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Black Russian Terrier Information
Black Russian Terrier

The Black Russian Terrier (or simply BRT) is a breed of dog developed originally as a guard dog and police dog. It is rare outside its native country and is just starting to be recognized elsewhere; for example, it is one of the AKC's most-recently recognized breeds, gaining full status in July of 2004. Appearance The BRT gives the impression of great strength, athleticism, and courage. It should be rustic (but not coarse) in appearance, and should not look as though its coat is sculpted or trimmed. It should never appear to lack substance or be weak in any way. Males should be noticeably more masculine than females. Coat The coat is hard and dense, never soft, wooly, silky, or frizzy. It should be between 4-10 cm (1.4-4 inches) in length. It should form a beard and eyebrows on the face, and a slight mane around the withers and neck that is more pronounced in males. The coat is low-shedding and the colour is black or black with some gray hairs. Size The male stands 25-29 inches (64-74 cm) at the withers compared to the female's 25-28 inches (64-72 cm) with a tolerance of 1.3 inches (3 cm) or more if the dog is well proportioned. The breed weighs 80 to 143 pounds (36-65 kg) Temperament BRTs are confident, calm, highly intelligent, brave and loyal. It should never be timid, and will not hesitate to defend the people that it loves if it thinks they are threatened. The BRT may seem aloof, but needs human companionship and bonds deeply to its family. They are wary of strangers and take a long time to warm up to unfamiliar people, thus they make excellent guard dogs. BRTs are dominant by nature and need confident owners who have experience handling similar dogs. Care The BRT, because of its breeding as a working dog, has a very strong "work ethic", and needs a job to do in order to be happy. Early training is a must, as it will exploit any owner who has failed to establish clear dominance, and it's just too big to not be trained. They are very responsive to firm, consistent training, and excel at Obedience competitions. They also perform well in other dog sports, such as Agility, and Schutzhund training. They have a low-shedding coat, and need grooming at least once a week, more for show dogs. The BRT needs lots of exercise, and may become hyperactive and destructive if it doesn't have a chance to burn off its energy. Health The BRT is a generally healthy and somewhat long-lived dog (lifespan of 10-14 years), however it is prone to certain hereditary diseases: * Major concerns o Hip dysplasia * Minor concerns o Elbow dysplasia o Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) History The BRT was developed in the former USSR by the state for use as a military/working dogs. The breeding stock was largely imported from the occupied countries, especially East Germany. Breeds used in the development include the Airedale Terrier, Caucasian Ovcharka, Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Giant and Standard Schnauzers and the now extinct Moscow Water Dog. It was bred for working ability, rather than appearance, and early examples only resembled today's BRT in their build and coat type. It was bred solely by the state owned Red Star Kennel until 1957, when some puppies were sold to civilian breeders. These breeders began to breed for looks (as the original was rather plain) while retaining working ability. The breed was recognized by the FCI in 1984.

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