Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Biewer Terrier
Average Cost to keep/care for a Biewer Terrier
Biewer Terriers are relatively new to the dog world having come about when a recessive gene from a pair of Yorkshire Terriers produced a unique piebald puppy. Normally, Yorkies are slate grey and tan, or cream and merle, so this piebald puppy intrigued and delighted breeders Werner and Gertrud Biewer, who decided to start selectively breeding dogs with an end goal being to create more puppies with such an attractive coat colour. Today, although still fairly unknown here in the UK other than with enthusiasts of the Yorkshire Terrier, these charming little dogs with their lovely coats are starting to make an impact in the dog world thanks to their charming looks and kind, loyal, affectionate natures.
The Biewer Terrier came about quite by accident when Yorkshire Terrier breeders in the States found a piebald puppy in a litter of dogs they had bred in 1984. They found the colouring charming and began a selective breeding programme with the end goal being to produce more terrier puppies of this type. They continued their endeavours over several years until they produced dogs they considered as being bred true to type. It was not until 2003 that they introduced the Biewer into America's dog scene when they were an immediate success.
These little dogs were originally called "Bierwer Yorkshire Terriers a la Pom Pom" and they were officially recognised by the llgemeiner Club der Hundefreunde Deutschland in 1989, but the United Kennel Club of America did not recognise the breed until 2016. After extensive tests carried out in America, Biewer Terriers are a definite separate breed and not just piebald Yorkshire Terriers as such a breed standard was established in the States and these little dogs were named Biewer Terriers for the first time. Breeders are therefore, not encouraged to cross the two terriers in their breeding programmes.
Today, the Biewer and the Yorkshire Terrier are considered to be unique breeds in their own right although these charming little terriers are not recognised as a breed in their own right by The Kennel Club here in the UK, but they are registered as such with the American Kennel Club.
Height at the withers: Males 22 cm, Females 22 cm
Average weight: Males 3.1 kg, Females 3.1 kg
The Biewer is a typical toy terrier in appearance with luxurious silky hair that hangs straight from the middle of their backs down each side of their body as well as from the bottom of the skull and from the full length of the tail. They are compact, neat little dogs and their bodies are slightly longer than they are tall. Their heads are very slightly rounded with dogs boasting a moderate stop. Muzzles are short and neat with Biewers having a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones.
Their eyes are medium in size and a dark brown colour being either almond-shaped or round with black rims and Biewers always boast having a keen, intelligent look about them. Ears are v-shaped and small being completely covered in hair which dogs carry upright. They are set moderately apart and to the back of a dog's head adding to their charming appeal.
Their necks are quite long in relation to the rest of their bodies which allows these little terriers to carry their heads high. Their neck blends neatly into a dog's shoulders. They have perfectly straight, well-muscled front legs that are nicely covered with hair. Their toplines are level and dogs have a nice width between their chests and moderately well sprung ribs.
Loins are short, but powerful and their bellies are slightly tucked up adding to the Biewers athletic appearance. Back legs are straight and nicely covered in hair. Their feet are round and nails can be either black or white. Their tails are nicely covered with long hair that forms a plume which dogs carry high with a curve in it.
When it comes to their coat, the Biewer Terrier boasts having a long, silky, luxurious and flowing coat that's super soft in texture. The hair on a Biewer's head is long which people usually tie up in a top knot. These lovely little terriers can be the following colours:
Biewer Terriers are known to be large dogs in a very small dog's body. They are energetic, highly intelligent, affectionate and incredibly loyal to their families. However, they can be a little strong willed at times which is one of the reasons these little dogs need to be gently taught who is boss in a household. When they know their place in the "pack", Biewers are generally well-behaved and fun to have around.
They can be a little aloof and wary of strangers and have been known to be a little aggressive around other animals which is why they need to be well socialised from a young age. Biewers, much like their Yorkshire Terrier cousins can be a little yappy at times with the end result of them becoming quite demanding if they are allowed to always get their own way which is a typical ‘terrier’ trait and why these little dogs need to know who is the boss in a household. The problem is that Biewers are highly intelligent and therefore very good at getting what they want using their charming, delicate looks to their advantage. Therefore, they tend to get away with things that a larger dog would not be allowed to.
With this said, in the right hands and with the correct amount of socialisation and training, Biewers can be taught how to behave and it will prevent them from developing "Small Dog Syndrome" which can see dogs becoming neurotic and hard to live with. Biewers have earned a reputation of being hard to housetrain, but with patience, perseverance and understanding, it is possible to teach these little terriers to do their business outside, it may just take a little longer than with some other breeds.
They are a good choice of family pets in households where the children are older and therefore know how to behave around such small and fragile dogs. Biewers are not the best choice for families with younger children or toddlers, but with this said, they make wonderful companions for people of all ages.
Biewers are highly intelligent little dogs and they are very quick when it comes to learning new things. However, this includes the good and the bad which owners have to bear in mind when sharing a home with a puppy or young dog. The problem is that sometimes a Biewer is too intelligent for their own good and know exactly how to wrap their owners around their little paws to get what they want. This can lead to them becoming more and more demanding which can quickly escalate into these small dogs ruling the roost.
Their training has to start as early as possible and it has to be consistent for Biewers to understand their place in the pack. It cannot be stressed enough the importance for Biewer puppies to be well socialised so they mature into confident, more outgoing yet calm adult dogs. They are quite sensitive by nature especially when they are going through their "puppy" stage and as such, they do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction or heavy handed training methods.
They do, however, answer well to positive reinforcement but it's important not to overdo the "treats" because these little dogs are prone to put on too much weight all too easily. It is far better to offer fewer food rewards and to make sure they are high value ones rather than offer lower quality treats when a dog gets something right which is particularly important when housetraining a Biewer Terrier.
Biewer Terriers are not the best choice for people with toddlers and young children because these little dogs can be a little snappy if they feel threatened in any way. They are a good choice in households where the children are older and therefore know how to behave around dogs and more especially when they are interacting with such small dogs.
They are known to be a little aggressive around other animals and this includes cats which is why they need to be well socialised from a young age although it would be a mistake to trust a Biewer around other smaller pets because of their "terrier" traits. They can be aggressive towards other dogs too, bearing in mind that Biewers have no idea of how small they really are. As such care has to be taken when out on a walk in a public place where other dogs are commonly being walked too.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Biewer Terrier is between 12 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Much like their Yorkshire Terrier cousins, the Biewer although a relatively new breed is known to suffer from a few hereditary and other health issues which are worth knowing about if you are hoping to share a home with one of these lively and loyal terriers. The health issues most commonly seen in the breed includes the following:
As with any other breed, Biewers need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in tip-top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, they need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Biewers have long, silky and flowing coats which are made up of hair very similar to that of people and as such they do not shed in the same way as other dogs. Their hair also grows continuously throughout the year rather than in short bursts. As such, they are quite high maintenance when it comes to keeping things tidy. Their coats need to be brushed every day to prevent any tangles and matts from forming.
Their top-knots need to be brushed on a daily basis too before being tied back up to prevent the hair from becoming torn and ragged. It's also important to keep an eye on their back-ends and to make sure they are clean, washing them when necessary. Because Biewers are prone to dental issues, it's essential for their teeth to be checked and cleaned every day so that if there is a problem it can be dealt with sooner rather than later.
They also need to be professional groomed on a regularly basis and if a dog is not being shown, their coats can be clipped or trimmed which makes it a lot easier to keep things tidy and looking good in between visits to a grooming parlour. Unlike other breeds, as previously mentioned Biewers, much like their Yorkshire Terrier cousins do not shed their coats in the same way as other dogs because their hair grows throughout the year.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Biewers might be small in stature, but they are energetic little dogs and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. Because they are so intelligent, if they are left to their own devices for any length of time, they quickly become bored and will look for ways to keep themselves busy and entertained. This often sees these energetic little dogs developing some unwanted behaviours which includes excessive barking, being destructive around the home and they can suffer from separation anxiety too.
A good 30-minutes exercise is ideal, but being terriers, Biewers enjoy running around a back garden as often as possible to really let off steam bearing in mind that the fencing has to be extremely good to keep these little dogs in. The other thing to bear in mind is that these little dogs feel the cold and would need to wear a coat when outside during the colder winter months whether they are out on a walk or running around a back garden.
With this said, Biewer puppies should not be over exercised and this includes being allowed to jump up or down from furniture, running up and down stairs because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives.
If you get a Biewer puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upset and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
It's also essential for these little dogs to be fed at the same time every day and not to make them wait too long in between meals because they are prone to suffer from Hypoglycaemia which is especially true of puppies and younger Biewers.
If you are looking to buy a Biewer Terrier you may have to agree to go on a waiting list because these charming little dogs are difficult to find. You would need to pay anything upwards of £1000 for a well-bred puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Biewer Terrier in northern England would be £18.12 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.22 a month (quote as of June 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £15 - £20 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Biewer and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £600 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Biewer Terrier would be between £30 to £60 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree puppy.
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