We all know that Russia is known for its harsh climate during winters. It is true that living in areas with an intensely cold climate can be quite difficult. When it comes to the canines to withstand this harsh winter, there are certain types of popular Russian dog breeds that can live in this bitterly cool environment.

Some Russian dogs originated or developed mostly in Russia. When you think about Russian dog breeds, there are a few international dog breeds that may hit your mind. Some Russian dogs have gained international power outside their native country.

No doubt, some dog breeds like Siberian husky and Samoyed are popular all around the world. Apart from these dogs, Russia is home to several other coolest dog breeds. 

These dogs are quite similar in various ways, such as intelligence, loyalty, protection, and obedience. In addition to these features, they also have a strong build that makes them strong enough to withstand Russia’s harsh conditions. They can be excellent pets and working dogs. Before you own the one, make sure to understand a specific breed well in order to avoid regretting your decision.

Let’s have a look at some of the popular Russian dogs, including both large and small Russian dog breeds. You will get to know about their temperament, grooming, living needs, and several other things. Also, learn about their uniqueness.

Siberian Husky

This dog breed is one of the most popular dog breeds that were originated in Russia. Earlier, they were used as sleigh-pulling dogs. But even after decades, many of them are still doing this job. Do you know that Siberian Huskies are among the dogs that can run 100-miles a day in case of emergency deliveries?

These large Russian dog breeds are extremely playful, energetic, and lively. But, when it comes to working, they do not like to mess around. They do not only love work but are also sometimes mischievous and win the hearts of their new owners and families.

Husky Russian Dog Breeds

If you enjoy an active lifestyle and looking for large Russian dog breeds, Husky is the perfect breed for you. If they get the chance, they can run with you all day. But, for this, they need special training to learn long-distance running. Also, keep in mind that you should not force your Husky to be your lap dog.


If you have ever gone through the AKC list of most popular dogs, you might have found Samoyed at the 58th on the list. They look somewhat similar to Siberian Husky. These Russian dogs were bred by Samoyede and named after them. These semi-Nomadic people had migrated from Asia to Siberia around a thousand years ago. These dogs were treated as sled and hunting dogs.

These dogs have a friendly, gentle, and mischievous nature. They are also extremely social and require a lot of attention. Samoyed has a highly thick double coat. To keep them healthy, you have to brush their coat several times a week. Though you have to deal with the shedding, they shed heavily in the spring and the fall seasons.

Samoyed Russian Dog Breeds

These dogs need a high amount of exercise. If you own the one, you have to take them for daily walks and also need to spend quality time playing with them. They need to be kept in an enclosed space or on a leash as they are more likely to run away.

You can train them easily with perseverance and love. But, make sure to spend as much time as you can with these affectionate dogs.


These are also some of the large Russian dog breeds on this list. These dogs are ranked at 104 in the AKC breed popularity. Another name for Borzoi is ‘Russian Wolfhounds’. Earlier, these dogs were used to participating in wolf hunting. They are quite calm, affectionate, and loyal dogs.

You will feel affectionate when they run or just curl up at your feet. They are least interested in playing roughly. You also cannot find them doing anything undignified. The high-prey drive of these dogs helps them chase any small animal successfully.

Borzoi Russian Dog Breeds

Borzoi has a long, soft, and silky coat. Due to their thick coat, they need regular brushing, at least 3-4 times a week. They also need baths when required to evade stripping their coat of natural oils. You may find it challenging to train your Borzoi. It is so because they are prone to independence and stubbornness. So, you need to treat them with humor and love. These energetic dogs require lots of exercise daily.

Black Russian Terrier

They are other popular dogs on the list of Russian dog breeds. They have also gained a position in the AKC popular breed list. These dogs were bred by Soviet Army with the aim to treat them as ‘super dogs’ for them.

Black Russian Terriers are big Russian dog breeds that are highly intelligent, calm, and courageous. These dogs do not react much when there are strangers. The main aim of these dogs is to protect their family and feel relaxed when they are at home and monitor their surroundings.

Black Russian Terrier

They have a thick double coat that needs to be brushed many times a week. They also require occasional face trimming. Though these are energetic dogs, they need at least 40-45 minutes of exercise daily. This should include running, swimming, and long-running. If they do not get the proper exercise or you do not spend enough time with them, they can become destructive.

As these dogs are dominating in nature, so train them may be a little challenging. When everything is consistent, there will be reward-based training.

Russian Toy

These dogs have their origins in the English Toy Terrier. They had also lost their existence during the Russian Revolution in 1917. Then in 1958, with the help of various breeding lines, a new breed was introduced and named the Russian Toy.

Russian Toys are one of the small, intelligent, and playful Russian dog breeds. These small Russian dog breeds love playing the whole day and then relax on your lap for as long as you will allow them. These dogs are very affectionate with their family but keep reserved with strangers.

Russian Toy Dog breeds

Russian Toy has two breeds – one with a smooth coat, while another breed has long hair. They have grooming needs depending on which breed you own. The dogs with a smooth coat require low maintenance. They need just one brushing a week. On the other hand, the dogs with long hair need brushing 3-4 brushing a week. 

Russian Toy is moderately active. But, they need regular exercise i.e., even a short run is enough for them. They are easy to train. All thanks to their pleasing nature and intelligence. But, sometimes, training can be challenging due to their stubbornness.

Caucasian Shepherd 

Caucasian Shepherds are the big Russian dog breeds that were originated in the mountains of Kavkaz (Caucasus) in Eastern Europe. They were bred with the purpose of guarding the flocks of sheep. Many of these dogs are still used as guard dogs at Russian prisons.

These dogs are highly protective of their family. When they see any stranger in the home, they become aggressive. They are highly loyal to their owners. Due to their kind and sweet nature, they are preferred as family pet dogs by many people. But, only an experienced owner with a firm hand can handle these large Russian dog breeds.

Caucasian Shepherd Russian Dog breeds

They need their coat brushed at least 2-3 times a week. If you have a large yard in your home, they do best. They also love long walks daily. You require lots of patience and positivity during training to handle their extremely independent behavior and intelligence.

Central Asian Shepherd

They are ancient dogs that were developed by nature thousands of years ago. These dogs have the ability to withstand intense weather. These dogs work outdoors and are also known for protecting their loved ones.

They are confident and quiet Russian dogs.  They are also served as stoic watchdogs that are always ready for lifelong companionship. They are also known among the best pet Russian dogs due to their close-cropped ears.

Central Asian Shepherd

These dogs are quite low maintenance as they may need brushing once a month only. During the spring season, you will find their hair all around your home. At this time, they need more frequent brushings. These calm dogs require a fair amount of exercise. They work well in the home with a large yard. Though training can be a challenging task, they do well when handling with gentle hands.

Read More:  Long Haired Dog Breeds

Yakutian Laika

These big Russian dog breeds have their origin in the Yakutia region in Siberia. These dogs were used as family pets and for hunting by the native Yakute people. They are also counted in the list of dogs to pull sleds.

These dogs work well with kids and make strong bonds with them. They also do best if kept with other dogs. Due to their high prey drive, they are also used to chasing smaller animals. You must also know the fact that if these dogs are raised with a cat, they make a wonderful friendship.

Yakutian Laika Russian Dog breeds

These dogs are highly affectionate, dedicated, and gentle. You need to brush your dog at least once a week. These dogs shed heavily during the spring and fall seasons. During this time, they need to be brushed daily. These energetic dogs require lots of exercise every day.

Make sure not to leave your dog alone for long periods of time as they may get aggressive and depressed. They are intelligent and obedient, so they are easy to train. Also, keep in mind that though they are independent dogs, they are wary of strangers.

South Russian Shepherd

These dogs are also popular as the South Russian Ovcharka. They are believed to be the successor of the wolf united with sighthounds as well as other local shepherd dogs. Earlier, these dogs were used as herders. They were also served as the guardians of flocks of cattle in the Russian plains.

These Russian dogs are very independent and love to spend time with their owners. You can also leave them alone without any worry. They enjoy spending time walking around their territory. They are playful and affectionate moderately.

South Russian Shepherd

If you want to know about their coat, they have a double long-haired coat. They need regular grooming to help them with less shedding. Frequent brushing also helps in preventing tangles. Since they are highly energetic dogs, they need plenty of exercise. It is something like 60 minutes of exercise a day.

Just like most Russian dog breeds, training these dogs is also a challenging job. But, persistent and firm training can ease this process. Make sure to be more socialized with them.

Russian Spaniel

These Russian dogs were bred in 1951 in Russia with the aim to lengthen the legs of Spaniels, such as Cocker Spaniel. These dogs are quite joyful and friendly. They have the ability to become great family pets. They do well with kids and other pets as well.

They have the characteristic that they can chase small animals. But, due to their cheerful nature, they like nearly anyone they meet. If you are looking for Russian dog breeds with a double coat, Russian Spaniel is one of them. They have a medium-length coat that has the tendency to repel water and dirt.

Russian Spaniel

Due to this reason, they only need a few baths all through the year. But, it would be good to brush their coat many times a week to avoid tangles. Though they are highly energetic, they need a moderate amount of walks as well playtime. When they get a suitable amount of exercise, they can even work great in an apartment as well.

As these intelligent dogs are eager to please, this makes their training quite easier. 

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Final Words

The majority of these Russian dog breeds are bred to withstand frigid weather. Most of them have a long and thick coat, so be prepared with a lot of shedding. Also, many of them are served as working dogs and are known for their independent nature.

Just go through this list and choose the one that fits perfectly for your family. Own the best furry companion and enjoy many years living with your new family member.