Black Russian Terrier


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Black Russian Terriers are a modern breed, created as a working dog by the Russian army in the 1940s. The breeders sought a physically tough dog with a stable temperament, breeding for temperament first, and looks second. The physical appearance was then stabilised. There were some 20 breeds used to create Black Russians, including Airedales, giant schnauzers, and rottweilers. These dogs have striking looks.They are a little larger than Airedales, with thick, black, waterproof coats, and coarse guard hairs.

As might be expected with working dogs, Black Russians need commitment from their owners. They like human company, so are relatively easy to train if the owner sets out ground rules from the start. They can be protective, so owners need to be able to command them to stay, and go to their beds when visitors arrive! They are not easily spooked, so can get into trouble as pups, and it's worth aiming for a solid recall right from the start. Generally, Black Russian Terriers get on well with sensible children, and are quite tolerant. They are not usually dog-aggressive, and can get on well with other dogs in the same household, though generally they get on better with smaller, younger dogs, and dogs of the opposite sex.

Common health problems include hip dysplasia. Emily Bates has written an engaging, up to date breed guide, with a fascinating account of the breed's history, and good advice on raising Black Russian Terrier puppies.