Russian Black Terrier

Tchornyi Terrier

Looking more like a Schnauzer than a Terrier, the Black Russian Terrier has long been classified as a Terrier, but his typical Schnauzer characteristics tipped the balance in favour of the Schnauzer family, and the CFI eventually transferred him to the second group. This large canine specimen has outstanding guarding and defensive skills, but he can very well become a pleasant companion if his master is willing to invest in his education. It will have to be firm and rigorous, and the master will really have to impose himself as leader of the pack, so that the dog can take his rightful place as companion and defender of his family. The Black Russian Terrier is an excellent dog that deserves to be given a chance as a life companion.

Height 64 to 72 cm
Weight 36 to 68 kg
Life expectancy 10 to 11 years

Quick Overview of the Russian Black Terrier


  • Strong character
  • Balanced, vigorous and nervous
  • Guarding and protective skills
  • Naturally suspicious


  • Very massive muscles and bones
  • Solid black dress or black with grey hair
  • Harsh, rough and very thick hair
  • Short cut tail attached high


  • No particular pathology
  • Sometimes affected by dysplasia
  • Generally healthy

Temperament of the Russian Black Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier is a well-balanced dog with a strong character, but he is also vigorous and nervous. His natural aptitudes are all geared towards guarding and protecting.

He is suspicious of strangers, and can even bite if necessary. Although he can be a pleasant companion for the family, his loyalty must be ensured by providing him with a proper education.

In general, he loves children and their games, but his great nervousness can sometimes mislead him on the behavior to adopt. Caution is always required with children.

Breed Appearance

Russian Black Terrier

His appearance is very different from Terriers in general, as the Black Russian Terrier is closer to the Schnauzer family than the Terrier.

He is above average in size and has very massive muscles and bones. He is a strange mixture of Terrier and Schnauzer.


Between 66 and 72 cm (25.98 to 28.35 inches) for the male
Between 64 and 70 cm (25.20 to 27.56 inches) for the female


Between 45 and 68 kg (99.21 to 149.91 pounds) for the male
Between 36 and 59 kg (79.37 to 130.07 pounds) for the female


The color of his coat is solid black, or black with grey hair.


His coat's hair is hard, rough and very thick. His undercoat is well developed and also very thick.


His head is long with a marked stop. It is rather hairy with whiskers on the muzzle, apparent eyebrows, and a beard.

The small eyes of this big dog are dark and oval. His small ears set high are hanging and triangular in shape. His nose is black. His tail is cut short and set high.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 2, section 1 and is #327

Price and monthly budget

Price you can expect to pay for a Russian Black Terrier puppy: between 1200 € / $ 1 / £1 and 1800 € / $ 1 / £1
These prices are indicative and may vary from breeder to breeder

Russian Black Terrier puppies near me

Tips About this breed

The Black Russian Terrier is not suitable for all owners. Despite his qualities, his size and strong character may not be ideal in some situations.

Because of his size, it is often best to set him up outdoors. His natural instinct for guarding and defence then takes its full extent.

However, to prevent him from becoming too stubborn or disobedient, it is necessary to ensure that he has frequent contact with his masters, even if he is outdoors more often.

This large, devoted and affectionate dog needs a strong hand to perfect his education.

It will have to be firm and rigorous, in order to master the Black Russian Terrier. Even though it should not be neglected, it will nevertheless be fairly easy, as he is very receptive to commands.

The master must absolutely become the leader of the pack, and not let the dog take his place. He must respect his dog, but must also be respected in return, this is essential to the success of his dog's education.

Health of the Russian Black Terrier

This hardy dog is very robust and no particular pathology affects the breed. Dysplasia can sometimes affect some subjects, but these are isolated cases, related to the size of the animal, and not to a pathology specific to the breed.

He generally enjoys excellent health.


His coat requires daily maintenance. A daily brushing should be part of his routine.

Professional grooming is also recommended from time to time to maintain a beautiful and healthy coat.

History of this breed

Originally from Russia, he is known as the Stalin Terrier in his home country. In the 20th century, the breed was established in the former USSR as a police and guard dog.

His creation required crossbreeding between several breeds, such as the Caucasian Shepherd,  Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Schnauzer, Airedale and now extinct Russian Water Dog.

At the time, the Soviet Ministry of Defense wanted to obtain an indigenous breed that could help the Soviet army and police.

Very recently, the breed was registered with the FCI in 1968, but was only made official in 1984. The breed is hardly known outside his country.

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