Russian Toy (Russkiy Toy)

Country of origin:
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
black & tan, brown & tan, blue & tan, red of any shade
Hair length:
long, short
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Download standard:
Pros Cons

  • frisky and out-going

  • gets along with all types of pets in the house

  • needs minimal amount of physical exercises

  • great companion

  • barks a lot

  • won't make a good guardian

  • proper socialization is a must


The Russian Toy is a tiny yet bold and merry companion breed that was invented in Russia in the XIX century. This charming dog can become a perfect choice for very busy people who want to travel with their canine pets or simply lack time to walk with them on the daily basis. By now the breed’s popularity has reached other countries, including the U.S., France, Italy, Germany, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania.


The Russkiy Toy is the direct relative of the English Toy Terrier, which evolved in a unique canine variety somewhere in the XIX century. In pre-revolutionary Russia it was one of the most famous companion dogs in all sectors of society. The breed also entered dog shows as early as in 70s of the XIX century and very quickly gained wide recognition in this role.

After the Revolution the Soviet government blocked breeding of any canine varieties that were considered of no practical use. The population of the Russkiy Toy dwindled but it was still maintained by the small group of loyal followers. The Great Patriotic War stroke another blow to the breed so by its end it was virtually non-existent. Fortunately in the post-war years this dog was successfully reconstructed from few remaining pure-blooded specimens and other miniature dogs of unknown origin that were imported to Russia by returning Soviet soldiers. Several breeders under the leadership of M.A. Landau conducted a highly professional breeding program so by the 60s of the XX century there were already 77 short-haired Russian Toys in Moscow.

Presently the breed exists in two coat varieties: the long-haired and the short-haired. Furthermore it comes in the wide range of coat coloration from brown and tan, pale yellow to blue and tan. The Russkiy Toy found a ready market outside its native land since its unique appearance and lovely disposition appeal to many canine lovers. In Russia it’s one of the most common lap dogs and its popularity keeps growing.


The Russkiy Toy is an agile, merry and extremely gentle little dog that thrives on human companionship. Curiously enough but it requires proper socialization even more than vast majority of medium-sized breeds. Otherwise the dog may behave itself inadequately in ordinary situations and demonstrate excessive nervousness or aggressiveness. It gets on with grown-up kids who handle it with essential care. Be mindful that this dog isn’t a fun of too active games and may bite in defence of its personal space.

In general, the Russkiy Toy avoids the company of strangers although it quickly gets attached to a new person in its live. Its ringing voice will reliably inform you about any suspicious activities near the dwelling so it usually becomes a great watcher. It also loves barking and without proper training this propensity may turn into an unbearable inconvenience for you and your neighbours. Evidently this tiny and good-natured dog doesn’t suit for the role of a guardian.

The breed member is absolutely great with its counterparts of similar size. It can be kept with a large dog with friendly temperament although it’s still undesirable because of fragile constitution of the Russian Toy. As far as it concerns other species of pets in the house, the well-socialized dog is always courteous with them and never offends a friendly familiar cat.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· problems with locomotive system;

· eye problems;

· periodontal problems;

· allergies;

· digestive problems;

· neuralgic problems.


The Russian Toy comes in two coat varieties and both of them require moderate amount of maintenance. The dog with short coat should be carefully brushed once in three to four days. It helps to remove loose hair as well as to clean the dog’s skin from superficial dirt. Its long-haired specimen needs brushing minimum two or three times per week.

During shedding seasons it’s recommended to switch over to the daily brushing. Bathe your pet only occasionally and only if it becomes really dirty. It also needs monthly nail trimming and regular ear cleaning. Remember that the Russkiy Toy is prone to suffer from periodontal diseases and clean its teeth at least once a week.


The Russkiy Toy is an inquisitive and quick-witted dog that is marked by average training abilities. Nonetheless its diminutive size doesn't allow it to compete successfully in such canine sports as agility or fly ball. Begin to train and socialise your pet as soon as it has arrived at your dwelling and you will raise a polite and well-behaved dog.

Delicious food incentives and your lavish praise are the best ways to stimulate its interest to learning processes. The great advantage of this breed is that it can get used to do its business in a special tray (like a cat) so the master doesn't have to take his pet for a walk several times a day.


The Russian Toy needs very little physical stimulation to remain fully satisfied with its existence. Even a small apartment provides enough space for this tiny dog so it can run and play to its heart content. Nonetheless the lack of new impressions can become the source of severe stress so make sure to walk with your pet at least once a day.

The Russian Toy also hates being alone and may start chewing shoes or furniture if it's deprived of the company of its human family for long periods of times or on the regular basis.