History Of The Russian Toy By Sherri Rohm
In Russia before the revolution, one of the most popular decorative breeds was the English Toy Terrier (called the Toy Manchester in USA), a black and tan terrier well-known for its ratting abilities at the end of the Middle Ages. For a full account of the history and development of the breed here is a read only book about the breed: “English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan)” http://www.amaleketts.com/41676610
Tiny The Wonder working in a rat pit. In 1848 a black and tan terrier weighing just 5½lb (2.5 kg) named Tiny is recorded to have killed 300 rats in less than an hour.
This breed was created in England more than four hundred years ago. In those days ratting was a very important job. In fact, in medieval cities there was no water drainage, everywhere there were mountains of filth and garbage which encouraged rats to multiply. The rats not only destroyed property and food stocks, but were also carriers of many deadly diseases that at times killed up to 90% of the population of some European countries.
At the beginning of the 19th century competitions between Black & Tan Terriers were set up to see which dog could destroy the most rats. When rat-killing contests were forbidden, the smaller version of the Black & Tan Terrier resulted. The outlawing of this sport coincided with the formation of the Kennel Club. With its elegant appearance the Black and Tan Terrier moved effortlessly into the conformation show ring. At the first ever all breeds dog show there was a very respectable entry of Black and Tan Terriers divided by weight. This weight division continued with two varieties of Black and Tan Terrier until the 1920’s when they were split into two breeds, the larger Manchester Terrier and the smaller Black and Tan Terrier (Miniature). The name English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) was adopted in 1962. Thus began one of the most popular toy breeds. Soon they became popular all over the world, including in Russia where they had an interesting destiny.
The most prestigious and aristocratic club of St. Petersburg was the Imperial Yacht Club, and its members consisted of Grand Dukes and some high foreign diplomats. In 1915 the club had only 150 members, which some of them, regarding the exclusivity of the club, found too much.
In the English Club, which was founded in 1770, (mainly aristocratic) politicians spoke about their work over a game of chess, a glass of wine and a snack.
The New Yacht Club was founded by Grand Duke Vladimir Romanoff, a cousin of the Tsar, and was a haunt for young noblemen. Women were seldom admitted.
Opera and ballet going was almost obligatory for the young nobility. In the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg mainly Russian performances were given, while the performances in the Michael Theater were mostly in French.
The Alexander Theater was usually visited by the lower nobility, students, civil servants and artists. Especially the Petersburg nobility which often spoke French amongst each other. Almost everyone visited Paris frequently.
While the young noblemen had their hounds the Ladies needed a small companion dog to accompany them to all of the grand parties that they attended. You can see in many “Family Portraits” the lady with her small companion dog.
There was always a reception to go to, and every hostess made sure that important guests were invited. A reception or a party with less than a hundred guests was a rare phenomenon. Before World War I Countess Maria Kleinmichel, the sister of General Count Keller, was considered the best hostess of St. Petersburg. Lots of foreign diplomats, artists, beautiful women and ministers visited her salon. When the war broke out and all `Germans’ were considered possible enemies, the salon of Countess Elizabeth (Betzy) Shuvalov, née Bariatinsky, became the center of the Petersburg society.
In St. Petersburg everyone could find a salon where one could feel himself at home. Every Sunday evening there was a religious salon at the house of Dowager Countess Ignatieff. Her Monday evenings were much gayer, just like the balls of Madam Serebriakov, where always something special happened.
The difference between the Moscovian and the Petersburg nobility was remarkable. The Moscovians called the Petersburgers `Germans’ (everything that was not Russian, had to be `German’), and they thought that the Petersburgers squandered the Russian culture. The Petersburgers called the Moscovians `narrow minded’ and `old fashioned’. The differences showed in many ways; St. Petersburg had a certain Italian and Parisian elegance, while in Moscow one could clearly sense xenophobia.
On the large estates of the Russian Nobility the Russian Toys were used as “Live Bells”. The Russian Toys always eager to be outdoors would alert the owners whenever anyone came onto their property. The Russian Toys had bells around their necks and the would come racing in ahead of the approaching carriages and the “big guard dogs” would take it from there to “greet” any guests.
During revolutionary times, wars and the Stalin era, the breeding of Toy Terriers was very isolated and spread out all across Russia. For breeders, who have taken fifty years for restoration of the breed, it was necessary to collect breeding stock from all over Russia. Purebred Toy Terriers with pedigrees were almost extinct; therefore Toy Terriers used in those days for breeding were often far from being purebred. During this period it was undoubtedly justified. Unfortunately, using dogs of unknown origin for breeding continued for several decades, which did not allow the genotype to stabilize into a strong type.
Vigorous efforts of breeders have since led to more positive results. For small city apartments in which the overwhelming majority of the Soviet citizens of those times lived, small toy terriers were ideally suited: a very small space taken up by the dog and very inexpensive to feed. Their popularity and number began to increase quickly.
In 1960 at the All-Russia exhibition of dogs in Moscow 76 toy terriers were entered, and it is important to note, that all of them were with a known pedigree. Not only Moscow dog breeders were active in restoring the breed. Significant populations of dogs of this breed were also generated in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Alma-Ata, etc. The appearance of toy terriers is considerably differed from shape of the true English Toy Terriers. The reason for this was political conditions in the USSR – the Russian dog breeders worked in total isolation from colleagues in other countries, at times not having absolutely any information on development of breeds abroad.
Photos from the catalog of the 4th Moscow exhibition Toy Dogs M.VDNH Moscow, 5-6, and 12-13 October 1968 Information provided Olga Rozhkov (Krasnoyarsk) email@example.com
The Soviet dog breeders wrote standards on western breeds of dogs rather different from standards accepted by the rest of the world. This also happened with the Toy Terrier. According to the standard accepted in the USSR, the Toy Terrier should have a height at withers of 10-26 cm, a head with sharp transition from a forehead to a muzzle (‘stop’), a dome-shaped forehead and the short, pointed muzzle. In the standard it was decided that colors could be black-tan, brown-tan, and also any shades of red or blue.
At the same time the true English Toy Terrier standard, developed in its native land of England, this standard stated that the English Toy Terrier should be 25-30 cm height at withers, being exclusively black-tan in color, has a head in the form of a narrow wedge with a completely flat forehead, a long and deep muzzle well filled under the eyes.
Thus, development of this breed in Russia became rather distinct from the development of the breed in the rest of the world. For three decades the Russian dog breeders diligently formed the shape of the Toy Terrier fixed by the Soviet standard while continuing to call them English Toy Terriers.
To compare the Russian English Toy Terriers to English Toy Terriers of other countries was not possible; they did not resemble the western version of the English Toy Terrier standard. Eighty years later when the political situation in Russia changed and then allowed the Russian breeders to see dogs of other countries, to visit the European exhibitions of dogs, to communicate with the western dog breeders and to use the world breeding literature, it then became clear that the Russian English Toy Terriers had evolved into their own unique breed.
The originality, uniformity and the large number of the Russian Toy Terriers quite corresponded to the concept of an entirely independent breed. Thus, they became officially recognized as an independent national breed with two varieties: the Russian short-haired toy terrier together with the long-haired variety was recognized as one breed in 2000 under the name of Russkiy Toy.
1957 is considered to be the year of the birth of long-haired toy terriers, when from two short-haired toy terriers (one of them had a little bit lengthened fur and was without pedigree) was born a black-tan male with hair on his ears and fringes who was named Chiki. The original appearance of Chiki greatly interested dog breeders, and they undertook to fix by methods of selection these external attributes. Chiki was bred to a black-tan short-haired female called Irma. (ow. Kuznetsova) Irma’s coat was slightly long. Irma gave birth to three long-haired puppies who have served as the primary base for the beginning of the formation of the long-haired variety.
Cicco Nelly, ow. Tumanov and puppies Cicco (?)
The founder of Moscow’s long-haired toy terrier Cicco Postcard, 1969, photo by V. Eliseev. black and tan longhair male, p. in 1957 from two
hairless toy terriers.
On the original photo EF hand Flame says “Nellie ow. dogs, ow. Zharov Eugene Fominichna Tumanov with his family, in 1964.”
Photo Credits Polovinkina Irina archived Oksana Black, Moscow
In the catalog of the All-Russia exhibition of hunting and decorative dogs who were exhibited in Moscow in 1960, and also in St Petersburg in the same year “Help book on dog breeding” (P.A. Zavodchikov, A.P.Mazover, etc.) this resulted in the Papillion standard, obviously adapted by the Soviet breeders which became available to them to be used as breeding literature to base the Russian Toy standard upon. The Papillion standard accurately describes our toy terrier ….
Svetlana says “I bought an old book Handbook of dog breeding, 1961 edition”. The book is a little bit about the Toy-Terrier and the photos of the Toy-Terrier. I have found myself wondering whether they live now,” (the children of the toy-terrier’s pictured in the book).
It has been almost 46 years (since the book was put into a set of 28.12.1959 years). The authors of the book: Breeders Peter A., Kurbatov Valerian Vladimirovich, Mazower Alexander, Viktor Nazarov. ” Unknown origin of the nickname and the dog, the city, the owner, the author of the image (?) For the server, the information provided RUSDOG.ru Svetlana Barabash Vladivostok firstname.lastname@example.org
The first standards of long-haired Toy Terriers have repeated the Papillion standard almost literally. There was an attempt of the Soviet dog breeders to create Papillon’s instead, of a new rather original breed that has turned out.
The long-haired Toy Terriers coat is described as follows: Dense fringes on ears with furnishings and the longcoat hair on the body. Some dog breeders believe that the possible ancestors which contributed to the long-haired Toy Terrier’s specific “coat”, was the long-haired Chihuahua.
Some feel that it is possible but improbable: The breeding of Chihuahua in those fifty years in Russia was extremely limited, and the first long-haired Chihuahua to come to Russia was presented to N.S.Hrushchevu during a visit to Cuba only in 1959.
However it must be remembered, that in those days two breeds of dogs possessing dwarfish growth and long coat, with excellent feathers on ears and furnishings were rather widespread, those breeds being the Pekingese and Japanese Chin.
[The problem with this is because of the Genetics involved of the white color in the Japanese Chins and the breed specific legs of the Pekingese. The Genetics of dropped ears is due to the poor development of cartilage in the ears].
Certainly, compared to Toy Terriers they (Japanese Chin & Pekingese) possessed rather wide, and very short muzzles, but this attribute at selection is rather unstable and consequently is lost already in the first crossbreeding. And as to drop ears,to this day in long-haired Toy Terriers ears drop much more often, than among short-haired variety.
[Chihuahuas and Papillon’s also has this problem of dropped ears and the muzzles at that time would have been more like a Terrier for both of these breeds].
The long-haired Toy Terriers is very weather hardy in cold weather allowing the opportunity of walks with long-haired Toy Terriers in cold weather.
Long-haired Toy Terriers very quickly became popular, and their breeding began to increase rapidly. From the very beginning of the formation of the breed, breeding work with them was headed by Zharova Eugeny Fominichna and her name is inextricably related with these dogs.
The birthplace of these puppies was Moscow, therefore they were named the Moscow Toy Terriers. The first time Moscow Toy Terriers were officially exhibited was in June, 1964 at the 31st exhibition of the hunting and decorative dogs. 24 dogs were entered.
In 1965 the standard of the breed and the name Moscow long-haired toy terrier was officially fixed and accepted. This standard has existed up to now only with very small updating and has been changed more recently.
The center of cultivation of breed became MGODS ( A Russian Dog Club), and subsequently MGOLS (A Russian Dog Club). At exhibitions of these Clubs in those days were exhibited at times more than eighty dogs. However in the eighty years a sharp reduction of stock of this breed was noticed.
One of the reasons for this phenomenon was due to mass advertising of the western breeds of dogs and their intensive delivery into Russia. Brought In great numbers were the American Cockers, Miniature Schnauzers, and many others that were imported. These breeds in Russia were promptly increased and have practically superseded domestic Toy Terriers from their native area of dwelling.
Besides theToy Terriers quite often served as exchange currency for a supply of foreign dogs. On the one hand, it reduced numbers of Moscow Toys in Russia, but with another it promoted their moving worldwide in their recognition as a breed. Now the long-haired Toy Terriers can be seen in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany, USA, Estonia and a number of other countries, but especially intensive breeding is being conducted in Finland.
At the beginning of the ninetieth year in Russia the breeding of long-haired toy terriers had decreased to a critical level. Some breeders have already started to talk of the necessity of discontinuing breeding of this breed, but since this moment they began to be restored quickly. It appeared possible due to a number of young, progressively adjusted dog breeders which have actively been put into operation & have become interested in the breeding of long-haired Toy Terriers.
Besides, by this time in Russia the modern breeders realizing the opportunity of the existence of private kennels which have soon taken the central place in breeding has now been developed in Russia the numbers of dogs began to grow quickly, and soon the breed has started on a new era of development.
In May 1907 there was an exhibition with 11 Russian Toys.
In 1923, in Moscow, 2 Russian Toys were exhibited.
At the Leningrad exhibition in 1947 only one Russian Toy was shown.
In 1966 the first standard for Russian Toy was written.
At the 1967 Soviet dog show about 100 Russian Toys were shown.
In 1988 The Russian Kynological Federation (RKF) published a new, official breed standard for the Russkiy Toy, The long-coat and the smooth-coat were entered as two variations of the same breed.
In 2001 a new breed standard was written.
According to a new level of development of breed and new breeders the standard of the breed has been updated. The new standard unites long-haired and short-haired toy terriers as one breed with the name the Russian Toy.
In 2006 the breed standard was confirmed by RKF. In February 2006 the breed was approved by the FCI, and is applicable today.
On January 1, 2010, The American Kennel Club (AKC) approved the Russian Toy into its Foundation Stock Service (AKC/FSS) program.
In 2016 the Russian toy was recognised as a breed by the Kennel Club. Go here for full details.
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