Dogs are social animals, having learned this behavior as pack animals in the wilds. They gravitate toward and respect strong leadership, while they take advantage of weakness. The Black Russian Terrier loves to be around people. Bred to be military guards, this breed is fiercely loyal to its owners. This can be both a benefit and a detriment to the Black Russian Terrier and to the family who wishes to own one as a pet.
There are some basic guidelines to help rear a loving, stable Black Russian Terrier. The first, and probably best, piece of advice is to never buy a dog, whether it's a Black Russian Terrier or any breed for that matter, sight unseen or over the Internet. Go to a reputable breeder or show to see if this is the right breed for you or your family. Speak to owners and breeders to find out more information. The 10-pound fur ball growing into a 100-pound rock within a year would come as a shock to someone who hasn't done their research. This dog is a 10-12 year commitment, and may not be suited to everyone.
Black Russian Terriers require a high amount of socialization. The good news is that these highly intelligent dogs are quick to learn and adaptive. They are also loving, playful and its innate yearning to work for its owner makes it a willing participant in socialization and any other training.
At the very least, the Black Russian Terrier would do well to go through an obedience class, but would also be helped to participate in a "puppy kindergarten" to aid in socialization. Aside from these specialty classes, socialization in nearly every activity is important for the Black Russian Terrier. A new owner should take his Black Russian Terrier puppy to several new places every week for the first six months of its life. It would also behoove owners to expose this breed to a variety of people and situations it could expect to see in its daily life. It's good to include people of all different types of nationality, race, and age, and people in uniform.
Black Russian Terriers will eventually develop its wariness of strangers by the time it's two years old. Puppies should be treated firmly, but with love, to guide them toward stability. It's also important to remember that Black Russian Terriers are strong willed, aside from being strong of body. Not only will a poorly socialized Black Russian Terrier be a threat, but hard to handle physically. Also keep in mind that this smart dog may appear stubborn if not given clearly defined commands.
All in all, if the right amount of time is spent with this lovable giant, along with the use of firm but even handling, the Black Russian Terrier will prove to be an asset to an owner or a family.