Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Cesky Terrier
Average Cost to keep/care for a Cesky Terrier
Breed Specific Buying Advice
Cesky Terriers are a relative newcomer to the UK with under five hundred of these charming little dogs in the country. They are the Czech Republic's national dog and for good reason because not only is the Cesky adorable looking they boast having affectionate, loyal and kind natures too. They adore human company and are never happier than when they are in a family environment getting on well with children and other animals with the greatest of ease. With this said, they are terriers and were bred to hunt which means that even in a home environment, Cesky Terriers have a high prey drive.
They are the perfect choice for first time dog owners who want to share a home with an highly intelligent, energetic canine companion that loves to have something to do. However, finding well-bred Cesky Terrier puppies in the UK can prove challenging with long waiting lists because so few are bred and registered with the Kennel Club every year.
The Cesky Terrier was created and developed by a man called Frantisek Horak in Czechoslovakia during the last century where the breed is known as the Czech Terrier or Bohemian Terrier. The young Horak not only bred dogs, but he bred ponies too which he started at the end of the Second World War. Later in life, Horak studied to become a geneticist working at the Academy of Science in the capital of Prague. He earned the reputation of having wonderful examples of both Sealyham and Scottish Terriers which he used when hunting and set up kennels named Lovu Zdar which translated means “Successful Hunter”.
It was in 1932 that he acquired his first Scottish Terrier but found that the dog was very aggressive. Then in 1934, he became interested in the Sealyham Terrier and thought that by crossing the two breeds, he would be able to develop a good hunting terrier that could work in a pack and “go to ground” when needed being small enough to do so. He crossed the two breeds in 1949 to create the first Cesky which he named Adam Lovu Zdar. Horak recorded all the bloodlines he used in his breeding programme over the following years. However, his dog was shot by a hunter a year later by mistake which set Horak’s breeding programme back considerably, but he continued using a Scottish Terrier called Scotch Rose. Six puppies were produced which were to be the foundation stock for the Cesky Terrier.
Horak’s end goal was to breed a terrier with a narrow chest, a moderate size head and longer legs. He also wanted his terriers to have softer coats and a less aggressive temperament when they were not working which would make them that much easier to handle. He liked the dark coat of the Scottish Terrier and the drop ears of the Sealyham Terrier which he wanted to introduce into the mix. His terriers were bred to hunt rabbit, duck, fox and wild boar so they need to be courageous and have a lot of stamina. Horak also knew that easy maintenance coats were essential in his hunting dogs and as such, a Cesky Terrier’s coat should never be hand-stripped but clipped instead. To make life easier, Horak decided that his Cesky Terrier’s tail should not be docked unlike both of the parent breeds.
It was not until ten years later in 1956 that the Cesky Terrier was seen by the public and then 3 years later the Czechoslovakian Kennel Club recognised the breed. Over the next ten years, the breed gained popularity more especially with the hunting fraternity throughout Europe. At one point, Horak was given permission by the FCI to use another Sealyham Terrier so that new blood could be introduced to the breed and as such both in 1984 and then a year later, this was achieved.
Cesky Terriers are highly prized in their native country, but their popularity has also risen in other countries of the world which includes many Scandinavian countries. The breed appears on many postage stamps, in artwork and in movies as well as on television. The breed is not only popular on the hunting field, but in the showring too. They are renowned for their charming looks and adorable personalities with the Cesky Terrier having been officially recognised by The Kennel Club in 1990 and although their numbers are still low over here, their popularity is rising, albeit slowly. As such, waiting lists tend to be long and well-bred puppies can often command a lot of money.
Height at the withers: Males 29 cm, Females 27 cm
Average weight: Males 6 - 10 kg, Females 6 - 10 kg
The Cesky Terrier is a short-legged and sturdy dog that boasts being longer than they are tall. Their defining physical feature has to their long heads which are adorned with a rather bushy beard, thick moustache and bushy eyebrows. They have a distinct stop and their noses are coloured according to their coats as are the colour of their eyes which are medium in size. These little dogs always have a friendly, affectionate look in them.
Their ears are moderately large and triangular in shape, being set high and hanging down which dogs carry close to their cheeks. The Cesky Terrier has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. They boast moderately long, elegant yet strong necks which have a little loose skin around the throat.
Their shoulders are well laid back and forequarters are muscular with dogs boasting nice, well-boned front legs. Their bodies are moderately long and their backs rise gently to nicely arched, long, broad and muscular loins. Briskets are cylindrical with dogs having well sprung ribs. The Cesky has a slightly tucked up belly. Their hindquarters are powerful with dogs having muscular upper thighs and shorter, but strong lower thighs. Back legs are strong with dogs having well-padded and nicely arched feet with their front feet being larger than their back ones. Tails are long which dogs carry down when at rest with the very tip being slightly raised. However, when alert or excited a Cesky carries their tail slightly higher.
When it comes to their coat, the Cesky boasts having a slight wavy one with a silky sheen to it. Their eyebrows are prominent, as are their beards and moustaches. Accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration are as follows:
It is worth noting that the accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration can differ from those set out in the breed standard which are as follows:
Dogs can have yellow and grey marking on their cheeks, on the underside of the muzzle, neck, breast and on the lower parts of their legs as well as under the tail. They can also have a white collar and white tip to the tail which is allowed under the Kennel Club breed standard. It is also worth noting that a dog’s skin on grey/blue coated dogs is grey and that on light brown coated dogs it is flesh coloured.
When a Cesky Terrier moves, they do so vigorously and briskly showing plenty of drive in their hindquarters. Their legs move parallel to each other both in the front and behind.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge the faults on how much they affect a dog's overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.
Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a dog can be a little lighter or heavier as well as slightly taller or shorter than set out in the Kennel Club breed standard which is only given as a guideline.
The Cesky Terrier is known to be a calm and placid character and would rarely show any sort of aggressive behaviour. They tend to be a little wary of strangers and like to keep their distance until they get to know someone. With this said, Ceskies are good-natured terriers that adore human company which means they are great choice for people where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out so they always have company.
They are not a good choice for people who spend most of the time out of the home leaving their dogs to their own devices which can lead to a Cesky developing separation anxiety. This is especially true if these terriers are not given enough daily exercise and mental stimulation which they really need to be truly happy, well-rounded characters.
They are clever little dogs and they boast having all the usual terrier "traits" which means they love to chase anything that moves which includes smaller animals and pets. It would be a mistake to trust a Cesky with any pets because their prey drive would get the better of them which could end in a disaster. Puppies need to be well socialised from a young age which has to involve being introduced to as many new situations, people and other animals as soon as they have been fully vaccinated for them to mature into well-rounded, confident and well-behaved dogs.
The Cesky Terriers is a good choice for first time dog owners because they are so amenable and people-oriented, loving nothing more than to please and to entertain their families. They are particularly good with young children and older people too although playtime can get a bit boisterous at times.
Although Cesky Terriers are social by nature, they have a high prey drive and will happily chase anything that tries to run away from them or that they spot in the distance. As such, care should always be taken as to where and when a Cesky can run off the lead, more especially when there is livestock or wildlife close by.
Cesky Terriers have a very playful side to their natures and love to entertain and be entertained. They are known to be a little mischievous when the mood takes them and being so clever they quickly learn how to please and owner when they want to get their own way. They are known to love playing with children and are very tolerant around them.
Cesky Terriers are highly adaptable dogs and providing they are given enough daily physical exercise combined with as much mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in, they are just as happy living in an apartment in town as they would be living in a house in the country.
Cesky Terriers thrive in a home environment and form strong ties with their families and dogs are never very happy when they find themselves left on their own for longer periods of time. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out, so they are never alone for any length of time which could see a dog suffering from separation anxiety. This can lead to them being destructive around the home which is a dog's way of relieving any stress they are feeling and a way to keep themselves entertained.
Cesky Terriers are known to like the sound of their own voices a little too much which is something that needs to be gently nipped in the bud when a dog is still young being careful not to frighten them which could end up making a dog withdrawn and could just make them bark even more.
Some Cesky Terriers love swimming and will take to the water whenever they can more especially when the weather is hot. However, if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said, care should always be taken when walking a Cesky off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing because they cannot get out of the water on their own.
Cesky Terriers are natural watchdogs because they are always on the alert and ready to voice an opinion about something. However, rarely would a dog show any sort of aggressive behaviour preferring to keep their distance, stand their ground and bark.
Ceskies are known to be intelligent and they are always eager and willing to please which in short, means in the right hands and with the right amount of training, these little terriers are easy to train. With this said, they are known to have a bit of a stubborn streak in them so their training has to be firm, yet fair and always consistent to achieve the best results.
They do not respond well to any sort of harsh correction nor do they like being treated in a heavy-handed way. They do, however, respond very well to positive reinforcement training techniques always remembering not to offer a Cesky too many unhealthy rewards which could lead to them putting on too much weight something they are very prone to do.
Like all puppies, Cesky Terriers are incredibly cute when young and it is all too easy to spoil them when they first arrive in new homes. As soon as a puppy is nicely settled owners must start out as they mean to go on by laying down ground rules and boundaries so that a puppy understands what is expected of them. It helps establish a pecking order and who the alpha dog is in the household. The first commands a puppy should be taught are as follows:
There is nothing a Cesky enjoys more than being part of the family and as such they get on well with children. However, any interaction between younger kids and a dog has to be well supervised to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with somebody getting hurt or frightened.
As long as a Cesky Terrier has been well socialised from a young age and introduced to as many other animals and pets as possible, they generally get on well with them. However, it should never be forgotten they are terriers and as such boast a pretty high prey drive which means care has to be taken when they are around any smaller pets and animals which includes cats.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Cesky Terrier is between 9 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
With so few Cesky Terriers being registered with The Kennel Club, there is not a lot of information regarding health issues that may affect the breed. With this said, there is one condition that seems to affect the Cesky which is a health issue known as Scottie Cramp. Luckily, it is a pretty rare disorder that is seldom seen in many dogs including the Cesky Terrier. Other conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
It is worth noting that the Kennel Club COI for the Cesky Terriers currently stands at 17.1%.
Cesky puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days recommend waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them which means they are more mature before undergoing the procedures. As such they advise neutering males and spaying females when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old and sometimes even when a dog is 12 months old.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said, many breeds are different, and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
As with other breeds, some Cesky Terriers gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight, it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given, bearing in mind that Cesky Terriers love their food and are prone to putting on too much weight anyway. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart which could prove fatal.
Some Cesky Terriers are prone to suffering from allergies and it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said, a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
All responsible Cesky Terrier breeders would ensure that their stud dogs are tested for known hereditary and congenital health issues known to affect the breed by using the following schemes:
Apart from the standard breeding restrictions that are in place for all Kennel Club registered breeds, there are no other breed specific breeding restrictions in place for the Cesky Terrier.
The Kennel Club strongly recommends that all breeders use the following test on stud dogs:
As with any other breed, Ceskies need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Cesky puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing, confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said, any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother, the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or, so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
Things you'll need for your puppy
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Cesky Terrier puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out which could result in them being withdrawn, timid and shy.
As previously mentioned, Cesky puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders, but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be fully up to date.
Older Cesky Terriers need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a dog's muzzle may start to go grey, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Living with a Cesky Terrier in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include looking at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older dogs need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older dogs is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Cesky Terriers don't need the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
Cesky Terriers boast quite high maintenance coats that need to be regularly groomed in order to keep things tidy and looking good. Their coats also need to be trimmed around 4 to 6 times a year which makes keeping on top of things that much easier between visits to a professional grooming parlour.
Ideally, these little terriers need to brushed daily paying special attention to a dog's face, their legs and areas of their body where the hair tends to be a lot longer. It's also important to trim the hair between a Cesky's pads on a regular basis to prevent it from balling up which can make walking uncomfortable for a dog.
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.
Ceskies are quite high energy little terriers and as such they need a minimum of an hour's exercise a day. A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these little terriers in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, young Cesky puppies should not be given too much exercise 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. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs because this puts too much pressure on their still growing joints and limbs.
If you get a Cesky 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 upsets 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.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Cesky puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 11 months old, they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult Cesky Terrier should be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult dog can be fed the following amounts every day:
If you are looking to buy a Cesky you may have to go on a waiting list because not many puppies are registered with The Kennel Club every year and you would need to pay anything from £500 upwards for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Cesky Terrier in northern England would be £24.09 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £52.18 a month (quote as of May 2018). 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 they have been neutered or spayed amongst other things.
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 £20 - £30 a month. On top of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Cesky 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 a £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Cesky Terrier would be between £50 to £80 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 healthy, well-bred Kennel Club registered pedigree Cesky Terrier puppy.
When visiting and buying any puppy or dog, there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.
Cesky Terriers are quite rare in the UK which means that waiting lists tend to be long and well-bred puppies can often command a lot of money. As such, with Cesky Terriers there is specific advice, questions and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which are as follows:
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