Black Russian Terrier


Developed in the mid-1900s in the Soviet Union, Black Russian Terriers were bred to be large, highly trainable dogs who could work with security forces as guard dogs. The breed is the result of crossings with many breeds, primarily Airedale Terrier, Giant Schnauzer, and Rottweiler. Spreading through Europe and then to the U.S., the Black Russian Terrier was accepted into the AKC’s Miscellaneous Class in 2001 and the Working Group in 2004.


Large, 80 to 145 pounds; female 26 to 29 inches; male 27 to 30 inches.


Black (sometimes with a few gray hairs).


Calm, confident, and courageous; protective and attached to their family. Bred to guard; reserved toward strangers.

Energy level:


Best owner:

An active owner who has the time and energy for obedience training and daily exercise.


Job or activity such as obedience or agility training; exercise, socialization, and human contact.

Life expectancy:

10 to 11 years.