By Jags Goldie Last updated: 27th October 2022

Russian Toy Terrier (Russkiy Toy)


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 27th October 2022

The Russian Toy or Russkiy Toy, believed to have evolved from English Toy Terriers, is known for its delightful personality and silly antics. Considered one of the smallest dog breeds in the world, it has two distinct varieties – the long-coated kind, previously called the Moscow Long Haired Toy Terrier and the smooth-coated ones, initially known as the Russian Toy Terrier. It is an elegant, long-legged dog that comes with a light head, clearly pronounced stop, small nose, lean and pointed muzzle, rounded, expressive eyes, big, erect ears, long neck, muscular back, straight and parallel legs, and medium-length tail set moderately high.

Russian Toy Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesRussian Terrier, Moscovian Miniature Terrier, Moscow Toy Terrier, Russian Longhaired Toy Terrier
CoatSmooth-haired: Close-lying, shiny, short
Long-haired: Straight/slightly wavy, close-lying
ColorBlue/black/lilac/brown, in combination with tan; red with black/blue/brown/lilac; fawn, cream, red
Breed TypePurebred
CategoryToy, Companion Dog
LifespanAbout 11 years
Weight3-6 lbs
Height8-10 in
TemperamentCheerful, active, curious, devoted, neither shy nor aggressive
Litter Size2-5 puppies
Good with ChildrenMay require supervision
BarkingOccasionally very vocal
Country Originated inRussia
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationACA, DRA, AKC/FSS, FCI, NAPR

Video: Russkiy Toy Dog Playing


English Terrier-type dogs are believed to have existed in Russia since the 18th century. Historical records have shown that some smooth-coated Russian Toy Terriers participated in Saint Petersburg dog show in 1874. However, the more widely accepted reference to the breed indicates that 11 Russian Terriers were displayed at an exhibition in May 1907. Since they were developed as a companion for the nobility, their popularity diminished after the October Revolution. Therefore, the development of pure Toy Terriers almost halted and the population decreased.

On 12th October 1958, a male puppy with long fringes on limbs and ears was produced from a smooth-haired Russian Toy that had moderately long hairs. The male dog was bred with a female that had a long coat. It created the longhaired variety, which was named Moscow Longhaired Toy Terrier. A Russian breeder, Yevgueniya Fominichna Zharova, is credited with the development of this variety.

The UKC and AKC’s Foundation Stock Service acknowledged the breed in 2008.

Temperament and Behavior

A good-natured dog that is always lively and joyful, the Russkiy Toy thrives on the play and human companionship. It likes to stay close to its people and will be quickly bored if left alone or neglected for long hours.

Originally bred as a watchdog, the Russian Toy is reserved with strangers and will alert its family members to anything suspicious. It gets along with children in the family and lives peacefully with other household pets.



It is an active dog that needs regular walks on harness and leash. It also loves to romp and play in a large, fenced yard. When it is indoors, it enjoys running through the house and chases dog toys.


The smooth-haired variety needs to be occasionally brushed or wiped with a moist cloth whereas the long-haired type should be regularly brushed using a soft-bristle brush. Both the types may be bathed once a month, with care taken to ensure that water does not enter their ears. Regularly brush their teeth to keep periodontal diseases away.

Health Problems

It is prone to teeth and gum problems, patellar luxation, and fracture of bones.


Because of its intelligence and loyalty to its people, it is easy-to-train. Make sure that you train it using a firm and fair training method.


When it comes to socializing your Russkiy Toy puppy to unknown people, walking it around a public place is the key. Keep your pup on a harness and leash – there is plenty to see and smell. Introduce it to people of different sizes, shapes, complexion, and age, including men, women, and children. You may as well take your Russian Toy out to the dog park to observe other animals’ behavior. Reward your pup with treats if your puppy remains calm when another dog comes close to the fence. However, if it reacts aggressively, move further away until it is quiet.


Training for obedience involves teaching your dog a few commands that can be useful for tackling problem behaviors. Keep the sessions short and remain consistent in signals, body language, and commands. Some essential commands include sit, come, leave it, stay, and down.


The Russian Toy may be given a quarter to half cup of dry food on a daily basis.

Interesting Facts

  • Russkiy Toy is a rare breed and was unknown outside its native land until the 1990s.

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