Black Russian Terrier vs Belgian Shepherd - Breed Comparison

Black Russian Terrier is originated from Russia but Belgian Shepherd is originated from Belgium. Black Russian Terrier may grow 10 cm / 4 inches higher than Belgian Shepherd. Black Russian Terrier may weigh 30 kg / 67 pounds more than Belgian Shepherd. Both Black Russian Terrier and Belgian Shepherd has same life span. Both Black Russian Terrier and Belgian Shepherd has almost same litter size. Black Russian Terrier requires High maintenance. But Belgian Shepherd requires Moderate maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Working dog
Origin:
Russia
Belgium
Height Male:
72 - 76 cm
28 - 30 inches
60 - 66 cm
23 - 26 inches
Height Female:
68 - 72 cm
26 - 29 inches
52 - 62 cm
20 - 25 inches
Weight Male:
50 - 60 kg
110 - 133 pounds
25 - 30 kg
55 - 67 pounds
Weight Female:
40 - 50 kg
88 - 111 pounds
20 - 30 kg
44 - 67 pounds
Life Span:
9 - 14 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 12
6 - 10
Size:
Large dog
Large dog
Other Names:
BRT Russian Black Terrier • Russkiy Tchiorny Terrier • Chornyi • Terrier Noir Russe • Russian Bear Schnauzer • Black Terrier • Tchiorny Terrier
Belgian Sheepdog Chien de Berger Belge
Colors Available:
black only
depends on variety - black with white, brown
Coat:
Rough and thick, slightly waved
short- and long-haired varieties
Shedding:
Minimal
Constant, Seasonal
Temperament:
Alert, Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Responsive, Stubborn, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
High maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
Yes

History

During the cold war, the Soviet Union developed the Black Russian Terrier as a working military dog. During the early 1950’s, the Red Star Kennel developed this breed and in 2004 by the American Kennel Club. The Black Russian Terrier is not really a terrier at all, but a mid-sized working dog used for hunting and guarding or as a pet. The Red Star Kennel is thought to have developed the BRT using a wide variety of breeds – as many as seventeen – including breeds like the Newfoundland, the Rottweiler, the Caucasian Shepard Dog and a Giant Shepard and an Airedale. So, you can see the wide variety and several more breeds were added. The Red Star Kennel in Moscow was owned by the state and they developed the BRT for specific working conditions and not for appearance. They did not really care how it looked except that it had to be black. In 1957 the state allowed a few puppies to be sold to non-military breeders. These breeders began to breed the Black Russian Terrier for appearance as well as function.

As these breeders worked with the dogs, they spread the breed throughout Russia and into Finland, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Germany. From there they spread to Australia, Canada and the United States. The breed standard was developed in 1958 and by 1996 an updated version of the standard was developed to reflect the dog we see today. In 1996 the United Kingdom also got their first introduction to the breed. They are still rare outside of Russian or previous Soviet Union states.

There are different varieties of the Belgian Shepherd Dog – but these all differ only in color, length and texture of coat. The interesting aspect of the names of the different Belgian Shepherds, is that the names of the different varieties are taken from the individual towns in Belguim from which each variety comes from.

This breed dates back to the middle ages, but it was only in 1891 that Professor A. Reul of the Cureghem Veterinary Medical School established standards for the types and actually separated- and distinguishing them. In the UK they are shown as one breed.

Description

A little larger than a mid-sized dog, the Black Russian Terrier is strong, powerful, stable and alert. His head is block shaped and has a broad skull. The muzzle is square with a beard and mustache. A black, large nose and full black lips are matched with powerful and large jaws. He has a scissor bite and his ears should be triangles with rounded apexes. They have very large paws that are bear-like in appearance with thick black pads. They are also covered with hair. Their legs are muscular, powerful and strong. They have a cropped tail.

Different Varieties

The Belgian Shepherd is a well proportioned, muscular medium-to-large dog breed. There are the different varieties but they generally stands at 56 – 66cm in height and weighs anything from 25 to 30kg. You get the short haired Malinois and then you also get the Belgian Tervuren and the Groenendal which are fairly long-haired varieties. Their colour shades vary so you can find black with white markings on the chest and feet, you can find light to dark brown and some are even inclined to be brown.

Not Aggressive but a Great Guardian

All the varieties have long tails, pointed, fully erect ears and black noses. While the Belgian Shepherd isn’t an aggressive dog, he makes an excellent guard dog, being alert, highly energetic and intelligent and easy to train. As with most other dogs, you’ll want to see to it that he is trained and socialized because then he makes a super pet suited to life with a family where there are children and other pets. He has an independent nature and is loyal and protective with his human family.

Health Problems

This is a healthy breed who faces some of the same issues other large dogs face such as dysplasia in the elbows and hips. Then they also face their own hereditary diseases such as Juvenile laryngeal paralysis, hyperuricosuria and polyneuropathy. They are also susceptible to heart disease, eye diseases, allergies, Panosteitis and hypertropic osteodystrophy. Let’s look at the major hereditary disease that are not so common.

Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis

This occurs when the larynx arytenoid cartilages stop working and don’t operate so then the adjoining muscles don’t work either and the dog cannot swallow without the possible damage to the airway and the cannot breathe properly during exercise or while panting.

Hyperuricosuria

This is a condition that can occur in people and animals. This condition can lead to kidney or bladder stones as there is too much uric acid in their urine.

Polyneuropathy

Like any form of neuropathy, in this disease many different nerves are damaged, and this can cause weak reflexes and tremors. There are effective treatments however.

The Belgian Shepherd is a hardy dog so if you do your part to provide him with good quality nutrition from the food he eats and you exercise him, he’ll reach the 10-14 years allotted to him. Just like with any dog, there will be some minor concerns that you need to watch out for -

epilepsy, eye problems, cancer, skin allergies and hip dysplasia.

remember to check his teeth and for ticks and parasites as both, if just left, can jeopardise his health seriously.

see that he get his first puppy vaccinations at 6 to 8 weeks of age.

Caring The Pet

Feeding

This is a large, working dog that needs healthy nutrition. Feed once or twice a day but do not overfeed. Don’t let your Black Russian Terrier get overweight. Proper nutrition for puppies is critical given the nutrionally based diseases discussed below.

Health issues

  1. Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD) – Watch out for this in your puppy. Like other large, puppies that grow fast the Black Russian Terrier is susceptible to this bone disease.
  2. Panosteitis (Wandering Lameness) – Again an issue for puppies of larger breeds as a nutritional issue causes an abrupt lameness at 6-8 months of age.
  3. Heart Disease – Cardiomyopathy, Mitral Valve Dysplasia and Aortic Stenosis
  4. Eye Diseases – Conjunctivitis, entropion and ectropion.
  5. Allergies – Food, contact and inhalant. Hot spots and fungal infections of the beard and ears.

Exercise and games

This is a high energy dog that needs to work. He doesn’t just want to work, he needs to work. So, find him a job and one that includes a lot of exercise. He needs consistent and firm training but will respond well and excel in Obedience Trials. They are good at Schutzhund and agility. They need plenty of exercise and will be unhappy and destructive without enough and a job. He needs to burn off that energy.

Exercise

Your Belgian Shepherd is an energetic dog breed who is social and who wants to be included in your family activities. You can’t just keep him cooped up in your back yard and expect him to do well. He’ll need daily exercise – walks, swims if there is water close by, chasing the ball as well as your companionship.

Grooming and shedding

These dogs are shedders so you’ll certainly be needing to watch your clothes for hairs. You will need to give them a good brush at least twice a week to get rid of all that loose hair and to keep his coat shiny and in tip top condition. Also, he likes the closeness the brushing provides between him and his human caretaker.

Feeding your Belgian Shepherd

The Belgian Shepherd is a robust, healthy breed of dog, but many ill dogs are brought to veterinary clinics because they are suffering with itchy skin problems, they have digestive problems and they’re generally run down. This is because they aren’t provided with a varied and balanced diet plan. Apart from eating a quality dry- or wet dog food as recommended by your vet, he’ll most certainly need some raw meat in his diet too.

Characteristics

The Black Russian Terrier is a working dog and he is confident, calm, self-assured and confident. He is responsive and intelligent, protective and fearless, loyal and aloof. He is not welcoming to strangers. If socialized well, he is enough of an independent thinker to be able to decide on his own who or what poses a threat to his family and what doesn’t. They get bored quickly because they are so smart. Keep him stimulated. These are strong, athletic dogs who will love to run with you, jog along side your bike, hike the mountain or just walk with you. Whatever your form of exercise is, the Black Russian Terrier can adapt to it. They also have a strong prey drive so don’t trust them with animals they do not know. They are ok with cats and dogs that they grow up with. They love to play with kids but be careful they don’t unintentionally knock the little ones down.

The Black Russian Terrier matures later than other dogs. Treat the puppy the way you want the adult dog to be. If you don’t want a large dog on your bed don’t let the puppy sleep on the bed. He will soon be a large, powerful and strong dog with a mind of his own and you will not be able to keep him off the bed.

Energy is a big factor with this beautiful dog, so before you consider one as a pet, be sure that you can take care of his exercise needs. He belongs to the working group of dogs so he won’t enjoy just lazing around day after day. He is wired to be herding livestock and that natural instinct doesn’t disappear once he becomes a pet in your home. With so much energy, he wants a nice sized garden and wouldn’t do well cooped up indoors at all.

He is a strong, loving dog, and in exchange for your care of him, he will be a loyal, loving, protective friend who will love you to the end.

Comparison with other breeds

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