AKC Dog Breeds: Russian Toy Terrier

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Foundation Stock Service® Breed
Height: 8-10  inches  Weight: 3-6 pounds  Color:  sable, red, or black and tan

The Russkiy Toy, or Russian Toy, is a very small breed of dog originally bred in Russia from the English Toy Terrier. At the beginning of the 20th century, the English Toy Terrier was one of the most popular toy dogs in Russia. The breed has survived two near extinctions. The first was during the rise of Communism in Russia. It was frowned upon keep these small dogs that were intrinsically linked to the aristocracy. The second was with the fall of the "Iron Curtain", a number of other small breeds were imported for the first time and favors for the Russian Toy began to diminish again. Only in the mid-fifties did Russian dog-breeders begin the revival of the breed. Practically all dogs which were used for breeding had no pedigrees; many of them were not pure blood. The Standard drafted for Toy Terriers significantly differed from that of the English Toy Terrier in many aspects. From this moment, the evolution of the breed in Russia went its own way. The Russian Toy comes in two varieties, the Smooth Coat which has a short, shiny, close-lying coat and the Long Coat which has profuse featherings on the ears, tail, and back of limbs. Both varieties are still extremely rare. The breed was virtually unheard of outside of its native homeland until the 1990’s. The Russian Toy has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since August 2008.

General Appearance
The Russian Toy is one of the smallest breeds in the world, and it can be either longhaired or smooth haired. Smooth haired Russian Toy Terriers look like a little deer. It has four long legs, strong body, long neck, and a small head with a little muzzle, big smart eyes and large stand-up triangular ears. The Longhaired Russian Toy, also known as the Russian Toy Terrier and the Moscow Longhaired Toy Terrier is a copy of the smooth haired variety and differ only because of its beautiful long fur on its ears. If you see a Longhaired Russian Toy you will be really impressed. Short coat all over the body and these ears looking like a butterfly? You will never find another dog making such an effect! Both varieties can be crossed and have longhaired and smooth haired pups at the same litter, however a couple of smooth haired toys can give a longhaired pup in their litter (like at the very beginning of the breed) but two longhaired toys never-ever will give birth to a smooth haired variety. The smaller size the better. The head is small. The ears are big and raised. The legs are slender. The stop is clearly defined. The skull is quite high but not too wide (width at the level of cheek-bones does not exceed the scull height). The muzzle is lean and pointed, slightly shorter than the scull. The lips are thin, lean, tight and dark or matching with the color. The ears are big, thin, set high, upstanding. The neck is long, lean, set high, slightly curved. The chest is quite deep, not too wide, oval-shaped. The tail is shortly docked


The Russian Toy Terrier is a fun and active dog.  Family is the only thing on this little dog’s mind; they want to be with their owners no matter what and are extremely devoted to them.  Almost any home will be happier with the Russian Toy Terrier. Agile, hardy, lifetime devoted to the owner, - this is how Russian Toys owners describe their dogs.  They are small, elegant dog, tall on legs, and of square built. The Russian Toy is active, very lively, and is neither shy nor vicious.  They are said to be easy to train. Everyone will be treated kindly by this always-friendly perky dog.  Other animals will also be treated kindly and never attacked or threatened by these tiny dogs.  An apartment or house is a fine place for this breed to live.  Elderly people can find a very loyal companion with the Russian Toy Terrier, too. Training and exercise are all vital for a happy and healthy Russian Toy Terrier.

Since there are two coat varieties, there are different grooming needs for the Russian Toy Terriers. The longhaired variety should be brushed every day.  However, the short haired type only needs to be lightly brushed once a week or wiped off with a damp wash cloth.  Both types should get a bath every month.  When bathing, it is important not to get water in the dog’s ears. Their ears should be cleaned out regularly.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The Russian Toy Terrier has few medical concerns.  Since this is a fairly rare breed the life expectancy is unknown.

Activity Level
Many people believe exercise is not needed if you have a little dog but that is not true.  Russian Toy Terrier's  should be walked every day and should participate in fun activities, such as agility.


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Russian Toy profile on dog encyclopedia