How Black Russian Terriers Came to Be

A powerful yet loving breed created by the Soviet military's Red Star Kennel, Black Russian Terriers are known for their guardian instincts, their strong build, and their need for human affection.

As the world was being slowly destroyed in the midst of World War II, with pain and loss swarming everywhere, the Soviets were playing with canine DNA. The desire to create a new breed, known as Stalin’s dog, rose from the need to equip the military with working dogs that would not only be able to withstand the extreme temperatures of the country, but would also be high-spirited and eager to work.

Using the best of the best, and selecting dogs that demonstrated good behavior and work ethic, the Soviets’ effort to breed Black Russian Terriers took over the 1940s. At first, they began with Giant Schnauzers, Rottweilers and Airedales, but soon more and more breeds were added to answer the call of creating the perfect all-around military dog. After combining the DNA of about 17 different breeds of dog, they finally found what they were looking for, a breed with the proper temperament, happy and hard working. It seemed their work was finished.

However stable the character was, the type seemed unstable. But for the specialists at Red Star, the character was enough to call it a success. Eventually, civilian breeders bought the dogs and began to make the look more definitive, stabilizing the breed into the beautiful dogs we see today. All the working qualities and abilities of the German Shepherd without the aggression, Black Russian Terriers were perfect.

See how you can be a part of this magnificent legacy today with a BRT puppy that will change your life. Already have one? Find out more about our Black Russian Terriers training program!