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Black Russian Terrier. A formidable guard and devoted friend.

There are a lot of publication in press, where you can find rather contrary statesments about Black Russian Terrier breed. To beleive their authors this dog is both formidable defender and nice dog, babysitter to your childeren, devoted guard. But what is the truth? Either a universal soldier or tender and sweet animal? To answer this question we should refer to the history of breed. 

«A dog of Stalin»

Informal name of a Black Russian Terrier is a dog of Stalin. Sure, “the leader of peoples” didn’t have such dog, this breed appeared after his death. Nevertheless, the breeding of a new working dog in Red Star kennel started under Iosif Vissarionovich order.

Thus, just after World War II there appeared a new important government task in Central War Kennel Club. Nation-winner needed a working and guarding dog: smart, with high physical strength, determined and capable to be in service during severe frosts. This meant it should have been a big strong clever dog with dense coat, long legs, powerful jaws and brave heart. The work began in Red Star kennel. When breeding Black Russian Terrier they used experience of breeding of Orlov Trotter, Budyonny horse breed and Estonian hound. Initial breeds had certain traits necessary for a new breed. What are those breeds?

Giant Schnauzers were created as good working dogs and guards, but they can work in moderate climate. They are active, agile, they have flammable and assertive temper. Due to coarse coat and big size they met the requirements.

Airedales were bred as farmer and hunting dogs. They have coarse coat, dense undercoat and skills of hunting dogs: good nose, courage and get geographical bearings. The Airedale Terrier is small in size, was bred to hunt otters and not only swam after them, but fearlessly went into any shelter, where he could meet "enemies" (otters, rats).
Rottweiler is an old breed, for decades before the advent of railroads accompanied the herds of cattle and meat carts on the roads of Germany, which in the Middle Ages and the later times were not safe. Strong, powerful, very devoted dog to protect the property of owner and his life. Hardy, strong, enduring great physical loading Rottweiler was not “well dressed” for our climate.

But well-dressed and protected from the vagaries of the continental climate were the dogs in the dog kennel "Red Star" . This was a breed group of Moscow Diver, in the creation of which were used men’s great helpers: Newfoundland, Caucasian and German Shepherd. These were the main breeds. Besides them, when breeding Black Terriers, as archives say, a Moscow Dane and even Russian hound were used.

As a result, in a few years a new unique breed was created. The Black Russian Terrier appeared to be athletic, strong, sturdy, balanced, incorruptible and vigilant. In short, employees of  Red Star kennel succeded in the task of creating the perfect dog, whose function was to protect military facilities and prisons.
A lot has been written about this unique breed, the outstanding achievement of Soviet Canine science. Let's find out what is the modern Russian Black Terrier

The character of the Black Russian Terrier

The character of this dog is contrary. Gifted with an innate sense of quarding, it can be very energetic and determined at work, and at the same time it is a very calm and gentle companion in the family. It’s reasonable to suppose Black Terrier has a very lively and often unpredictable reaction. However, he does not use his natural malice without reason, and prefers to keep the enemy at a distance without barking or growling. In fact, it is a very sociable dog: friendly to  guests, if its owner is friendly to them. Sufficiently tolerant of other dogs, but on condition that they do not show aggression. In addition, Black Terrier is prone to patronage over smaller ones: either it is a child, a dog or other pet.

We should add a few words about the degree of susceptibility of the Black Terrier to training. BRT can work on General Course without conceding anything other breeds. It is quite  successful in training of Protective Guard Service (PGS). There are performances of BRT in all-around program for working dogs, international custom dog training course. Black Terrier is willingly purchased by the armed forces, public enterprises and agencies to guard, patrol  services.

Devotion, fearlessness and very serious, but at the same time imposing appearance make this dog popular.

However, you should remember that the Black Terrier is not a German Shepherd, which  conditioned connections in the process of training are fixed quickly. Blackie likes strong character. During the work of subduing this breed requires flexibility and patience from the owner. Switching from driving to braking on the other hand is relatively slow. This means that the time spent on testing of the conditioned reflex and to the formation of a stereotype of traffic on a prearranged signal will be more. Despite of some features of training (if you know and remember them) BRT can be taught almost all Kennel programs that exist at the moment, what I can not say about some other breeds of dogs that are cultivated in our country.

Pros and contras of a unique breed

Blackies compare favourably with other long-haired breeds. Thanks to a certain standard structure of coat, with the right grooming (cutting and combing), you will not notice the shedding of your dog. BRT coat also doesn’t have a specific smell of dog, even after a bath or rain.
Also, representatives of the breed can live in a city apartment just as well as in the farm country house. They do not take up much space, not annoy, and they’re happy to be your companion in a quiet life, and in active games and long walks.

Sure, like any large dog, Blackie requires proper training and education. There’s a strong protective instinct in this breed, and in an emergency it will manifest itself even when not being trained. You should not encourage aggression in young Blackie, otherwise he may be trying to show its strength when being adault. BRT is maturing for a long time, both physically and mentally, only to 2-2.5 years a dog can be formed.

Dogs are unpretentious in food and in conditions of living, have excellent health. Among the most common diseases in the breed (Blackies are not get sick very often, but it happens sometimes), perhaps, are the following: otitis media, eczema, hip dysplasia and elbow joints, recently found urolithiasis.
The hardest part of having the black terrier is its coat or better to say grooming. The dog must be combed and washed frequently (frequency depends on the type of hair: the more coarse coat, the less grooming), in average - every 2 weeks. However, if you do not grow coat of 20 cm, it is enough to wash and comb the coat once a month. Black Terrier definitely needs a “summer cut” (with a clipper) – you have to do it 2-3 times a year. If your dog participates in dog shows, you should do show cut more often - preferably before each show.

One more difficulty in this breed, which you should know, it's bringing up a puppy up to 1-year age. Blackie, as well as any other heavy, large breed, needs a balanced diet, special mineral feeding and proper physical load.

 

Let’s resume:

Advantages: Usage: Difficulties:
- very powerful and large size;
- extremely functional and hardy;
- well-balanced;
- in good health;
- unpretentious;
- clever;
- easy to handle;
- easy gets along with other pets
- distrustful of strangers
- adapted to any climatic conditions
- does not shed and does not smell (with appropriate grooming)

- a guarding dog;
- a companion;
- a bodyguard;
- the breed for dog shows;
- simply a family pet

 
- coat requires cutting and combing
- requires careful bringing up of a puppy up to 1 year of age 

 

The inner world of the black terrier is a rich range of colors, which, at first glance, do not match each other. However, they are in balance with each other in this dog, they’re formed in a surprisingly harmonious and logical pattern.

Black Terrier - is a formidable guard and gentle friend of children. This is a strong and independent personality, showing obedience and diligence. This is a strong and incorruptible creature, ready to honestly and adequately evalute any situation. All of these characteristics suppose that the Black Terrier is a dog of the highest intelligence, able to make independent decisions. The man who once had the chance to bring up the black terrier never betray this breed.

 
Ирина ЯБЛОНЬКА, 
вл-ц п-ка РЧТ «Яблуневый Цвит», 
заводчик-кинолог, 
руководитель породной секции РЧТ ДТО КСУ «Лидер» г. Киева
При написании статьи использованы материалы из интернета