Characteristics of the Black Russian Terrier


The Black Russian Terrier gives the impression of great strength, athleticism, and courage. It should be rustic (but not coarse) in appearance, and should not look as though its coat is sculpted or trimmed. It should never appear to lack substance or be weak in any way. Males should be noticeably more masculine than females.


The coat is hard and dense, never soft, woolly, silky or frizzy. It should be between 4-10 cm (1.4-4 inches) in length. It should form a beard and eyebrows on the face, and a slight mane around the withers and neck that is more pronounced in males. The coat is low-shedding and the colour is black with some gray hairs.


According to the FCI standard (1983), the male stands 27-28.3 inches (66-72 cm) at the withers compared to the female's 25.2-27.6 inches (64-70 cm) with a tolerance of 0.4 inches (1 cm) less or 0.8 inches (2 cm) more. The breed weighs between 77 to 154 pounds (35-70  kg). Larger individuals are not uncommon in Russia, since the RKF standard (1996) adds 0.8 to the standard values, with a tolerance of 0.8 inches (2 cm) less or 1.2 inches (3 cm) more. Nowadays, even larger individual are tolerated if the dog is well proportioned and retains correct movements. The AKC standard recommends 27-30 inches for males and 26-29 inches for females, any dog or bitch under 26 inches being a disqualification. In proportions, a Black Russian Terrier should be slightly longer than tall, 9 ½ to 10 being ideal (FCI standard recommends 100-105).


Black Russian Terriers are confident, calm, highly intelligent, brave and loyal. It should never be timid. The Black Russian Terrier may seem aloof, but needs human companionship and bonds deeply to its family. 

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