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The first documented existence of a Russian Toy-like Terrier was between 1716 and 1726. It was a dog named Lizetta, and personally belonged to Russian Emperor Peter the Great.  Indeed, the breed was developed as a companion dog for Russian nobility.

Some records indicate that eight Smooth Haired Toy Terriers completed in the dog show in St. Petersburg as back as 1874.

The more generally accepted first reference to the breed appears in 1907, when 11 Toy Terriers were shown at an exhibition in St. Petersburg. The breed was popular among aristocracy. Owning a pure breed dog was a sign of wealth, with the man having hunting dogs and the ladies a companion dog, the smaller and more elegant the more valuable.

Since the mid 1950s the resulting contemporary Russian Toy differed significantly from the classic Toy Terrier and development of breed moved forward. It was whilst working on the breed that in 1958 a long haired puppy was born.

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In 1960 the first printed description of the breed was the Smooth Haired variety Since then the breed has been growing in popularity; with the breed standard first coming into effect in 1966 under authorisation of the Ministry of Agriculture.

In November 2017 at the FCI Assembly in Germany the Russian Toy gained full recognition with CACIB status.                                                 The Russian Toy has gained popularity not only in Europe, but around the world including countries such as America and Australia.

On 18th January 2018 the interim breed standard for the Russian Toy had finally been approved and from 1st April 2018 the Russian Toy could at last be exhibited at KC licensed shows.

A Few Facts

About Russian Toys

  • Russian Toys have the habit of barking, such vocal pets.
  • The Russian Toys breed is considered pretty clever, but if you start to persist, you should resort to special training, and it’s better to do it earlier.
  • Be sure to monitor the consumption of Russian Toys food, they like to eat, this can lead to overeating.
  • Daily exercise with special Russian Toys exercises for health, because such dogs are especially energetic, although small.

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The Russian Toy itself is an energetic and nimble dog with a very playful attitude – this is a dog that really loves life! Their character is very terrier-like in being very daring and courageous, but rarely shows the typical hostility and aggression that terriers often get bad press for.
Like any dog, the Russian Toy is naturally territorial in order to ensure the safety of their owner, their pack, and their property. This territorial and loyal nature means that the Russian Toy is perfect for not only watch dog duties, but as a companion dog – they love laps and cuddles!
Many Russian Toys over the world can be seen Heelwork to Music, Cannicross, Obedience and they excel at Agility.
When properly socialised the Russian Toy is perfect with other dogs, and even gets on with other animals when properly introduced. Our cat and our Russian Toys get on fantastic with one another! They’re easy to train, and when trained through a fair and patient methods will reward their owners with an obedient and loving dog great with older children and other animals. This is a dog that is not recommended for families with very young children, as they could unintentionally harm such a small dog.
Russian Toys come in two typical coat varieties; long haired and smooth coated. We currently have both at Ollarena. whether long or smooth coated. The recognised colour combinations are Black and tan, brown and tan, blue and tan, lilac and tan. Red of any shade, with or without black, brown, blue or lilac overlay. Fawn, cream. Richer shades in all colours preferred. White markings not permitted.

Maintenance and care

Generally speaking the Russian Toy Dog has very few health concerns, and when properly cared for may live for approximately 12-15 years, though we know of dogs that have lived for more.

Like any dog, the Russian Toy can suffer from Patella Luxation – a condition where the knee cap slips out of position. This is normally an inherited condition and we have checked our dogs for signs of this disease prior to any breeding. Russian Toy Dogs can also be prone to bone fractures due to their small stature. As well, you could seriously injure a small dog by stepping or accidentally sitting on them, or dog can injure itself by jumping off of sofas or fearlessly leaping from your arms.

Occasionally a Russian Toy puppy will require assistance from a Veterinary Surgeon to remove any retained puppy teeth (also called deciduous teeth) as these may not fall out normally. These teeth can cause complications when the adult teeth emerge, resulting in conditions such as misalignment of the teeth. In order to keep your Russian Toy healthy, you will need carefully brush their teeth every day. This is very important. Do NOT use regular human toothpaste for your dog. Most human toothpastes include fluoride, which is extremely poisonous to dogs. You can find toothpaste formulated for dogs at most good pet stores.

Also there are many synthetic bones and chew toys that are specially designed to strengthen your dog’s gums and teeth. Just make sure you’re providing safe objects for your dog to chew on.


“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” – Josh Billings


The first documented existence of a Russian Toy-like Terrier was between 1716 and 1726. It was a dog named Lizetta, and personally belonged to Russian Emperor Peter the Great. Since then the breed has been growing in popularity; with the breed standard first coming into effect in 1966 under authorisation of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The original instance of a long coated Russian Toy (our favourite!) was a dog named Chikki, born from two smooth coated dogs that both had slightly longer hair than was typical. Initially, the puppy was not to be registered as its coat was too long meet the breed standard.

Chikki was registered and purchased by Evgeniya Fominichna Zharova, and Zharova is thus the long coated variety’s founding breeder as the first breeder to intentionally retain and breed a dog with a longer coat. Zharova developed the breed in Moscow, and so it came to be known as the Moscow Toy Terrier. More information on the history (in Russian) as well as the source of some of these photos, can be found here.


In 1988, the Russian Kynological Federation published a new breed standard, combining the short coated Russian Toy Terrier and the long coated Moscow Toy Terrier under “Russian Toy Terrier.” However, towards the fall of the Berlin Wall, the popularity of imported exotic breeds nearly drove the Russian Toy into extinction.

The Русский той was saved thanks to increased demand resulting the work of dedicated breeders, with kennels opening across the world and an increase in interest in Japan and the United States, Australia, and Ireland.

The Russian Toy now recognised by the Kennel Club from 1st July 2017. The breed is classified in the Toy Group on the Imported Breed Register.


A copy of the FCI Breed standard can be found here

A copy of the Kennel Club interim Breed Standard can be found here