The Black Russian Terrier, also known as the Black Terrier, the Chornyi, the Tchiorny Terrier, the Russian Bear Schnauzer, the Russian Black Terrier or simply the BRT, is one of the newest breeds in the world, created entirely after World War II as a guard dog for the Red Army. It was first recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1984 as a member of its Terrier Group, and later was appropriately moved into the Working Group because it is not a true terrier. This is a massive and powerful dog with strong protective and guarding instincts. The BRT was given full recognition by the American Kennel Club in 2004. In France, it is known as the Terrier Noir Russe, and in Germany it is known as the Schwarze Russische Terrier.
The Black Russian Terrier is temperamentally confident and cool. Despite their size, or maybe because of it, these dogs exude an air of self-assurance and deceptive calm. They are aloof towards strangers but form very strong bonds with their human companions. They crave attention from their people and should not be left alone for long periods of time. Black Russian Terriers need a job to do or they can become destructive and difficult to control. These dogs must be physically and mentally active for their health and happiness, and for that of their owners who must maintain an alpha role to keep the Black Russian Terrier from trying to exert dominance. Fortunately, these dogs are highly intelligent and respond to training and socialization lessons very well.
The average Black Russian Terrier stands between 26 and 30 inches at the withers and weighs between 80 and 145 pounds (as in most canine breeds, females are slightly smaller than males). Any dog or bitch less than 26 inches in height is disqualified under the AKC breed standard. Black Russian Terriers have a thick, hard and rough double coat and do not shed excessively. While they do not require extensive grooming, they should be brushed regularly to keep their coat clean and free of mats. The distinctive mop of hair over their eyes and under their chin should be brushed but never cut.