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The Russian Toy is often mistaken for a Chihuahua or Papillon. You might be surprised to learn that the Russian Toy origin is much closer to home than you can imagine. Developed from the English Toy Terrier in Russia, this tiny dog is one of the smallest dog breeds, but what it lacks in size, they most certainly make up for in personality.
The Russian Toy dogs are energetic, agile dogs that love walks and playtime. They equally enjoy long snoozes over your lap. They are extremely affectionate, loyal and bond closely with their family. Despite this social trait they can be suspicious of strangers and become territorial and protective of their owner, and warn of any dangers.
The Russian toy, weighs no more than 6 pounds and despite their small size, can still be a good choice for families with children of the age 6 years and above. Children must be taught to pet gently and be advised to not handle the dogs at heights or accidentally step onto the them. Russian Toys are usually child friendly and enjoy the high energy fun that comes with a playful companion. Children must be supervised around dogs at all times.
If you have other dogs, no matter the breed, age or size; it is expected that your Russian Toy will turn out to be top dog. Strong leadership is a requirement with this breed, or else they will soon dominate and take charge with their intelligence and charm in abundance. It is important to avoid the temptation to pick them up and that they are allowed to be dogs. Treating them otherwise can leas to development of behavioural problems.
Please refer to the breed standard for further details :
Kennel Club UK Breed standard :
FCI Breed standard :
History of the Breed:
In Russia, most breeds of dogs were large dogs that worked out in the fields. The Aristocratic members, however, preferred smaller companion dogs and during the 20th century the dog of choice was the English Toy Terrier.
During the October Revolution 1920-1950, due to its associations with the upper class, the breed fell out of favour and numbers dropped significantly before the stigma was finally lifted and breeding could be resumed. However by this time, most of the dogs left were not even pedigrees or purebreds.
Breeding restarted around the 1950's and a modified breed standard was developed to fit the remaining population, as nearly all the remaining dogs that were used for breeding had no pedigree and appeared significantly different from the original English Toy Terrier.
The dog thought to be the origins of the long haired Russian Toy, was Chikki; born in 1958. His parents were both Smooth coat Russian toys but one had slightly longer fur than was normal back then. Chikki was mated with a bitch Irma, who also had longer fur than normal.
The Russian Toys were originally bred as ratters, watchdogs and companion dogs. The original breed standard was written in 1966 for the 2 varieties- Smooth Coat and Long Haired.
The breed has only been recognised by the UK Kennel Club in 2017