Russkiy Toy’s history dates back as early as the 18th century when the English Toy Terrier was widely used as toy dogs. Evidence is found in the primitive paintings, a specimen stands roughly about 14 inches with sleek hair named Lisetta at the Zoological Museum, St. Petersburg.
In the 18th century it became famous, the societies loved these small dogs due to their playful disposition. This breed was a stylish dog, and a well behaved one to appear in opera and social events. It was one of the living accessories of the higher class. Russkiy was used as a symbol of prestige.
During the 20th century, their popularity also increased the number of these dogs and no longer termed under the rarity section. Gradually its name changed to Russian Toy Terrier from English Toy Terrier.
The breed nearly eradicated in the Russian Revolution of 1917. Dog breeding was halted, but after the death of Stalin, a focused effort tried to restore the limited breed in Moscow, Sverdlovsk, Leningrad, Irkutsk, etc.
Introduction of the other small breeds or by mutation an uncommon puppy was born in 1958. This puppy from smoothly coated parents became the base of the Long coat breed popularly known as Moscow Long Haired Toy Terrier). In 1966 two breed varieties official standard was written. In the early 1980s, it was declared by the new breed standard that the Russian Toy Terrier and Moscow long Haired were two different varieties of a single breed. FCI recognized the breed in 2006, ‘Terrier’ was discarded form its name and a new name was given ‘Russian Toy’ for both the varieties.
Temperament & Personality
Russkiy Toy is a cheerful, bold, loyal and playful dog. Russkiy is a small dog, but its activities are like large breeds. The breed can bully or start fighting with a big dog in a park or the neighborhood. It easily bonds with its family and always moves from one room to another behind its owner. It is very curious to take part in every activity and loves to stay around its family members every time, and if left alone for longer durations, they might develop separation anxiety.
They are very vocal and suspicious of strangers, it informs its owner about any threat or danger by excessive barking. This breed suits best in apartment living.
Russkiy Toy is an active breed and requires a fair amount of exercising routine. Playtime with regular walks will suffice its needs. They enjoy playing in free space like a park. It is advisable to keep them unleash while playing. Some activities will provide not only physical but mental exercises too, the list includes fetching games, agility training, and tracking exercises.
Russian Toy Terrier does not require high maintenance. Smooth haired variety needs occasional brushing to remove dirt and loose furs from its coat while the long-haired variety needs a little more frequent brushing. Also, during its shedding period, increase the frequency of brushing to keep its coat clean.
Like other dog breeds, they also have other grooming requirements, brush their teeth twice a week to avoid development tartar and oral problems. Their ears can catch up infections due to water, dirt buildup and need regular checking to prevent infections and pain. Clean their ears with Vet prescribed ear solution. Like other dogs, they tend to grow nails faster than other breeds which can crack if not appropriately trimmed and hinder regular activities like walking, run, etc. However, cutting them twice a month will serve the purpose. Clean their corner of the eyes with a damp cloth to remove tear stains.
Not much information is available for their health problems. But some dogs are prone to Patellar Luxation, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Remaining Decidous teeth, Legg Calve Perthe Disease. But occasional vet visits and tests like complete physical tests, blood tests, etc. will keep the dog healthy.
These dogs are brilliant and pick up tricks and commands quickly. But due to their easy learning process, they tend to catch up on bad behaviors easily. Hence, it is advisable to teach them carefully. If they learn any bad habit, they might continue to follow the action for the rest of their lives. Owners can teach them on their own or might seek help from the professional groomer. Positive reinforcement, with short and varied training sessions, will be beneficial for this breed.
Command training is essential to polish their skills, enhance the relationship between the dog and the owner and to minimize their excessive barking behavior. Commands like ‘no,’ ‘yes,’ ’stop,’ ‘come’ are some simple commands which are essential.
Socialization is crucial to make them well behaved and a good companion. Take them to different busy places like a supermarket, bus stops busy roads and Dogs Park, etc. It will allow them to meet unknown faces, different sounds and situations and make them more flexible.
Russkiy Toy does well with a high-quality food or homemade food. But it is essential to visit a dietician or a vet before opting for the food. Owners can opt for a raw meat diet to offer them protein. It is advisable to create a diet depending upon the dog’s size, age, activity level and metabolism. The owner should offer them small meals multiple times a day and prevent heavy exercises to minimize the risk. Owners should check their weight level and calorie consumption. If they gain weight reduce table scraps, treats, etc.