Top 12 Russian Dog Breeds

Russia enriches us with a great variety of Russian dogs that have won the affection of most of the people of the world, due to their beauty, temperament and strength. We are going to meet the most important Russian dog breeds.

Little russian dog

Also known under the names of Russian toy terrier, Russkiy Toy or Russian miniature, this is a small breed from Russia, which is not well known outside of its country.

It is believed that the main breed that was used for the creation of the small Russian dog was the English Toy Terrier, also known under the characteristic name of the English Black and Tan Toy Terrier.

At present, only two varieties of this small breed are known:

  1. Small Russian long-haired dog
  2. Small Russian shorthair dog

The long-haired variety is the oldest of the two, as it was the first to appear when the breed originated.

The physical appearance of these dogs is in a certain way similar to that of the Chihuahua, they even share temperaments, since they are affectionate dogs, they love to be in the company of their owners and they have a courage that contrasts with their small size.

Siberian Husky

It could be said that the Siberian husky is undoubtedly the most well-known breed of Russian dogs. These dogs have been loved by thousands of people around the world and are especially popular as companion dogs.

The beauty and personality of these dogs is one of the most striking attractions of the breed, as they are really special.

However, these are dogs that since their inception have been used and trained as working dogs, especially to pull sleds on the abundant snow that can be seen in Siberia.

This is one of the oldest breeds and since its time, it already served as companion dogs for families belonging to the nomadic Chukchi tribe, which were always in constant movement from northeast Asia, until reaching the northern part of Russia.

There is no doubt that the history of this beautiful breed makes it clear to us that for many years they have been dogs of enormous physical resistance, energetic and extremely devoted to whom it considers part of its family. In addition to this, it is characterized by being an attentive dog.

Laika breeds of Russia

The Laika breed of dogs has great importance within the history of the world. This is a Russian dog that has a very friendly character and in addition to that, it was the first living being that was sent into space on an official mission and on behalf of its country of origin. The famous Russian dog Laika, named “Kudryavka” in 1957.

Although the outcome of this story does not have the best ending, the Laika breed has a key role in what is considered as the space race of both the Soviet Union and the United States, it is for this reason that these will be eternally remembered dogs and pride.

There are many people who still believe that the name Laika is the name of a specific and unique breed of dog, however, the reality is that there are different types of dogs that are of Russian origin and that the name of their breed has the term of “Laika”.

The word Laika has the meaning of barker or barking dog, so it can be used to describe any dog ​​in the Russian language. The Laika we talked about earlier, in fact, was a mongrel dog who was rescued from the streets and later trained for the job she was going to do.

Today, in Russia, there is still a wide variety of Laikas that are still used for different jobs, especially to pull sleds. Some of these varieties are:

  • The Russian-European Laika.
  • Laika from Karelia.
  • Laika from West Siberia.
  • Laika from East Siberia.
  • The Laika of Yakutia.

The Russian Greyhound Dog: Borzoi

Although these are not highly recognized dogs outside of Russia, this breed is considered one of the most exuberant varieties of greyhound in existence. When we observe it, we can see a dog of good height, stylized and with an elegance that makes it stand out immediately.

The main characteristic of this variety is the long and curly coat that stands out and makes it unique.

These dogs have been the faithful companions of those belonging to the Russian nobility, in fact, they are the quintessential favourites for them. They are used as hunters for wild wolves and hares, and as companion dogs for their owners.

Over time, these dogs have begun to leave Russia and enter other countries as companion dogs. They have an affable and calm personality, they are extremely loyal and a little independent, so they will not need 24 hour attention.


This name includes several breeds of bichon- type dogs originating in Russia. Among the breeds we find the Franzúskaya Bolonka and the Bolonka Zwetnaya, these names refer to French (Franzúskaya), multicolored (Zwetnaya) and Bolognese (Bolonka).

This means that the Bolonka race may have arisen from the two races mentioned above.

It is a small breed Russian dog that usually does not exceed 5 kilograms in weight.

Its color, depending on which of the two varieties we mentioned before, can be white (in the Franzúskaya) or multicolored (in the Zwetnaya).

The Big Russian Dog: Guardian of Moscow

It would not be the first time that this dog has been compared and even confused with the Saint Bernard, however, it is not the same breed. The Moscow guard dog is one of the most beautiful giant breeds in Russia, which originated during the Soviet Union, between the 50s and 60s.

In a certain way it is understandable that this breed is confused with the Saint Bernard, since these were used to create the Moscow guard dog.

In addition, specimens of the Caucasian Shepherd and some other breeds that were dedicated to hunting within this country were also used.

We are talking about an extremely powerful Russian dog, which has a perfectly developed and imposing muscular system. In short, a dog that will attract attention wherever he goes.

These dogs are very protective of what they consider to be their family or pack, they can become independent and highly intelligent.

They were dogs used as guardians, so they do not tend to trust strangers, be they humans or other animals, that is why it is recommended that they socialize from an early age.

Eastern European Shepherd

This breed is also known by the name of the Belarusian Shepherd, they were also originated during the Soviet Union, with the idea of ​​having a breed that was obedient, highly intelligent and that would resist more than many other races.

Resistance for these dogs is vital, because they had to endure living surrounded by a really harsh winter and always being by the side of the military who, during their missions, were always in constant movement for hours.

The breeds that were crossed to obtain the Eastern European Shepherd were:

  • German shepherds.
  • Laikas.
  • Owtcharka.

They are dogs that are always willing to do work or comply with their daily routines and workouts.

One of the most relevant characteristics of this breed is that in general, they are considered as single-owner dogs, this because they are capable of creating an unbreakable bond with their guardians, which denotes trust and devotion.

The black russian terrier

Also called tchiorny terrier, we are facing a large logging dog, with a fairly robust body and peculiarly rustic, the muscles of these animals are perfectly developed.

Despite their name, the reality is that these dogs are part of the schnauzer and pinches family, they are not part of the terrier. If we look closely, we can see that they look very similar to the giant schnauzer.

Its beautiful appearance reveals a little about the personality of this animal, which is a bit complicated but quite strong.

Since their origin, these animals were educated to be Russian defence dogs, for this reason, they tend to be distrustful and even aggressive towards strangers.

People who wish to have one of these dogs at home, should know that they must be taught to socialize from puppies, in this way they can get used to interacting with people and other animals without risk.

Caucasian Shepherd

Caucasian Shepherd or Caucasian Shepherd, is a giant dog from Russia. As their name refers to us, these dogs come from the regions that are between the Caucasus Mountains.

They are dogs that have become very popular both within their country of origin and in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Since their inception, they have fulfilled the function of being Russian guardian and vigilant dogs, especially within the properties belonging to their owners.

It is a fairly long-lived canine breed, especially among the various breeds of giant dogs, in addition to this, they have incredible physical resistance, which makes it one of the most powerful dogs.

Although they are dogs that enjoy enviable health, they can be prone to the most common problems of large breed dogs:

  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • Patella luxation.


This is one of the most popular Russian dog breeds worldwide. Its most outstanding characteristics are its incredible resistance and its beautiful coat, which is usually abundant, long and fluffy.

The name given to these dogs comes from the homonymous nomadic tribes that belonged to Siberia and that could constantly be found traveling to different areas of Central Asia.

Being one of the most popular dogs in Russia, these have always been found in multiple homes in the country. However, in the beginning it was not like that, in fact, they were very little known, until 1889.

Ernest Kilburn-Scottse, an exporter, falls in love with the breed and decides to adopt a brown-colored specimen.

The family of the exporter is struck by the breed and decides to dedicate himself to its breeding in Europe, however, due to the beauty of the white-haired variety, Scottse decides that this is the standard characteristic of the Russian breed. That is why, today, most of the dogs of this breed are white.

Russian giant dog: Moscow water dog

Known by the name of Moscow retriever or Muscovite water dog, it is also a Russian giant breed. Sometimes, many tend to compare it with the Newfoundland dog, due to the similarity it has with it.

This Russian breed of dog was created from crosses with the Newfoundland dog with shepherds, both Caucasian and Eastern European.

At present, some experts are investigating if this breed of dog is really extinct or if there are some specimens that are kept hidden and isolated for protection, because to date, none have been known to be found with life.

Hortaya borzaya

It is a fairly old breed of dog from Russia, from the beginning they were bred as hunting dogs. It is a large specimen, originating from the disappeared Kievan Rus, then from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and finally from the Russian Empire.

They belong to the Greyhound type, however, their lineage comes from the lesser-known specimen of hunting sight hounds. These are characterized by hunting being guided by sight instead of smell, which is why they were selected due to this unique ability.

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