The Russian military will begin employing a breed of dog created in the Red Army kennels in the mid-20th century and known in English as “Stalin’s dogs,” a military spokesman said on Thursday.
Some 20 black Russian terriers were among the batch of dogs that entered training at a kennel in the Moscow region, the spokesman said. Some 450 dogs are in training at the center, he said.
The dogs will be trained for guard, rescue and even mine detection duties, the spokesman said.
The Red Star Kennel, which is at the heart of the training center, was established in 1924 and has produced thousands of service dogs, many of which were used in World War II.
It has also bred more than 10 new breeds, including the black Russian terrier, which was produced from a mix of about 20 breeds such as the Giant Schnauzer, the Rottweiler, the Newfoundland and the Caucasian Ovcharka. The breed has been available to Russian pet lovers since the 1950s, though it remains rare outside the country.