The acceptable colors are black or black with few grey hairs. However, the grey hairs should be evenly dispersed and not found in patches anywhere in the coat.
The Black Russian Terrier is a dog that forms very strong bonds with its owner. It needs to have close human contact to be happy and feel loved. This is not the type of dog that will do well living in a kennel environment. The yard size and house size are not necessarily that important because the Black Russian Terrier is a relatively inactive indoor dog. They are most likely to follow the owner around the yard and remain in very close proximity to them. If the Black Russian Terrier is left outside it will generally wait by the door to be let back in the home to be with the owner. If people are interested in having a large dog in an apartment environment this is an excellent choice. They are quite content to be inside with their owners and families. However, if the dog does live in a small living space it is important for the owner to make the efforts to take the dog for walks and other exercise.
The Black Russian Terrier is a larger than mid-size dog with a robust and muscular stature. They are also known to have a strong nervous system. They are very powerful dogs with extremely well developed muscles. In accordance with this the shoulders should be large and muscular with blades that are broad and sloping. The head should be long, strong, and block shaped with a large skull. The nose should be large and black in color with full pigmentation. The ears are rather small in size and triangular in shape and are set quite high. The ears should not be cropped. The jaws should be large and powerful and the mouth meaty. Further to this, the lips should be full and rounded and black at the ridges with teeth that meet in a scissors bite.
The neck should be muscular, thick, and powerful. It is also important that the length of the body is in direct proportion to the height at the withers. This gives the dog a square look. The topline of the dog should appear to be level but not flat or straight. The legs should be parallel to each other and covered in about 2-4 inches of hair. The feet are large and bear-like and should be compact and rounded in shape. The feet are also fully covered in hair and have large black pads. The black pads are to be thick and firm. The tail is to be cropped and set high. The hindquarters are well defined and muscular with a high degree of angulation. They should be slightly farther apart than the forelegs. The hocks are large and built for spring and drive.
The Black Russian Terrier has a very well coordinated, strong, and powerful gait. Despite their large size and muscular stature they appear to be very light on their feet. They are said to walk as if they have a spring in their step.
The Black Russian Terrier has a double weatherproof coat. The outer coat is hard, wiry, and tight. The close-lying wavy coat is about 1.5-4 inches long. The Black Russian Terrier also grows eyebrows and a beard. The upper neck and withers suggest a mane. The undercoat of the Black Russian Terrier is tight and very well developed while also being thick and soft.
The Black Russian Terrier was initially bred by the Former Russian Red Army. They used the army controlled kennel Red Star. The breeders for the Black Russian Terrier were the Giant Schnauzer, Rottweiler, Airedale breeds, and the Russian Water Dog. However, in total about 17 breeds were used in the creation of the Black Russian Terrier using only the finest dogs. The Russian Red Army needed a dog that could withstand different weather conditions as well as be able to work independently. They needed to breed a dog that could be used for their very specific tasks. Some of these specific tasks were to guard military installations, border troops, prison camps, penal colonies, and police forces. This upbringing is what contributes to their suspicious and dominant nature. It is also what makes them very protective of their owners and makes them excellent watchdogs.
The Black Russian Terrier was originally bred as an army dog and therefore it is in its nature to be a watchdog. They are extremely brave and observant without the need for aggression. They respond quickly to protect their owners and home. They rarely bark unless they feel that it is necessary. They do have a dominant personality and therefore should be treated firmly and lovingly in order to guide them in the right direction. Due to their high intelligence they learn quickly and become very loyal pets. This loyalty combined with their suspicious nature make it very important for the dog to be socialized properly. They are not well handled by people outside the family if they are not socialized at a young age.
Black Russian Terrier puppies are very lovable, sensitive, and quick to learn. They are late bloomers and do take a while to fully mature. It is said that they take about two years to fully mature. While they are developing they are very inquisitive and will get into everything. Black Russian Terrier puppies are very good with children and this trait does not go away as they mature into adulthood. It is suggested that the owners should be aware that because they do take a while to mature that they are patience and firm in their training. Also, it is suggested that perhaps the Black Russian Terrier is not a dog for the first time owner. Both the male and female Black Russian Terriers are excellent with children although the females are more inclined to actually play with the children. They are very even tempered and will tolerate just about anything from their family. They desire close human contact and make excellent family dogs.
The Black Russian Terrier does not typically have troubles getting along with other animals. However, they are a dominant dog and therefore should not live in a household with another large dominant dog. Despite this fact it is found that they will try to avoid fighting with other dogs. It is suggested that they live more comfortably with smaller dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, and other non-dominant animals. They will always prefer animals that are considered part of their own household.
hip dysplasia : This is a hereditary joint problem that can cause pain and crippling.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy : Is the degeneration of the retina that occurs bilaterally. It can cause progressive vision loss and eventually result in blindness.
The Black Russian Terrier does have some important grooming needs due to its long and thick coat. The best way to keep the coat in good condition is to brush and comb it regularly. However, it is essential when brushing the coat that it is brushed directly from the skin. The coat should be parted and the uncombed hair held down with your free hand to separate it from the hair that is being brushed. In addition, it is also very important to use a coat conditioner as well. This can be sprayed lightly onto the coat before brushing. It allows for easier brushing, removes tangles, adds shine, and alleviates dryness. This routine should be done about twice a week. It is essential that any hair is trimmed and removed from the ear ducts in order to help prevent Otitis. Furthermore, due to the fact that the paws are fully covered in hair, the hair under the paw can mat easily and therefore it is important for that hair to be trimmed on a regular basis.
The Black Russian Terrier coat sheds very little when brushed regularly. However, in addition to the regular brushing done at home, it is recommended that they receive professional grooming about every six weeks. This will help to maintain a healthy coat. This regular professional grooming will also help to keep shedding at a minimum. Stripping of the coat is usually not necessary unless the coat appears to be softer than normal. The Black Russian Terrier should also receive proper eye cleaning. The eyes need to be cleaned on a daily basis in order to prevent infections.
Regular bathing of the Black Russian Terrier is important as well. The dog should be bathed about once a month. It is important not to bathe the dog too often or it will cause dryness and irritation to the skin. The dog should be bathed using a specialty dog shampoo that is diluted. Human shampoo or liquid soap can be harmful to the dog's skin condition. It is also essential to ensure that the soap is rinsed thoroughly because soap residue left on the skin can cause irritation. The Black Russian Terrier should not be brushed until it is fully dry due to the wiry and thick nature of its coat. Given the size of the dog, bathing at home can be difficult and so it would be acceptable for them to receive their bath at the dog groomer's when it goes for its professional upkeep.
Black Russian Terriers love to go for long walks. They love to be entertained and to romp and play. The great thing about the Black Russian Terrier is also that they love the water and the snow. They will be very content running and rolling around in the snow during winter months and splashing in the water during the spring and summer months. This makes them excellent pets for people who live in locations where there is climate change. They are a large dog and therefore exercise is important. Further to this, because they are often very inactive indoor dogs it is important for them to obtain their exercise in another manner. It is also important for the Black Russian Terrier to receive exercise because they are prone to joint problems. Exercise may alleviate some of the joint stiffness. Due to their high level of intelligence and how they excel in obedience combined with their need for consistent training, combining exercise and training is an excellent way for Black Russian Terriers to obtain their necessary level of activity.
The Black Russian Terrier needs to have training from the time it is a puppy due to its suspicious and dominant nature. Initially it is very important to have them socialized around people and other animals. They should be frequently introduced to people out in public of every sex, size, and ethnicity. This will help to decrease their suspiciousness and aloofness of strangers in public. The same principle applies to other animals. However, they can remain dominant in nature around larger dominant dogs.
The Black Russian Terrier is a highly intelligent and focused dog and will train easily to house breaking and to be well mannered on a leash. They are excellent around children and love human contact, so there are typically no problems training them to be around children or to behave in the house. They are usually very inactive indoor dogs.
They are most responsive to firm but positive reinforcement training. Due to their highly intelligent nature, they excel in obedience type training. Positive reinforcement training can consist of clicker training or food reinforcement training. It is important to establish proper dominance between dog and owner early on because of their large size. The Black Russian Terrier is just too large a dog to not have proper and consistent training. Because they are highly intelligent they make excellent obedience dogs.