History of the Russian Toy



The history of today’s Russian Toy Dog, from what we can see, begins in the 1700’s when the English Toy Dog was brought to Russia (an example of this can be seen in the Zoological Museum in St. Petersburg). The specimen is of a small black and tan dog dated  1716 – 1725, it stands approx. 35cm at the shoulder and was said to belong to Peter the Great and its’ name was Lisetta and was described as “Dog of the sleek haired terrier breed”. The breed remained popular with Russian aristocracy, being bred smaller and smaller, with possible inclusion of the very small Continental Toy Spaniel into the bloodline, and thus becoming a very necessary living accessory to the ladies of the aristocracy.  By the beginning of the 20th century it was no longer called the English Toy Terrier but the Russian Toy Terrier.

The Russian Revolution of 1917 caused havoc with the breed when it suffered great setbacks. A few dedicated breeders managed to maintain small kennels and a few were still being exhibited in Moscow. 

The breed continued to suffer until after the 2nd World War when all dog breeding was dedicated solely for defence purposes. Luckily for us some true lovers of the breed continued with their breeding programme in secret.

By the mid to late 1950s the Communist State had begun to relax and there was a concentrated effort to return the Russian Toy Dog to prominence.  The birth of Chicky, the first long coat, with ear fringing to two smooth coat parents by Yevgueniya Fominichna Zharova, who through careful breeding produced the first litter of three long coat dogs.

By 1966, two separate distinct standards had been written for the smooth coated and long coated varieties. During this period the smooth coated variety became known as the Russian Toy Terrier and the long coated variety as the Moscow Long Coated Toy Terrier, noting the development and recognition of the long coated dog.

Through the 1970s and early 1980s both the long coated and smooth coated varieties continued to develop with little or no influence from the outside world. However, the fall of the ‘Iron Curtain’ saw the introduction of breeds not native to Russia and the popularity of the native toy breed suffered. 

In 1988 a new breed standard was written by the Russian Kynological Federation and breeders ensured the Russian Toy Dog’s place in the world of dog showing. This new standard confirmed the two varieties as a single breed. In 2006 the breed was added to the FCI’s (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) new breeds and opened the door many countries to this wonderful little dog. Since the breed’s inclusion into the FCI, the popularity and exportation of this wonderful dog to various parts of Europe, North America, Asia and now Australia is on the rise. 


Contact Details

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Phone : 123
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