Russkiy Toy

3-6 lbs
Russian Toy Terrier, Russian Terrier, Moscow Toy Terrier, Moscovian Miniature Terrier
One of the smallest dogs available at only 8 to 11 inches tall and maxing out around 6 pounds total, the Russkiy Toy, also known as the Russian Toy, is a tiny dog with a huge personality. They come in two varieties, a smooth-haired and a long-haired version with the smooth-haired possessing a much longer history of existence and development. Compared to others, they are a relatively new breed, with many experts believing they came into existence around the turn of the 19th century, though before or after still seems to be up for debate. Unlike many other breeds who enjoyed the long, slow development over many centuries, the Russkiy Toy saw significant changes more than once over their timeline, including two significant drops in population as well as considerable changes to their overall look. While they are somewhat fragile and take a bit more care because of their size, they are happy to reward any owner or family with loads of affection and loyalty, along with the ability to play watchdog as well, all attributes that helped them maintain their position as reliable companions for over a century.
Ratting, Companion
Date of Origin
19th Century
English Toy Terriers

Russkiy Toy Health

Average Size
Male Russkiy Toy size stats
Height: 8-11 inches Weight: 3-6 lbs
Female Russkiy Toy size stats
Height: 8-11 inches Weight: 3-6 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Dental Problems
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Bone Fractures
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Allergies
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Dental Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Allergy Tests

Russkiy Toy Breed History

Compared to many other toy breeds, the Russkiy Toy has a significantly turbulent past with two distinct sets of origins. Surprisingly enough, these origins don't come from two different dogs, but two different periods of development. The earliest Russkiy Toys were unintentionally developed from English Toy Terriers. Although written accounts show English Toys existing in Russia as early as the 17th century, their eventual development and first rise in popularity didn't occur until nearly the 19th century, and whether it occurred before or after the turn is still up for debate. Their true ascent to popularity didn't occur until the early 20th century, when importing them became a trend for aristocracy. But because these terriers stayed isolated for so long, many of the traits inherent to those that existed in Russia became reinforced to the point where they had taken on their own distinct look. Unfortunately, after the October Revolution, their popularity took a massive hit, as they were almost exclusively linked to the high upper class. By the time breeders began taking their work back up in the 1950s, many of the dogs that were left looked much different than they had started and many lacked any type of pedigree at all. For the first time, this era produced the breed's first of its long-haired variety. While the Russkiy Toy's numbers continued to increase over the next few decades, they hit the low of the cycle again when the fall of the Iron Curtain increased the popularity of imported breeds, but Russkiy Toys rebounded nicely in the 1990s thanks to the reinvigoration of new breeders and new worldwide accessibility, when the breed was first starting to be noticed on a larger scale. While breed standards had first been written as early as 1966, the breed did not receive recognition until 2006, when first accepted by the Federation Cynologique Internationale. In 2008, Russkiy Toys reached a benchmark of stability, being recorded in the Foundation Stock Service and joining the ranks of the United Kennel Club  and the American Kennel Club. They still remain somewhat rare in the grand scheme, especially outside of Eastern Europe and parts of Scandinavia, but the age of the Internet has increased overall interest, popularity and in turn, vitality.

Russkiy Toy Breed Appearance

Almost needless to say, Russkiy Toys are quite small dogs, standing only 8 to 11 inches tall at the withers and rarely exceeding around 6 pounds total. Their heads are proportionally sized to their bodies, the moderately rounded skull longer than the muzzle itself, the two split by a well-defined stop and the latter capped with a black or coat-colored nose. Their eyes are surprisingly big for their overall size and their ears are tall, triangular and erect. Their necks are long and lean, descending into a moderately sloped topline. Their chests are well-developed and deep for their size, separating their straight, parallel front legs and descending into a well-tucked belly. Their hind legs are also parallel from behind, slightly angled from the side and sport a fair amount of muscle in the thigh.  Their tails are medium length, tapering and carried either sickle- or sabre-style. Russkiy Toys come in two varieties, a long-haired and a smooth-haired, the prior having a close coat of 1-2 inches long and gaining length in select areas such as the neck, the latter with much shorter, closer-lying hair. Both come in several color varieties including black and tan, brown and tan, blue and tan, lilac and tan, red with black, red with blue, red with brown, red with lilac, or pure red, fawn, or cream - their nose most often follows their main coat color.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Russkiy Toy eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Russkiy Toy nose
brown Russkiy Toy nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Russkiy Toy coat
brown Russkiy Toy coat
red Russkiy Toy coat
cream Russkiy Toy coat
fawn Russkiy Toy coat
blue Russkiy Toy coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Russkiy Toy straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Russkiy Toy Breed Maintenance

Since there are two different varieties of the Russkiy Toy, there are various levels of necessary maintenance. On the whole, the pair fall somewhere around a moderate level of care. Unsurprisingly, the long-haired variety takes a bit more work, as they need brushing with a soft bristle brush every or every other day to keep their coats clean and free of matting. Most of their coats grow to manageable lengths but their hindquarters should be trimmed to keep the area clean and the hair between their toes should also be cut back for the sake of both comfort and cleanliness. The smooth-haired version takes brushing at only half that rate, if not less and rarely, if ever, needs any trimming. They will usually be good with a brushing once or twice a week with a soft bristle brush or a wipe down with a damp cloth. Because of their size and proximity to the ground, they have a greater potential to pick up excess dirt and dust and therefore need to be bathed more frequently than many other breeds. Most can get away with once a month but others may need it more frequently. Like any other breed, their nails should also be checked and trimmed regularly. Because of their high-potential for dental issues, their teeth should be brushed twice a week and monitored for developmental problems.
Brushes for Russkiy Toy
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Russkiy Toy requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Russkiy Toy Temperament

For those who know them, Russkiy Toys are often highly-adored and for good reason - they have high marks in just about every facet of their personality. Although they are small, they are far from timid and will stand their ground by being assertive but not aggressive. They are exceptionally loyal to their families and will shower them with affection and revel in playtime when it finally comes, making them fun, high-spirited companions to have around. Even standing less than a foot tall, they are not easy to intimidate, which makes them surprisingly good with both other dogs and children, although they tend to do better with kids that are at least a few years old as the careless behavior of toddlers can often lead to injuries in such a small dog. Even though they have a good amount of intelligence, they are rarely stubborn and generally do quite well with training, even for first-time dog owners. Unlike many other breeds of the size who prefer lapdog status, Russkiy Toys are active even in the home but not to the point of being unruly and unless they are frustrated or bored, don't take long to take cues from the family as to what is appropriate behavior. Because of their intense loyalty, they are often wary of strangers and will often stay vigilant if given a position where they have a view and will alert their owners of any potential issues with a surprisingly strong bark if they feel something or someone is amiss, making them excellent overall watchdogs. In all, between their accessible size and excellent temperaments, they are an incredibly versatile breed that are well-loved for a wide variety of reasons.

Russkiy Toy Activity Requirements

Despite their size, Russkiy Toys still have a fair amount of energy but because of their small stature, comparatively take considerably less activity than other breeds to tire out, so they register pretty low on the grand scale. While they do enjoy being outside where they can sniff and roam, they are a bit more limited in terms of exercise.  Things like precipitation, vegetation  and height can have a large impact on their ability to move with confidence and without hindrance. Luckily, there are spaces like sidewalks and dog parks where city-assisted grooming reduces these issues. If they do arise in any significant amount, however, they are just as content racing around the house chasing balls, playing games, and engaging in whatever activities the family partakes in. They do still need daily exercise, but need a mile or less of walking per day to tire them out, especially when coupled with in-house playtime.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
7 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
30 minutes

Russkiy Toy Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
Daily Cost
$0.75 - $1.00
Monthly Cost
$10.00 - $20.00

Russkiy Toy Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Russkiy Toy size stats at six months
Height: 6.5 inches Weight: 3.5 lbs
Female Russkiy Toy size stats at six months
Height: 6.5 inches Weight: 3.5 lbs
12 Months
Male Russkiy Toy size stats at 12 months
Height: 8.0 inches Weight: 4.5 lbs
Female Russkiy Toy size stats at 12 months
Height: 8.0 inches Weight: 4.5 lbs
18 Months
Male Russkiy Toy size stats at 18 months
Height: 9.5 inches Weight: 4.5 lbs
Female Russkiy Toy size stats at 18 months
Height: 9.5 inches Weight: 4.5 lbs

Russkiy Toy Owner Experiences

Bam Bam
2 Years
4 People
He’s a joy to my life and very spunky and loves to play with my kids a lot. He’s very loyal and caring for us as we are his family. I raised him since he was 6 months old
5 months, 3 weeks ago
Bam Bam
2 Years
4 People
He’s a joy to my life and very spunky and loves to play with my kids a lot. He’s very loyal and caring for us as we are his family. I raised him since he was 6 months old
5 months, 3 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd