Dog Breed

Black Russian Terrier

Guard DogRare
Primary image of Black Russian Terrier dog breed
Full Name
Black Russian Terrier
Alternate Names
Tchiorny Terrier
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Life Span
10 - 11 years
90 - 130 pounds

The Black Russian Terrier, also known as the Tchiorny Terrier is a breed of dog created in USSR in Red Star Kennel during the late 1940s and the early 1950s for use as military/working dogs

They wanted a large working dog who was built for a range of physical tasks, a solid guard instinct, yet could be friendly and work well with his owner.

Due to its history, it's clear that the Black Russian Terrier needs a strong and assertive owner. With plenty of training and exercise, they can make excellent home companionship dog, especially if you are looking for a dog with protective instincts.

Bred For
Working Dog
Family Considerations
Child Friendly

Is the Black Russian Terrier good with children? Nearly all dogs enjoy playing with small children, but some can play too rough, or be a bit careless. In some cases dogs can get jealous of small children, or try and "herd" them due to their natural instincts.

Stranger Friendly

Is the Black Russian Terrier friendly with strangers? Getting a dog that is friendly with people really depends on what your lifestyle is. Dogs who are more cautious with strangers oftentimes make good guard dogs, which can be a great fit for some owners. If you are social, live in the city, or frequently have guests over, you may want to consider getting a stranger friendly dog.

Dog Friendly

Is the Black Russian Terrier friendly with other dogs? Of course this is particularly important if you already have another dog at home. However, it's an important factor to consider as well if you plan on frequently going to the dog park. Otherwise, even a dog who is not automatically friendly with other dogs can be an excellent fit, as they can still be affectionate with their human family.

Likes to Cuddle

Does the Black Russian Terrier like to cuddle? All dogs want love, but they have different boundaries when it comes to physical affection. If you plan on frequently having a dog on your lap or pushed up against you, then you should consider whether this breed enjoys that.


Does the Black Russian Terrier like to play? All puppies are playful, but as adults certain dogs are more playful. If you have children, or otherwise want to keep your dog active with plenty of play, there are plenty of options of breeds who will be happy to play all day.

Service Dog Ability

Does the Black Russian Terrier make a good service dog? When looking to train a service dog it's important to consider how they were historically bred, and if their personality makes a good fit. A service dog must be smart, patient, and obsessed with pleasing their owner. Working dogs are a good fits since service dog 'work' gives them a feeling of accomplishment from doing a job.

Overall Ease of Breed
Ease for Novice

Is the Black Russian Terrier good for first time owners? Dogs that are good for first time owners are ones who are easy to train, and are eager to please their owner. Very large dogs, or dogs with very high energy may also not be the best for first time owners since it adds a layer of complexity.

Training Potential

How well can the Black Russian Terrier be trained? This rating is about the training potential of the Black Russian Terrier. Dogs with high training potential oftentimes are good service dogs, police dogs, and dog show competition dogs. This does not necessarily mean they are the easiest to train, since many will be very intelligent and demanding.

Amount of Shedding

Does the Black Russian Terrier shed a lot?

Ease of Grooming

Is the Black Russian Terrier easy to groom?

Exercise Need

Does the Black Russian Terrier need a lot of exercise?


How smart is the Black Russian Terrier?

Amount of Barking

How much does the Black Russian Terrier bark? Does the Black Russian Terrier bark too much? It depends on your lifestyle, and where you live. Dogs use barking to communicate, keep guard, and alert. A strong bark can be a good characteristic for guard dogs, or flock guardian dogs who need to be vocal.In apartment living you should consider getting a dog who is less vocal.

Guard Dog Ability

Is the Black Russian Terrier a good guard dog?

Tolerates Being Alone

Is the Black Russian Terrier good at staying alone? Is the Black Russian Terrier independent?

Home and Environment Considerations
Good for Apartment Living

Is the Black Russian Terrier a good apartment dog? Can the Black Russian Terrier live in an apartment without becoming frustrated or destructive? Typically people immediately consider the size of the dog, but energy level and historical habitat are also factors.


How big is the Black Russian Terrier?

Tolerates Heat

How much does the Black Russian Terrier tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Black Russian Terrier?

Tolerates Cold

How much does the Black Russian Terrier tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Black Russian Terrier?

Potential to Run Away

Does the Black Russian Terrier try to run away? Some dogs have natural wanderlust and are escape artists... they will do everything to get out and explore.

Physical Characteristics
General Health

Is the Black Russian Terrier a healthy dog? The general health of a Black Russian Terrier should be measured not just by how many years they live, but how often they have health issues during their lives. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

Energy Level

How energetic is the Black Russian Terrier? Is the Black Russian Terrier too energetic for your lifestyle?

Amount of Drooling

How much does the Black Russian Terrier drool?

Prey Drive

Does the Black Russian Terrier have a large prey drive? Does the Black Russian Terrier like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals? Prey drive can be bothersome at the park, but really an issue at home if you have small animals, since this comes as a natural instinct for dogs with high prey drive, to chase cats, birds, etc.


Is the Black Russian Terrier atheltic? Is the Black Russian Terrier fast and strong?

  • Terrier
  • Pinscher
  • Black Russian Terrier
The Black Russian Terrier is a purebred dog that belongs to the Pinscher sub group, which falls under the larger Terrier dog breed group.
Terrier group: Anyone who has had a terrier knows that they come with a big personality. Across the Terrier dog group there is much variation, but they are all feisty, proud, and extremely loyal to their family. With this strong personality comes stubbornness, so they are not the easiest dog, especially for a first time dog owner. However, with training and a strong owner, they can be some of the most rewarding dogs- their strong personality is fun, active, and will always bring something new. Terriers were originally bred for hunting, exterminating small vermin, and home protection. Terriers are a healthy and athletic breed. Because of this they require a good amount of exercise.
Pinscher sub-group: The pinscher is a true German classic. They are one of the oldest breeds, and have been used for a variety of uses: from aesthetic dog shows, to police force work. The Pinscher can be trained well, as they are very intelligent and have a switch where they can suddenly become "serious". Pinschers are typically healthy dogs, although there are a few conditions that the breed can be prone to. Pinschers can most commonly have hip dysplasia and eye disease. Smaller pinschers are known to "nip" as they were bred to hunt rats. On the other side of the spectrum- doberman pinschers will not be so bite friendly, but are excellent guard dogs. Because of pinschers serious and demanding nature, they need a strong leader, and need to be socialized early and often. If that is the case, you will receive an excellent dog.

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