Russian Toy

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Is the Russian Toy right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Russian Toy Terrier; Moscow Toy Terrier; Russkiy Toy; Moscovian Miniature Terrier; Russian Longhaire

The basics:
The original Russian Toys were extremely popular, especially with noble women, during the period of Czars because of its small size, excellent temperament, and general health. Alas, many of these toy dogs were killed along with their aristocrat owners during the Communist revolution, and the breed was not really revived until the mid 1950s, thanks to the efforts of few Russian breeders.

There are two types, long-haired and smooth-haired, both adorable. Thanks to its small litter sizes, the demand for this charming toy still far outstrips its supply, especially outside Russia.

The Russian Kynological Federation recognized the breed in 1981. They are now recorded by the AKC's Foundation Stock Service, a first step toward recognition in the US.

Note: The smooth coat Russian Toy was formerly known as the Russian Toy Terrier.

Appearance / health:
Russian Toys are tiny, compact, and well muscled dogs. Head is larger compared to body. Muzzle is clearly defined and slightly shorter than skull. The nose is slightly turned up. Eyes are round, set straight, and medium in size. They are dark in color are carry a lively expression. Ears of the Russian Toys are one of the distinguishing characters. They are large, prick and are set high directly above the head.

Legs are straight and relatively longer. Upper and lower sections of legs are of same length. Russian Toys are hare footed. Tail is held at or above the top line, covered with hair and docked.

Russian Toys are average shedders. The smooth, shorthaired variety can be gently brushed occasionally or simply wiped over with a damp cloth. The long coat needs to be brushed daily with a soft bristle brush to remove dead hair and stimulate coat growth. Bathing can be done once a month, taking care not to get water in the ears. Toenails can be trimmed once in a week. The ears should be checked and cleaned regularly. Regular brushing using special toothpaste and toothbrush available at pet store prevents tartar buildup.

Russian Toys usually fulfill their exercise requirements themselves by moving around the house. A walk once or twice a day keeps the dog physically fit, providing them with an opportunity to socialize with different people and situations. Puppies can be taken for shorter walks.

Not much is documented about the health issues seen in this breed.

Behavior / temperament:
Russian Toys are strongly attached to the owner and enjoy being a part of every family activity. Long hours of separation may lead to behavioral changes in them. House breaking is essential as these dogs may urinate in the house. Socialization may be required to prevent shyness or nervousness.

Russian Toys are intelligent with a good attention span. Basic obedience and household rules training are necessary. Harsh disciplinary measures may be avoided, as this could lead to negative behavior in the dog. Positive reinforcement with food or toys, play, or even verbal praise works best with this dog.


long life span, young children


psyche, bark, mood, stranger, terrible problem


Distinct feathers, shiny hair, silky hair, small decorative dogs

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