Why yet another breed? I asked myself that when I was told I HAD to investigate the Russian Toy Dog. I thought I had everything with my Havanese, but after investigating, I have to admit I was wrong. There are some very endearing qualities found in this tiny bundle.
Take the best of the Toy Manchester, the Chihuahua, the Papillion, and a few more, breed well and consistently, and you get the Russian Toy. It is a lively, smart, affectionate, elegant, square, gorgeous delight to be with these characters. They have no idea they weigh between 3 and 6 1/2 pounds, that they only stand between 8 and 11 inches tall, and that they could be an easy snack for most medium-sized dog.
These sweeties love their owners with a passion, and will do almost anything you ask of them. They are great in Rally, Agility, and Lure Coursing. I don’t believe they have tried Dock Diving yet, but if you asked, I think they would! Conformation is a new realm for them in the US, only being shown in matches and Open Shows for now. But, when you see them prancing in the ring, and flicking their long, stylish ear fringe, (long coats anyway, as they can also have a smooth coat), you’ll know you have arrived at THE ring… THE ring where you can laugh and chuckle at the antics of these charmers. Once they are ring-trained, though, the Russian Toy holds your attention as it commands the ring on the go-around. It has been amazing how silent the audience gets as they enjoy the elegance demonstrated by the little 3-6 pound dog.
We have much more to learn about Russian Toys. This breed is new to the US, with fewer than a handful here until around 2008. There is a language barrier with the Russians who created them, so not all information has been gathered as yet. We know to check for patella luxation, we CERF the eyes, and OFA certify the hearts. As time goes on, the parent club will evaluate what we know thus far and perhaps recommend new health tests, or remove one.
The Russian Toy Club of America has consistently been striving to move forward with AKC, meeting requirements set forth by them. We achieved the status of moving into the Miscellaneous Class in July, 2018. The good news is that we have met all requirements due to hard work of all members and are moving into a magical year of 2022 where we will move into the Toy Group with full recognition. Look for us at a dog show near you!