The Russian Toy is a breed bred in isolation in Russia. Originally, it was a ratter dog, but currently it is a companion dog. The most common colors are black and tan, blue and tan, brown and tan, solid red of various shades. And there are two varieties, one is long-coated and the other is smooth-coated.
In Russia, in the beginning of the XX century, the English Toy Terrier was one of the most popular of the small companion breeds. Because of the hermetical closure of the Sovietic Union between 1920 and 1950, the Toy Terriers breeding almost stopped and the number of dogs dropped to a critical rate. Nearly in the 50s, the Russian dog breeders started with reappearance of the breed, but many of these specimens were not pure. Thereafter, they understood that the specimen of English Toy Terrier that they were breeding had some differences with the original standard, and that they had bred a new breed in many aspects. From then on, the breed evolution in Russia went on its own way.
On October in 1958, a male with fascinating fringes on its ears and paws was born from the crossbreeding of two smooth-haired dogs (one of them with longer hair). Breeders decided to keep this characteristic for future generations. This male was crossed with a female which also had longer hair.
It was a long process in a isolated context in which, with an specific selection, a new breed was created. The Russian Toy dog had two varieties, one smooth-haired and other long-haired.
The Russian Toy is one of the smallest breeds in the world, measuring between 20 cm and 28 cm and weighing anywhere between 1 kg and 3 kg. It has a small, distinctive head with large eyes and triangular ears.
There are two types in the breed, distinguished by their coats; one is long-coated and the other smooth-coated. The smooth-coated dog has a short, shiny, close-lying coat. The long-coated variety has a longer coat and profuse feathering in the ears, legs and tail. The feathering or “fringe” on the ears is usually 3 to 5 cm long, can be straight or with a slight wave. It will be grown by the age of three and should completely cover the outer edges and tips of the ears.
The breed has four main colors: black and tan, blue and tan, brown and tan, solid red of various shades.
Active and cheerful, the Russian Toy was originally bred both as an anti-rat dog and a watch dog. The second quality is still active in the breed, and they can be very vocal. They can become quite attached to their family, regardless of the ages of the family members. Russian Toys are usually very reserved with strangers, but very loyal to their owners, always ready to protect them from any perceived danger.
It does not present serious Health or personality problems. It is recommended to take it out for a walk daily to maintain its physical balance. It must have a balanced diet with enough exercise to avoid obesity. It is also suggested to pay attention to the ears, denture, eyes and gum and to clean them regularly to prevent infections and fungus. Lastly, regarding to the maintenance of its fur, brushing it occasionally is enough to remove the dead hair. To keep it lustrous it is recommended to give them a bath regularly.
The small Russian dog is a strong and healthy breed that does not present outstanding health problems or congenital character of the race except the incidence in some affections such as diabetes mellitus, dislocation of the kneecaps and dislocation of tibia.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/352g09-en.pdf