Russian Toy Information & Dog Breed Facts

Collection of all the general dog breed info about Russian Toy so you can get to know the breed more.

Group Companion Dogs
Popularity Rank326
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Russian Toy dog profile picture
OriginRussia flagRussia
Other Names
What other names does the Russian Toy have?
Moscovian Miniature TerrierMoscow Toy TerrierRussian TerrierRussian Toy Terrier
Breed Type
What type of dog breed is it?

Russian Toy Price and Availability

How much does the Russian Toy puppy cost? What is the price range of this puppy? What is the average price of this dog in the United States? How much money is a Russian Toy?
If you choose to purchase the Russian Toy, you should know that the mentioned amount of money is an average of the collected data from breeders’ sites and puppy finder places. If you have a Russian Toy for sale, please advertise it on a reliable website to make sure the Russian Toy gets to a happy place.
How easy is it to get a Russian Toy? How many Russian Toy are there in the world?
Average: The Russian Toy is a commonly available dog breed. There is less risk of overbreeding compared to the very popular dogs.

Of course, they may be more popular in some countries, and inbreeding may occur, so be careful.

Russian Toy Size

Is a Russian Toy small, medium or large dog?

How big do Russian Toy get?

How much does the Russian Toy weigh? How much should the Russian Toy breed weight? What is the normal weight of a Russian Toy?
3-6 pounds (1.3-2.7 kg)
Average Weight
What is the average weight of a Russian Toy?
4.5 pounds (1.3-2.7 kg)
How tall is the Russian Toy? Russian Toy height:
8-10 inches (20-26 cm)
Average Height
What is the average height of a Russian Toy?
9 inches (23 cm)

Russian Toy Grooming, Hair and Care

Coat / Hair Types
What type of coat does the Russian Toy have? What does this canine coat/fur look like?
What color is the breed's coat? What color is a proper Russian Toy's coat?
TanBrownBlue Black
How to groom the Russian Toy and how often?
Easy to groom: The Russian Toy doesn't require a lot of grooming. Seasonal flea treatment is needed, but cutting the dog's hair by a professional groomer isn't necessary.

Ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly to avoid infections. Russian Toy is a good choice if you don't have the time, skill, or money to take care of a high-maintenance dog.

Recommended for beginners.
Shedding Level
How much do Russian Toy dogs shed? How to control, reduce and prevent the shedding of the Moscovian Miniature Terrier?
Russian Toys are low shedders. It's a natural process of the hair growth cycle. The amount and frequency of hair loss mostly depend on their health status and breed type.
Bath Time / Bathing Frequency
How often does the Russian Toy need a bath? How often should bathe this dog? Can I bathe my Russian Toy every day?
4-6 weeks
Average. Experts recommended at least every 4-6 weeks for this family pup. According to a study, 56% of pet parents don’t bathe their dogs as frequently as they should, and 60% use the sniff test when deciding when it’s bath time.

Bathing your dog is beneficial to them in more ways than just one. It’s also a good time to look for unusual scratches, bumps, fleas, and other irregularities. When their hair is wet and flat against their body, these details are more visible.

Russian Toy Personality / Temperament

What kind of personality does the Russian Toy have? What characteristics or traits does the breed have?
Intelligent Rank
How smart is the Russian Toy? Is the Russian Toy breed dumb or smart?
Average: It takes patience to teach this breed any tricks or commands, but the effort is worth it. They understand and remember new commands after an average of 25-40 repetitions.

The Russian Toy ranks average in the intelligence ranking of dogs.

Are Russian Toy dogs easy to train? Do they go well on dog training?
Russian Toys are quite easy to train. Sometimes they can be challenging, but if you're consistent in teaching new commands they will obey for sure.
How playful is this breed?
The Russian Toy is a playful breed. Excited barking and sometimes nipping will alert you to play.
Sensitivity Level
How sensitive are they? Russian Toy sensitivity:
They are a little bit more sensitive than other dog breeds. Soft punishment affects them emotionally. Russian Toys don't tolerate irregular daily routine, noisy household, and frequent guest visits really well.

They are receptive to their owner's emotions and make wonderful family companions.

Affection Level
How affectionate are they? Is a Russian Toy a good family dog?
High: Russian Toys are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving and affectionate dogs toward their handlers. They enjoy quality time with their owners despite the activity and are considered great therapy dog for those in need. This breed responds strongly to their handler's emotions because they bond closely. Their happiness is your happiness.
Social Needs
How much social interaction does the Moscovian Miniature Terrier need? Russian Toy social needs:
Russian Toys are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn't tolerate being left alone.
Do Russian Toy dogs bark a lot? Are they barkers/noisy? Why does my Moscovian Miniature Terrier bark?
Average to High: The Russian Toy is a vocal breed. Not the best choice if you prefer a quiet breed. They often bark loudly and howl sometimes. They can change their barks depending on their emotional level and what they're trying to say. Different barks could mean the same and the same barks could have different meanings.

Top reasons for barking: protection, alarm, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, greeting, separation anxiety, compulsive barking.

Watchdog Ability
Is Russian Toy good as a watchdog? Are they alert at night?
Russian Toys are average watchdogs. If they sense something different, they will alert you, but the observation isn't considered their main job.
Guarding Behavior / Territorial
Do Russian Toy dogs have aggressive behavior to protect their home/house/territory? Do they have guarding instincts?
Russian Toys are average defenders. Some dogs are very protective of their territory, while others easily let a stranger to trespass. This breed is not sure to defend its territory in every situation.
Biting Potential
Do Russian Toy bite humans? How likely are you to get bitten from the Moscovian Miniature Terrier? What are the odds of getting bitten by a Russian Toy? Why do dog bites happen?

Low 🔽

The Russian Toy has a low chance of biting somebody. Top reasons for dog bite: protection, pain, excitement, herding instinct, being provoked. (Data based on the available online bite statistics.)
Bite Force
Does the Russian Toy has a hard bite? What is the bite force of a Russian Toy? How much bite force does a Russian Toy have?

Between 100 and 200 PSI 🔽

Russian Toy bite force: Weak. Dogs that have the weakest bite force below 200 PSI.

However, it is important to note that despite the fact that their bite force is considered the “weakest” it can still be very dangerous as all dog bites are.

They are usually not aggressive and very friendly towards children and other animals.

How much mouthing/nipping/play biting does the Russian Toy do?
Russian Toys have an average tendency to nip, chew, play-bite, or herd people. It's a common habit during puppyhood, not aggressive behavior. These "bites" don't hurt, but Russian Toys need to be taught for a good attitude.
Impulse to Wander or Roam
How likely is the Russian Toy to run away? Does this breed explore or wander a lot? Does Russian Toy roam?
Russian Toys have average wanderlust potential. Sometimes they like to explore the world and they might escape once or twice, but usually, they prefer staying safely at home. Safer to teach them how to get back to you on command.
Prey Drive
Do this canine have a strong prey drive? Does Russian Toy have high prey drive?
Russian Toys have a higher impulse to chase and catch something than other dog breeds. Cats or any other small animals might be in danger. It's a natural instinct, doesn't necessarily mean that Russian Toys are aggressive. Better to keep this breed on a leash.
Apartment Friendly
Is Russian Toy good as an apartment dog? Can they live in a flat?
Apartment-friendly dog the Russian Toy breed. It is best if you have a small garden where it can occasionally go out to do its business, but this is not important at all. You can exercise him enough with a walk or two a day, so he's comfortable in an apartment.
Are they adaptable and easy-going?
Russian Toys adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments. They don't mind moving from one place to another with their owner.
Tolerates Being Left Alone
How long can a Russian Toy be left alone?
Russian Toys do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.

Russian Toy Good With

Stranger Friendly
Are they aggressive or friendly towards/with strangers? Russian Toy temperament with other people:
Russian Toys are average friendly towards strangers.
Pet Friendly
Are they pet-friendly dogs? How well do Russian Toy dogs get along with other pets? Are Russian Toy dogs good with pets? What is this canine temperament with other pets?
Russian Toys are generally with other pets.
Child Friendly
Are Russian Toy dogs kid-friendly? Are they good with young children? Russian Toy temperament with children:
Russian Toys are kid-friendly dogs. This breed is a good choice if you have children.
Cat Friendly
How well do Russian Toy dogs get along with cats? Are they good with kittens? What is this fido's temperament with cats? Can they be good with cats? Can the Russian Toy breed live with a cat?
Russian Toys are average friendly towards cats.
Dog Friendly
Is Russian Toy good with other dogs? Are they dog-friendly dogs? How well do Russian Toy dogs get along with other dogs?
Russian Toys are average friendly towards other dogs.
Good For First Time Owners
Is Russian Toy breed good for first-time owners? Do they make a good dog for novice owners? Is Russian Toy breed suitable for first-time owners?
Russian Toys are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
Office Friendly
Are Russian Toys good office dogs? Do Russian Toys make good office friendly dogs? Can Russian Toys be office dogs?
Russian Toy is not the best dog breed for office environment.
Senior Citizens Friendly
Are they senior citizens friendly dogs? How well do Russian Toy dogs get along with the elderly people? What is the Moscovian Miniature Terrier temperament with senior people? Are Russian Toy dogs good for elderly owners?
Russian Toys are usually recommended for elderly people.

Russian Toy Health

Health Issues
Is it a healthy or unhealthy breed? Do Russian Toy dogs have health problems or genetic diseases?
Russian Toys tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds. Regular vet check-ups are needed.
Health Problems
What genetic/health problems does the Russian Toy breed have? What are the health issues and concerns of the Russian Toy breed? Most common health risks of Russian Toy:
Patellar LuxationRetained Baby Teeth
Veterinarian Visits
How often does the Russian Toy breed need to go to the vet? How often should you take your dog to the vet? How often should the Russian Toy see the vet?
The Russian Toy should have a complete physical check-up at least once (but preferably twice) per year. If your dog shows any symptoms, call your veterinarian.
Life Expectancy
How long do Russian Toy dogs live? How old can a Russian Toy be? What is the age limit of the Russian Toy? How many years can the oldest Russian Toy live?

What is the average life expectancy / lifespan of a Russian Toy?

11-13 years
The average lifespan of Russian Toy: 12 years
Is the Russian Toy breed hypoallergenic?
Russian Toys don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction. Some of the dog breeds are even considered to higher the possibility of an allergic response. Coat type isn't necessarily relevant, because most people are allergic to dander (flakes on the dog's skin) or saliva, not actually to dog hair.
Energy Level
How much energy does the Russian Toy have? What is the activity level of the Russian Toy?
Russian Toys are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.
Activity Requirement / Exercise Need
How much exercise does a Russian Toy need? How much exercise do Russian Toy dogs require per day?
Russian Toys have an average exercise need. This breed is satisfied with short walks every weekday and a long one on weekends.
Sleeping Need
How much sleep does the Russian Toy breed need?
Russian Toys don't need too much sleep. They are energetic and desire to live an active life. If you think naps are overrated, this breed can be the best choice for you.
Average daily food consumption
How much food does a Russian Toy need? What dog products should I buy? How much food does a Russian Toy breed eat per day? What is good dog food for Russian Toy? How much food should I feed my Russian Toy?
1/4 to 1/2 cup of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.
Weight Gain Potential / Prone to Obesity
How easy to gain weight for this dog? Russian Toy risk for obesity:
Average: The Russian Toy has an average risk for obesity. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with quality dry dog food and live an active life together. Try to find the happy medium between exercise and feeding.

If you notice any weight gain, consult your veterinarian and make a diet plan. Reduce unhealthy food and snacks, and measure the Russian Toy's weight regularly.

Weather and Climate
Which weather condition is preferred by this dog? Can they tolerate hot or cold weather and climate?
Prefers average to warm weather conditions
Different dogs have different preferences when it comes to weather conditions. However, in general, most dogs prefer average to warm weather conditions, as they typically find hot weather conditions to be uncomfortable and taxing.
How stinky is this dog? Why does it smell bad and how to get rid of the smell?


The Russian Toy has an average chance of bad smell. Top reasons for dog stinkiness: infection of bad tooth/ear/skin folds, gas attacks.
Drooling Tendency
Does the Russian Toy drool?
The Russian Toy is an average drooler. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. It can be completely normal or a sign of a health problem.

If you notice any change in your dog's drooling habit, you should contact a vet as soon as possible.

Russian Toy As a Working Dog

Service Dog
Are they good as service dogs? Can Russian Toy be a guide dog? Are they used as seeing-eye dogs?

Not really

This breed generally not used as a service dog. A service dog is a term used in the USA to refer to any type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people who have disabilities, such as visual impairment, hearing impairments, mental disorders, seizures, mobility impairment, and diabetes. Service dogs are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Russian Toy is not the best breed for service purposes.

Therapy Dog
Are they good as therapy dogs? Can Russian Toy be a therapy dog? Are they good anxiety dogs? Can a Russian Toy be an emotional support animal?

Not really

This breed is generally not used as a therapy dog. A therapy dog is a dog that might be trained to provide affection, comfort, and love to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, and people with anxiety disorders or autism.

Russian Toy is not the best breed for therapeutic purposes.

Detection Dog or Sniffer Dog
Are they good as detection dogs? Can Russian Toy be a sniffer dog?

Not really

They are not typically employed for this type of work, but there may be exceptional cases. A detection dog or sniffer dog is a dog that is trained to use its senses (mostly its smell) to detect substances such as explosives, illegal drugs, wildlife scat, currency, blood, and contraband electronics such as illicit mobile phones.

Russian Toy is not the best breed for detection purposes.

Search and Rescue Dog (SAR)
Are they good as SAR dogs? Can Russian Toy be a search and rescue dog?

Not really

This dog breed is not typically used as a search and rescue dog. The use of dogs in search and rescue (SAR) is a valuable component in wilderness tracking, natural disasters, mass casualty events, and locating missing people.

The Russian Toy is not the best breed for SAR purposes.

Boat and Sailor Dog
Are they good as boat dogs? Can Russian Toy be a boat dog?

Not really

Russian Toy breed usually doesn't like being on a boat.

Boat dogs were typically bred for their strength, stamina, and water resistance, as they were often required to perform tasks such as pulling in fishing nets, and jumping into the water to retrieve ropes or lines, or helping to move cargo.

Sailor dog is a type of dog that was bred to accompany sailors on their voyages. They were typically used for three purposes: as a working dog, a watchdog, and as a companion. A boat dog is a term used to describe a type of dog that was traditionally bred and used as a working dog on boats.

Cart Pulling or Drafting Dog
Are they good as cart pulling dogs? Can Russian Toy be a drafting dog?

Not really

A drafting dog or draft dog is a dog bred and used for cart pulling. Dogs bred for this work have strong builds and qualities that are needed, strength and determination.

Russian Toy is not the best breed for drafting purposes.

Fighting Dog / Military Dog
Where Russian Toy dogs used as fighting / military dogs in history?

Not really

In history, this breed was not really used for combat dog.

Russian Toy Reproducibility

Gestation Length
How long is a Russian Toy pregnant?How long does it take to have puppies? How to tell if the Russian Toy breed is pregnant?

60-64 days

Reproductive cycle of the female Russian Toy: The first period called Proestrus lasts for about 9 days.

During this time the females start to attract males. You can notice by swelling vulva and bloody discharge.

The second part is the Estrus when the female is receptive for the male. It lasts for about 3 to 11 days.

The sign of the proestrus part is the soft and enlarged vulva. The discharge decreases and lightens in color.

The third part is the Diestrus. Normally, it occurs around day 14. In this period the female’s discharge changes for vivid red and coming to its end. The vulva returns to average, and she will no longer permit mating.

The fourth part called the Anestrus. The time frame between heat periods normally lasts about six months.

Litter Frequency

Once a year.

More frequent breeding is not healthy. It is very important not to buy a dog from a puppy mill, where the needs of the pups and their mothers are ignored. It's an inhumane high-volume dog breeding facility, where puppies born several times a year.
Litter Size
How many puppies can the Russian Toy have in a litter? How many puppies can the Russian Toy breed have for the first time? How many puppies does a Russian Toy have? How many puppies can a Russian Toy give birth to?
4-6 puppies

Russian Toy Recognition

AKC Group
Is Russian Toy recognized by the American Kennel Club?
Recognized by the American Kennel Club as a Miscellaneous breed.
FCI Group
Is Russian Toy recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)?
Recognized by FCI in the Companion and Toy Dogs group, in the Continental Toy Spaniel and Russian Toy section.
Breed Recognition
What kennel clubs and organizations recognize or register the Russian Toy breed?
Canadian Kennel ClubDog Registry of America Inc.Federation Cynologique InternationaleFoundation Stock ServiceNorth American Purebred Registry, Inc.American Canine Association, Inc.

Russian Toy Pros and Cons

  • Apartment Friendly: Apartment-friendly dog the Russian Toy breed.
  • Grooming: Easy to groom: The Russian Toy doesn't require a lot of grooming.
  • Shedding Level: Russian Toys are low shedders.
  • Adaptability: Russian Toys adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments.
  • Child Friendly: Russian Toys are kid-friendly dogs.
  • Senior Citizens Friendly: Russian Toys are usually recommended for elderly people.
  • Good For First Time Owners: Russian Toys are good for novice owners, due to their easy-going personality.
  • Health Issues: Russian Toys tend to have more frequent health issues than other breeds.
  • Hypoallergenic: Russian Toys don't do well with allergy sufferers by causing allergic reaction.
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone: Russian Toys do best when a family member is at home during the day or if their workplace is dog-friendly so they can take the dog at work.
  • Office Friendly: Russian Toy is not the best dog breed for office environment.

Russian Toy History

The origin of the Russian Toy began with English stock and dates back to the early 18th century when the Manchester Terrier and the English Toy Terrier first arrived in Russia. The Zoological Museum in Saint Petersburg holds evidence of this, where a preserved specimen of a small black and tan terrier from 1716-1725, stands on exhibit. The dog stands approximately 14 inches at the withers with the description saying: “Dog of the sleek haired terrier breed named Lisetta, belonged personally to Peter the Great.” In Russia, during the 18th century, the Russian Toy became popular as the nobles’ and aristocrats’ companions. Socialites adored this breed due to its small size and lively temperament. The dogs then quickly became quite stylish to appear in public with a well-behaved small terrier at social events and at the opera. After that, the Toy Terrier became a kind of living accessory to the upper classes of society. Besides the dogs’ purpose as a companion dog, they were also used as watchdogs and rat-catchers.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the population number of these toy breeds increased, and the breed was no longer a rarity, yet it remained a symbol of prestige. Moreover, the English Toy Terrier was one of the most popular decorative dogs in Russia. Then the Russian Revolution of 1917 almost exterminated the Russian Toy. That the reason why, in the period 1920-1950, shipping of toy terriers was almost stopped, and the number of dogs fell to a critical level. The breeding of dogs for companionship was brought to a halt and the fate of the Russian Toy was uncertain. After the death of Stalin, in the mid-1950s, a concentrated, well-planned effort was taken into action in several regions of the Soviet Union, including Moscow, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk, and Irkutsk to restore the Russian Toy to prominence.

Practically all dogs which were used in breeding had no pedigrees; many of them were not of pure blood. The standard established for the Toy Terrier significantly differed from the English Toy Terrier's standard in many aspects. Whether by a mutation or the introduction of other unknown small breeds into various lines, a unique puppy was born on October 12, 1958. Two smooth-haired dogs, one of which had a slightly longer hair, gave life to a male dog with a spectacular fringe on its ears and limbs. The decision was made to keep this characteristic. The male was mated with a female dog which also had slightly longer hair. So, the longhaired variant of the toy terrier appeared. It was called Moscow Longhaired Toy Terrier. The first official standard for the two breed varieties was written in 1966. A dog breeder from Moscow, Yevgueniya Fominichna Zharova played a major role in the creation of this breed variant. In the 1980s, a new breed standard declared that the Moscow Long Haired Toy Terrier and the Russian Toy Terrier were in fact two varieties of a single breed. In 2006, with the Russian Toy’s addition to the FCI list of recognized breeds, the “Terrier” was dropped from the breed’s name and is now called the Russian Toy, with both long and smooth coat varieties.

The Russian Toy is among the smallest dog breeds in the world. The breed was only recognized by the UK Kennel Club in 2017 and is not yet recognized by the American Kennel Club but it is accepted in the Foundation Stock Service. The numbers of the breed have been in decline until relatively recently when it has seen a revival in popularity and become more widely known outside Russia.

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