The Black Russian Terrier was developed in the former USSR in Red Star (Krasnaya Zvezda) Kennel by the state for use as a military/working dogs. The breeding stock was largely imported from countries where the Red Army was active during the Second World War, especially East Germany. Breeds used in the development include the Giant Schnauzer, Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Caucasian Shepherd Dog and other breeds. BRT were bred for working ability, rather than appearance, and early examples only resembled today's Black Russian Terrier in their build and coat type. The BRT was bred solely by the state owned Red Star Kennel in Moscow until 1957, when some puppies were sold to civilian breeders. These breeders began to breed for looks (as the original was rather plain) while retaining working ability. In time, the breed spread to the other parts of USSR like Saint Petersburg, Siberia, Ukraine and later to the first European country Finland and next to the other European countries: Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Germany and finally to the United States, Canada, Australia and others.