Don't be fooled by the Black Russian Terrier's origins. This impressive dog, originally bred by the Soviet Union's stoic Red Army, is as comfortable frolicking in the water or snow as it is playing the role of a sentry.
As with any large, muscular dog, the Black Russian Terrier must be treated with a soft, but firm, touch from the start to rear them to be a healthy, stable animal. Brave and observant, the Black Russian Terrier is extremely suspicious of strangers and will begin to show its protective instincts anywhere from the middle of its first year to its second year. It is this suspicion that can give the dog an aloof appearance toward strangers, but it can also lead to uncontrollable, unruly behavior if left unchecked in its earliest rearing.
Black Russian Terrier puppies exhibit the breed's inherent intelligence. They are very quick to learn, adaptive, sensitive, and playful. Owners must keep a sharp eye on these pups, as they are inquisitive and quick to poke their noses into everything! Because these dogs are a quick study, they are an easy breed to housebreak and do not need to be trained to accept a leash.
Puppies and adult Black Russian Terriers alike enjoy the company of children and enthusiastically play with them. Although male dogs are wonderful with children, it's the female of the breed which truly enjoys playing with children.
Fiercely loyal, Black Russian Terriers seek strong bonds with people and animals, and therefore love the process of training and are eager to please their owners. The breed tends to avoid confrontations with other dogs; however, the males can not live with other large, dominant dogs. However, Black Russian Terriers easily get along with submissive or smaller dogs, horses, rabbits, cats, and other evenly-tempered animals.
Harkening back to its roots, Black Russian Terriers are like Minutemen, quick to protect their house or owners. The breed is soft-spoken: It will only bark when it feels it's needed. But because of its yearning to be around and protect people, this is not a breed to kennel in the backyard. Left to its own devices, it'll protect its territory, even against its own owners.
Despite its size, the Black Russian Terrier will do okay in an apartment, if exercised frequently. They tend to lumber around indoors, and generally will be waiting by the door if you set them outside on their own - no matter how big your yard is. They have an inherent need to be close to humans. They will follow its owner from room to room. They will even follow you from window to window if they are left outside! Because of its need for human contact, the Black Russian Terrier makes an excellent family pet.