Russkiy Toy (also commonly called the Russian Toy) is a very small breed of dog originally bred in isolation in Russia from the English Toy Terrier. There are two types, smooth haired/coated and long haired, which were known by a variety of different names until brought together under the same standard as the Russkiy Toy in 2000. The breed was nearly wiped out twice; first following in the 1920s with the rise of Communism due to the toy dog’s traditional link to the aristocracy and secondly in the 1990s with the influx of foreign breeds following the fall of the Iron Curtain. The smooth haired type is the older of the two, with the long haired type first appearing in 1958. Until the 1990s, the breed was almost unknown outside of Russia, and so relatively few details on associated health issues are known. The Russkiy Toy was bred as a rat fighter and as a watchdog originally, and can still exhibit the vocalisation expected from the latter. It is a friendly dog and can become very attached to a family unit. The breed has been recognised by a couple of international kennel clubs, and is registered in the Foundation Stock Service of the American Kennel Club. Due to its size and similarities to the chihuahua, the two are often compared.
Active and cheerful, the Russkiy Toy was originally bred both as an anti-rat dog and a watch dog. The second quality is still active in the breed, and they can be very vocal. They can become quite attached to their family, regardless of the ages of the family members. Russian Toy usually is very reserved with strangers, but very loyal to his owner, that he chooses once and for all and is ready to protect him from any perceived danger.
The Russkiy Toy is one of the smallest breeds in the world, measuring between 8 inches (20 cm) to 10 inches (25 cm) and weighing anywhere between 3 pounds (1.4 kg) and 6 pounds (2.7 kg). It has a small distinctive head with large eyes and triangular ears. In countries where docking is prohibited, the tail is curved in the shape of a sickle.There are two types in the breed, distinguished by their coats; one is long haired, and the other smooth coated. The only differences between the two types is the long hair on the ears of the long haired type which is usually 3–5cm long and can be straight or with a slight wave. Long haired dogs will grow a fringe on their ears by the age of three which should completely cover the outer edges and tips of their ears.
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