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Russian Toy (Russkiy Toy)

Group: Toys (Group 1)
Club: Toy Dog Club Of Victoria Inc (Group 1)
Contact: Christina John
Phone: 0438 845 039

Brief History
The refined and diminutive Russian Toy was originally bred in Russia from English Toy Terriers and other small companion breeds introduced from Western Europe. He was associated with the aristocracy and simply referred to as the Russkiy.  The breed nearly lost its existence and place in history on two occasions; the Russian Revolution in 1917 nearly wiped out this breed due to their customary association with the gentry and again in the 1990s with the arrival of foreign breeds following the collapse of the Iron Curtain. The smooth coat type was the original of the two, and in 1958 a breeding produced the long coat.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime.
The average life span is 11 to 14 years.

Active and cheerful, the Russian Toy was originally bred as both a ratter and watch dog. The second quality is still active in the breed and they can be very vocal. They can become quite attached to their family, regardless of the ages of the family members. Russian Toys are usually rather reserved with strangers, but very loyal to their owners, always ready to protect them from any imminent threat.

General Breed Description
The Russian Toy is a tiny elegant dog, in fact one of the smallest of all dogs. The Russian Toy is lively, long-legged, fine boned and naturally svelte and lean. His head is rather small, but the expression is keen and bright. He has rather large eyes and ears which add to his unique appearance. The breed has four main colours: black and tan, blue and tan, brown and tan, solid red of various shades. Red includes sable (red where the tips of the hairs are black, known as overlay) and red sable (red with brown overlay).

Coat and Care Requirements

Smooth haired: The smooth-coated Russian Toy has short, close-lying, shiny hair without an undercoat or fringes seen in the longhaired variety. Regular weekly brushing with a soft brush along with a regular bath is recommended to keep the smooth coat free of dead hair and flaky skin. A daily wipe over with a chamois cloth adds lustre to the coat too.

Long haired: The long-coated Russian Toy requires more grooming than the smooth-coated variety for obvious reasons. The long coat has body hair 3 to 5 centimetres long. Their ears are covered with thick, long hair forming a fringe, and there are distinct feathers on the rear side of his limbs. The longhaired variety should be brushed two to three times per week and fringes should be kept free of debris. Regular baths with high-quality shampoo and conditioner are usually enough to keep the coat healthy.

Height: 22 to 27cms.
Weight: 3kgs or less.

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about the breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. The Russian Toy is generally a healthy breedhowever health conditions do occur occasionally. These may include conditions such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Patella Luxation, and owners should be aware of the risk for eye injuries.  Periodontal disease, the build-up of tooth tartar, can begin quite early in life. Regular dental care such as teeth brushing can reduce plaque and prevent surgical dental cleaning or teeth removal.

The Russian Toy is loyal, intelligent and charming, possessing a keen desire to please. This breed loves to snuggle and be close to their human companions but aloof to strangers. He is not, however, for everyone. They are sensitive souls and not really suited for a rough and tumble lifestyle. Being small and refined means extra care needs to be taken. He is definitely an ‘indoor dog’ who demands a luxurious lifestyle.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.  With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular, the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:  

Long haired -

Smooth haired -

Registered Breeders