BLACK RUSSIAN TERRIER HEIGHT AND COAT REVIEW
“ A crucial piece to take away from the standard when thinking of size is; the desired height-to-length ratio is 9.5 to 10 and, as per the standard, ‘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.’”
So what does this mean, you might ask? What the standards are saying is that while there is a desired height, a dog outside the max- imum height could still be considered, provided he has maintained correct type, proportion, movement, and other functional attri- butes. An oversized dog may lack substance, rib spring, and shoul- der angle, which result in improper structure and movement. The larger dog, though massive and impressive while standing in line, must also possess correct structure to enable correct movement. Remember, this is a working dog. He has purpose! Think of form following function. Endurance and sound working ability come from a balanced, well-proportioned dog. The moderate dog within the desired height and with balanced proportions will be able to do this job far longer and with greater ease than an oversized dog. A crucial piece to take away from the standard when thinking of size is; the desired height-to-length ratio is 9.5 to 10 and, as per the standard: “ 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. ” I have asked Laura Manis, a well-respected member of the BRT community and an accomplished groomer, to describe the Black Russian Terrier coat and proper show grooming. Laura has groomed many of the top dogs in the country over the 18 years that she has been in the breed. This is what she had to say: “The BRT has a double coat with outer guard hair that is coars- er than the softer undercoat; it is not wiry or curly. The body coat is slightly to moderately wavy. The furnishings on the head fall over the eyes, and the mustache and beard fall on the muzzle. The legs are covered and protected by a long, dense coat.
The coat color is black or black with scattered gray hairs. Old- er dogs may have graying on their beards and ears. The gray hairs may also be coarser in texture; this is permissible. The guard hair is often scissored-off in grooming. During examination, the coat quality and texture can be checked by feeling the coat texture on the leg furnishings. For presentation in the ring, the BRT coat should be trimmed so that the dog’s outline is clearly defined. The grooming guide was developed in Russia. The length of the coat may vary depending on its location on the dog. The fall and muzzle furnishings may be longer than six inches in length. The shaving of the neck and rear emphasizes the com- pact shape of the body as well as the width of substance of the hindquarter. The head is rectangular, brick-like in appearance, and the top of the head is shaved to accentuate the parallel plane of the head and the moderate width of the skull. The ears are shaved and should be medium in size and triangular in shape. The legs are trimmed to resemble columns. A heavy coat can present a beautiful picture in a stack, while its illusion can hide an underdeveloped chest, undersized frame or a multitude of structural faults.” In summary, grooming is not to be “given more weight than structure, movement, and balance…” It is important to remember that the Black Russian Terrier has height ranges for good reason. Size without proper bal- ance, proportion, and substance should not be rewarded. Too small a dog may lack breed type and too large a dog may lack proper structure, balance, and movement. When thinking of the Black Russian Terrier, remember the overall appearance; correct height, substance, musculature and, ever important, balance.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SPRING EDITION | 247
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