There are two versions of the Russian Toy Terrier: the smooth coat and the long coat. The long-haired variety has fringes of fur on its ears, tail, and the back of its legs. Both varieties have silky coats, with black and tan being the most common. The coat can also be blue and tan, brown and tan, red, red and brown, or red and sable.
This is one of the smallest breeds known, and has a very distinctive look. The face can appear similar to a Chihuahua’s, but without the nervy Chihuahua look. This dog sits and moves gracefully.
In their heyday, Russian Toy Terriers were companions to the Russian aristocracy, and their blueblooded genes show through. These are noble little dogs who like to sit on laps and eat liver. But they’re also very playful and need plenty of entertainment and short walks.
These are well-balanced and hardy dogs, especially for such a small breed. They are affectionate, loyal, and good with all family members. Russian Toy Terriers are typically not shy, nervous, or aggressive.
Grooming their short coats is a simple, quick weekly task, but the long-coated variety needs daily brushing.
If you are seeking a toy breed you can carry in a purse, reconsider the Russian Toy Terrier. They are curious and fairly active dogs who prefer to walk with their owners’ side. Remember that toy breeds are still dogs, and thus are prone to Small Dog Syndrome — behavioral issues that occur when owners treat their dogs like infants rather than canines.
Because this is such a new breed, it has few documented health problems. You might see cataracts and luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps), which are common in other toy breeds.
The Russian Toy Terrier is descended from the English Toy Terrier, which was popular in Russia in the early 20th century but then almost died out a couple of decades later. In the mid-1950s, the breed was revived using unpapered English Toy Terriers and some dogs that were not purebred, producing the Russian Toy Terrier.
It was also during this time that the long-haired version of the breed was developed. The smooth-coat and long-coat varieties were separate breeds until 1988, when they were joined under the name Russian Toy Terrier. This dog is also called the Moscow Toy Terrier and the Moscovian Miniature Terrier.
Today, the Russian Toy Terrier is usually known just as the Russian Toy. It has been growing in popularity outside Russia since the 1990s.