The Russkiy Toy: A cheerfully devoted, tiny rare breed
Loyal, cheerful and always ready to play, this little Toy is one of the smallest dog breeds in the world with some standing at a teeny tiny 8 inches tall!
Toy (or Russian Toy Terrier as he is also known) is a pretty hardy little fellow who loves to get involved in everything that's going on.
He adores human company and you'll probably find that he doesn't want to leave your side too much as he dislikes being too far away from his "pack". He gets on with children and will bond with everyone in the family - no matter what age they are.
Due to his size, this tiny dog is suitable for life in an apartment or flat. However, he does still need exercising and daily walks along with his favourite past-time...playing!
There are two varieties of this breed - long-haired and smooth-haired and both can be found in the same litter. Interestingly, two smooth-haired dogs can have long-haired puppies but two long-haired parents won't ever have a smooth-haired puppy.
The main difference between the long and smooth haired dogs are the feathery fringing on the ears which grow very long over quite a long period of time (sometimes up to a year) and look incredible - like a dainty furry butterfly :)
The Russian Toy is not aggressive although he may show signs of Small Dog Syndrome occasionally.
The Russkiy Toy has a rather interesting - if shaky - past.
In Russia, most breeds of dogs were large dogs which worked out in the fields. The Aristocratic members, however, preferred smaller companion dogs and during the 20th century the dog of choice was the English Toy Terrier.
But come 1920-1950, thanks to the October Revolution, this type of breed fell out of favour. The numbers dropped dramatically before the stigma finally lifted and breeding was resumed.
However by this point, most of the dogs left weren't even pedigrees never mind purebreds.
The dog who is thought to be the original Russkiy was born in 1958 and named Chikki. His parent's were 2 smooth haired terriers. One of the parents had slightly longer fur than was normal back then. Chikki himself was then mated with Irma, a bitch who also had longer than normal fur.
The result was 3 long haired puppies.
Originally bred as ratters and guard dogs, an official breed standard was written in 1966 for the 2 varieties. But by the 1990s the long haired variety was in danger of becoming extinct due to foreign toy breeds being imported after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.
This number is rising up again thankfully due to breeders and the fact that it is becoming known outside of its homeland. The breed itself has only recently been recognised by various kennel clubs and association throughout the world.
Can be smooth-haired or long haired
The Moscow Toy Terrier (another name!) are pretty easy to train. He picks up basic training quickly due to his intelligence and his natural desire to please his owner. Positive training methods are encouraged as this little fellow is sensitive to criticism.
He excels at obedience and agility trials. In fact, the video below will give you a little insight of a life at a professional dog show :)
Due to his history, the Russkiy Toy makes a very good guard dog despite his size!
He is very vocal and protective of his family so will definitely draw your attention to anything which he feels isn't quite right.
photo courtesy of russiantoydogbreeders.com
These guys are fairly easy to groom requiring little more than a weekly brush although you might want to do it slightly more frequently if you have the long-haired variety.
Due to their size, the ears should be checked and cleaned regularly. He is also an average shedder.
picture with thanks from agsolution.com
The Russkiy Toy is a pretty robust little dog for considering his size which makes him relatively healthy. However, he can still suffer from:
Chikki - the original who started it all off!
Irma - Chikki's mate