Russian Toy

Table of Contents

The Russian Toy, also known as the Russkiy Toy, is a small breed of dog that originated in Russia. They come in two coat varieties: smooth-coated and long-coated. This breed is known for its elegant and graceful appearance, featuring a small, delicate build with large, expressive eyes and bat-like ears. They typically weigh between 3 to 6 pounds, making them one of the smallest breeds.

Russian Toys are lively, active, and affectionate, known for their strong attachment to their owners. Despite their small size, they have a robust and energetic personality. They are intelligent and respond well to training, often excelling in obedience and agility activities. Their small size and adaptable nature make them suitable for apartment living, though they enjoy having space to play and explore. Regular interaction and companionship are crucial for their emotional well-being, as they thrive on human company.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 14 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Russian Toy is ideal for apartment dwellers or those with limited space, thanks to its small size. This breed thrives on human companionship, making it a great choice for individuals or families ready to provide regular interaction. They are playful, affectionate, and enjoy being a central part of family life, though their small and delicate nature makes them better suited for homes with older children.

Russian Toy Traits

Breed Characteristics

The Russian Toy is a small, elegant breed, characterized by its lively and affectionate personality. They are known for their large, expressive eyes and distinctive bat-like ears, contributing to their unique appearance. Despite their diminutive size, they are energetic and playful, with a keen intelligence that makes them responsive to training. Their loyalty and strong bond with their owners make them excellent companions.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The Russian Toy is a small, elegant dog breed known for its fine-boned and graceful structure. They possess large, expressive eyes and distinctive large, upright ears that give them a unique, bat-like appearance. Available in both smooth and long-coated varieties, their coat can be a range of colors including black, brown, and tan. Their delicate and refined appearance, combined with their lively and attentive expression, makes them a particularly attractive and charming small breed.

1. Ears
Large, upright, and bat-like, a distinctive feature of the breed.
2. Eyes
Large, round, and expressive, adding to their alert and curious appearance.
3. Nose
Small and usually dark in color.
4. Height
Generally ranges from 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder.
5. Coat Length
Variety of colors including black, brown, blue, and tan.
6. Coat Color
Their coat colors include black, gray, silver, red, beige or black and tan.
7. Tail
Usually carried high and can be curved or straight.
8. Weight
Typically, Russian Toys weigh between 3 to 6 pounds, aligning with their small and delicate stature.

Russian Toy Temperament

The Russian Toy is known for its lively, affectionate, and sociable temperament, making it an excellent companion for families and individuals. They are intelligent and responsive to training, enjoying interaction with their owners. Despite their small size, they are energetic and playful, thriving on attention and engagement in daily activities.

  • Lively and Playful: Russian Toys are known for their lively and playful behavior, often displaying a joyful and energetic disposition.
  • Affectionate and Loyal: They form strong bonds with their owners, showing affection and loyalty, making them excellent companions.
  • Intelligent and Responsive: This breed is intelligent and generally responds well to training, demonstrating eagerness to learn and please.
  • Social Nature: They enjoy being around people and can be quite sociable, thriving on human interaction.
  • Alert and Curious: Russian Toys are alert and curious, often showing interest in their surroundings, which can sometimes lead to a tendency to bark.
  • Adaptable: They adapt well to various living environments, as long as their social and exercise needs are met.

The Russian Toy’s temperament makes them ideal for families and individuals looking for an affectionate, lively, and engaging small dog. Their adaptability and sociable nature make them suited to various lifestyles, provided they receive adequate attention and care.

How to Care for a Russian Toy

Caring for a Russian Toy involves regular, moderate exercise like daily walks and interactive play sessions to match their energy levels. They require minimal grooming, with more attention needed for the long-coated variety. Consistent, positive reinforcement training is effective for their intelligent and eager-to-please nature, and they thrive on social interaction and companionship, making them ideal for owners who can provide regular engagement and affection.

Grooming a Russian Toy involves regular brushing, with the long-coated variety needing more frequent grooming to prevent mats. They require occasional baths with gentle dog shampoo, and routine care like nail trimming and ear cleaning is important for their overall health. Regular dental care, including teeth brushing, is also crucial to maintain their oral hygiene.

Regular Coat Care

  • Brushing: Smooth-coated Russian Toys require minimal brushing, while long-coated varieties need more frequent grooming to prevent tangles.
  • Tools: Use a soft-bristle brush or comb, especially for long-coated dogs.


  • Frequency: Bathe them as needed, typically every few weeks, using a gentle dog shampoo to keep their coat clean and healthy.

Nail Trimming and Ear Care

  • Nail Care: Regular nail trimming is important to prevent overgrowth.
  • Ear Cleaning: Check and clean their ears regularly to prevent infections.

Dental Hygiene

  • Teeth Brushing: Regular teeth brushing is crucial to maintain oral health and prevent dental issues.

Grooming a Russian Toy, particularly the long-coated variety, involves a routine but straightforward care regimen, focusing on coat maintenance, cleanliness, and overall health.

Training a Russian Toy requires consistent, positive reinforcement techniques, as they are intelligent and eager to learn. Short, engaging training sessions are effective, capitalizing on their responsiveness and desire to please. Early socialization is also important to ensure they are well-adjusted and confident in different environments and situations.

  • Understanding Their Learning Style: Recognize their intelligence and eagerness to learn. They respond well to positive reinforcement.
  • Consistency in Training: Maintain consistency in commands and routines. This helps in building a reliable training foundation.
  • Positive Reinforcement Techniques: Use rewards such as treats and praise to encourage and reinforce desired behaviors.
  • Short and Engaging Sessions: Keep training sessions short and engaging to hold their interest. Russian Toys can become bored with repetitive or lengthy sessions.
  • Early Socialization: Expose them to various environments, people, and other animals early on to enhance their social skills and adaptability.
  • Addressing Vocalization: Train them to respond to commands to manage any tendency to bark excessively.

Training a Russian Toy involves patience, consistency, and making use of their natural intelligence and desire to please. With the right approach, they can be well-behaved and enjoyable companions.

A balanced diet suited to the Russian Toy’s small size and moderate activity level is essential. Feeding high-quality dog food in controlled portions is crucial to prevent overfeeding and obesity. Fresh water should always be available, and healthy treats can be used sparingly, particularly during training. Regular veterinary consultations can help tailor their diet to any specific health needs or changes as they age.

Appropriate Diet for Size and Activity

  • Nutritional Needs: Provide a diet that meets the needs of their small size and moderate energy levels.
  • Quality Food: Choose high-quality dog food suitable for small breeds.

Portion Control and Feeding Schedule

  • Monitor Portions: Avoid overfeeding by controlling portion sizes.
  • Feeding Frequency: Typically, small meals twice a day are recommended.

Treats and Supplements

  • Healthy Treats: Use treats judiciously, especially during training.
  • Supplements: Consider supplements if advised by a veterinarian, particularly for coat and joint health.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

  • Dietary Adjustments: Regular check-ups help monitor their health and make necessary dietary adjustments.

A well-balanced diet, appropriate portion control, and regular veterinary oversight are key to maintaining the health and well-being of a Russian Toy.

Regular exercise for a Russian Toy includes daily walks and playtime to meet their moderate energy levels. They enjoy interactive games and activities that provide both physical activity and mental stimulation. Short but frequent exercise sessions are ideal to keep them active and prevent boredom, catering to their small stature and lively nature.

Regular Physical Activity

  • Daily Walks: Essential for maintaining their physical health and satisfying their moderate energy needs.
  • Playtime: Engage in play sessions that stimulate both their body and mind.

Mental Stimulation

  • Interactive Toys: Provide toys and games to keep them mentally engaged and entertained.
  • Training Exercises: Incorporate training into their exercise routine for additional mental stimulation.

Managing Exercise Intensity

  • Adapt to Their Size: Given their small size, ensure exercise is appropriate in intensity and duration.
  • Indoor Activities: Include indoor play for days when outdoor activity is limited.

Regular and varied physical and mental exercises are crucial for the Russian Toy’s overall well-being, aligning with their playful and active nature.

The ideal environment for a Russian Toy is one that offers a balance of comfort, activity, and companionship. Given their small size, they are well-suited to apartment living as long as they have enough space to move around and play. A home with a safe, enclosed outdoor area is beneficial for them to explore and enjoy supervised outdoor activities.

In terms of social environment, Russian Toys thrive on human interaction and should not be left alone for extended periods. They are suited to families or individuals who can provide regular attention, affection, and engagement. Providing a variety of toys and interactive games can help keep them mentally stimulated. A comfortable and quiet resting area is also important for their relaxation and well-being. Overall, ensuring a loving, engaging, and safe living space is key to their happiness and health.

Russian Toy Health

Russian Toys are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they have specific health considerations.

Common Health Concerns

  • Dental Issues: Their small mouths can make them prone to dental problems.
  • Patellar Luxation: A common condition in small breeds, affecting the kneecap.
  • Heart Conditions: Monitor for signs of heart problems, which can occur in small breeds.

Preventive Care

  • Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for early detection and management of health issues.
  • Keeping up with vaccinations and routine parasite control contributes to overall well-being.

Diet and Exercise

  • A balanced diet and appropriate exercise help prevent obesity, which can exacerbate health problems.

Monitoring and Early Detection

  • Be vigilant for any signs of illness, particularly dental issues or changes in mobility or behavior.

By being proactive about healthcare and regular vet visits, Russian Toy owners can help ensure their pets maintain good health and quality of life.

Russian Toy Breed Comparison and Consideration

When comparing the Russian Toy to other breeds, it’s essential to consider their small size and moderate exercise needs, making them well-suited for apartment living and owners who can provide daily interaction. They are more adaptable and less demanding in terms of space and physical activity compared to larger, more active breeds. Their sociable and affectionate nature makes them excellent companions, especially for those who enjoy close bonding with their pets, setting them apart from more independent or reserved breeds.

When comparing the Russian Toy to other breeds:

  • Russian Toy vs. Chihuahua:

    • Russian Toys are similar in size but often more sociable and less prone to anxiety than Chihuahuas.
    • They share a need for companionship but the Russian Toy may be more adaptable to different environments.
  • Russian Toy vs. Yorkshire Terrier:

    • Both are small breeds, but Russian Toys generally have a more delicate build.
    • Russian Toys are known for being less vocal and more even-tempered than Yorkies.
  • Russian Toy vs. Pomeranian:

    • Pomeranians are fluffier and can be more independent, while Russian Toys are known for their strong attachment to their owners.
    • Both breeds require regular grooming, but the Russian Toy typically needs less intense coat maintenance.

These comparisons can help potential owners determine if a Russian Toy’s traits align well with their lifestyle and preferences.


They are known for being lively, affectionate, and sociable, forming strong bonds with their owners.

They require moderate exercise, satisfied with daily walks and playtime.

Yes, especially if socialized early, but their small size means interactions should be supervised.

Minimal grooming is required for smooth-coated varieties, while long-coated ones need regular brushing.

They are a small breed, typically weighing between 3 to 6 pounds.

They can be vocal, especially when alerting to strangers or unusual situations, but this varies by individual.

Russian Toys generally have a long lifespan, often living between 12 to 15 years with proper care.

Yes, they are well-suited for first-time owners due to their size, temperament, and moderate exercise needs, as long as the owner can commit to their social and grooming requirements.

Top Takeaways

The Russian Toy, with its small size and affectionate nature, is well-suited for apartment living and owners who value a close bond with their pet. They are sociable and adapt well to various lifestyles, ideal for both experienced and first-time dog owners. Their grooming needs are manageable, though they do vary between the smooth and long-coated varieties. This breed’s moderate exercise requirements, combined with their lively and loving temperament, make them a great companion for those seeking an engaging, yet not overly demanding, small dog.

Top Russian Toy Names

For a Russian Toy, consider names that reflect their elegant and lively nature. Here are some suggestions,

Female Names











Male Names











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