The black Russian terrier beats all other terriers for size and aggressive capability

black russian terrierBlack Russian Terrier fears are well founded.

For a while I was training one of these loveable beasts, though as a puppy it was the strongest dog I have ever met. It had a lovely temperament, but also was massively independent and its recall was not always there.

This breed has one of the most unusual and modern histories of all dogs. It is one of the most massive, strong, friendly dogs that you will find (if socialised regularly).

It was only created in the 1940’s by the soviets in an attempt to build a robust general purpose dog that could assist the army in any weather condition. It is believed that in excess of twenty dog breeds were used in its creation, however the four main founding breeding stock are believe to be the Giant Schnauzers, Rottweilers and Airedale breeds, and the Russian Water Dog.

Because the army was only interested in stability of temperament and personality the ‘breed’ was not tied down to a specific size or look. Not until several years after the war did another military arm the DOSAAF paramilitary decide to breed a standardised type or look. It was only accepted into the American AKC working group classification in 2004.

When this dog is described in books, it is often profiled like one is discussing a tank. While they were breed to be as competent in army tasks as the German shepherd, and sign of aggression was bred out of them. They are a massive dog with a robust nervous system. They are powerful, stable and alert, most noted for their large block shaped head.

As you can imagine for army purposes, this dog is brave and unstoppable but with an uncanny observance of people. It is very bonded with its trainer (or as a companion dog, with its family) but may act suspicious or aloof with strangers. Because of their eventual size, and their protective nature, constant but training and socialisation are vital. They are great with children, but sheer size and enthusiasm can see them accidently knocking over many things around them.

The Black Russian Terrier has a strong and balanced nature, but will not ‘play nicely’ with other large dominant dogs in the home, or sometimes out in the park if not socialized. They are generally good with non dominant other pets. These massive gentle giants make excellent watch dogs, but with a long time to maturity also love to play games constantly.

Ironically while they are so big, they are so bonded to their owners, and crave human attention and to please their owners (assuming you have trained them consistently) they can not live outside in a kennel. Because of its big end size, you need to choose what boundaries such as the couch or other areas of the house are off limits. Similarly strict on lead training is advised by all members of the house when the dogs are small.

Black Russian Terrier size: 64-74 cm, 36-65 kg

Black Russian Terrier grooming: Their coat is waterproof and is made up of a black hard, wiry close knit outer coat. The hair is usually 5-10 cm long. Grooming is relatively simple in that the top coat only needs to be trimmed 2-3 times a year, with stripping optional. Their coat can look quite raggedy unless you brush them weekly.