After the Great Patriotic War the population of utility dogs in our country reduced greatly. However the need for them was still strong, so for that reason right after the war ended, the Central School of Military Dog Breeding - KRASNAYA ZVEZDA Dog Kennel received a government order to raise a population of utility dogs which could be used for guarding commercial and sensitive facilities under various climate conditions.
The main emphasis there was being put on breeds satisfying the army and military organization needs. At that time there was only one universal dog breed in the country - the German shepherd. For that reason a number of dogs were brought into the country, including Newfoundland dogs, Rottweilers, giant schnauzers and others. However, considering that many breeds were represented by single specimens, the breeding works in the kennel could be characterized as rather spontaneous and were aimed not at breeding new varieties but at breeding big, angry and unpretentious dogs. Major General G.P. Medvedev was in charge of the works.
The process started with mass cross-breeding within the existing population. Now it is close to impossible to precisely list all the breeds that put their blood in today’s Blackies, but among the main breeds were the Giant Schnauzer, the Rottweilers the Airedale Terrier and the Moscow water dog (a mix of the Caucasian shepherd, the Newfoundland dog and the German shepherd).
As a result it was found out that one of the breeders, a Giant Schnauzer named Roy, mating with females of any breed, color and wool type, steadily produced offsprings that were large and black with fringes on head and extremities. G.P. Medvedev paid attention to that particularity and decided to move in that direction. That is when the work on the Russian Black Terrier started.
The first generation population was exhibited at the All-Union Agricultural Expo (currently All-Russia Exhibition Center) in 1955 by the Central School of Military Dog Breeding. For the work accomplished with the Black Terrier breed the school experts were awarded the AAE Gold Medal.
In the 50s KRASNAYA ZVEZDA nursery closely cooperated with utility dog kennel clubs.
It was already in 1955 and 1956 that the Blackies started emerging in Moscow, Leningrad and Sverdlovsk. In 1958 forty three Black Terriers were exhibited at the All-Union Expo. The variety was deemed quite promising and it attracted close attention of many amateur canine breeders. Many clubs across the country started working on breeding it.
If the physical and working capabilities of the Black Terrier were initially formed by the breed creators, these dogs attained their spectacular appearance much later. The military experts were not concerned with the dog’s beauty, they cared about its usability and maintenance convenience. Under nursery conditions thick wool with developed decorative hair causes much inconvenience when taking care of angry animals. Today dogs with stiff, wire-like wool are next to extinct. The breeders wanted to see their animals pretty and with rich wool, so now the Blackie has lots of thick and long beautiful wool which is, however, more demanding to look after.
In 1958 the first standard of the Black Terrier breed variety is published.
In 1981 the Black Terrier is deemed a separate independent breed. The first standard was approved on May 13, 1981.
In 1984 the breed was acknowledged by the FCI and the standard was approved by the International Canine Federation.
In 1993 the Utility Dog Breeder Federation of Russia approved the second version of the standard that is more in conformity with the modern type of Black Terriers.
On August 19, 2008 the RCF approved the new version of the breed standard for what is now called the Russian Black Terrier.
The last version of standart of Black Russian Terrier become in 2010.
For many years the Black Terrier was used as a guard and service dog. The Blackies combined the best qualities of their forefathers - energy and resourcefulness of the Giant Schnauzer, power and strength of the Rottweiler, solemnity and reserve of the Newfoundland dog, intelligence and joyful disposition of the Airedale Terrier. Besides, the mixed breed of their predecessors resulted in giving the Blackies great health, easy maintenance and amazing intelligence. The Russian Black Terrier today is not only a guard dog, it is a companion dog and a beloved pet. This breed is one of the brightest spots of the Russian Cynology, rightfully named The Black Pearl!
The above contains material from “The Russian Black Terrier” by M. Gerasimova and E. Lemekhova and magazines.