The Russian Toy is a descendant of the English Toy Terrier, which was first brought to Russia in 18th century. These little dogs quickly became popular among the Russian royalty and even Peter the Great owned some of them. The popularity of English Toy Terriers grew rapidly in the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century and they were very popular for their small size and lively and friendly temperament. These dogs became symbol of presitge and in the beginning of the 20th century, those dogs were no longer referred to as the English Toy Terrier but to as the Russian or Russkiy Toy Terrier.
2) Almost extinct
Sadly, in 1917, bad times began for these dogs in Russia. With the Russian Revolution and new communist regime, everything associated with royalty was unpopular and small companion dogs were not needed anymore, which is why the breeding of these dogs stopped. In the mid 50s, Russian dog breeders begin the revival of the breed, but during this time, there were no remaining dogs with pedigree and many of the dogs used for the breeding were not pure blood. The new dogs were slightly different from the original English Toy Terrier and that is how a completely new breed, the Russkiy Terrier, was developed.
3) Two coats
Up until the 1958, only smooth haired Russian Toys existed, but on the 12th of October 1958, two smooth haired dogs gave a birth to a puppy, that had long fringes on ears and limbs. Breeders decided to keep this feautre and that is why today, we have two varieties of the Russian Toy – smooth and long coated. BTW, originally, the long coated Russian Toy was called as Moscow Longhaired Toy Terrier.
This is one of the smallest, if not the smallest of all dog breeds. The average height is between 20-28 cm which is 8-11 inch and weight is anywhere between 1 to 3 kgs, which is 2-7 pounds. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
Originally, the Russian Toy was bred as a ratter and watchdog, but today, these dogs are solely use as companion dogs, even though, they still have their watchful temperament. These dogs creates great lively and cheerful companions, that creates a strong bond with its owner and family. The Russian Toy is normally very reserved with strangers and it takes some time before they accept a total stranger. The Russian Toy is okay with kids in the family, but this is very small and fragile dog, so you should never leave them alone with a young child, because they can hurt the dog quite easily.
Because of the isolation of Soviet Union, this breed remained almost unknown in other parts of the world until the 1990s. Even today, it is a very rare breed outside easter europe, but their popularity is slowly growing and they can Russian Toy kennels can be found in other countries as well. For example in Czech Republic, Scandinava, Estonia, Japan and USA.
The Russkiy Toy comes in four main colors, which are black and tan, blue and tan, brown and tan, and solid red of various shades. They can also have different nose color, and the nose should match the color of the coat, meaning that darker coats should have darker nose and lighter coats should have lighter nose.
Since there are two coat varieties, there are two different grooming levels that are needed to keep the coat in top condition. Unsurprisingly, the long-haired variety takes a bit more work, as they need brushing more often. Hindquaters needed to be trimmed, other parts of the coat grows to manageable lengths. The smooth haired variety do not need that much brushing. You should also closely monitor the dogs teeth and brush it often.
In the past, the breed was reffered to as Russian Toy Terrier, or Russkiy Toy Terrier. But later, the word terrier was dropped when the breed was added in 2006 to the official list of breeds registered with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. Other names associated with this breed are Toychik, Moscow Toy Terrier, Russian Terrier or Moscovian Miniature Terrier.
The Russian Toy is relatively healthy dog breed with average lifespan between 12-14 years. The one problem associated with this breed are dental issues, which is why you should brush the Russian Toys teeth regularly. A Russian Toy will often require the help of a veterinarian to remove any retained puppy teeth that fail to fall out and make way for the permanent teeth. Other health issues include patellar luxation and some bone fractures due to their fragile body.