Ranked as 185th out of 197 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, the Cesky Terrier is clever, adventurous and family-oriented. This complete guide will review the breed’s history, personality, lifestyle requirements, and more.
|Breed Group||Terrier Group|
|Temperament||Clever, adventurous, family-oriented|
|Life Span||12-15 years|
|Colors||Grey (charcoal to platinum), with or without white, black, brown and yellow markings|
|Origin||The Czech Republic|
The Cesky Terrier was born in the Czech Republic as a result of one man’s efforts – Frantisek Horak. Frantisek Horak was a geneticist, breeder and sportsman who grew up hunting in the Bohemian forests.
According to him, the ideal hunting dog should follow prey underground like a true Terrier, hunt in packs like a true Hound and be obedient like a true Retriever. To create the perfect hunting dog, Horak crossed the Sealyham Terrier with the Scottish Terrier.
There is an old Czech adage that says “like dog, like master.” With bushy eyebrows, long beards and lustrous moustaches, this definitely describes Horak and his dog breed. Although popular among hunters and sportsmen worldwide, the Cesky Terrier remains a relatively scarce breed. It is estimated that there are no more than 600 Cesky Terriers in America.
The Cesky Terrier is short, has muscular legs, a long wedge-shaped head, and a longer spine than other dogs. The almond-shaped eyes are proportionate to its head, and its ears are set high, but droop down.
The breed’s hallmark traits include bushy eyebrows, a beard and moustache. These standout features give the cesky terrier overall serious appearance.
Cesky Terrier males and females are 10-13 inches tall (25.4-33 centimeters) and weigh about 14-24 pounds (6.3-10.8 kilograms).
The Cesky Terrier’s coat is long and moderately wavy. Cesky Terrier puppies are born either black or black and tan. As they mature, the coat color turns to gray. All shades of gray are acceptable – from platinum to charcoal.
The long and silky hair of the Cesky Terrier requires tons of grooming. To prevent mats and tangles, you should brush the coat daily. However, it can be done several times a week as well.
Monthly bathing will help keep the dirt at bay and retain the coat’s natural shine. The Cesky Terrier needs at least four professional trimmings per year. Moreover, the Cesky Terrier’s hallmark facial hair causes issues in other places. Excess hair grows in the ear canal and between the paw pads.
Because of that, the ears are prone to wax buildup and require weekly checking and cleaning as well as monthly trimming of the hair inside the ear canal.
As in all small dogs, tartar accumulation can be an issue unless the teeth are brushed more than three times per week and the mouth regularly cleaned. Finally, monthly nail trimmings are necessary to keep the nails short and prevent cracking and splinting.
Although more laid-back than its Terrier cousins, the Cesky Terrier is still true to its Terrier heritage – it is an active, brilliant, adventurous, outgoing family-oriented dog.
It is kind, friendly and patient with children of all ages, protective and loving toward family members, friendly with familiar people but reserved with strangers. Unlike other Terriers, the Cesky Terrier gets along well with cats and other smaller pets.
On the other hand, Cesky Terriers are also stubborn, strong-willed, tenacious and prone to chasing, digging and barking.
Raising a well-trained and properly behaved Cesky Terrier is based on obedience training and proper socialization. The Cesky Terrier has a strong prey drive but if raised together and properly trained, it can learn to get along with other pets.
Interestingly, it was bred to thrive on a certain environment – hostile forests of Bohemian. It would hunt a wide range of prey – from duck and pheasant to rabbit, fox and wild boar, the Cesky Terrier is tenacious, brave and smart.
If properly channeled, these qualities can make the training process a piece of cake. On the other hand, they make the training a nightmare if the handler does not know how to properly focus them into positive behaviors.
The Cesky Terrier loves to be physically active, and playtime with family is a great way to get it. Although a generally active dog, its exercise needs are definitely lower than in most Terrier members. Generally speaking, two moderate walks per day are enough to keep the Cesky Terrier physically stimulated.
It should be noted that bored and well-rested Cesky Terriers are prone to excessive digging. If you are not fond of moonscape craters in your backyard, make sure your Cesky Terrier is physically and mentally stimulated.
The average lifespan of the Cesky Terrier varies between 12 and 15 years. Despite its relatively long lifespan, the Rat Terrier is predisposed to several breed-specific conditions.
The most frequently reported major issues include orthopedic problems (hip dysplasia and patellar luxation), cardiac problems, eye disorders (cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and lens luxation), cancer and obesity.
The Cesky Terrier is particularly prone to a neurological disorder known as Scotty Cramp. It is not life-threatening but it is a debilitating and uncomfortable disorder that manifests with strong spasms and impaired walking.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club
Cesky Terriers need a high-quality diet consisting of healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Homemade diets are beneficial, especially for Cesky Terriers with a more sophisticated palate. To keep the coat shiny, it is advisable to use an omega-3 rich supplement.
Additionally, Cesky Terriers are gluttonous about their food and tend to gulp and overeat if not supervised. Overeating leads to obesity. Obesity is not a disease but it is a risk factor for several life-threatening diseases. Considering the breed’s predisposition to orthopedic issues, heart problems and certain types of cancer, obesity should be avoided and the Cesky Terrier’s food intake closely monitored.
Purebred Cesky Terriers usually cost between $1300 and $2600. A Cesky Terrier puppy with exceptional parental lineage may cost between well-above $3000. Adopting through rescue organizations or from a shelter is much more budget-friendly but considering the breed’s rarity, finding a Cesky Terrier that needs adoption is not an easy task.
The above mentioned price is just the purchase cost. Once the pup is home, there will be additional expenses for food and other supplies (treats, bowls, toys, harness and leash, beds), training classes, grooming, insurance and last but not least – vet bills.
Parenting a Cesky Terrier is a huge commitment in terms of time, responsibility and money. The good news is the Cesky Terrier retains most of its Terrier qualities while being mellower and more easily tractable. The bad news is you will have to spend lots of time at the groomer’s saloon.
You will also have to invest in extensive socialization and obedience training to redirect the strong prey drive into something positive. Running away is always and option with the Cesky Terrier which is why it needs to be microchipped and wear an ID collar tag.
Q: Do Cesky Terriers shed?
A: Members of this breed are classified as moderate shedders – they shed twice per year (early spring and late fall). Just because they do not shed extensively, it does not mean they are low-maintenance. The Cesky Terriers needs daily brushing, monthly bathing and professional trimming every two to three months. Unlike most Terriers, the Cesky Terrier does not need hand stripping.
Q: How much does a Cesky Terrier cost?
A: The Cesky Terrier is a relatively expensive dog breed. It is completely reasonable to expect purchase costs varying between $1300 and $2600. This is because the Cesky Terrier is a scarce breed – there are around 600 registered breed examples in the USA. Plus, the Cesky Terrier has small litters with only two to four puppies.
Q: Are Cesky Terriers good pets?
A: The Cesky Terrier is an exceptionally smart dog with adventurous spirit and natural fondness of children. It is also loyal, devoted and protective. These traits make the Cesky Terrier an amazing family dog even for families with small children.
Q: Are Cesky Terriers hyperactive?
A: No, although a member of the Terrier family, the Cesky family is mellower and more even-tempered than most Terries. It is fond of physical activities but it is also fond of spending the day cuddling or playing with family members.
Official Resources: Breed Clubs, Rescues & Helpful Links
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