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Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier Breed


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Dog Size

Energy Level

Dog Energy Level


Dog Trainability

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Paws 'N' Pups Ranking


Physical Characteristics:
Height: 26-30”
Weight: 80-145 lbs.
Energy Level: Moderate
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Black Russian Terrier in the following colors:

  • Black
  • Black and tan
  • Blue
  • Sable
  • Salt and pepper

Health & Longevity

Average Life Span: 10-11 years
The Black Russian Terrier is a purebred which has a long history of healthy genes. While this pup is considered generally healthy, some medical conditions and health problems inevitably exist. Unfortunately, many of these problems show up when poor breeding takes place. This reiterates the importance of finding a reputable breeder who maintains a certain level of standards and ethics.

Some of the conditions you need to know about include progressive retinal atrophy, elbow dysplasia, dwarfism, and hip dysplasia.

Progressive retinal atrophy is a progressive disease that affects the eyes. Specifically, the retina will degenerate, causing your pup to become blind. Since it happens slowly over time, your pup will be able to adjust to the change and continue to live a happy life.

Elbow and hip dysplasia can occur in your Black Russian Terrier and is often common in larger breeds. It is important that you have your pup screened for these conditions. Elbow and hip dysplasia affect both the hip and the elbow in your pup. Your Black Russian Terrier may experience painful arthritis, and this condition can be crippling.

Lastly, dwarfism is another concern in the Black Russian Terrier. This condition occurs when your pup does not develop correctly. You may notice that your pup is stunted in growth and is much smaller than he or she should be. Dwarfism can lead to additional complications, so it is important to catch and manage this condition as soon as you know it is present.

The life expectancy of the Black Russian Terrier is 10 to 11 years.

Temperament & Train-ability

The Black Russian Terrier is a large breed of pup and has a good demeanor, which makes him or her a good choice for any home. You will find that this breed is not always friendly with strangers and will be quite reserved most of the time.

This breed becomes attached to those within his or her family and will protect them when needed. Indoors, your pup is calm and will not become overly energetic.

The Black Russian Terrier is gentle with children and makes a good family pet. Most of the time, your pup will get along with other pets, but socialization is of particular importance because the Terrier breed likes to hunt smaller animals. You should also watch your Black Russian Terrier around other pups who like to show a dominant side, as this can lead to aggressive behavior.

This breed will need to receive exercise on a regular basis and will do best in a home where he or she has a yard to run around in. You should walk your pup at least once or twice per day to help exhaust built up energy. If your pup does not receive enough physical and mental stimulation, you will find items in your home chewed or torn up, or notice other destructive behavior has taken place.

Lastly, this breed is intelligent, which means that he or she will train fairly easily. This breed likes to become stubborn when you attempt to force him or her to do something that he or she does not want to. This may lead to some trouble when training, but overall, training is not too difficult.


The Black Russian Terrier does have moderate, but easy grooming needs. You will need to brush your pup’s coat at least once per week to avoid the tangles and mats. You will find that this breed is a low shedder, which is good if you do not want to vacuum or pick up a ton of hair.

The Black Russian Terrier does need to receive a professional clipping twice per year, which can be done either by you or a professional groomer.

Your pup only needs to be bathed when it is really necessary, so you do not have to worry about a regular bath schedule. When you do give your pup a bath, you need to make sure you choose a mild shampoo that does not strip the oil from your pup’s skin.

You do need to make sure that you clean your pup’s ears once per week and that you trim their nails once per month or as needed.


Your Black Russian Terrier will eat anywhere between four and five cups of dry food per day. Since this breed is considered to be active, you need to make sure you purchase a dry food that meets your pup’s activity and nutritional needs.

Some Black Russian Terrier owners choose to feed their pups a raw diet, and you can choose this too. A raw diet consists of real food such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. Consult your veterinarian for guidance on this type of diet.

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A Black Russian Terrier puppy will cost you about $2,000 on average. It is unlikely that you will be able to find this breed in a shelter, but it is a good place to start.

The cost of your puppy will vary depending on the breeder you choose and may cost more or less. It is important to know that the cost of your puppy does not determine his or her health. You need to make sure you choose a reputable breeder who can show you the proper health certificates, tests, and paperwork to back up any of their claims.

Paws ‘N’ Pups Ranking

Paws ‘N’ Pups ranks every breed out of 4 with 1 being easiest to integrate into your life and 4 being the toughest – The lower the ranking the better.

Ranking takes into account a few basic factors including cost, skill level needed, high vs low maintenance and how critical regular training is to success. The Black Russian Terrier is a good choice for any home, and you will find that this breed does well with children. It is important to know that this pup does not always do well with strangers and will protect his or her family when needed. This breed is easy to care for and it is not considered very high maintenance. The Black Russian Terrier does like to run around and play outside, which makes this breed an excellent choice for families who enjoy outdoor activities. This breed ranks a 1.


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