Created by the Soviet Union's Red Star Army Kennels, the Black Russian Terrier was developed in the 1940's and standardized by the 1960's. By crossing Rottweilers with Airedale Terriers, Giant Schnauzers, South-Russian Ovcharkas, Giant Poodles, Soviet Mastiffs and reportedly even some Central Asian and Caucasian Ovcharkas, as well as a number of experimental military crossdogs, the enthusiastic Russian scientists attempted to create a superiour working breed and prove the "Acquired Characteristics" theory of Professor T.D.Lysenko, which suggested that an individual dog's training and personality traits could be inherited. Although it proved to be a trainable and fierce breed, the Black Russian Terrier was eventually dismissed by the Red Army, reportedly due to its profuse curly coat which needed regular care.
The Black Russian Terrier is sometimes also known as the Russian Bear Schnauzer, a name used in the past for the German Giant Schnauzer breed. Initially destined to be strictly a "man-stopper" guard dog, the Russian Black Terrier has since found favour among Russian pet owners who liked its appearance, trainability and loyalty. A popular breed in Russia and slowly gaining acceptance in Europe, both as a watchdog and a show dog, this powerful bearded Molosser is an excellent property guardian, while also reportedly making a good large game hunter and livestock protector. Very intelligent and devoted to its owner, the Russian Bear Terrier can be an agreeable family companion, but needs early and broad socialization, due to its immense physical strength and rank-based dominance, as well as it somewhat dog-aggressive nature. This is a well-boned breed, with a deep and wide chest, powerful neck and a fairly broad head. The ears are left unaltered, while the tail is docked, although examples with natural tails can be seen as well.
The coat is long, rough and curly, preferred in uniform black, but there are also black-n-tan and salt-n-pepper colourings sometimes encountered in the breed. Average height is around 29 inches, but smaller dogs are becoming more common.