The Russian Toy in the UK:
- The first Russian Toys arrived in the UK in 2008.
- A meeting of owners and enthusiasts took place in 2015 and this formed the basis of the Russian Toy Breed Club UK.
- The Breed Club submitted an application to the Kennel Club in July 2016 seeking recognition and inclusion onto the Imported Breed Register. This application was successful and on the 1st July the Russian Toy was duly added to the Import Breed Register
- In 2017 Russian Toy owners were invited to participate in a parade at Crufts to promote and introduce the Russian Toy. This culminated in both Lula and Cookie joining Clare Balding and Frank Kane on the famous Crufts sofa for a TV appearance.
- In July 2017 the Breed Club sent in it's 'Registration of Title' application to the Kennel Club (Russian Toy Breed Club UK) to officially register the Breed Club.
- The Interim Breed Standard for the Russian Toy was sent to the Kennel Club and was approved in January 2018. It was published on the 1st April, 2018.
- CRUFTS 2018 ~ the Russian Toy took part in Discover Dogs for the first time.
- From the 1st April 2018 the Russian Toy could be exhibited at Kennel Club licenced shows.
- With a slight change of name to the 'Russian Toy Club UK' the Breed Club was officially registered in April 2018.
- CRUFTS 2019 ~ the dream of many finally coming true with the Russian Toy being judged at Crufts with the BOB eligible for the Toy Group.
Living with the Russian Toy
In a few words it can be utter mayhem!! One thing that can be guaranteed is it will never be dull with a Russian Toy in your life. The Russian Toy is a very versatile breed and is not just seen in the show ring. As well as making a great addition to the family they can also be seen taking part in Agility, Heel Work to Music and Canicross to name a few. Yes they are a small dog and classed as a Toy breed but they especially suit an active family and thrive on joining in with activities and being kept stimulated. As for a difference between the coats well I find the Long Haired to be more up for a game and more persistent in most things (especially if it is doing something naughty), they are always looking for something to get up to! In the Dachshund world the Wire Haired is often classed as the Clown of the breed and I would say this applies to the Long Haired in the Russian Toy. The Smooths whilst they also love fun and games have this regal air about them, some would say a look of snobbery especially when sitting on your lap and surveying the scene around them. You can see them at times looking at what their Long Haired buddies are getting up to and tutting with a roll of the eyes! I find the Smooths slightly more territorial and they love to find a sunny spot by a window or door so they can keep an eye on who may just come up the garden path, however, the Long Haired take great joy in joining in and it can almost be a competition of who can bark loudest and longest! Both variities just adore human company and will give unlimited cuddles and kisses!!
Showing the Russian Toy
Although very new to the Show ring in the UK the Russian Toy has already attracted quite a following. Entries at General Championship shows have steadily increased since starting out in early 2018. This year was to see another milestone for the Import breeds. From 2020 shows would have to provide at least one class per Import group, rather than combining groups. This move would ensure that there would be an Import breed represented in each group. This was exciting news for Russian Toy as sometimes it was quite overpowering being in the ring with some of the larger breeds.
This is a breed that is easy
to maintain for the show ring. The Smooth Haired of course being the easiest to
prepare with just nails to trim, teeth to clean and a quick once over with a
velvet cloth to the coat. Even the Long
Haired is relatively easy, nails and teeth as before but with the extra combing
of the ear fringing and a quick tidy of the hair over the nails (the hair
should cover the nails but still neat and tidy). Feathering on the tail and
legs again comb through and finish off the topcoat by using a short bristle brush.
The eyes need to be kept clean as some are apt to tear staining. They are not a breed that requires bathing for
every show, just every 8 - 10 wks is usually adequate, although in the Long
Haired the ears can become a little greasy and so they often benefit from a
quick pre-show wash. The Russian Toy can be shown either free standing or
stacked; standing still is not easy for a Russian Toy!! They love to move and are
at their best when able to stride around the ring head held proud and tail carried
high forming a slight curve (when standing it is acceptable for the tail to be
General questions we get asked about the Russian Toy
Q: What is a Russian Toy?
A: The Russian Toy was originally bred both as a ratter and a watch dog. They are active and cheerful with a larger than life personality,
Q: How big is a Russian Toy?
A: The standard calls for a height of between 20 – 28cm and a weight not exceeding 3kg. Breeders try to breed to this standard, although on occasion smaller or slightly bigger RT’s maybe produced.
Q: Is a Russian Toy a good pet for children?
A: Russian Toys are very people oriented, however, you must remember that they are small, fragile dogs especially when puppies. Children MUST be taught to treat the dog with respect. They must not be allowed to pull them around and treat them like a toy. Russian Toys can easily get injured through rough treatment and on occasion may bite if the dog has been constantly tormented (pulling tails, constantly picking them up and grabbing). As with ANY dog, constant supervision is required when children are playing with the dog. A good investment is a crate, it is a nice place for the dog to retreat to if it would like a rest.
Q: Are Russian Toys good with other pets?
A: When properly socialised the Russian Toy is perfect with other dogs, and gets on with other animals when properly introduced. If you have a larger dog, please supervise them at all times. It has not been unknown for a larger dog to accidentally injure a RT through play or simply sitting on them, for the simple reason that the larger dog is bigger and heavier. Again, a crate is a very good idea for when you can't be supervising them.
Q: Do Russian Toys moult?
A: In general the Russian Toy does not moult. Puppies will shed their puppy coat as the adult coat comes through and sometimes bitches will moult after a season.
Q: Do they need a lot of grooming?
A: Smooth haired Russian Toys require grooming once a week whereas an adult long haired Russian Toy 2 to 3 times a week. Both varieties can be bathed once every 8 to 10 weeks. It is important to keep the feathering on the ears of the long haired variety free of knots.
Q: Are they picky with their food?
A: Only if you let them. They are no different than any other dog. Don't give them too many treats as they won't eat their meals and will quickly become fat. A fat dog is not a healthy dog. If you are unsure what to feed your dog, ask the breeder or your vet.
Q: Are they easy to house train?
A: House training can take some time, but they will understand eventually. Take them out to go toilet at least every hour because their bladders are so small. A good idea is to watch them and when they do their business give a command such as 'go pee'. Praise them when they have gone to the toilet in the right place. If they do have an accident, don't shout at them or rub their noses in it. The dog will not understand what it has done wrong, but it will remember that you punished it. Simply clean up the mess and start again.
Q: Which is better, Boys or girls?
A: Either sex make fantastic pets, each dog is unique and it is down to personal preference.
Q: How many do they usually have in a litter?
A: The usual number in a litter is between 3 – 5. Some bitches may have the puppies naturally, but it is also known for bitches to need a c-section.
Q: Which is better a puppy or and older dog?
A: This depends on your circumstances. Often breeders have for sale older RT’s, this can be for a number of reasons:
1. The dog grew slightly too small or too large for showing/breeding. 2. The dog wasn't quite show quality, possibly the dog didn't enjoy showing or maybe has a tooth missing. 3. The dog is no longer being shown or bred from and is looking for a nice retirement home.
Q: Are Russian Toys noisy?
A: As the Russian Toy was originally bred both as a ratter and a watch dog. The second quality is still active in the breed and they can be very vocal. Russian Toys were originally bred to guard, by barking to alert their masters of an intruder. This instinct still lives on in RT’s today. If somebody arrives or when the RT gets excited (usually tea time and walkies) then they usually bark. A good thing to teach them is the word 'quiet' from a young age. If the dog barks, as soon as it stops say 'quiet' and praise him or give him a treat. Keep doing this and eventually he will understand that 'quiet' means stop barking and I’ll get a reward. Don't shout at your dog because he'll just think your joining in. You must bear in mind that you will never stop a Russian Toy from barking completely.
Q: Where can I find a breeder?
A: There are a number of ways to find a breeder.
1. By contacting the breed club www.rtbcuk.co.uk 2. By contacting the Kennel Club 3. Join the RTBCUK Facebook Page