The Black Russian Terrier is a very large, heavy-boned, muscular black dog with a tousled double coat all over his body. The broad, blocky head, viewed from the side, has two parallel planes with a marked stop. The muzzle is a little shorter than the skull in a 4:5 ratio. The ears are small, high-set, and triangular, folding to lie close to the cheek. The nose is large and black, and the teeth meet in a scissors bite. Lips are black, with no flews. The gums are dark and the tongue might have a black mark. The neck should be thick and powerful, without a large dewlap. The withers slope down into the level back. The high-set tail is docked, leaving three to five vertebrae. The forequarters and hindquarters are muscular, and the legs are straight. Rear dewclaws must be removed.
The tousled double coat consists of a coarse outer coat (1.5 to 4 in) and a soft, thick undercoat. Trimming of the coat is quite complex. Color should always be black, or black with a few gray hairs. The gait should be easygoing, springy, and smooth. Males should appear masculine, and females should appear feminine, though still substantial. History:
The Black Russian Terrier was developed starting in the 1950s by the Russian military. The goal was to create a "super man-stopper" that was also loyal and hardy enough to withstand the extremes of Russian winters. Giant Schnauzer-Airedale crosses were selectively bred with Airedale-Rottweiler crosses and Giant Schnauzer-Rottweiler crosses. A total of about 17 breeds were mixed in. In 1957, the new breed was exhibited at a large all-Russian dog show, and private breeders' interest was kindled. Political conditions allowed the military to sell dogs to private parties, and this new group of breeders then focused on developing traits that helped the BRT become a member of society: temperament, intelligence, loyalty, and trainability. Finally, in the 1960s and 1970s, the last combinations of other breeds were made. Today, with proper socialization and training, the BRT can be an excellent family guard dog. The FCI standard for the Black Russian Terrier was written in 1983, and the breed was first exhibited in the United States in 1991. The BRT was admitted to the Working Group of the AKC in 2004.