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As a relatively new breed (the Cesky was only developed in the last century) much is known about the origins of the Cesky Terrier and the information is widely documented. A cross between the Scottish Terrier and a Sealyham Terrier, the Cesky was founded in Czechoslovakia by Frantisek Horak, who was keen to develop a small hunting terrier that displayed aggression during the hunt but that was also happy to be handled.
A keen breeder of dogs and ponies, Horak was already a keen breeder of terriers before he developed the Cesky. He became concerned that the Scottish Terriers he owned were too aggressive despite using the dogs for hunting purposes, and after meeting a Sealyham owner decided that by breeding the two terriers he could create a dog with a more acceptable temperament and that was smaller and more agile than its parent breeds.
The first true Cesky terrier was born on Christmas day 1949, and during subsequent breeding Horak kept detailed records on bloodlines in order to develop the characteristics and traits he desired. Sadly the foundation Cesky was shot and killed by a hunter in 1950 which caused a small setback for the breed.
Mating between a different Scottish Terrier bitch and the original Sealyham dog resulted in six further puppies which were the true beginnings of the Cesky breed. These new dogs offered Horak the more docile temperament yet retained a strong hunting instinct. They also boasted a coat that was easy to maintain and he also bred the Cesky to not have to undergo tail docking. The breed has enjoyed success both as a hunting animal and in the show ring.
Average height to withers: 11.5" (dogs) 10.5" (bitches)
Average weight: 6-10kg
The Cesky is a short, compact, muscular dog. It is agile, hardy and tough and is built for hunting a variety of game including duck, pheasants, rabbit and boar. It's perhaps most easily remembered for its long head and full 'beard', bushy eyebrows and a moustache, which gives him a slightly comical appearance.
The Cesky's silky soft coat comes in a variety of colours including blue-grey and tan, grey and a lovely coffee shade. All pups are born black but lighten between birth and two years old. In brown dogs the eyes are yellow, and in blue-grey dogs the eyes are brown.
Although the breed standard requires a calm dog that displays no aggression, as a hunting animal any owner should expect some typical 'terrier' moments. They can be stubborn and should be heaped with praise when obeying a command, that said they are intelligent and can be easily trained - some people even suggest they are naturally obedient. Ceskys have been reported as being quieter and less active than other breeds.
As a multi-purpose dog the Cesky is as happy in the field as he is on the sofa, but when he is groomed and ready for the show ring his beauty shines through. As a biddable companion, the Cesky should receive basic training when young and will enjoy it. He should be given ample opportunity to exercise both his body and his mind.
There are many opportunities to enjoy working in partnership with your Cesky Terrier - they love agility, junior handling, field trials and showing and are never happier than when fully occupied.
As with many pedigree breeds the Cesky does suffer some health issues that may be attributed to genetics. Scottie Cramp is perhaps the most prevalent condition and although not painful or life-threatening, can cause motor problems. It is usually caused by stress and will present itself with a strange swinging motion of the front legs and an arched back. Some dogs may seize up completely and be unable to walk, but once the stimulus has gone, so the cramp will disappear.
Sealyhams also present with a condition called Progressive Lens Luxation (PLL) - a painful eye problem where the lens moves from its normal position as the ligaments holding it in place have weakened. PLL can cause intense pressure in the eye which is very painful, and can even cause blindness; however dogs can now be tested for this distressing condition.
Other conditions affecting the breed include Patella Luxation, Urolithiasis (bladder stones), Degenerative Disc Disease and Pyometra - a disease affecting the wombs of entire bitches. It's important to note that Pyometra is not exclusive to the Cesky breed.
Ceskys make great pets - they are affable and sociable and get on well with everyone, cats and children included. They thoroughly enjoy the company of their family and will enjoy days out and even family holidays, but be warned! Their striking looks will draw lots of attention!
Sensitivity is an attribute not ascribed to many dog breeds, but the Cesky will certainly respond to its owner's moods and take its lead from its master's reactions. They may show wariness around strangers and will perhaps bark a little, but they will greet their owner's friends like old pals and with the prerequisite doggy excitement. The Cesky is not a breed to be left alone for long periods of time as they do have a tendency to be destructive and can be noisy.
He will need clipping every six weeks or so in order to keep his coat glossy and tangle-free. He will also require regular exercise with some off-lead time - a well-fenced garden is also essential for puppy training and for allowing him to let of steam when required.
Unfortunately the Cesky does have a tendency to put on weight so any feeding regime must be stuck to rigidly, with manufacturer's guidelines followed to the letter. Because of their love of food the Cesky can be easily trained, however treats must be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid unnecessary weight gain.