the Black Russian Terrier
by Elad Lending
(Kibbutz Yahel, Israel)
Erica's using our Walk-Me Harness together with my home-made rig to restrain Boca for brushing!
After grieving for a year after my Airedale Terrier (also a fine breed) died, I wanted a dog of a similar type, but I didn't want another Airedale, because I didn't want to compare the two. I stumbled upon the BRT breed at my local dive club, where the owner had brought his 8-month old puppy. I fell in love immediately.
What a great breed! Big, strong, quiet, and sensible with a loving and calm disposition, Boca wants to be part of every family activity. She loves our neighbors and especially the neighborhood children, and they love her back, all 45 kilos of her. Yet when a bicyclist startled her by appearing out of nowhere from behind (and downwind) during our nighttime walk, she let out a single (and quite intimidating) warning bark. In my opinion, it showed perfect judgement on her part. As soon as her surprise wore off and she recognized the bicyclist (from the neighborhood) as he rode by, she calmed down immediately.
This breed now breeds true, but the BRT started as a hybrid in post WWII Russia. 30% Giant Schnauzer, 30% Airedale, 30% Rottweiler, and 10% Newfoundland, Great Dane, and whole bunch of other breeds, the dog was bred for and by the Red Army. With dull black fur all over, covering the eyes as well, this is a true "stealth dog" - invisible at night.
Today, the BRT is an incomparably wonderful family dog for experienced, knowledgeable, confident, and calm dog people who are willing to put in the required time and effort, but this is definitely not a breed for first-time dog owners, or for those who cannot show the leadership that this breed needs.