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The Biewer terrier is not particularly well known within the UK, but this small, lively little terrier-type dog is certainly worthy of consideration if you are looking for a new dog that is on the small side and that possesses all of the core terrier traits.
Biewer terriers are close relatives of Yorkshire terriers – and in fact, the dogs that we today call Biewer terriers came about as a result of a colour gene mutation within a Yorkshire terrier breed line. This of course means that Biewers share the majority of core traits of the Yorkshire terrier breed from which they are descended – which makes it somewhat easier for prospective Biewer owners to know what to expect from their future dog.
If you are wondering if a Biewer terrier is the right choice of dog for you or if you’ve never even heard of this dog type and want to find out more, this article is for you. Read on to learn more about what makes a Biewer terrier.
Biewer terriers were first developed in Germany, when a Yorkshire terrier breeding programme produced a puppy with piebald colouration as the result of a gene mutation, this being a colour variant that is not seen in Yorkshire terriers within the breed standard.
Selective breeding from this first piebald puppy formed the foundations of the Biewer terrier dog type as we know it today, and which was named after their original breeders.
Within the UK, the Biewer terrier is not recognised by The Kennel Club, and so is not classed as a pedigree dog breed. This means that they cannot be registered with The Kennel Club nor entered into breed class shows.
However, the Biewer terrier is actually better known and more popular in the USA than it is in the UK, where they are recognised and registered as a breed in their own right by the American Kennel Club.
The average advertised price of Biewer terriers in the UK is around £976, which is rather expensive given that the Biewer is a small dog and not a recognised pedigree.
The relatively low numbers of Biewer terriers in the UK helps to keep their price relatively high, as demand outstrips supply, even given the fact that many dog owners have never even heard of Biewers! This means that if you have you heart set on owning one, you may have to travel some distance to find a breeder, and join a waiting list for a future litter.
Biewer terriers are small dogs, standing around 22cm tall at the withers and weighing just a touch over 3kg on average, which makes them very petite.
As you might expect given their Yorkshire terrier origins, Biewers have a lot in common with their Yorkie relatives and are fairly typical of the toy terrier type as a whole. Their fur is more hair-like in texture, being long and fine and generally very silky to the touch. They also notably have long hair on their heads, which is usually tied back to keep it from obscuring the dog’s vision.
The Biewer colours are the most obvious difference between them and the Yorkshire terrier, and this is of course what resulted in the foundation of the Biewer as a dog type in its own right. They have piebald fur, which consists of patches of either black and white with tan or gold-coloured markings on their heads and rumps, or blue and white with tan or gold on their heads and rumps.
White colouring might also be found interspersed within the Biewer coat too, although the top line of the dog’s body is expected to be either black or blue.
Biewers are neat and compact in appearance, with petite but well-formed muzzles and a neat scissor bite.
Biewer terriers have rather outgoing personalities, being bold, lively and very entertaining. They are a very smart breed too, and tend to be alert and engaged with their surroundings. They are highly personable and affectionate little dogs that like company and bond strongly with their owners, and they need a lot of love and attention to keep them happy.
The Biewer is sometimes a little shy or speculative of strangers, which may manifest as being defensive or snappy if proper introductions to newcomers are not made. This potential tendency also means that Biewer terriers are not necessarily a good choice for families with younger children.
Biewers take to training well and seem to actively enjoy learning, as this gives them something to concentrate their sharp minds on and provides entertainment. Their strong bonds with their owners also mean that they tend to work hard to please. However, Biewers can also be quite wilful and may be prone to stubbornness or selective deafness, and so successfully training a dog of this type relies upon being able to get their attention and divert them if something interesting is going on around them.
Biewers do sometimes have a tendency to be a little yappy, and will usually be quick to react to someone coming to the door or approaching the house. They also tend to bark a lot if left alone for too long at a time, which is something that prospective owners need to be aware of.
When properly trained, handled, socialised and managed, Biewer terriers make for very rewarding pets and companions – and they are also small enough to fit well within a smaller home or life in a busy urban environment.
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