The Cesky Terrier is an adventurous and clever dog that loves to hang out with its owner but is more laid-back than other terriers. Cesky Terriers are also the national dogs of the Czech Republic.
They are scarce in America — there are only 600 Cesky Terriers in the country. But if you're lucky enough to get your hands on a Cesky, you'll find them to be very elegant.
Cesky Terriers are muscular and good-looking dogs with wavy facial hair and a silky coat. While they are typically prey-driven, Cesky Terriers tend to be mellower than other terriers. They also know how to protect their loved ones and make perfect watchdogs.
Characteristics of a Cesky Terrier
On average, Cesky Terriers range in height from 10 to 12 inches and weigh 14 to 24 pounds. You can expect your Cesky to live for 12 to 15 years.
Cesky Terriers are family dogs, which means they're fun to be around. They are protective of their owners and are also good with other family members. On top of that, they're good with other dogs. So, if you already have a furry friend, a Cesky Terrier would get along well.
As mentioned earlier, Cesky Terrier dogs have sleek, medium-length coats. Besides being silky, the coat has a wavy appearance, giving the breed an elegant look.
Fortunately, the Cesky doesn't shed excessively. Likewise, the coat does not need frequent grooming. However, you should take your pet for grooming at least once a month.
Although the standard coat color is gray, you'll find Cesky Terriers with markings of different colors, including silver, tan, yellow, cream, and white.
Cesky Terrier dogs also do not drool much.
Due to the pleasant and friendly Cesky Terrier temperament, the breed is open toward strangers. The dogs are also moderately playful and have a primarily protective nature. They adapt quickly to changing conditions.
As for their personality, Cesky Terriers are easy to train since they have moderate to high energy levels. They also bark moderately and don't have excessively high mental stimulation needs. They'll be busy and happy if they have something fun to do.
Caring for Cesky Terriers
Caring for your Cesky Terrier is an important responsibility, since their health and hygiene depend on you. Cesky Terrier dogs love to eat. So, you should be careful about not feeding your dog too much, as obesity can be a concern in adult dogs.
It's best to consult your vet and get their guidance on curating a high-quality diet plan for your pet. For example, if you want to feed your pet human food, talk to the vet and find out if it's safe for your dog to consume that food.
Cesky Terriers are less stubborn than many other terriers, making them easier to train. However, you still need to exert authority for them to listen to you. If you use excessively harsh or negative training methods, you'll have a hard time training them. Instead, you should use a reward-based approach, such as positive reinforcement, to train your Cesky Terrier. The breed is very intelligent, so they are quick to learn.
They have a high prey drive, which you should squelch from a young age. Proper training can help do this.
Cesky Terriers enjoy daily walks as their regular exercise. You should also have play sessions with your pet. When you take your Cesky out on a walk, make sure you put them on a leash.
Similarly, if your dog likes to play in the yard, you should have a fence around the yard. As Cesky Terriers have a strong prey drive, smelling or seeing something they perceive as prey could force them to pursue the organism.
Cesky Terrier grooming involves taking them to a professional groomer. You should not hand strip the breed's coat. Talk to your breeder and ask where you should take your pet for grooming.
Since there aren't many Cesky Terrier dogs around, some groomers might not have even heard of them, let alone know how to groom them. That's why you should get a groomer's reference from your breeder.
While the coat does not need excessive grooming, you still need to bathe your Cesky regularly. Cesky Terriers grow hair in their ears. Removing this hair is vital to prevent ear infections.
You should clean your dog's ears to remove debris and excess wax between grooming sessions.
If the Cesky is still a puppy, they'll need several vaccinations to keep them safe from DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus), rabies, and other diseases. The vet may also recommend non-core vaccines to protect against diseases, such as kennel cough and Lyme disease, depending on your dog's health and age.
Besides vaccinations, you should also take your Cesky for their annual physical exam. This should include the following:
- Dentition exam
- Cardiac exam
- Patella evaluation
Health Problems To Watch For with Cesky Terriers
Since Cesky Terriers have a small gene pool in America, breeders are trying to eliminate genetic diseases from the breed. However, Cesky Terriers are genetically predisposed to have certain conditions, such as cardiac issues, cataracts, Scotty Cramp, patellar luxation, and progressive retinal atrophy.
Patellar (Kneecap) Luxation
Patellar luxation is a condition in which the kneecap slips out of its regular place. The patella is a small bone that sits at the front of the knee where the thigh bone meets the shinbone.
In dogs with patellar luxation, the patella is not held in place properly, and it can slip out of position, either to the inside or outside of the knee. Patellar luxation is a relatively common condition in dogs and can occur in one or both knees.
Whether patellar luxation will cause long-term problems depends on the extent of the luxation. It also depends on how many legs are affected. Medial patellar luxation is a congenital issue, so dogs are born with it rather than getting it later.
The vet will rate your pet's patellar luxation from Grade I to Grade IV, with IV being the worst. Some dogs may be able to live with this condition their whole life, while others may require surgical intervention.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
In progressive retinal atrophy, the cells in the retina slowly break down, eventually leading to blindness. It is a degenerative disease of the retina that leads to progressive vision loss and eventual blindness.
There are many different types of retinal atrophy, and two have been recognized in dogs. They are called inherited or early-onset and late-onset PRA. Since PRA is heritable, dogs with this disease should not be bred further.
PRA doesn't cause pain to your dog, so it would be hard to notice any early symptoms. However, the first typical sign is night blindness. Your dog will be nervous at night and may refuse to go into dark rooms.
Also, your Cesky's pupils will be more dilated than usual. You may also notice that their eyes become reflective when you shine a light on them.
Scotty Cramp is a neurological disease affecting a dog's nervous system and causing muscle spasms and pain. The condition causes your dog to lose their ability to move limbs temporarily.
These episodes last 10 minutes and commonly occur after exercise or stress. Although Scotty Cramp is a lifelong disease, it does not have any significant impact on your pet besides the temporary muscle spasm and loss of limb movement.
Special Considerations for Cesky Terriers
You should have a detailed discussion with your breeder and ask them about any potential health problems in your pup. The breeder will also give you copies of certificates of testing for the dog's parents.
It's also essential to train your Cesky Terrier, since the breed is strongly prey-driven. Dogs with a strong prey drive tend to be easily excited and distracted.
As a result, they may have difficulty paying attention to their owners and may be more interested in chasing animals or toys than in obeying commands. They may also be more aggressive, particularly if they perceive another animal as a threat to their food or territory.
History of Cesky Terriers
The Cesky Terrier originates in the Czech Republic, where it is also called the Bohemian Terrier. The Czechs have a long history of breeding dogs, dating back to the 14th century.
At that time, the King of Bohemia and Charles IV had an internationally known grand kennel. However, the Cesky Terrier origin story starts in World War II.
Frantisek Horak was a Czech geneticist, sportsman, and breeder who first envisioned the dog that is the Cesky today. He spent his life hunting and started a breeding program to create a dog that could catch both big and small game.
At the same time, he wanted to ensure that the dog was an obedient and gentle breed. So, over the years, Horak crossed Sealys and Scotties to create his ideal dog.
One canine historian says that Horak also involved wire-haired dachshunds and Dandie Dinmonts in his crosses at one point. The first-ever Cesky Terrier dogs were imported to the US in the 1980s. Unfortunately, even decades later, they're a scarce breed in the States.