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Russian Black Terrier

Russian Black Terrier
Other names: Stalin's dog , Beria's dog , black terrier , blackie , RCT

The Russian black Terrier, aka chernysh, aka RT is a service dog breed bred by Soviet breeders. Ideal as a companion, security guard, rescuer and search engine.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Russian Black Terrier
  • Country of origin: USSR
  • Birth time of the breed: 1950s
  • Weight: males 50-50 kg, females 45-50cm
  • Height (height at the withers): males 66-72 cm, females 64-70 cm
  • Life expectancy: 10-11 years


  • Russian black terriers can be attributed to slowly maturing dogs that reach full physical maturity only by 2.5 years.
  • Despite the fact that representatives of this breed are not decorative pets, you will still have to pay attention to the animal's fur. Special attention will require a long hair on the dog's muzzle, getting wet and dirty when the animal drinks or eats.
  • Adult RCTs are physically strong and hardy individuals who need to work intensively to be in shape. Get ready for long walks, jogging, agility and other joys of service breeds.
  • Despite the presence of the word "terrier" in the name of the breed, the blackies are part of the Pinscher and Schnauzer group.
  • Like all dogs whose main purpose was security and security activities, Russian black terriers are distinguished by a strong character, which should be managed by a serious and authoritative owner. At the same time, they are quite accommodating and very friendly towards children, if they do not abuse their loyalty and trust.
  • Having a thick enough coat with a plentiful undercoat, RCTs are adapted to low temperatures and quietly winter in insulated booths and aviaries (does not apply to puppies).
  • With the development of the breed, the character of the animals has undergone significant changes. Today's black terriers are no longer escort dogs, but serious companions with a minimum level of aggression towards strangers. At the same time, if necessary, they are still able to stand up for themselves and for the owner.
  • From a Russian black terrier, you can raise a highly qualified watchman, which even the most experienced burglar will not be able to outwit.

Russian Black Terrier - the legend and pride of Soviet cynology; a serious intellectual with a developed protective instinct and a seasoned character, always striving to please his own owner. In the philistine environment, the RCT is often labeled as ferocious and uncontrollable bodyguards, ready to tear to shreds anyone who looks askance at the owner. In fact, the aggressive image that was once attached to the breed is greatly exaggerated. The trained and properly socialized blackies are prudent, understanding and extremely adequate pets who will never allow themselves to get into a rage just like that.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Not aggressive ( Rating 1/5)
Activity ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Training ?
Easy ( Rating 4/5)
Molt ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Need for care ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Friendliness ?
Friendly ( Rating 4/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Expensive ( Rating 5/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Does not tolerate ( Rating 1/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
Noise ?
Almost inaudible ( Rating 1/5)
Security qualities ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
*The characteristics of the Russian Black Terrier breed are based on the assessment of experts and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Russian Black Terrier breed

Russian Black Terrier

The Russian Black Terrier is one of the few domestic breeds whose breeding did not occur spontaneously, but by order of the government. In the mid-40s, the Soviet kennel "Krasnaya Zvezda" was instructed to breed a kind of service dog capable of working productively in extreme weather conditions. The initiator of the experiment was the "father of peoples" himself, hence the alternative name – "Stalin's dog".

It didn't take much time to create the perfect four-legged guard, which can't be said about the number of animals that took part in the crossing. According to some reports, about 17 breeds have given their genes to Russian black terriers, including airedale terrier , newfoundland , eastern European shepherd , riesenschnauzer , great Dane and rottweiler .

Soviet breeders met with the first representatives of the black Terrier clan already in 1957, at the All-Union Exhibition. And a year later, its own standard of appearance was created for the RCT (abbreviated name of the breed). In the late 70s, the blackies began to expand the boundaries of their own popularity, gradually moving to Europe and the American continent. As a result, in 1983 they were recognized by the FCI. As for the USA specifically, where the wards of the "Red Star" made a splash, the first club of breed lovers appeared there back in 1993. But the AKC (American Kennel Club) persisted for another 11 long years, registering black terriers as a separate kind of protective guard dog only in 2004.

Video: Russian Black Terrier

Appearance of the Russian black terrier

Russian black terrier puppy with mom

Russian black Terrier is a charismatic mustachioed athlete dressed in a glossy black two–layer "fur coat". The height of this brutal varies between 72-76 cm (for males), and the weight can reach 60 kg. Bitches are more elegant than "boys", but they are also far from babies. The average "girl" of the RCT weighs from 42 to 50 kg and this is with a height of 68-72 cm. The breed's signature features are a long mustache made of toilet wool and a shaggy bang that falls over the eyes, because of which the dog looks very impressive, if not formidable.

It is worth noting that modern blackies are very different from the RFTs of the 50s. The exterior of the animals has become more refined (the wool of the individuals presented at the VSHV was noticeably shorter and denser), and their temperament is more stable. Pronounced aggressiveness and increased suspicion left the breed along with the first generations of dogs, approximately in the 80s. At the same time, from the moment of the announcement to this day, work continues to improve the phenotype of the black terrier, since the litters periodically "slip" babies outwardly strongly resemble their own progenitors, that is, airedales, Schnauzers and Newfoundlands.


Massive, proportional to the body of the dog. The skull is elongated, of good width, with a flat frontal part. In general, the head of the Russian black terrier is not particularly prominent, and the brow ridges, feet, and occipital zone of representatives of this breed are not too sharply marked. The muzzle of all RCTs is strong, wide and relatively short.

Teeth and jaws

Curly back of a black terrier

The dog's strong teeth stand close to each other. The jaws are closed in a scissor bite.


Triangular type, dense, with the front edge tightly fitting to the dog's head. The type of ear cloth is hanging, the size of the ear is medium.


Small, widely planted, in the shape of an oval. The eyelids of the Russian black terrier are black, dry type, tightly fitting to the eyeball.


The lobe is black, large.


Very dry, but muscular, with a well-defined nape.

Muzzle of the Russian black terrier


For representatives of the Russian black Terrier breed, a strong, voluminous trunk with a straight back is characteristic, complemented by a raised withers and a wide, short loin. The chest of the RCT is deep, elongated-oval in shape, with slightly convex ribs. The abdomen is slightly tightened and reaches almost to the level of the elbows.


All Russian black terriers have straight legs, long, noticeably retracted shoulder blades and wide, fleshy thighs. The elbows of the representatives of this clan are tightly pressed to the body, and the short and massive pasterns are slightly inclined. The front paws of the dog are noticeably larger than the hind ones and more rounded in shape. At the same time, the pads and claws on both the front and hind limbs have the same color – black.


Tail of the Russian black terrier

Saber-shaped, with a thickened base. In Russia, the tail of Russian black terriers is usually docked. At the same time, the natural length of this part of the body is not considered a disadvantage.


Ideally, a black terrier should have a thick double coat: a stiff awn from 5 to 15 cm long + a dense undercoat. The dog's muzzle should be richly decorated with wavy hair, forming a lush mustache, a neat beard and shaggy eyebrows.


Everything is simple here: only black color and no more variations. The only exception is a slight gray "raid" on no more than ⅓ the body of a blackie.

Disadvantages and disqualifying vices of the breed

Flying gait

Minor deviations from the breed standard do not affect the exhibition karma, unless their number is too large. But with more serious defects like a small chest, squirrel tail, too short head or light eyes, an animal can enroll in a maximum of "good", but not in "excellent students". If we are talking about disqualification, then Russian black terriers are most often subjected to it, having:

  • too obvious similarity with ancestral breeds (Risenschnauzer, Newfoundland, Airedale terrier);
  • depigmented nose;
  • malocclusion;
  • eyesore or eyes of different colors;
  • white markings on the coat;
  • straight wool;
  • spots of gray "plaque" with a distinct contour.

Animals that have no adorning hair on their heads and legs, as well as dogs with too unstable mentality and behavior disorders, will not be allowed to the exhibition either.

Photo of a Russian black terrier

Character of the Russian black terrier

Curious by nature

The Russian black terrier is both a bodyguard, a watchman, and a devoted friend at the same time. Despite their professional qualifications, these serious "moustaches" get used to the role of family pets relatively quickly, easily establishing contact even with young children. Suspicion and distrust of strangers – qualities that, by definition, any service breed should possess – are sufficiently manifested in black terriers, although not as vividly as in their ancestors who lived in the 50s and 60s. At the same time, they do not start with a half-turn, preferring to once again verify the reality of the threat.

Animals will risk attacking the enemy only if they feel that he is encroaching on the safety of their owner. Moreover, they will never shake the aggressor's jacket or skin to victory. Their task is to put the attacker to flight, and not to cause him serious injury. Chernysh will not greet guests who accidentally look at the light with dissatisfied grumbling (provided that he is properly brought up), but he will not happily jump around them, demanding attention and affection, either. The stock of love and tenderness in these shaggy bodyguards is extremely limited, so the dog prefers to spend it on members of the family in which he lives, but not on casual acquaintances.

Let me hug you!

Russian black terriers guard the owner's property diligently. For example, you can leave not only a house, but also an entire estate on these responsible "jocks" without any fear. Rest assured, the animal will not be too lazy to explore every corner of the territory entrusted to it and will not miss a single living soul on it. There is an opinion that Russian black terriers have a vindictive and ferocious character. Indeed, the memory of this breed is phenomenal, but this does not mean that its representatives remember only the evil caused to them. The pet will also never forget pleasant moments and the owner's kindness. Speaking of kindness. In everyday life, RCTs are very proud, which does not prevent them from respecting and sincerely loving their own owner. The main thing is not to overdo it and not try to bring up a black terrier as a carrier of master's slippers, thereby humiliating his working qualities.

In general, today's blackies are quite calm and serious pets who will play with children and will run with pleasure behind the owner's bike. In addition, they are smart enough to understand the mood of the owner by intonation and facial expressions. If the latter is not in the spirit, the Russian black terrier will never impose his company on him and will take care of his own affairs. With other dogs, "bearded servants" are quite capable of getting along. However, only if they do not see them as rivals. Therefore, if you really keep two "tails" in the family, it is best that one of them be a representative of a decorative breed.

Training and education

We are listening to you carefully

Service dogs are always a burden of responsibility, especially since others perceive such animals as potential killers and treat them without much sympathy. Approach the upbringing of a pet professionally or, if this is the first dog in your life, entrust this matter to a specialist. Remember, a Russian black terrier puppy can be molded into both a calm baby nurse and a vigilant guard – it all depends on who exactly you want to see in it and what kind of training method you prefer.

The leadership habits of the blackies have not been canceled, so do not trust their training to children or elderly people in whom the dog sees a "lower caste". The Russian black terrier needs a strict but fair mentor who respects the dignity of the animal, but does not forget about himself. In general, Russian black terriers make diligent students, if the peculiarities of their temperament and psychology are taken into account. So, for example, in the case of this breed, multiple repetitions will not work. The animal will execute the command and pass the obstacle course once or twice, after which it will stop any actions. And the point here is not so much in stubbornness, as in the self-esteem of a dog who does not want to play for the public. Don't get annoyed if the pet thinks too long before executing the command. To measure out seven times and cut off once is just about the blackies.

Important: Russian black terriers can be trained both as puppies and as adults, but in the second case the process will be more difficult. In addition, it is important to immediately choose the right technique, since it will not be possible to correct the mistakes made during training later. RCTs are not retrained in principle.

Russian black Terrier watches the surroundings

Do not discount the youth of the breed. The genus of Russian black terriers is still developing and being pumped, so there may be individuals with completely different learning abilities among dogs. For example, animals in which the genes of shepherds and Rottweilers predominate are better suited to the role of bodyguards. Individuals who have inherited the temper of airedales are more cunning and benevolent, so they make ideal companions.

Like most puppies, young blackies are very playful and restless, which is fraught with inevitable destruction in housing. From the first days of the baby's appearance in the house, curb his violent temper, finding alternative activities for him. For example, buy more rubber squeakers for the puppy, occupy it with bones and other safe objects.

What not to do

  • Abuse the commands "Fu!", "You can't!", turning the pet's life into one continuous prohibition.
  • Encourage the puppy in games until he starts biting.
  • Play tug-of-war with a toddler or teenager who has not yet fully formed a bite.
  • It is rude to take away from the dog the objects damaged by it and apply physical violence to it.
Russian Black Terrier

Care and maintenance

It's good if before you buy a black terrier puppy, you managed to get a country mansion with a plot of land for a full-fledged pet walking. If this did not happen, then you can experiment with the content of the "Stalin's dog" in a city apartment, too, but you will have to spend much more effort. Firstly, because Russian RCTs bark quite loudly, which, of course, will not please your housemates. The way out of the problem: to come to grips with training and curbing the "vocal talents" of the pet. Secondly, the Russian black Terrier is an exclusively working breed, and it is not easy for her to live without physical exertion, so she will have to walk the apartment dwellers more often and longer.

RCTs living in private homes can be settled in a booth or aviary, since these shaggy guards are accustomed to low temperatures. But for the autumn-winter period, the dog house will have to be thoroughly insulated. By the way, putting an animal in an aviary for a day, or even a few days, is a real barbarism. Even living in the yard and having the opportunity to stretch a little blackie still needs to have a good time on the playground or in the field.


Russian black terrier with mistress

Have you already read on Internet forums that the breed does not shed? And now forget about it, because in fact, the seasonal "hair loss" of Russian black terriers still takes place. Yes, the coat of the RCT does not fall out, but more falls into tangles, but you still have to take care of it in order to preserve the spectacular appearance of the pet.

Experts recommend combing the dog every day, and removing the matted wool and superficially trimming the animal a couple of times a month. However, there are nuances here too. In particular, among this breed there are both individuals with hard and soft fur, and they are cared for in different ways. Wire-haired blackies are less problematic in terms of care. Their hair is not so actively falling off and getting confused, so there is no need to be on duty near them with a comb and a hair cutter. In dogs with soft fur, things are exactly the opposite: if they are not combed daily and their tangles are not cut off in a timely manner, they quickly lose their gloss.

A few words about the "bangs" of the black terrier. Ignorant dog lovers often speak out about the fact that the long hair on the forehead of the animal prevents him from seeing. Moreover, according to the same theory, wool collected in a ponytail is also not a panacea. Allegedly, after such a procedure, the dog will certainly go blind. In fact, you can remove the pet's adorning hair as you like, or even braid it into pigtails. This fact will not affect visual acuity in any way. No one forbids leaving the bangs falling over the dog's eyes either. Believe me, a black terrier will definitely see what he needs through thick strands.

Bathing RCT is recommended in cases when the dog's coat is thoroughly soiled, which happens often with regularly walked individuals. The dog is washed using a pet shampoo, which can be replaced with "human" means for dry and brittle hair, diluted in water. The final stage of washing is applying conditioner or rinsing wool in vinegar solution (1 tablespoon of vinegar per liter of water). To prevent the hair of the Russian black terrier from drying out and becoming rough, never dry it with a hairdryer and do not comb it immediately after bathing. Too frequent exposure of the animal to the sun also affects the condition of its coat, so if the dog lives in an aviary, build a canopy for her for the summer, under which she could hide from the heat.

Haircut of the Russian black terrier

Usually, salon haircuts are done for show-class individuals, and pets can have their fur shortened on their own. To do this, buy hairdressing and milling scissors, a stainless steel comb and a fluff. You can also buy a special machine for wool, with which the haircut goes faster.

Trimmed Russian black terrier with a cropped tail

Do not remove too much fur on the body of the blackie, as representatives of this breed like to scratch. The dense undercoat serves as a protective layer protecting the dog's skin from its own claws, and if it is too shortened, wounds on the body are inevitable, so the ideal length of the hair on the body is 1.5 cm. The same rule applies to ears, on which it is necessary to leave from 6 to 12 mm of wool. Bangs and mustaches of the Russian black terrier, if shortened, then very slightly, as this distorts the appearance of the breed. In addition, the hair on these parts of the body grows very slowly. It is best to cut only the head, not reaching 2-3 cm to the brow ridges. Between the eyes, you can also cut a right triangle with a stop on the bridge of the nose, which will make the appearance of the pet more advantageous.

On the forelimbs and metatarsals, the hair is left longer than on the trunk. The same is done with the hair on the shins and thighs, which is simply carefully trimmed. But the tufts of hair between the fingers must be carefully cut, since they are the main "garbage collectors". For hygienic purposes, the abdominal area, groin area and the area around the anus are also cut shorter.


With the Russian black terrier, it is necessary to walk a lot and productively, this is especially true for apartment dwellers experiencing a lack of physical activity. Until the puppy is vaccinated for the first time, walks should be short but frequent. Individuals who have been vaccinated can be taken out for longer promenades. The optimal walking time for a one–year-old terrier is 1 hour, and you will have to go out with the dog at least three times a day. By the age of one and a half, chernysh can be transferred to a two-day walk.

Since during regular excursions around the city or park your pet will not have time to let off steam, it is better to load it with additional physical exercises. For example, you can practice agility with a dog or make him run after your bike. It is very useful to create artificial difficulties for the dog. For example, to offer her to run on loose, sinking snow, or a sandy beach. Such entertainments take away a lot of strength from the animal, while simultaneously training its endurance.

Don't forget: in places where people may appear, Russian black terriers are only walked on a leash and in a muzzle.


Black terriers also love autumn photos in leaves

Black terriers are natural meat eaters. Of course, the body of dogs also successfully breaks down vegetable proteins, but you are unlikely to succeed in making a lover of porridge and carrots from a blackie. Meat should be at least half, or better, of the animal's diet, but there are no requirements for its quality. Stringy scraps of horse meat, old beef or a coveted rabbit will be eaten by a black terrier with the same pleasure as a first-class tenderloin.

In order to save money, meat can be replaced with offal, which dogs also adore. But you will have to be careful with sea fish, because, for example, the abuse of pollock, haddock, whiting, whiting and whiting can provoke anemia in a pet. It is better to cook porridge from several types of cereals so that the blackie's body receives all the necessary trace elements in one serving. As for pasta and other flour products, it is better not to give them at all, although black terriers will almost sell their soul for them. But as a compromise, a piece of stale or dried rye bread will do. In addition, the diet of the black terrier should include seasonal fruits and vegetables (sliced, juices, puree), fresh herbs, low-fat sour milk and eggs.

It is better to feed a four-legged friend from a stand, forming his correct posture. After eating, the dog's mustache and beard are usually clogged with crumbs, so after each meal, the muzzle must be wiped, or even washed. In addition, most of the blackies are incredible water–eaters, which is why the hair on their lower jaw is constantly getting wet. If you do not pay attention to this factor, then over time a fungus will start in the beard of the Russian black terrier, so if you notice drops falling from the chin of the pet, do not be lazy to blot his muzzle with a towel.

Health and diseases of the Russian black terrier

Russian black terriers are practically not susceptible to viral and infectious diseases, and they do not have numerous genetic ailments. But the breed failed to avoid dysplasia of the elbow and hip joints, so before buying a puppy, make sure that his parents have successfully passed the dysplasia test. Otherwise, get ready not to get out of veterinary clinics. Of the ailments not related to heredity, Russian black terriers are most often diagnosed with ear inflammation, as well as eye diseases (retinal atrophy, entropy).

How to choose a puppy

What are you watching? Go

If you have decided on a kennel, looked at the pedigree of the puppy and met at least one of his parents, go to the tests that will help you get some ideas about the character of the future pet. Check the degree of contact of the baby by putting him in the distance and beckoning with his hand. Puppies of a Russian black terrier with the potential of a guard approach a stranger immediately and with loud barking. Kids with the makings of a companion behave more balanced and quiet.

It will not be superfluous to check the tiny blackies for obedience. Lay the puppy on its side, grabbing it under the breast and observe its behavior. The future leader will immediately begin to resist and break out. You can lift the Russian black terrier off the ground, holding him with crossed arms over his stomach so that he looks into your eyes. The reaction of the future companion and family man on this action will be relatively calm, although a slight resistance at the beginning of the procedure is also a good indicator. The dominant will struggle to twist out of your hands, simultaneously trying to bite them properly.

Another effective way is to give the puppy a good pat on the first acquaintance. A kid with a stable psyche after such an "execution" will simply shake himself off and move away from you. An unbalanced aggressor, on the contrary, will begin to whine, growl and gnaw your fingers. And of course, immediately dismiss overly timid puppies for the simple reason that, like too vicious individuals, they are very difficult to train.

Photos of Russian black terrier puppies

How much does a Russian black terrier cost

Russian black Terrier is a breed quite rare both abroad and in Russia, which could not but affect its value. On average, you can buy a Russian black terrier puppy from domestic breeders for $350 - $400 . The price tag of $500 and above is set for babies from a bitch and a male with interchampionship titles, promising to repeat their parental career in the future.

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