Russian Black Terier Standard

British Kennel Club Standard

General Appearance

Large, imposing dog, above average size, strongly built with massive bone. Well proportioned general appearance, sturdy and robust frame. Well developed muscles. Body almost square. A harsh and thick coat, well furnished on head and limbs. Trimmed.

Characteristics
Natural guarding instincts. Easily trained. Very adaptable.

Temperament
Alert, lively and even-tempered, wary of strangers. Resilient, brave and self-confident.

Head and Skull
Well proportioned with moderately broad skull and rounded cheekbones. Eyebrows slightly pronounced. Skull flat, medium stop, not too accentuated. Top line of muzzle parallel to top line of skull. Muzzle solid with slight tapering towards the tip and length a little shorter than skull. Whiskers and beard give muzzle a squared-off shape. Lips thick and black in colour, tightly fitting. Large black nose.

Eyes
Medium, oval in appearance and dark. Set obliquely and wide apart. Eyelids dark and fitting tightly.

Ears
High set, pendant, not too big, triangular in shape with the inner edge lying tightly against the cheekbone.

Mouth
Jaws strong, with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Full, strong dentition desirable.

Neck
Reasonably long, powerful, muscular and clean cut. Flows into the top line at an approximate 45º angle.

Forequarters
Shoulders well laid back. Seen from the front, legs straight and parallel, pasterns short and straight. Elbows carried close to body.

Body
High withers clearly marked above top line, back level and muscular. Depth of chest level with elbows or slightly below. Chest deep with well-sprung ribs. Moderate tuck-up. Loin short, wide, muscular and slightly arched. Rump large and muscular with a barely visible slope towards the tail which is set high on the croup.

Hindquarters
Seen from behind, legs straight and parallel, set wider than the front legs. Thighs muscular and well developed. Stifles well bent and hocks set low.

Feet
Large, well arched and rounded with thick pads. Black nails.

Tail
Set high and thick. Customarily docked, leaving three to four vertebrae. Undocked, the tail set is more important than carriage. The tail may also curl over the back, but not gay. The length and thickness is determined by the proportions of the dog.

Gait/Movement
At the trot, legs move in a straight line, with forelegs converging slightly. Fairly elastic movement. Ground-covering movement with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters.

Coat
Medium texture weatherproof coat, with dense undercoat. Not wiry or soft. When brushed the hair is broken coated and slightly waved. Furnishings well developed on eyebrows, beard and legs. The ears (from fold to tip), skull, cheeks, throat to sternum, underside of tail, buttocks and rear of stifle are closely trimmed.

Colour
Black or black with grey hairs.

Size
Height at withers: dogs 68-77 cms (27-30½ ins), bitches 66-72 cms (26-28½ ins).

Faults
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.