The Russian Toy (aka the Russian Toy Terrier), also known as the Russkiy Toys is a small dog breed that was originally bred from the English Toy Terrier (aka the Manchester Terrier). This breed has two types, a long coat and a short smooth coat.
Originally the long coated dog was called the Moscow Long Haired Toy Terrier. The short smooth coat dog was called the Russian Toy Terrier. In 1988, both dogs were combined and became the Russian Toy Terrier. In 2006, the “terrier” word was dropped because this dog was officially listed in Belgium’s International Federation of Kennel Clubs.
This breed came close to being wiped out twice. The first time was during the 1920s during the Communism era because he has strong ties to the aristocracy. The second time was because of the influx of foreign breeds once the Iron Curtain fell.
The Russian Toy is one of the world’s smallest dog breeds and measures 20-28 cm and weighs 1-3 kgs. Its distinctive small head has triangle ears and large eyes. In the countries that have banned docking, this dog’s tail is curved like a sickle.
Both varieties of this dog can be crossed so one litter may have long and smooth coated puppies. There have been times when two dogs with smooth coats have been bred and a long coat offspring is born from that unity. This only happens if the long hair gene is part of their pedigrees. However, the reverse hasn’t been known to occur.
The Russian Toy has four main colours: solid red of differing shades, brown and tan, blue and tan or black and tan. The red colour includes red sable (red with an overlay of brown) and sable (red but the hair tips are black (overlay).
A vet is often needed if “baby/puppy teeth” have to be removed. If this isn’t done (generally under an anaesthetic) both baby and adult teeth will try to occupy the same jaw socket. This can cause gingivitis, tar tar deposits, periodontitis and tooth decay. These problems can lead to teeth being lost prematurely.
Russian Toys can easily have fractured bones because they’re so small and somewhat delicate. They can suffer from patella luxation, where the knee cap slides out of place when the knee bends because the groove that’s supposed to hold it firmly in position isn’t deep enough. Patella luxation can be a genetic and/or environmental problem.
This small dog has a cheerful, active temperament and can become very attached to his family, regardless of the ages of each family member. He’s very reserved around strangers and demonstrates powerful loyalty to his owners. Originally he was bred as a watch dog and rat dog. The watch dog trait is still quite distinct and, although he’s small, he can be very vocal and protective if danger to his family is perceived.
The Russian Toy is ideal for people living in smaller spaces because of his size and temperament. He’s good-natured and great with families, including young children. However, as with all breeds, do your homework before taking one home to meet the family.
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