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 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.
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.
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.