Russia is one of the countries that have produced a large variety of dogs. Among 20 known Russian dog breeds there are five that can be called Russia’s national pride.
The BORZOI is the most elegant and aristocratic Russian dog. This beautiful Russian wolfhound often accompanies celebrities and participates in luxury commercials. Borzoi can be easily recognized for its long, narrow head and tall, slender body covered in soft and silky, wavy and a little curly coat of white, tan, bronze and gray combination of colors.
Often seen as a glamour pet, Borzoi, actually, is a large, strong and healthy dog with great hunting and sporting abilities. For several centuries the Borzois were bred by Russian nobility to hunt wolves. A pair or trio of Borzois would chase a sighted wolf, force it down and hold until the hunters arrive.
Borzoi’s height: 26 to 32 ins (66-81 cm), weight: 55 to 105 lbs (25-48 kg), speed: up to 37 mph (60 km/h).
#2 BLACK RUSSIAN TERRIER
The BLACK RUSSIAN TERRIER (BRT) is one of the best choices in a search for a perfect working dog. This Stalin’s dog was created after the WWII by Soviet Army’s Red Star breeding kennel for police and military purposes. The military wanted to have a large and trainable dog that could withstand Siberian frosts and didn't require any special treatment and grooming.
The Black Russian Terrier unites the energy and mobility of Giant Schnauzer, cleverness and upbeat nature of Airedale Terrier, strength and courage of Rottweiler, and firmness of Newfoundland. BRT is extremely efficient and reliable, and makes an excellent watch and guard dog.
Civilians were allowed to own some of the Blackies in late 1950s when commercialization of the new breed started. Nowadays, the Black Russian Terrier is known and popular worldwide.
BRT’s height: 25 to 28 ins (64-71 cm), weight: 80 to 150 lbs (36 – 68 kg).
#3 CAUCASIAN SHEPHERD
The CAUCASIAN SHEPHERD or Caucasian Ovcharka is the most brutal Russian dog breed. It is a large, even-tempered dog with powerful and muscular body, bear-look face, deeply set oval dark eyes, round-shaped cropped ears and low carried long tail.
Caucasian Ovcharka is one of the oldest mastiff-type breeds, originating from the Caucasus Mountains where it was used to guard flocks, kill wolves, hunt bears and protect properties. The strength and dedication of this dog has made it a popular working, police and guard dog throughout Europe and the former Soviet Union states. During the communist era this severe dog guarded prisoners of the Gulag camps and served as a border patrol dog along the Berlin wall.
Being a fearless fighting dog, the Caucasian Ovcharka is still employed in some former Soviet republics for dog fighting. If not properly trained and socialized, this Russian Bear dog may show fierce and uncontrollable reactions. On the other hand, it can be extremely loyal to its owner and will stand by and defend him to the very end.
Caucasian Shepherd’s height: 26 to 30 ins (66-76 cm), weight: 100 to 220 lbs (45-100 kg).
There's no other dog that can smile like the SAMOYED, or Sammy, with its always upturned mouth corners. The Smiling Sammy doesn't lose its childish jolly when it grows up, and almost never becomes angry, belligerent or harmful. Samoyed is active and playful, ready to make friends with everyone and willing to help with any task.
Originally bred by Samoyede people of Siberia, the Samoyed dog was used to hunt, haul sledges, and herd reindeer.
Being today mostly a family pet, the Samoyed still belongs to working kind of dog. Sammy is not for those owners who prefer calm and quiet sofa pets. It is an excellent companion for farmers and ranchers, especially people living in cold climate.
Samoyed dog’s height: 19 to 24 ins (48-61 cm), weight: 45 to 66 lbs (21-30 kg).
#5 RUSSIAN TOY TERRIER
The RUSSIAN TOY TERRIER is the smallest Russian dog, and one of the tiniest dogs in the world. This miniature terrier with brittle, delicate legs, short bobbed tail and swan neck resembles a little fawn. It is not allergenic and doesn't have any odor, except for the perfume of its owner.
The Russian Toy Terrier is a loving, obedient and affectionate dog, a loyal and tender companion. It is generally easy to train and very sensitive to criticism. This cute dog is very cheerful, active and playful.
There are two varieties of this breed: Russian Longhaired Toy Terrier and Shorthaired Russian Toy Terrier.
Russian Toy Terrier’s height: 8 to 10 ins (20-25 cm), weight: 3 to 6 lbs (1,4-2,7 kg).