Paladin Black Russian Terriers
Is a BRT Right for You?
They not only take a lot of work, and expense...you must be able to sustain vigilance for the life of the dogs.
"The Black Russian Terrier is a calm, confident, and courageous dog with a self-assurance which sometimes is rather aloof towards strangers. They are highly intelligent and extremely reliable. They were bred to guard and protect. The BRT requires human contact and is not a dog to be left outside. They want to be close to family members at all times and are very loyal companions. Obedience training and early and continued socialization are required in order to keep the breed from becoming overly protective. Because of their intelligence, they excel in Obedience and Agility competition, and other working dog sports."
Paladin wants you to also know the Black Russian Terrier is not a dog for the average dog owner. These dogs are smart and dominant. They can be stubborn and pushy. They need a strong and fair hand. Black Russian Terriers will not accept being over corrected. They get it, they do not need to be over scolded or pounded on. They are fast, and can be on their feet at full speed before you can get out of the way.
Watch other people's reactions to your dog. They are eye catching. People either covet them, or fear them. They want to fall on their knees and hug them. Work with the nature of the dog. They don't appreciate strangers in theirs or family personal space. Be prepared to keep strangers back, until the dog is ready to go to them. Better yet, why do people need to touch your dog at all.
Don't be fooled by the complex nature of this breed. If you are not vigilant, others will be fooled. My own Armani was the gentlest yet most subtlely protective dog I have ever seen. He looked regal and cuddly. His shiny black waves and hidden eyes invited people to approach us, many times reaching out and touching without asking. He would take the most delicious treat with tender care, give my little cat all the space she needed, while he watched her and sighed waiting to be noticed. His eyes rolled to me to see if he was doing things right.
Sounds like the most desirable golden or cocker doesn't it? But the other facets of these personalities must be acknowledged too. The old adage that "once a dog sniffs you, he will never forget you", often gets interpreted to mean he will always accept you. Please don't let people think that of your dog. Yes they remember things good and bad for a long time. BUT, once a person, or even a relative comes into your house, your BRT can continue to treat him/her as a stranger for a long time. Hiring someone to sit with your dog in your house, may not be possible. If you board him or doggy day care, he may be too physical, or too bossy. Check things out ahead of time. Do trial runs.
Count on these dogs feeling their reason for living is to protect you. That means constant touching, always being in sight.. Pushing themselves between you and everyone. People throwing their arms around you at a picnic...could send the dog into protective mode. A family member screaming in a bratty fit, or a game that is too rowdy, could cause the dog to investigate and intervene. This may not be the dog to take to concerts, or other activities, with jumping and screaming.
Don't be surprised if this dog learns something in 2-3 tries, and becomes bored of repetition number 6. It may look like disobedience. We can help with ideas to get around this. Goodness, these dogs can PLAY!! They are fun loving and a good romp is wonderful to them. But they can't be allowed to knock down grandma, or snatch the food from a child's hand, or pounce on a small animal. Female dogs especially, love children. They will play, nurture and guard them. Males seem to bond tighter to an individual adult, and have less tolerance for shenanigans, unless they instigate it of course. (see Training and Socialization).
So understand what this breed is really like on the inside. Be sure any breed of dog you get is right for you. Do your homework. It's not all doom and gloom, just being transparent with the problematic...you can learn the wonder of the light hearted and easy going for your selves...IT'S THE JOY AND MAGIC OF Black Russian Terriers!