black russian terrier breed information

common health issues

Atopy refers to skin allergies caused by inhaled or contact allergens. Just like us, our dogs can be allergic to pollen, dander, grasses and trees. Their allergies result in itchiness that can be seasonal or year-round. Affected dogs are prone to ear and skin infections. The condition varies in severity but is usually lifelong and often requires constant medical management.

Elbow dysplasia is actually a collective term which refers to the effects of one or more diseases of the elbow joint which result in pain and arthritis. Many of these problems can affect both elbows and result in forelimb lameness and elbow pain, often requiring surgical correction.

The retina is responsible for transmitting light to the brain where it is interpreted as an image. PRA causes deterioration of retinal cells and causes blindness. It can affect puppies as young as a few weeks old, or may appear later in life. There is no treatment or cure, but blind dogs usually can lead quite happy lives.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.

Hyperuricosuria is a genetic disease in which affected dogs have excessive uric acid in their urine and can develop bladder stones.

The Black Russian Terrier (BRT) is actually not a terrier at all, having descended from a mix of breeds including Standard and Giant Schnauzers, Newfoundlands and the now-extinct Russian Water Dog. He was bred in the former USSR by the state-owned Red Star Kennels, which wanted to create a large, strong dog that didn’t require extensive coat care, and who could be easily trained to serve as a military and working dog. The breed began to expand outside the USSR around 1957, and has been gaining popularity ever since.

According to the Black Russian Terrier Club of America Inc., a well-bred and socialized BRT is loving toward his family yet reserved around strangers. Today’s Black Russian Terrier is an instinctive guardian and protector, and — as he was bred as a working dog — needs a job in order to be content (and kept out of trouble!). He is highly intelligent, responsive to training and makes an excellent competitor in dog sports, from agility to obedience trials.

The rustic-looking, stocky BRT generally weighs between 100 and 135 lbs., with a low-shedding, all-black coat that requires regular brushing. Plenty of exercise and room to move around is a must, as he needs to burn off energy to avoid becoming destructive or hyperactive.

Mixed heritage aside, the Black Russian Terrier is prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health — not to mention your family’s vacation fund. Some of the conditions and illnesses BRTs are prone to include joint problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia; eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy; skin problems such as atopy; and urinary problems such as hyperuricosuria.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Black Russian Terrier inherits his mom’s bad eyes or his dad’s bad skin, you’re covered.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)