Owning a Black Russian Terrier brings with it some opportunity for showing. The breed is fully recognized by the American Kennel Club. It was first recognized as a breed in 1981 by the USSR Ministry of Agriculture on May 13th of that year. It was internationally recognized by the FCI in 1984. In the United States, the Black Russian Terrier was first cataloged by Foundation Stock Services in 1996. Afterwards, it was first accepted to be shown in the miscellaneous class in August 2001. The breed gained full recognition in the working group on July 1, 2004.
The American Kennel Club expects the Black Russian Terrier to have a good temperament, be well balanced, and show reliability. Aside from its muscular stature, it must also show endurance. While the dog must show this strong muscular form and a heavy frame of bones, the bitch's femininity must shine through without lacking its male counterpart's substance.
First and foremost to the Black Russian Terrier in the ring is its temperament. This is a calm, courageous and confident dog with a self-importance that may exude aloofness to strangers. While it may turn its nose up at a stranger, the highly intelligent Black Russian Terrier is an extremely reliable dog to its owners. This dog was bread to protect and guard, so its behavior in the ring must be adaptable, willing, and controlled. It must also be trained to submit to the judges' examinations.
The Black Russian Terrier should have a flowing gait with a smooth, springy motion. It also should exhibit its balance in this exercise. As the dog quickens its pace, its feet will move toward a centerline. It should also show a level topline. When grooming the Black Russian Terrier for the ring, the dog should not appear to be chiseled, but should appear well trimmed.
The American Kennel Club gives two stern warnings for showing regulations for the Black Russian Terrier. The breed's coat should only be black or black with a few gray hairs. Anything else will be cause for disqualification in the organization's events. Also, there is a strict height requirement for the breed. Any dog or bitch shorter than 26 inches will be automatically disqualified. However, there is a push by the Black Russian Terrier Club of America to have the American Kennel Club to consider any dog shorter 26.5 inches and any bitch shorter than 25.5 inches to be considered to have a serious fault rather than to be an automatic disqualification. Other disqualifications include any nose color other than black and an overshot or undershot of the jaw.
Since the breed is so new, there are relatively few breed-specific events for the Black Russian Terrier. The breed will be recognized at its second-annual AKC Black Russian Terrier National in Gray Summit, Missouri, in September 2007. For more information about where to show Black Russian Terriers, consult the Black Russian Terrier Club of America.