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Russian Black Terrier

Group: Utility (Group 6)
Club: Utility Dog Club Of Victoria Inc (Group 6)
Contact: Arthur Fry
Phone: 9740 8788

Brief History

This breed was created and developed in Russia by the Russian Military in the late 1940’s to early 1950’s. This was done by the selective interbreeding of up to a reported 21 different Breeds. The Giant Schnauzer was considered the most influential of the breeds in creating the final Russian Black Terrier that you see today.

Average Life Span

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.

The average life span is 10 to 12 years.


The Russian Black Terrier is a very dignified, intelligent and self-confident, courageous dog that should be well controlled in all circumstances. It must never be forgotten that the creators of this breed had the main aim to create a very large, brave, strong and manageable working dog, partnered with pronounced guarding instincts.

General Breed Description

The Russian Black Terrier is a very large, robust and powerful dog, athletically built with lots of substance and bone and is normally well-muscled all over the body. He is best known for his specific and beautifully groomed coat, which makes him stand out from the crowd. He normally has a beard, a fall (hair over the eyes) and long leg furnishings. The colours are black, and black with grey flecking throughout the coat.

Coat and Care Requirements

Russian Black Terriers have a double coat with the outer coat being coarse and the undercoat soft and thick. The coat varies in length from 1.5 to 4 inches and has a tousled appearnance, although some might be tempted to call it wiry or curly. Brushing should be a weekly event to prevent matting. To brush that coat, you will require a slicker brush, an undercoat rake, and a stripping comb. Russian Black Terriers do not shed a lot, but those dogs with longer coats may leave little clumps of hair everywhere unless brushed regularly.


Height: Males: 70 to 78cms, Females 66 to 74cms.

Weight: Males 50 to 60kgs, Females 45 to 50kgs.


All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed health and what health testing the breeder does. Although the Russian Black Terrier is generally a healthy breed, however health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include Hyperuricosuria (HU), Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy (JLPP) (fatal gene), Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), Hip Dysplasia (HD)and Elbow Dysplasia (ED).


It must never be forgotten that the creators of this breed had the main aim to create a very large, brave, strong and manageable working dog partnered with pronounced guarding instincts. The Russian Black Terrier is not for first time dog owners and it is recommended that new owners have prior experience with ‘Guarding Breeds’. 

The Russian Black Terrier is an indoor breed and would not be suitable for new owners that have the intention of leaving their Russian Black Terrier outside. 

In Conclusion

Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders