, never leave your buddy spending hours alone in the back yard.

Black Russian Terrier personality

This dog is affectionate and playful but never hyperactive, and it can’t get used to an outdoor lifestyle. On the contrary, your furry friend will probably become withdrawn and dejected without enough love and attention. This beauty will enjoy long walks, hiking, and jogging in your company, but always take it on a leash since it is unfriendly toward strangers.

3. Temperament

Black Russian Terrier is the biggest Russian dog breed and an intimidating guard and family protector that can be highly dangerous toward non-family members. Since many different factors affect Black Russian Terrier temperament, including heredity, early socialization, and adequate training, you will be responsible if a curious and playful puppy becomes an aggressive adult.

Even though this dog is the largest Black Russian Terrier, it is kind and gentle with kids. However, be careful and never let unknown children alone with it. Your four-legged friend may consider a rougher kids’ play a possible attack and decide to protect the member of its pack.

Black Russian Terrier temperament

You should also think twice when deciding to buy a Black Russian dog breed if you have a toddler in the house. This dog is excellent with older children, but a screaming creature that pulls its ears and tail can be too irritating even for this calm temperament.

When it comes to other pets, the best option is to avoid them when choosing Black Russian Terrier. It suits best to a household with only one animal – it. In some cases, your buddy will tolerate cats and other dogs when raised together, but it is better to avoid leaving them alone without supervision. One more thing! Never let your BRT dog lives with small animals like rabbits since it will consider them prey.

Russian Black Terrier guard dog is highly territorial and doesn’t like strangers. Be sure that it will never let them in without your strict command. If you are not an experienced dog owner, this breed is not an ideal choice for you. If your pet feels your insecurity, it will position itself as a pack leader. Believe me! It is not a good option for you and your family.

4. Size And Look

Black Russian Terrier weight is approximately 100 to 130 pounds (45 – 59 kg), while they are 25 to 29 inches (63.5 – 73.5 cm) high on average.

Black Russian Terrier size and look
Black Russian Terrier
Height27 to 29 inches (68.5 – 73.5 cm)25 to 27 inches (63.5 – 68.5 cm)
Weight110 to 130 pounds (50 – 59 kg)100 to 110 pounds (45 – 50 kg)

Black Russian Terrier size depends on its parents’ traits, genetics, appropriate care, and healthy diet. This working dog is robust, well-balanced, powerful, muscular, and agile.

Its double, 2 to 6 inches (5 – 15 cm) long coat is coarse, waterproof, slightly waved, and black with randomly scattered gray hairs. The undercoat is quite dense and soft, while you can see beard and mustache on its face and hairs falling over its eyes.

5. Grooming

Black Russian Terrier grooming instructions are clear. This breed’s shedding needs are high since its medium-length coat is prone to matting and knots. Therefore, you should brush it at least two to three times a week, with particular attention to longer hair on its head and legs.

It will be enough to bathe your buddy a few times a year when necessary, but take care to keep its ears clean. It is also essential to trim its nails once a month to prevent their painful cracking, especially if your dog spends most of a day inside.

Unfortunately, Black Russian Terrier hypoallergenic traits don’t exist. It sheds year-round and leaves hairs and dander everywhere, causing pet-related allergies.

6. Exercising

Russian Black Terrier dogs require at least 45 to 60 minutes of workouts a day, including brisk walks, running, swimming, and hiking. If you have a yard, you can play with a flying disc or ball. Joint activity will make your buddy feel a loved and appreciated family member.

7. Training

Training Black Russian Terrier can be a piece of cake or a mission impossible, depending on the owner. Only an experienced person who knows exactly how to establish a proper hierarchical relationship with the dog can train this mentally strong animal.

Black Russian Terrier training

You can expect giant Russian Terrier to respond positively to kind, consistent, and firm training, but it won’t tolerate repeating the same command over and over again. It is a too brilliant creature, and it will become bored quickly.

Black Russian Terrier training should be concise, short, and fun. Always apply positive reinforcement techniques like playing, praise, and bribe. Food reward and treats will make it do effortlessly whatever you want.

8. Diet And Nutrition

Giant Black Russian Terrier needs at least 3 to 4.5 cups of high-quality, highly nutritious, dry food during a day. However, the proper measurement will depend on the dog’s age, size, gender, and daily activity.

Many owners find raw food the best option for their Black Terrier since it is excellent for gut health, strong immunity, and overall well-being. No matter which diet you choose, be aware that the canine stomach can’t appropriately digest and ferment carbs. Therefore, you should keep them to a minimum.

The best option for adults is to divide the recommended amount into two meals, but you should provide three meals a day for your puppy.

9. Possible Health Problems

This big Russian dog breed is generally healthy, but it can be prone to particular health conditions, depending on genetic predisposition and care conditions. Many diseases this breed usually suffers from are hereditary, so your buddy can be at risk of:

General health issues:

  • Dental disease
  • Obesity
Black Russian Terrier puppy

Genetic breed predispositions:

  • Bloat
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Kidney and bladder stones
  • Problems with the thyroid
  • Heart disease
  • Eye problems, especially with Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Reputable breeders always select the best parents to get healthy and advanced puppies with positive hereditary traits. They also follow the National Breed Club recommendations, so that you can get results of necessary health tests, including:

  • JLPP DNA test
  • Hip and elbow evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
  • Cardiac exam

That way, the Black Russian Terrier growth chart will be predictable and their health predispositions best possible.

Black Russian Terrier’s lifespan is approximately 10 to 14 years.


Black Terrier dog is a huge Russian dog breed with a strong body and brilliant mind. You can expect your buddy to be highly affectionate with family members and kid-friendly, but it won’t get along well with other pets, especially dogs.

This working dog is an excellent guardian and intolerant of strangers. Black Russian Terrier’s average price is high, but you will get the best friend and family protector that money can buy.