About the breed - Russian Toy
Russian toy or russkiy toy was bred in Russia between the 18th and 19th century from manchester terrier and english toy terrier. It quickly became popular, also in the Russian court. In the 19th century, during the Russian Revolution, the breed was almost wiped out and it had to be brought back to life from the very few individuals that had survived. That's why the breed is relatively new today and it was not really known outside of Russia until recently. The first russian toys came to Finland in the middle of 1980's.
Russian toy was originally a companion dog, an alert watchdog and a rat hunter. Still today it is a true companion to it's family, as it loves to spend time with it's own peple. Russian toys are kind and happy dogs, energetic when needed but very calm when spending time at home. Their size is very convenient, it is easy to take them everywhere with you. They are single coated so they don't have the typical dog smell and they only shed very little. It is an intelligent and trainable breed, suitable for many hobbies.
Russian toys are often great personalities and they tend to develop a very unique way of interacting with their people. In my opinion they also have more facial expressions than many other breeds.
There are not many health problems in the breed. The one that is most significant, is patellar luxation. In Finland dogs used for breeding are checked for patellar luxation and hereditary eye diseases. Sometimes they can develop tartar or teeth problems and their teeth should be checked regularly.
In my opinion the breed is relatively easy to live with but every breed has it's downsides. The males often have a habit of urine marking inside the house at some level. Barking can be an issue with some individuals. Russian toy needs a proper socialization and training so it doesn't become fearful or aggressive towards people or other animals. Russian toys aren't fragile and they don't break down easily, but they are small so they may get hurt if dropped or if they play too rough with children or other dogs. Russian toys have a thin coat and they need clothes outside in the winter.
All in all it's a wonderful breed to live with - and usually when you take one, you're going to want many. That's what happened to me ;)