The Russian Toy is a very small breed of dog originally bred in Russia. There are two types of coats in the breed: smooth coat and long coat. The smooth-coated variety was previously known as the Russian Toy Terrier and long-coated as the Moscow Long Haired Toy Terrier.
The breed was nearly wiped out twice; first in the 1920s with the rise of Communism due to the toy dog's traditional link to the aristocracy and again in the 1990s with the influx of foreign breeds following the fall of the Iron Curtain. The smooth coat type is the older of the two, with the long coat type first appearing in 1958. (1)
The Russian Toy is one of the smallest breeds in the world, measuring between 20 cm and 28 cm and weighing anywhere between 1 kg and 3 kg. It has a small, distinctive head with large eyes and triangular ears. There are two types in the breed, distinguished by their coats; one is long-coated and the other smooth-coated. (2)(3)
The breed has four main colors: black and tan, blue and tan, brown and tan, solid red of various shades. Red includes sable (red where the tips of the hairs are black, known as overlay) and red sable (red with brown overlay). (1)(4)
Active and cheerful, the Russian 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. (1)(5)
Russian Toys are usually very reserved with strangers, but very loyal to their owners, always ready to protect them from any perceived danger.
Until the 1990s, the breed was almost unknown outside of Russia, and so relatively few details on associated health issues are known. (1)
Now you know a little about the Russian Toy (Long Haired) you may have think that this is the dog for you. Before you make a decision, please make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the Russian Toy (Long Haired) and its needs and whether this breed would suit your lifestyle.