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Russian Black Terrier

Other names: RBT, Blackies

Russian Black Terrier
Russian Black Terrier adult

The Russian Black Terrier is not a true terrier. In fact it is a mix of several breeds of terrier (including the Schnauzer and Airedale). It was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1940s and 50s and was put to work as a guard dog and sentry. Today the Russian Black is still a faithful utility dog, but its popularity as a companion is on the up.

Key facts about the Russian Black Terrier

Life expectancy :





Temperament :


Size :

Origins and history

The Russian Black is thought to have come about following mixes of Giant Schnauzer, Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler and Moscow Water Dog. It was developed in the 1940s by the Soviet Army and put to use as a sentry dog. Its traits (large, brave, strong and manageable) perfectly suited its use.

Discover more Russian dog breeds

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs


Section 1 : Pinscher and Schnauzer type

Physical characteristics of the Russian Black Terrier

    Adult size

    Female : Between 26 and 29 in

    Male : Between 28 and 31 in


    Female : Between 77 and 99 lb

    Male : Between 77 and 99 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    A large, athletic dog; muscular and stocky. The chest of the dog is low; the tail is thick and set high, carried outwards and up but not touching the back.

    Good to know

    Russian Black Terriers always used to have their tails docked. The practice of tail docking is illegal in the UK but not in some other countries. Be vigilant of such signs of maltreatment if you are buying a Russian Black from overseas.


    • 66%


      The Russian Black is an extremely affectionate and loyal dog; it quickly develops a close bond with its owner.

    • 66%


      The Russian Black considers hard work its true calling but occasionally will spend time with the family and is patient with small children.

    • 66%


      This is a calm and self-assured dog.

    • 66%


      The Russian Black is incredibly intelligent but tends to get bored easily.

    • 100%


      Although bred to protect and guard, the Russian Black is also a good hunter.

    • 100%

      Fearful / wary of strangers

      The Russian Black may appear aloof and reserved with strangers. Time is needed to allow the dog to assimilate new faces.

    • 100%


      A thoroughly independent dog, the Russian Black was bred to work by itself.

      Behaviour of the Russian Black Terrier

      • 100%

        Tolerates solitude

        It is an independent dog which allows him to stay alone and be absolutely fine with it.

      • 33%

        Easy to train / obedience

        This is not an easy dog to train, and its training must be varied, consistent and carried out in a confident manner. The Russian Black loves to work and to please its owner.

      • 66%


        This is not a dog that barks excessively.

      • 66%