The Black Russian Terrier is a robust, large, balanced, agile and powerful dog. The Black Russian Terrier has large bone and well-developed muscles. He has great strength and endurance. The Black Russian Terrier must have a stable and reliable temperament, possessing self-assurance and courage.
The head must be in proportion to the body and give the appearance of power and strength. It is approximately equal to the length of neck and not less than 40 percent of the height of the dog at the withers. The eyes are oval, of medium size, dark, and set relatively wide apart. Eye rims are black without sagging or prominent haw. Light eyes are a serious fault. The ears are medium in size, triangularly shaped, set high, but not above the level of the skull. The ear leather is dense, rounded at the bottom, hanging with the front edge lying against the head and terminating at approximately mid-cheek. Cropped ears are not acceptable.
Neck, Topline, Body
The neck should be thick, muscular and powerful. The nape is strong and well expressed. There should be no pendulous or excessive dewlap. The length of the neck and the length of the head should be approximately the same. The neck is set at an approximate 45 degree angle to the line of the back. Body - The whole structure of the body should give the impression of strength. The chest is oval shaped, deep and wide with well-sprung ribs. The bottom line of the chest extends to the elbows or below and is not less than 50 percent of the dog's height measured from the withers. The forechest is pronounced. The withers are high, well developed and more pronounced in the male than in the female. There is a slight slope from the top of the withers into a straight, firm back. The back is approximately half of the distance between the top of the withers to the base of the tail. The last half of the backline is comprised of two equal parts, the loin and the croup measured to the base of tail. (The ratio of back to loin to croup measured to base of tail is 2:1:1.) The loin is short, wide, muscular, slightly arched and elastic. The croup is wide, muscular, and slopes slightly (5 to 10 degrees).
Shoulders are well laid-back with blades broad and sloping. There is good return of upper arm so that the angle between the shoulder blade and the upper arm is approximately 100 degrees. Upper arms are muscular. Elbows sit close to the body and turn neither in nor out while standing or moving. The forelegs are straight, thick, of medium length, and parallel when viewed from the front. Length of the foreleg to the elbow is approximately 50 percent of dog's height at the withers. Pasterns are short, thick, and almost vertical. Front dewclaws should be removed. Feet are large, compact, and round in shape. Nails are black.
Viewed from the rear the legs are straight and parallel, set slightly wider than the forelegs. The hindquarters are well boned and muscular with good angulation to be in balance with the front shoulder angulation. Thighs are muscular and broad when viewed from the side. The hocks are moderately short and vertical when standing. Rear dewclaws should be removed.
The coat is a double coat. The natural untrimmed coat length varies from 1½ to 6 inches. While the outer guard hair is coarser than the softer undercoat, it is not wiry or curly. The body coat has a slight to moderate wave. The furnishings on the head form a fall over the eyes and a moustache and beard on the muzzle. The legs are covered and protected by long, dense coat. Trimming of the natural coat is needed for suitable shape and upkeep.For presentation in the show ring, the Black Russian Terrier should be trimmed so that the dog's outline is clearly defined. The trimmed length of coat and leg furnishings may vary from 0.2 to 6 inches depending upon the location on the body. The fall and muzzle furnishings may be longer than 6 inches. In no case should grooming be given more weight than structure, movement and balance when evaluating the Black Russian Terrier.
The tail is thick, set moderately high, and is carried at an approximate 45 degree angle from the horizontal. When the tail is docked, there are 3 to 5 vertebrae remaining. An undocked tail is not to be penalized. The preferred shape of an undocked tail resembles a sickle or saber. The abdomen is moderately tucked up and firm.