American enthusiasts of the Moscow Toy Terrier (better known in North American as the Russian Toy, or Russkiy Toy) got exciting news from the AKC not long ago: The Russian Toy Club of America may now apply to have their breed moved into the Miscellaneous Class for July 2018. Anyone who has gone through the process of gaining full AKC acceptance knows that being an FSS-listed breed can feel like an eternity.
This brings light at the end of a tunnel that had its earliest beginnings in English Toy Terriers introduced to Russia in the 18th century. Over time, the breed came to be called not the English Toy Terrier, but the Russian Toy Terrier. Sadly, but in what is a familiar story, the breed was decimated in the years between 1920 and 1950. Breeding had stopped, and dog importation was forbidden. By the mid 1950s, very few toy breeds were left in Russia, let alone papered ones.
Russian breeders, however, managed to revive efforts to reinvigorate the breed. In 1958, two smooth-coated dogs were bred, one with slightly longer hair, and produced a male with spectacular fringe on his ears and tail. The dog named “Chicky,” was bred to a female who also had slightly long hair, and thus the longhaired variety of the breed was created and called the Moscow Longhaired Toy Terrier. Muscovite, Yevgueniya Fominichna Zharova, would go on to breed the first litter of three long coated Russian Toy Terriers.
When a new standard was drafted with the Russian Kynological Federation in 1988, the breed took its own path of evolution different from the English Toy Terrier. The two coat varieties were separate breeds until 1988 when they were united under one familiar name: The Russian Toy Terrier.