Russian Toy Terrier

Russian Toy Terrier

19 October 2023

Considering bringing home a new family member? The gorgeous Russian Toy Terrier can be a great choice for the right home!

Experience the breed with BorrowMyDoggy and borrow a pooch in your local area. Or if you’re already set on this pawsome breed and need a helping hand with dog care, find a verified and trusted borrower near you.

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Let’s talk about… Russian Toy Terriers: what are they?

  • The Russian Toy Terrier is a small and elegant breed that originated in Russia.
  • They are often referred to as "Toys" due to their diminutive size, and are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world.
  • These dogs were initially developed as companions for Russian nobility and have a long history dating back to the 18th century.
  • Russian Toy Terriers come in two coat varieties: smooth-haired and long-haired. The smooth-haired variety has a short, sleek coat, while the long-haired variety has a flowing and silky coat.
  • They have a graceful and delicate appearance, with erect ears and expressive eyes.
  • The average height of a Russian Toy Terrier is around 20 to 28 cm.
  • They typically weigh between 1.5 and 3 kgs.
  • Their life expectancy is usually between 12 and 14 years.
Russian Toy Terrier  Exercise needs 2/5; Grooming ease 3/5; Trainability 3/5

What is the temperament of Russian Toy Terriers like?

  • Russian Toy Terriers are known for their lively and affectionate nature.
  • They form strong bonds with their owners and thrive on human companionship.
  • Despite their small size, they are confident and alert dogs.
  • They can be somewhat reserved with strangers but are generally friendly once they warm up to new people.
  • Early socialisation is important to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded and comfortable in various situations.
  • Russian Toy Terriers are suitable for families and individuals alike, but due to their delicate structure, they may not be the best choice for households with young children who may unintentionally mishandle them.
  • These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, making them highly trainable and responsive to positive reinforcement methods.
Lilith the Russian Toy Terrier
Lilith the Russian Toy Terrier

How much exercise do Russian Toy Terriers need?

  • Russian Toy Terriers may be small in size, but they have moderate exercise needs.
  • They require approximately 45 minutes of exercise per day to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
  • Daily walks, interactive play sessions, and mental enrichment activities are essential to meet their exercise requirements.
  • Keep in mind that they are sensitive to extreme weather conditions, so ensure they are comfortable and protected.
  • It's important to note that exercise needs for Russian Toy Terrier puppies should be adjusted based on their age and development. Puppies have growing bodies and should engage in shorter play sessions and gentle exercise appropriate for their age. Consult with your veterinarian for specific exercise recommendations for your Russian Toy Terrier.
Mimi, the Russian Toy Terrier
Mimi, the Russian Toy Terrier

Do Russian Toy Terriers need a lot of grooming?

  • The grooming needs of Russian Toy Terriers depend on their coat variety.
  • The smooth-haired variety has a short coat that is relatively easy to maintain.
  • Occasional brushing with a soft bristle brush or grooming glove to remove loose hair is usually sufficient.
  • The long-haired variety requires more attention as their silky coat is prone to tangling and matting.
  • Regular brushing several times a week is necessary to prevent tangles and keep the coat in good condition.
  • Pay attention to areas like the ears, armpits, and hindquarters, which are more prone to matting.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Otello, the Russian Toy Terrier
Otello, the Russian Toy Terrier

Are Russian Toy Terriers easy to train?

  • Russian Toy Terriers are generally eager to learn and please their owners, making them relatively easy to train.
  • They are intelligent dogs that excel in obedience training and can learn a wide range of commands and tricks.
  • However, like many small breeds, they can also have a stubborn streak.
  • Positive reinforcement training methods, such as rewards, praise, and treats, work best with this breed.
  • Keep training sessions fun, short, and engaging to maintain their focus and prevent boredom.
  • Consistency, patience, and gentle guidance are key when training a Russian Toy Terrier.
  • Starting training from an early age and providing them with mental stimulation will help them become well-behaved and obedient companions.

What do Russian Toy Terriers eat?

  • Feeding your Russian Toy Terrier a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their overall health and well-being.
  • As puppies, they should be fed a high-quality puppy-specific diet for small or toy dogs that supports their growth and development. Follow the feeding guidelines provided by the food manufacturer and consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations, usually this involves feeding 3-4 times a day until 6 months old, until this is reduced to twice a day.
  • Once they approach adulthood, usually at around 10-12 months, they can be slowly transitioned to an adult dog food formulated for small breeds.
  • Portion control is important for this breed, as they are prone to weight gain. Be mindful of their calorie intake and avoid overfeeding.

Are Russian Toy Terriers healthy?

Russian Toy Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like any breed, they can be prone to certain health issues. It's important to be aware of potential conditions and monitor your dog's health closely. Some health concerns associated with Russian Toy Terriers include:

Bones and Joints

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: a hip condition that affects the blood supply to the head of the femur bone, leading to breakdown of the bone, pain and lameness
  • Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be


  • Periodontal Disease - a buildup of plaque and tartar on a dog’s teeth leading to  inflammation, infection and tooth loss

This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any concerns about the health of your Russian Toy Terrier or want to discuss further if this breed is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Russian Toy Terriers

BorrowMyDoggy has 69 Russian Toy Terrier members

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health, contact your local vet.

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Jack Russell Terrier

Manchester Terrier

Norfolk Terrier

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Patterdale Terrier

Russian Toy Terrier

Smooth Fox Terrier

Welsh Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

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