Activities For Russkiy Toys

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Introduction

The Russkiy Toy is one of the most distinctive looking doggos out there! A Russian spin on the English Toy Terrier, these pocket-sized pooches are one of the world’s smallest dogs, and come in two main types — short-haired and long-haired. The short-haired ones look like adorable baby deer, and the long-haired ones look like adorable baby deer with cute tufts of floof on their ears. D’aww!

Don’t let that fool you though — Russkiy Toys were originally bred as watchdogs that were expected to chase after rodents in their spare time (so not just a pretty face). They bark a lot, and are fiercely loyal. This can look kind of hilarious when these teacup-sized pups are determined to warn off big bad critters they think are going to mess with their owners, but your neighbors might not find it so funny.

These pups need a lot of love, mental stimulation, and of course, exercise. Read on to find out how to keep your Russkiy Toy as healthy and happy as can be.

The Shell Game

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Any Day
Cheap
Hard
20 min
Items needed
Plastic Cups
Treats
Activity description

Like most ratters, Russkiy Toys are highly intelligent, and keeping their brain busy is just as important as keeping their body active. Otherwise, they might turn to less productive pursuits — like ravaging your couch cushions.

The Shell Game poses a particular mental challenge for dogs. It functions in the same way as the game for humans — i.e., you put something under a cup, move the cups around, and try to pick which cup the item is under. In this case, the item is a piece of food or a treat.

Sounds simple, right? Well, as bright as your buddy is, it could take them a while to pick it up. The time estimate above refers to the time per training session, but it could take up to a week or more for your pooch to nail this trick!

Step
1
Set up the cups
You’ll want to have the cups at your pup’s nose height — in the case of your Russkiy Toy, that means on the floor. The treat you use should have a strong odor so that your buddy can smell it through the plastic. Put a treat under one of the cups while your doggo is watching. Once they nudge the cup with their nose, reward them with the treat.
Step
2
Start moving the cups
Once your pup is consistently finding the treat, it’s time to switch it up! As your canine companion watches, put a treat under a cup, and then move it to a different position. Reward them once they find it. It’s best to spend a little while moving the cup to the same position every time to make sure your buddy understands what’s happening.
Step
3
Move the cups at random
By now your buddy should have learned two whole new tricks — to nudge the cup with their nose, and to track the cup with their eyes! Now that they have that down, you can take the challenge to the next level — moving the cup to a different position each time. After your pooch is a pro at that, you can increase the speed!
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Investigate Local Tourist Attractions

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
2 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Carrier
Leash
Activity description

Russkiy Toys don’t like people messing with their owners, but other than that, their attitude towards other pups and people ranges somewhere between reserved and friendly — they’re not often aggressive, so they’re a perfect partner for a day out on the town!

Maybe you never get to see the tourist attractions that you pass on your commute, or perhaps you’re intrigued by your small town’s historic buildings. Either way, why not leash up your pooch and take them out? Russkiys are also pretty easy to pop into bags and carriers, which means that they’re welcome on public transit in many large urban areas. Just be sure to keep them on a tight leash so they don’t go tearing after smaller critters.

Step
1
Do your research
What landmarks and attractions are there for you to visit? Museums are mostly no-go areas, but there may be some sculptures or plaques in the grounds for you two to sniff out. It might also be worth contacting places to see if they’ll accept doggos if in a bag or carrier — you can practically fit a Russkiy in your pocket, after all.
Step
2
Look into free walking tours
If you live in a large urban area, chances are your city boasts at least one company doing a free walking tour, and many of them welcome wagging tails with open arms! Alternatively, ghost tours are also a good bet, and they’re a grrr-eat way to learn about your area’s hidden history.
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Canine Freestyle

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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Music
Activity description

Ever considered helping your dog tear up a rug? (No, not like that.)

Canine Freestyle, also known as Musical Freestyle, is simply doggy dancing with an obedience training element. You’ll be teaching your pup to perform commands to a beat!

Canine freestyle can get pretty artistic, choreographed — and complicated. You and your buddy will probably be starting with heelwork-to-music, a technique that keeps your buddy at your side as you move to a beat. Whether you’re looking to perform or just for a fun way to exercise with your dog, it’s best to take at least one or two classes with professionals first.

Step
1
Investigate classes in your area
Get thee to Google, friend, and see what kind of training is out there. Keep in mind that many organizations will require you to produce a dog license or at least proof of vaccination before letting your pupper into a classroom. You’ll also need to check your instructor's accreditation — remember, anyone out there can call themselves a dog trainer.
Step
2
Be prepared to practice
If you and your doggo are getting serious about dancing, remember that a once-a-week class just isn’t going to cut it. Both you and your pupper need to practice in order to remember your steps! Make sure to set aside at least half an hour to rehearse three times a week.
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More Fun Ideas...

Flirt Pole

Russkiys love to chase! A flirt pole is a long stick with a toy, or lure, on the end of it. Wave the pole around and watch your pup run!

Pet the Puppy Party

As we’ve mentioned, Russkiy Toys are very protective of their pet parents, and this can make them wary around other humans. Inviting a few friends over to spend quality time with your doggo is a great way to socialize them in a space where they feel safe (and if your pals don’t respond well to, "Come over and pet my dog, who incidentally looks like a cute baby deer," you need new friends).

Conclusion

Your Russkiy Toy may be kitten-sized, but the worst thing you can do is treat them like a cat. Like all dogs, they need careful training, exercise, mental stimulation, and lots and lots of love. The activities above are a grrr-eat place to start when keeping your Bambi-esque buddy exercised and entertained!