In 1924, the Russian Military Council issued an edict that dogs were to be used for
military purposes and that all departments of the military must employ dog trainers. As a result of this order the School of Junior Dog Training Specialist was formed. This school had military, sports and laboratory departments. The working dogs that were trained for military purposes were used as guard dogs, mine specialists and aides.

Due to the Russians defending their homeland in World War II, many of working dogs in Russia were killed and the state owned kennel,the Central Military School of Working Dogs (CMSWD), also know as the Red Star Kennel,was charged with the responsibility of providing working dogs to the military. The military wanted a large trainable working dog capable of guarding,able to withstand the Siberian subarctic temperatures and a coat that did not require grooming. The dogs were to be used to guard military installations, prisons, prison of war camps and other secret military locations.

Available to the CMSWD were Resenschnauzers(Giant Schnauzers),Newfoundlands,Rottweilers, Airedale
Terriers, Great Dane,German Shepherd,Eastern European Shepherd, Moscow Water Dogs, and Caucasian Ovcharka.In their laboratory, experimentation took place between the breeds which resulted in failures of what they were trying to achieve. Eventually, a plan was developed by kynologist (person who is professional trained in the behaviour of dogs)and a biologist whereby they would:

1. Obtain hybrids of riesenschnauzer and airedaleterrier.
2. Obtain hybrids of riesenschnauzer and rottweiler.
3. Cross breed the first and second trend hybrids followed by raising the breed itself.

By nature the Giant Schnauzer is a large dominant, intelligent, easily trained, versatile,and good-natured dog.

The Airedale Terrier is an intelligent, confident, friendly, courageous and fearless dog.

The Rottweiler is a large self assured dog. Orginally bred for cattle driving, the rottweiler is now used for guarding.

To create the Black Terrier, as it was first called, the following dogs were used:

Giant Schnauzers - Sires - Zorab (Reg.7411D), Roy (Reg.U720P), Shaitan
Airedale Terriers - Dams - Sotta(Reg.4U78C), Sima (Reg.47U3C), Sembi(4942C), Salma (Reg.48U6C)
Rottweiler - Dams - Uda (Reg.59UOY),Una (Reg.58UOY), Femka (Reg.7OU5OP), Urma (Reg.73UOY).

Roy, the Giant Schnauzer was bred with different dams to
produce dogs with black coats and is considered to be the foundation dog of the Black Terrier. As different breeding occured there many faults including faulty bites, incomplete dentention, undescended testicles, white spots, and other traits that were not in accordance to what they were looking for. As the experimentation continued, descendant dogs that were found not desirable were eliminated from the programme.

In 1955, The Red Star Kennel showed their Black Terrier offsprings at the National Agricultural Exhibition.They were well received and obtained the well important Gold Medal and diploma of excellence for the breed.

Experimentation continued and it was not until 1957 the Red Star Kennel began to offer second and third generation Black Terrier puppies for sale to private buyers and breeders.

It was not until 1958 that a standard was published for the Black Terrier Breed. The standard was published in a book entitled "Manual for Training and Usage of Military Dogs". There were conflict among the private breeders and the Red Star Kennel as to the standard. The private breeders wanted a breed where disposition, temperament and working abilities were fundamental. The Red Star Kennel wanted a breed where the dog's dispostion remained as a guard dog intended to serve in the military and that grooming should not play an important part of the standard as military dogs were kept in kennels and were easliy managable with short hair.

In 1970 puppies were shipped to Finland and other parts of Europe. The Black Terrier was becoming a dog to be reckoned with.

From 1958 to 1979 breeding and experimentation continued. In 1979, the Red Star Kennel and the Army Navy and Fleet Volunteer Support Organization (DOSAAF) finally approved the standard for the Black Terrier breed. By then were over 800 litters produced amounting to well over 4,000 puppies all which conformed to the standard.

Early in the 1980's the Black Terrier was shown in International competitions and a lot of interest was shown in these dogs. In 1981, the Black Terrier was accepted as a breed by the russian authorities.

On September 29th 1983 The Black Terrier was accepted by the The Fédération Cynologique Internationale,the World Canine Organization. An FCI Standard was established and revised on February 19th, 1996.

In 1992, the Black Terrier was renamed to the Black Russian Terrier (BRT).

As the Black Terrier was becoming a known dog, the dogs were being taken to other countries by migrant russians. The dog was introduced into Canada by Rita Golski of Kalinka Kennels. Rita Golski began breeding her "Kalinka" Black Terriers and started to sell her puppies to the United States of America (U.S.A.). As migrant russians began to go to the U.S.A., some of them began to import the Black Terriers from Russia and other parts of Europe. Today, the Black Russian Terrier is a rarity in North America.

In March 1996, the American Kennel Club listed the Black Russian Terrier with Foundation Stock Services (FSS). In August of 2001 the Black Russian Terrier was allowed to compete in the Miscellaneous Class. In July 2004, the Black Russian Terrier was fully recognized in the Working Group Classification.

Prior to 2002, the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC),the governing body in Canada did not recognize the Black Russian Terrier and breeders had to show their BRTs with other clubs who recognized the breed. Most breeders had to register their BRTs with the AKC which allowed them to participate in shows in the United states.

In 2002 the CKC allowed registration and BRT owners were permitted to compete in the Miscellaneous Group. As off this writing the CKC has still not granted full recognization to this breed.

With the exportation of the Black Russian Terrier to other parts of the world, the BRT is called and known by different names and is referred to as the Black Terrier, Russian Pearl, Tchiorny Terrier, Chornyi, Svart Terrier, Terrier Noir Russe, Russian Bear Schnauzer, Sort Russisk Terrier, Blackie, Terrier Ruso Negro, Czarny Terier Rosyjski and lastly BRT.

Breed Standard

Breed Standards for the Black Russian Terrier varies throughout the world because of the various governing organizations. It should be noted that if one is interested in exporting or importing a Black Russian Terrier it is very important to know what the rules are concerning tail docking. In some countries there are specific rules against the docking of tails. It is suggested that existing Kennel Club in that country be contacted for tail docking information.

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) is the World Canine Organization which as off this writing comprises of 84 member countries. Participating countries, use the FCI Breed Standard as warranted. Under the FCI, the Black Russian Terrier is called Tchiorny Terrier and is classified under Group 2, Section 1.

The American Kennel Club (AKC)recognized the Black Terrier as a breed in July 1st, 2004, and was classified in the Working Group. The breed standard can be found here. The American Rare Breed Association recognizes the BRT and uses the FCI standard. The United Kennel Club is a separate entity, recognizes and uses their own breed standard for the BRT.

In order to control, track and register dogs, the Government of Canada under the Ministry of Agriculture enacted the Animal Pedigree Act. This legislation led to the formation of the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). As off this writing the Black Russian Terrier has not been formally recognized by the CKC, however, the CKC using a breed standard has listed the Black Russian Terrier in the miscellaneous class. Although the CKC is the governing body, another organization the Canine Federation of Canada located in Quebec, Canada uses the FCI breed standard. Prior to the CKC "recognizing" the BRT, owners either had to go to the United States to show their BRTs or show their dogs at the Rare Breed Club of South Western Ontario who recognized the breed using FCI breed standards.

In England, the Kennel Club, the Black Russian Terrier Interim Breed Standard was first established on September 1st, 2000. Since 2000, there were many revisions to the breed standard.

The Australian National Kennel Club recognizes the Black Russian Terrier under Group 6 (Utility) of their listings.

To find out more about the Black Russian Terrier Breed Standard in a particular country it is suggested that you research the topic on the Internet using your favourite search engine.

Working Abilities

The Black Russian Terrier is a highly intelligent and yet a sophisticated dog. He was bred to serve in the military as a guard dog to protect prisons and secret military installations. The BRT always show protecting instincts and will guard and protect his family to the end.

In some countries the BRT is used as police dogs

The BRT's intelligence makes him an excellent student at Obedience Trials and Carting


Black Russian Terrier
for an Exhibition

from Olga Vorobjeva
“Black Terrier”
issius No. 8/98

Many amateur breeders know that it is very important to present a dog on a show in a proper way. It is what your pet´s career depends on sometimes. I´d love to share my experience of 10 years of preparing dogs for shows with your, dear admires of Black Russian Terrier.

It was long ago when people thought the Black Terrier (BT) doesn´t require any particular care. That is, washing him one time per year in a nearby pool, using ordinary soap is enough.And you may go to an exhibition having produced him from his kennel, on a huge chain.

Today nobody is shocked by the way the girl-participants are prepared for various shows – “Miss Russia, Universe and so on. The dog show should be treated like this, too.
All participants must be thoroughly prepared for the show: they must be taught to move, exhibit themselves correctly. Their owners schould know how to trimming, to cut the hair.

It´s like art – to prepare a proper blackie. Do you remember the 60s and the people who dressed nicel in oder to look “smart?” They were “smart” because they were not like others. The BT is “smart” in his way. He´s elegant, sporty, self-assured, like nobody else – he´s smart.

Well, now let´s talk preparations. How can one produce a stylish animal out of a bear-like “something” ? Let´s start from the very beginning – trimming.

Trimming means thorough combing out and extracting expired hair, which easily and painlessly falls out. You don´t have to torture your dog with pulling out hairs which do not want to pinch off – it´s no good. And if you insist you´ll receive bruises on the body of a dog, mistrustfulness for your hands and the increase of gray hair that will appear in some time.

It should be mentioned, that while the BT was changing his appearance and while he retrained a rich decorative hair, the hair lost its Wire-like structure which it used to be (with the dogs of old standards).

When the puppy is one year old, it´s time for him to get accustomed to a new procedure – combing out his hair. The comb with rear teeth is just what you need. Don´t forget that the dog doesn´t have any personal ambitions and he doesn´t care if he is smart or not. But he thinks it´s his life, his job – to stand haircuts, combs and exhibitions – because he was born a terrier.

You are to try not to deliver any pain to a dog. If so, in 2-3 months a dog will take his procedure with pleasure – it´s some kind of a massage to him. Just find 5-10 minutes a day to take a comb and extract some inevitable spikes.

BT´s hair requires a lot of care, it´s some kind of art that can be taught. Usually, we must take into consideration the speed of hair growth, but the average date is 7-10 days before the exhibition. Before you make his haircut, the BT should be combed and washed afterwards.


Special shampoo for dogs (it´s better to use the one for show-dogs) is diluted and beaten up until the foam appears. The coat is impregnated with this foam and then thoroughly washed away. Then it´s useful to apply the rinsing balsam, which is helpful in a way of restoring normal skin functions.

You can even rinse the coat with lime juice of beer – the hair becomes stronger.
Then, wring out the coat, and wipe it dry with a towel. You can use a fan, but you must remember that drawing off the hair will result in getting the untypical poodle-like coat. When the coat is dry, it is combed and now you may use your scissors.

Haircut (Head)


Comb the hair both on the skull and muzzel in the direction of growing, extracting dead hair. Cut the hair on ears – both inside and outside. Though, it´s better to cut the inner side of the ears in the last turn, after all dog has been already cut, because small spiky hairs in his ear make him shake his head which is rather annoying. Ears should be cut with the electric or mechanical shaving machine, but you can use scissors. The direction is from the tip of the ear to the bulk of it.
If the hair hangs on both sides of the ear making the effect of “large ears”, cut it away. Be careful and do not hurt the dog!

Forehead. Start from eyebrows and with the help of a shaver make a “platform” Its width is equal to the width of the skull, and the length is from eyebrows to the ear. The rest of the forehead is cut with scissors so that short hair smoothly turns into long, from one to two cm. Its makes available the formation of a “cap” which is designed on the back of the head and makes the effect of prolonged head.
After you have finished the forehead, it´s time you cut the cheek-bones. Draw off the ear and shave the hair at the base of the ear. Then, thoroughly cut the cheek-bones, leaving about 1,75 cm. The cheek-bones must be absolutely flat. If the dog has a wide skull – cut the cheek-bones even shorter. If the skull is long and narrow – leave more hair. That will remedy the situation.

After you decided what length of the hair you´ll leave on cheek-bones, it´s time for the next step. Now the head must be given the shape of a “brick”. It is done by leveling the change between long hair on the muzzle and beard and short hair on the cheekbones.

The head should have rectangular shape if you look from above and triangular shape from the side view. The fringe must be like continuation of the forehead, emphasizing its straight lines and parallel to the muzzle.

Improper fringe distorts the parallelism of forehead and muzzle. All hair distorting rectangular shape of the head are to cut away. Them comb the head again and check your work up.

Haircut (Neck and chest)

Draw a line from the base of the ear to the junction of the jaw and the neck. Cut short from the base of the ear to the neck and try to form a “shirtfront”. Now it´s time to get down to the neck.

Comb the hair in direction, opposite to the direction of growth. Cut the excessive hair with scissors, form a mane. Try to level the section of withers, otherwise you´ll get a shaved neck coming out of hairy body. On the left and right sides of the neck long hair (2-3 cm) turns into very short. The mane must look like a continuation of the neck. The length of the mane depends on the peculiarities of the build of the concrete dog. If the neck is thin and long – the hair is longer and if the neck is short and massive – leave shorter hair.

There are such word in the standard of the breed:
“… The front part of the chest overhangs the
elbowline…” I think it´s good to emphasize this feature.

Draw a line from the chest bone, by the shoulderblade. Here is the border between short hair on the lower part of the neck and long hair on the shoulders. Don´t make this border sharp. All lines of the haircut are smooth, they turn one into other without any decorativeness and fancifulness, which is more suitable to decorative breeds.

All parts of body should be in the same scale. Just remember, that moderateness is peculiar to this breed. Leave 1-2 cm starting from the chest bone. Form the front of the chest with scissors. Properly cut front makes the effect of “rushing forward”.

If the chest is well-developed, you don´t have to leave long “skirt”. The sharp line of the chest (which must not be more than 10 cm lower than the elbow line) turning into stomach is good. Besides, if the chest is already well developed, the excessive mass of hair will create the effect of squat build. If you try to hide an undeveloped chest under the long skirt, you´ll attract the attention of an expert to the very feature.
The length of the hair on the shoulder is about 3-5cm.

Once again, you must consider the build of your dog, especially the width of the chest. If the chest is not very wide, do not try to make it wider by leaving more hair.
You´d better physically develop your pet.

The back is also cut with scissors to get a strict line from withers to the tail. Length of hair on the back is about 3-5 cm, the same about sides and chest. Keep in mind that you can both spoil your dog with a haircut and emphasize its positive features.

The BT has salient ribs, so do not make the body flat, but also don´t leave much hair – that will make the dog “heavy”.

The tail cut evenly, 2-3 cm are left. The inner (back) side of the tail and the geitals are cut as short as possible. If the tail is short, you may leave longer hair on its tip-
that´ll make it longer.

Haircut (Forequarters)

The forequarters should be thoroughly combed against the direction of the hair growth. Cut away the excessive hair, form a “Column”. Thick bundles of hair in between fingers are cut away. The paw must look round.


Haircut (Hindquaters)

Start cutting from the elbow, (1-2 cm above it). You may use the shaver. Cut the back side of the thighs, up to the anus. On the thigh the length is 3-5 cm , and the longer hair is smoothly replaced by shorter. If you properly cut the thigh, you can hide many faults and weakness of the build.
Id`like to mention once more that after the haircut, the BT must have nice, natural lines of the silhouette. His appearance must be self-assured and powerful and by no means decorative.


Puppy Chart

The Black Russian Terrier Puppy Chart shown below gives information regarding growth stages of a puppy from ages 2 to 10 months old. If a puppy is not in the ranges shown, it is suggested that the breeder or a veterinarian be contacted.