Black Russian Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

Judging the Black Russian Terrier

By Susan Sholar

J udges have the most visible ability to influence the devel- opmental direction of a breed, especially a new breed, as a result of their ring selections. It is, therefore, of utmost importance that judges have a solid under- standing of the standard of the breed and be able to apply the standard to the speci- mens presented in selecting the best repre- sentatives and future producers. Th e standard for the Black Russian was substantially revised in 2009. More than two years later it was still apparent that many judges either neglected to read, understand or apply the revised standard in their rings. In response to many com- plaints from exhibitors, a letter on behalf of the parent club was published in the

2011 Fall Issue of the Judges Newsletter reminding judges of the revised standard and re-addressing a few of the key changes in the standard. Although I have not heard of any oth- er judges since attempting to call for a wicket in the BRT ring (there is no lon- ger a DQ for size), there still appears to be misapplication of the standard in judging this breed. After the July 2011 letter was published, some comments were made by judges that the parent club wanted “small dogs to be put up.” Th is type of response just further emphasizes the lack of under- standing of the Black Russian Terrier stan- dard and particularly of the size and sub- stance required. Size and substance are major elements to be considered together in evaluating the

Black Russian Terrier. Size and substance are key components in the silhouette that identifies a Black Russian Terrier.

Th e standard states:

Size, Proportion, Substance Size: Th e height for males at maturity (over 18 months of age) is between 27" and 30" with the desired height being between 27" and 29". Th e height for females at maturity (over 18 months of age) is between 26" and 29" with the desired height being between 26" and 28". Any height deviation is a serious fault. Height consideration should not outweigh that of type, proportion, movement and other functional attributes. General balance is more important than absolute size.


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