Black Russian Terrier *** Working Group *** Breed Standard
During the 1930's a military kennel named the Red Star started work on a native breed that would be part of the national security force. The Red Star Kennel worked on selective interbreeding using Rotweiler, Giant Schnauzer, Airedale and Newfoundland mixes. It was important to have a large breed not only reliable but trainable in many different situations. The dog would also have to be able to endure the harsh Russian winters.
By 1956 it finally reached the point where the Black Russian Terrier bred true. In 1981 The Russian Ministry of Agriculture recognized the breed and it was internationally accepted by the FCI in 1984.
The Black Russian Terrier (BRT) is a robust, large and powerful dog. The dog has large bone and well developed muscles. The breed was developed in Russia and used as guard dogs for protection. They must be balanced, have a good temperament and be reliable. The dogs have great courage and strength. They are capable of endurance. Dogs must have a large frame and heavy bone. Bitches are definitely to appear feminine but never lacking in substance.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Size: Dogs at maturity are between 27 inches and 30 inches. Bitches at maturity are to be between 26 and 29 inches. A deviation from the ideal height is to be faulted. Any dog or bitch under 26 inches is a disqualification. Proportion: The Black Russian Terrier is slightly longer than tall. The most desired proportions are 9½ to 10. The length is measured from breastbone to rear edge of the pelvis.
Head: The head must be in proportion to the body. It should give the appearance of power and strength.
Eyes: The eyes should be of medium size and dark. Eye rims are to be black without sagging or prominent haw. The eye is to be oval shaped. Light eyes are a serious fault.
Ears: The ears are set high and are rather small and triangular in shape. The front edge of the ear should lay close to the cheek. The length of the ear should reach the outside corner of the eye. Ears set low on the skull are to be faulted. Cropped ears are not acceptable. The head should be powerfully built with a moderately broad and blocky skull. Viewed from the side it should appear balanced. The head is made of two parallel planes. The back skull to muzzle is measured from the corner of the eye. Occiput should be well developed. The muzzle should be slightly shorter than the back skull. The length of the muzzle to the back skull is approximately a ratio of 4 to 5. The forehead must be flat with a marked but not pronounced stop. The head of the male is distinctly masculine, and that of the bitch, distinctly feminine.
Nose: The nose must be large and black. Disqualification: Nose other than black.
Lips: are full, tight and black. There are to be no flews. The gums have dark pigmentation. Black mark on the tongue is allowed.
Teeth: The teeth are large and white. There should be full dentition. The incisors form a straight line at the base. The bite should be scissors. Any missing teeth are a serious fault. Undershot or Overshot bites are a disqualification.
Neck, Topline, and Body
Neck: The neck should be thick, muscular and powerful. Length is not to be excessive. There should be no pendulous or excessive dewlap. The length of the neck and the length of the head should be approximately the same. An excessively thick neck is considered a fault.
Body: The whole structure of the body should give the impression of strength. The chest is deep and wide. The shape should be oval and reach to the elbows or a little below. The withers are high, pronounced and well developed. The topline is level and straight. The loin is short. The abdomen is well tucked up and firm. Withers are higher than and sloping into the level back. Croup is wide, muscular, moderately long slightly sloping toward the high tail set. Tail is set high, thick and docked with 3 to 5 vertebrae left. An undocked tail is not to be penalized.
Shoulders should be large and muscular, well developed with blades broad and sloping. The shoulders should be well laid back. The angle between the shoulder blades and the upper arm is at a 100 to 110 degree. Shoulders are well muscled. The forelegs are straight and well boned. The elbows must turn neither in nor out while standing or moving. The forelegs are straight and muscular. Pasterns are short and almost vertical. Length of the front leg to the elbow should be about 53 to 54 percent of the dog's height. Feet are large, compact, and rounded in shape. The pads of the feet are thick and firm. Nails are short and dark. Rear dewclaws could be removed.
Viewed from the rear the legs are straight and parallel, set slightly wider than the forelegs. The hindquarters are well boned and muscular with good angulation. The stifle is long and sloping. The thighs are muscular. The hocks are well let down, long and vertical when standing.
Tousled, double coat. The texture of the outer coat is coarse. The undercoat is thick and soft. Length of coat should vary from 1½ to 4 inches and cover the entire body. It is a pronounced tousled coat rather than wiry or curly.
Presentation of the breed in the show ring, the dogs outline is clearly defined. The dogs will be trimmed but should not appear to be sculpted.
Ears: hair should be trimmed inside and outside the ear. The ears will lay flat to the side of the head.
Forehead: Just behind the eyebrows the hair is to be shaved or cut very short so as to make what appears to be a platform. The rest of the forehead is trimmed so that the shorter hairs will blend with the longer hairs of the muzzle. This forms a "cap" which should help define length of backskull. Looking from the top of the head it should give the appearance of a "brick". The fringe from the eyebrows is brushed forward and blends with the beard and muzzle. This blending of hair should look from the side like a "triangle".
Neck: The front of the neck from the throat to the point of shoulder should be shaved or scissored short. The hair on the back of the neck should appear to have a mane down to the withers.
Topline: is trimmed from the withers to the tail so that when viewed from the side it appears level. The hair from the back should then blend down the sides of the dog. It is stressed that there should be no distinct lines or scissors marks.
Color: The only acceptable colors for the Black Russian Terrier is black or black with a few gray hairs. Any other color is to be considered a disqualification.
A Black Russian Terrier should move freely with a smooth easy springy motion. The motion should be well-balanced and fluid. As the Black Russian Terrier moves faster the feet will converge toward a centerline. The topline should remain level.
The character and temperament of the Black Russian Terrier is of utmost importance. The Black Russian Terrier is a calm, confident, and courageous dog with a self-assurance which sometimes is rather aloof toward strangers. They are highly intelligent, extremely reliable. They were bred to guard and protect. The behavior in the show ring should be controlled, willing, adaptable, and trained to submit to examination.
Any dog or bitch under 26 inches
Nose other than black
Undershot or overshot bite
Any color other than black.
Approved: June 11, 2001
Effective: September 1, 2001