Russian Black Terrier

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The Full Russian Black Terrier Description

The Black Russian Terrier is a calm, confident, and courageous dog with a self-assurance which sometimes is rather aloof toward strangers. They are highly intelligent, extremely reliable.
During the 1930's a military kennel named the Red Star started work on a native breed that would be part of the national security force.
The Red Star Kennel worked on selective interbreeding using Rottweiler, Giant Schnauzer, Airedale and Newfoundland mixes. It was important to have a large breed not only reliable but trainable in many different situations. The dog would also have to be able to endure the harsh Russian winters.

Indicative Breed Standard


General Appearance

Large, imposing dog, above average size, strongly built with massive bone. Well proportioned general appearance, sturdy and robust frame. Well developed muscles. Body almost square. A harsh and thick coat, well furnished on head and limbs. Trimmed.


Natural guarding instincts. Easily trained. Very adaptable.


Alert, lively and even-tempered, wary of strangers. Resilient, brave and self-confident.

Head and Skull

Well proportioned with moderately broad skull and rounded cheekbones. Eyebrows slightly pronounced. Skull flat, medium stop, not too accentuated. Top line of muzzle parallel to top line of skull. Muzzle solid with slight tapering towards the tip and length a little shorter than skull. Whiskers and beard give muzzle a squared-off shape. Lips thick and black in colour, tightly fitting. Large black nose.


Medium, oval in appearance and dark. Set obliquely and wide apart. Eyelids dark and fitting tightly.


High set, pendant, not too big, triangular in shape with the inner edge lying tightly against the cheekbone.


Jaws strong, with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Full, strong dentition desirable.


Reasonably long, powerful, muscular and clean cut. Flows into the top line at an approximate 45º angle.


Shoulders well laid back. Seen from the front, legs straight and parallel, pasterns short and straight. Elbows carried close to body.


High withers clearly marked above top line, back level and muscular. Depth of chest level with elbows or slightly below. Chest deep with well-sprung ribs. Moderate tuck-up. Loin short, wide, muscular and slightly arched. Rump large and muscular with a barely visible slope towards the tail which is set high on the croup.


Seen from behind, legs straight and parallel, set wider than the front legs. Thighs muscular and well developed. Stifles well bent and hocks set low.


Large, well arched and rounded with thick pads. Black nails.


Set high and thick. Customarily docked, leaving three to four vertebrae. Undocked, the tail set is more important than carriage. The tail may also curl over the back, but not gay. The length and thickness is determined by the proportions of the dog.


At the trot, legs move in a straight line, with forelegs converging slightly. Fairly elastic movement. Ground-covering movement with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters.


Medium texture weatherproof coat, with dense undercoat. Not wiry or soft. When brushed the hair is broken coated and slightly waved. Furnishings well developed on eyebrows, beard and legs. The ears (from fold to tip), skull, cheeks, throat to sternum, underside of tail, buttocks and rear of stifle are closely trimmed.


Black or black with grey hairs.


Height at withers: dogs 68-77 cms (27-30½ ins), bitches 66-72 cms (26-28½ ins).

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