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October 25, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 2 Faves: 0

Russian Toy Terrier

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

This little breed will win your heart over with their undying devotion!

Most Americans had never heard of the Russian Toy (aka Russiky) until the 1990s. A secret little gem kept in Russia, this breed has survived two near extinctions. They are often compared to the Chihuahua and frequently mistaken for them.

This adorable breed was bred as a ratter and watchdog. Today, they are more of a companion breed, but still hold on strong to their working traits.

Undying Devotion

The Russian Toy is one of the most devoted and loyal breeds and are happy with all ages of children. However, reputable breeders prefer to place them with families of older children, as their bodies are very fragile and susceptible to accidents. This also explains why they are leery around strangers.

The Russiky loves traveling with their family, and their size is conducive to this as well. They don't like being left behind and will have a strong desire to travel or go to work with you.

Smart, Sweet, and Super-Active

This breed is highly intelligent and easy to train. If rules and training are not provided, this little Russian soul can quickly develop Small Dog Syndrome, a common but undesirable behavior from small breeds.

The Russian Toy is known to be very sweet towards their family members. Once you have one, you will want to have more.

Don't let the small package fool you: This little breed is very active. They are known to do very well in agility sports and love going for walks (weather permitting of course), hikes, or even a light jog. Keep your Russiky safe by providing a fenced-in yard.

Doggy Daycare may be ideal for this breed if you work long hours, as they prefer playing with other Russiky's or smaller breeds.

Watchdog - Watch Out!

Because of their strong watchdog trait, it is important that early socialization is done with your little Russiky to help maintain their friendly demeanor. Even with socialization, this little breed is ready to alert you of visitors with their yappy bark, which may make them ill-suited for close-proximity living.


Long or Smooth?

The Russian Toy comes in two coat styles, (long or smooth) and the colorings may be tan with black, blue, or brown, as well as sable or various shades of red. Both coats provide minimal grooming needs. Bathe them when needed, and give them regular nail trimmings. Their long coat needs to be brushed out daily to prevent tangles and mats.

Health Concerns

The Russian Toy health issues can include patellar luxation and a susceptibility to small fractures or broken bones (due to mishandling). Annual teeth cleanings are a must. They are also known to grow two rows of teeth, and a veterinarian will need to remove this first row to prevent future issues. The average life span of the Russian Toy is 10-12 years.

Adopt First

As you begin looking for a Russian Toy, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!

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2 Comments

  • what a cutie - there's just something about the ears. It's almost like they have a hairdo!

  • I LOVE this breed, but they are very rare. So they are not cheap or easy to come by (in other words, it would be rare to find them at a shelter). Their typical cost per puppy $1000!!!!

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