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Black Russian Terrier - Breed Profile:

Origin: Russia
Colors: Black
Size: Large
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: Moderate exercise needed
Grooming: Weekly
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Slightly dog-aggressive
Dominance: High
Noise: Average barker

Physical characteristics

The Black Russian Terrier is a large to extra large dog breed with a very robust and powerful appearance. They are well-boned and muscular with fairly thick necks, though the ears are rather small and pendant. The large nose is black, so are the lips. Their legs are straight, and the gait is usually springy and smooth.

The height of Black Russian Terriers ranges from 26 to 30 inches, and the weight is usually 75 to 130 pounds.


Black Russian Terriers will amaze you with their courage, self-confidence, and calmness. They have a very stable temperament along with high intelligence. Though they are known for being stubborn at times. Puppies are not protective, but at 1.5 to 2 years they develop a protective instinct. A Black Russian Terrier will always warn you when a stranger approaches. It does not matter how many times your friends come to the house, your dog will always be suspicious of visitors. This is how the strong guarding instinct reveals itself. Because of this, never leave a Black Russian Terrier alone with children as the dog may try to protect your children from their friends, or try to herd the children. The latter, by the way, makes Black Russian Terriers very good farm dogs.
They should not be kept in a kennel; left without people for too long and they may become aggressive. This is what differentiates them from the majority of other guard dogs. Extensive socialization and training are the keys to this breed. Be sure to remain a pack leader at all times.

Coat and grooming

The Black Russian Terrier has a double coat that looks a bit tousled. Its length is medium to long. Weekly or more regular grooming should be fine for this breed. Also, it is recommended to have your dog professionally groomed at least once a year. Surprisingly, Black Russians Terriers do not shed much.


As well as many other large dogs, Black Russian Terriers can suffer from hip and elbow Dysplasia. As regards puppies, it is recommended to wait at least 1.5 to 2 years before involving your companion in jogging or active sports.

The lifespan of the Black Russian Terrier is 10-12 years.

Other interesting facts

- It is pretty difficult to find a Black Russian Terrier in some regions.
- They are also known as Stalin's dogs.