History of the Russian Salon Dog

Not too many dog lovers are yet familiar with this interesting new toy breed. The Russian Salon Dog is one of the newest breeds, created in Russia. The Russian Salon Dog is a toy breed dog with a long coat in warm golden color shades. This dog is a great friend for the family, a companion, and a fun and playful friend for children.

The breeding of this dog started in 1999. Nineteen years is not a very long time for a new breed, but many toy breed enthusiasts already fell in love with it. The Russian Salon Dog Fanciers shortened the breed name to a beautiful abbreviation “Rusalka”, according to the first and last syllables of the breed name in Russian – RUsskaya SALonnaya sobaKA. The word “RUSALKA” means “Mermaid” in Russian and is also associated with fine Russian blond hair color which resembles the Russian Salon Dog’s coat color.

What does a Russian Salon Dog look like? It’s a toy breed dog with a shoulder height from 8 to 11 inch and a weight from 4 to 8 lb. The Russian Salon Dogs have a beautiful and distinctive coat color that ranges from vibrant sable, sometimes with black tips, over orange and golden shades to almost cream white.  The Russian Salon Dogs can have a dark muzzle or white markings on their coat.

The Russian Salon Dog is a small but solid little dog, well balanced and proportionally built. It has a round head and a short muzzle. A scissor bite is desired. The small V-shaped shaped ears are carried erect and are obligatory for the breed. The head fall is tied into a bow to reveal the cute and trusting eyes of the Russian Salon Dog.

The body is covered with a long and fast growing coat, parting along the spine.  The structure of the coat is soft and sufficiently thick. The tail is sickle-shaped and also covered with long hair.

“Rusalka”s are often compared with Yorkshire Terriers, which is a related breed, but the comparison is only superficial. Yorkies represent the group of terriers or ratters, excitable and vigorous dogs, which used to be hunters. The Yorkies took part in creating the new breed in only in the very beginning and contribute a small part of the Russian Salon Dog breed.

The Russian Salon Dog has a more mellow and even temper, closer to Western breeds such as Shih Tzu or Maltese, which were also used in the process of creating this new breed. Yorkshire Terriers also have a very different coat color, usually Black & Tan fading to silver and grey. Rusalkas are usually red colored dogs. A wide range of red shades defines the primary coat color.
When it comes to genetics, Russian Salon Dogs moved far away from the initial breeds that were used to create them. The Russian Salon Dog was created by a complex process of composite crossbreeding of 5 different toy breed. Shih Tzu, Maltese, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier and Downy Chinese Crested The Russian Salon Dog is one of the few breeds which were not created on accident or randomly.

At this time, the Russian Salon Dogs have reached 12-15 generations of pure breeding and consistently pass their breed character to future generations. The latest technology in Zootechnics was used when creating this breed, such as genetic testing of coat colors and individual hereditary disorders of the dogs participating in the breeding program.
The Russian Salon Dog breed is very appreciated and much evaluated by the Russian cynological community. Russian Salon Dogs were registered with the Russian Kynological Federation (RKF) in 2013 and the breed standard was accepted. The population of the breed is on the rise, but the “Rusalkas” can still be called a rare breed. Not everyone can get a Rusalka puppy and sometimes you have to wait a long time before getting the long desired Russian Salon Dog Puppy.
Russian Salon Dogs are very beautiful and sophisticated looking dogs; they always look elegant. Trimming the coat is acceptable in the show ring to simplify the care and maintenance of the coat. There are three options for their grooming – Full Coat, Sports Cut and a Puppy Cut. Of course, the full coat looks more glamorous but all dogs, no matter if in Full Coat or Sports Cut, are evaluated in the ring together.
It’s easy to take care of the Russian Salon Dog. They don’t need park visits or long distance walks; the size of an apartment is well enough for them to cover their activity needs. They can be easily trained to use pee pads and other available indoor potty systems.
Female Rusalkas are very tender mothers and very loving and caring with their young. Male Rusalkas are not aggressive. Generally, there are 3 puppies in a litter, although there are litters with 6 and 7 puppies at times. Russian Salon Dogs live peacefully with each other and other pets. They are love to accompany their human on trips and errand runs. They are great to take anywhere and one can watch them play for hours. Russian Salon Dog lovers usually own 2 or more of these dogs to watch them play, sleep and eat together. Having several Rusalkas will keep them entertained while you need to leave for work.

The Russian Salon Dog in full coat should be bathed and combed regularly. It’s recommended to bathe a Rusalka every 10-14 days or as needed. The coat has almost no scent and it doe not shed – extra hair is simply left in the brush from regular care. The ear tips and paw pads are shaved.

Read the Interview with Yulia Lakatosh here.