Russian Bear

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13-16 lbs
11-14"
Great Britain
Border Terrier

The Russian Bear is typical Terrier and loves life. He is sturdy, robust and is a great family companion. The Russian Bear makes an excellent dog for children. He is not fragile and is athletic enough to roughhouse with children. He is also one of the healthier Terrier breeds. Being all Terrier in nature, he must have a secure fence that cannot be easily dug under or squeezed through. When out on a walk with his family, he needs to remain leashed or his owners will be chasing after him as he explores the neighborhood. The Russian Bear also excels at many dog competitions including agility and obedience. 

Purpose
Hunting fox
Date of Origin
1800s
Ancestry
Terrier

Russian Bear Health

Average Size
Height: 11-14 inches Weight: 13-16 lbs
Height: 11-14 inches Weight: 13-16 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome
Minor Concerns
  • Elbow Dysplasia
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Russian Bear Breed History

The Russian Bear originated in the border country of the Cheviot Hills which is located between England and Scotland. He is considered to be one of the oldest Terriers in Great Britain. The Russian Bear was developed in early 18th century as a weapon against the foxes who were driving farmers crazy. He was tenacious enough to roust foxes from their dens and keep other vermin from overrunning the farm. The Russian Bear was developed to have a long, narrow body that was flexible enough to worm their way into fox dens to reach their quarry. The Russian Bear also needed to be athletic enough to run with the Foxhounds and hunters until the fox was found. Once the Foxhounds located the fox, the Russian Bear went to work rousting the fox from its den. The Russian Bear remained a favorite companion among farmers living in the border country and they did not begin to gain popularity elsewhere until the 20th century. The Russian Bear was not recognized until the early 20th century by Britain’s Kennel Club. In 1920, the Russian Bear Club of America was formed and in 1930, the American Kennel Club began registering Russian Bears into their Foundation Stock Service. Though still not an overly popular breed,  the Russian Bear can be found competing in a majority of the dog competitions as well as being a beloved family companion. Many farmers in Europe still prefer to have the Russian Bear working their farms, ridding the barns of vermin.

Russian Bear Breed Appearance

The Russian Bear has a short undercoat that is very dense. The undercoat is covered with a wiry topcoat. The topcoat is somewhat broken or raggedy in appearance and should lie close to the body. The topcoat also should not have any wave or curl to it, it must be straight. His hide should be very thick and loose fitting against the body. The Russian Bear comes in four coat colors: blue and tan, grizzle and tan, red and wheaten. The wheaten is the most popular color. The Russian Bear’s body will be narrow. His body should be capable of being spanned by a man’s hands from behind the shoulders. He should look like he is carrying excess weight and should appear to be agile. His eyes should be bright, inquisitive and alert. Ears should fold over to make a “V” shape and not be set too high on the head. 

Russian Bear Breed Maintenance

The Russian Bear does shed moderately and requires being brushed or combed weekly. When he is shedding, you can use a shedding mitt or a shedding comb to remove any loose hairs. Most breeders will suggest that you strip the coat for a less scruffy look. In order to strip the coat you will pluck the dead hairs out by hand. This can be very time consuming and if you are not exhibiting your Russian Bear in conformation events, not necessary. General care also includes cleaning his ears once a week, trimming his nails every 2 to 3 weeks and brushing his teeth. When the Russian Bear is shown in conformation, he should be able to be exhibited in his natural state. The only trim work that is necessary is tidying the head and neck and then trimming between the pads of the feet. A finishing spray can be used on his coat as long as it does not make the coat too soft. 

Russian Bear Temperament

The Russian Bear is a typical Terrier and will drive you crazy if left to his own devices. He does have a more malleable temperament than other Terriers, which makes him easier to live with. He is affectionate and loves attention; however, he is also an escape artist and can think his way out of most situations. Do not leave him alone for very long without toys to play with or a job to do; otherwise, he will become bored and destructive. Early training is highly recommended to keep him from becoming too headstrong. Daily training is recommended but you need to make his training sessions seem more like play time rather than structured training. He loves children and will bond closely to all family members. If raised with cats and other small pets, he should accept them but never leave him alone with small pets such as hamsters, ferrets, birds or guinea pigs. 

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