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Russian Toy Terrier Breed Summary

High-Spirited, Territorial, Alert, Devoted and Affectionate

Russian Toy Terriers have supposedly been around for hundreds of years and its also thought that one was owned by the Russian Emperor, Peter the Great in the 17th and 18th centuries - it's also thought that he measured to 6'8 in height! They were mainly bred to be companions for the upper class living in Russia at the time. However, during the October Revolution in 1917, the breed started to decline as owning one of these doggies was linked to aristocracy which was now frowned upon. Over time, a new toy terrier emerged with its own distinct features and characteristics and a breed standard was set in the 1950's. Nowadays, they are a popular breed in their native country, but remain fairly unknown around the rest of the globe. Therefore, anyone wanting to share their home with one of these little guys would need to register their interest with a breeder and be put onto a waiting list.

Kennel Club Group Toy
Lifespan 10 - 12 years
Height (at the withers) Males and Females 18cm - 25cm
Weight Males and Females 1kg - 3kg
Coat The Smooth Haired Russian Toy will have sleek and smooth hair whilst the Long Haired Russian Toy will display long hair on his ears and the back of his leg
Colour Black, Blue, Brown, Red or Sable
Eye colour Brown
Common health issues Patellar Luxation
Other Names Russian Toy, Russian Terrier, Moscow Toy Terrier, Moscovian Miniature Terrier

These teeny doggies are very high-spirited in nature, loving nothing more than being kept busy! However, once fatigued, they love nothing more than curling up on the sofa with their owners for a well deserved sleep. For this reason, they are suitable for owners who lead slightly more sedentary lives. However, they can be quite territorial, often guarding both their owners and possessions! However, they are never aggressive and after careful introduction, get on well with new people. Additionally, the breed form very strong bonds with their families and don't like to be left on their own for long periods of time. If they are left, they may develop separation anxiety which may lead to them developing destructive behaviours. For this reason, they need someone to be around for most of the day. However, for the right family, they make lovely family pets.

The Russian Toy has an illustrious past. He was once the chosen companion for Russian aristocracy and many believe he evolved from English Toy Terriers that were gifted to Russian aristocrats by English royalty. These small dogs quickly became favoured and most aristocrats had at least one of these little dogs. After the Russian Revolution, the English Toy Terrier was almost completely wiped out in Russia and it took several years of selective breeding the English Toy Terrier with toy spaniels of unknown lineage to develop the Russian Toy.

With this selective breeding, the Russian Toy no longer looked like the English Toy Terrier and he also has his own personality traits. The Russian Toy only came in the smooth coated variety until 1958 when a longhaired male puppy was born from two smooth coated parents. This male puppy was named Chiky and was later bred to a female who had hair that was slightly longer than the typical Russian Toy. The puppies from these parents became the foundation for the longhaired variety. These longhaired dogs were called Moscow Longhaired Toy Terriers. In 2006, the Federation Cynologique Internationale officially recognized the Russian Toy as a breed. The FCI recognized both the smooth coat and the longhair as the same breed. In 2008, the United Kennel Club officially recognized the Russian Toy as a breed.