Russian Terrier: Facts and Personality Traits

Over a dozen dog breeds make up their gene pool, including large dogs like Giant Schnauzers, Rottweilers, Newfoundlands, Great Danes, and German Shepherds. After the Russian civil war in the early 1920s, they formed the starting material for working dogs in military and police service. After the Second World War, the dog breeders of the state kennels expand the breeding base by crossing captured dogs.

Characteristics of the Russian Terrier

Do that go together Bred expressly for the military. Deployed to guard military installations, penal camps, and borders? Afflicted with the breeding goals “man-sharp” and “huge”. Today, the four-legged friend described in this way is primarily a loving family dog; in families, also with small and older children.

A Russian terrier manages this balancing act, the Russkiy Tchiorny Terrier, as its official dog breed name is listed by the FCI under the standard number 327. A breed of dog that is adapted exclusively to military necessities and needs is created practically out of nowhere.


The Russian Terrier is an all-rounder. He pulls sleds, guards, and drives the cattle or performs the assigned guard duties with flying colors. More specialized breeds may be able to do all this better in individual cases, but hardly any other dog shows such versatile and environment-adapted abilities as the black Russian.

After initial successes in guard duty, the comparatively long psychological and physical development time of the Russian terrier proves to be a disadvantage. In addition, the constant change of caregivers does not benefit the Russian terrier and the time-consuming grooming is a hindrance in military service.

The reasons mentioned and the closure of many prisons allow private individuals to get possession of the service dog, which was previously treated as classified military information. They unify the outward appearance of the breed, which is only now of interest. Officially recognized by the FCI as a Russian dog breed in 1984, the terrier’s coat is black. Gray hairs are permissible in rough, wavy curly coats.

Russian Terrier Fur

The protruding coat of hair underlines the imposing appearance of the animal once again. A pronounced beard on the lips is just as characteristic as the lush eyebrows on the forehead. With a dense undercoat, the climate is not an issue for the large dog. The owner, however, feels obliged to take care of it. Brushing and combing are done once or twice a week, trimming every two or three months.

The Russian terrier is enjoying increasing popularity worldwide and has been found in Germany since 1982. The number of representatives of this breed will remain manageable, their stature and thus the need for space is large. The height at the withers starts at 70 centimeters for males and four centimeters less for females. A maximum of 78 or 74 centimeters at the shoulder is desirable.

A male weighs up to 60 kilograms, a bitch should be fully grown with about ten kilograms less. It is not only the physical appearance that places increased demands on the keeping of this breed.

Russian Terrier Temperament & Character

Dog owners without experience are consistently described as unsuitable for being able to taking care of the black terrier appropriately. The four-legged friend exploits weaknesses in the owner and regularly questions the ranking within the pack.

Nevertheless, the black terrier develops a close relationship with its owner, the family, and the children. He treats the latter with sensitivity, loves to play with them, and defends them from strangers. Strangers experience obvious distrust and the dog’s defensiveness. The loving and consistent socialization of the big one primarily aims to give him security. What the dog knows does not pose any danger.

And if you can hear the barking, there’s a good reason. In connection with a close coexistence within the family, exercise and chores ensure balance and calm behavior of the companion in the house. The weatherproof family, utility, or rescue dog saves playing and romping for the time outdoors. He takes up space and loves nature at any time of the year. It can rain, storm and ice can form.

Long walks and hikes in the woods and fields with busy people will satisfy a Russian Terrier who has little interest in wildlife. He accepts dog sports activities in an open-minded and talented manner.

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