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  • Temperament: Clever, Adventurous, Family-Oriented
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 182 of 194
  • Height: 10-13 inches
  • Weight: 14-24 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Terrier Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Cesky Terrier standing in three-quarter view
Cesky Terrier lying down facing forward, head turned left
Cesky Terrier standing facing left
Cesky Terrier sitting facing forward

Find a Puppy: Cesky Terrier

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Cesky Terrier was developed to be a well-muscled, short legged and well-pigmented igh-qunting terrier that could be worked in packs. The Cesky Terrier has natural drop ears and a natural tail. The Cesky is longer than it is tall and has a topline that rises slightly higher over the loin and rump. It sports a soft, long, silky coat in shades of gray from charcoal to platinum. The correct coat is clipped to emphasize a slim impression. The hallmarks of the breed should be unique unto itself with a lean body and graceful movement.

HEAD

Head is about 7 to 8 inches long, 3 to 4 inches wide and is shaped like a long, blunt wedge. The plane of the forehead forms a slight but definite stop with the bridge of the nose. The breadth between the ears is slightly larger for a dog than a bitch. The head should join the neck smoothly. Eyes – Almond shaped of medium size. Slightly deep set with a friendly expression. The color is brown or dark brown. Ears – Medium size, dropping in such a way to well cover the orifice. Ears are set rather high with forward edge lying close to the cheek. Shaped like a triangle, with the shorter side of the triangle at the fold of the ear.

NECK, TOPLINE AND BODY

Neck – Well muscled and strong. Medium-long, carried in a slight arch. Set firmly on the shoulders. Topline – Not straight but with a slight rise over the loin and rump. Body – Fully muscled, longer than high. Withers not very pronounced with the neck set rather high. Rump is strongly developed, muscular; pelvis moderately slanting with the hip bones often slightly higher than the withers. Belly – Ample and slightly tucked up. Flanks well fitted. Chest – More cylindrical than deep. Ribs – Well sprung. Loins – Relatively long, muscular, broad and slightly rounded.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulder – Muscular, well laid back and powerful. Elbows – Should fit closely to the sides and be neither loose or tight. Forelegs – Short, straight, well boned and parallel. Dewclaws may be present. Forefeet – Large, well-arched toes with strong nails and well-developed pads.

COAT

Long, fine but slight texture. Furnishings slightly wavy with a silky gloss. Shorter hair can have more curl. Not overdone with too much furnishings.

COLOR

All puppies are born black, or black and tan. In mature dogs, 3 years or older, the correct color is any shade of gray from charcoal to platinum gray. Black may appear on the head, ears, feet and tail. White, brown and yellow markings are permitted on the head, beard, cheeks, neck, chest, limbs and around the vent. A white collar or white tip is permitted on the tail. The base color must always be predominant.

HINDQUARTERS

Hind legs – Strong, well-muscled and longer than the forelegs. Thigh – Longer in proportion to the lower leg with stifle well bent. Hock Joint – Strong and well developed. Well let down and parallel to each other. Lower leg is straight from hock to heel. Hind feet – As front but smaller.

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Cesky Terrier

About the Cesky Terrier

Ceskys are muscular, short-legged, and handsome hunters standing no taller than 13 inches at the shoulder. The fine, silky coat comes in several shades of gray, including a stunning platinum. Wavy facial hair gives Ceskys a sporty, Continental look, and the medium-long neck lends a dash of elegance to these game, unspoiled working terriers.

While Ceskys are as determined and prey-driven as any other earthdog, they’re mellower than a typical terrier. Wary of strangers and protective of loved ones, they’re good watchdogs without being particularly yappy. They train well and want to please. Here’s the catch: They are a scarce breed, with only about 600 living in America. A wonderful family dog, if you’re lucky enough to find one.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.

Find a Puppy: Cesky Terrier

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Cesky Terrier Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

Your veterinarian can point you toward a high-quality diet that is suitable for your dog. This is a breed who loves to eat, so monitor his food intake carefully. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not.

GROOMING

Unlike grooming of some terrier breeds, hand stripping is not suggested for the Cesky’s coat. Instead, the body is clipped. You should visit a professional groomer referred by your breeder to be sure your dog is groomed correctly. There are so few Ceskys around that it is unlikely that most groomers have ever even heard of the breed. In between groomings, as the Cesky coat does not shed dirt as some harder coats do, he will need regular baths. They tend to grow a lot of hair in the ears, and this should be removed during each grooming appointment to prevent an ear infection. Ears should be cleaned regularly to remove excess wax and other debris.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

The Cesky enjoys daily exercise in the form of walks and play sessions with his owner. He must always be on a leash when not within a securely enclosed area, however, and his yard should be fenced. The breed has a very strong prey drive, and if he sees or smells what he perceives as prey, the Cesky may not be able to resist running off in pursuit.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

The Cesky Terrier is considered to be a little less stubborn and thus more easily trainable than some other terrier breeds. They still require a firm hand in a kid glove. They will shut down if faced with negative or harsh training methods, so exercise only a positive, reward-based approach to training. Cesky Terriers are extremely intelligent, sensible, and feisty, which makes them a good candidate for training for dog sports. They have a very high prey drive, however, which should be squelched from the beginning.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

With a small gene pool in the States, breeders are doing their best to eliminate genetic health problems that are currently possible in the breed. These include patellar luxation (slipped stifles), cardiac problems, progressive retinal atrophy, and cataracts. Many suffer from a neurological issue known as Scotty Cramp, a somewhat debilitating but not life-threatening disorder that causes your dog to spasm, affecting his movement. Your breeder can discuss the potential health problems with you and help you make informed decisions about your dog’s health. You should receive copies of the certification of the testing of your dog’s parents.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  • Cardiac Exam
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Dentition Exam
Cesky Terrier
Cesky Terrier
Cesky Terrier
Cesky Terrier

History

Although the Cesky (aka Bohemian Terrier) is the only Czech breed in the AKC Stud Book, the nation known as Bohemia, then Czechoslovakia, and finally the Czech Republic can boast a long, distinguished history of dog breeding. The tradition goes back to at least the 14th century, when Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, kept a grand kennel of international renown. But it is not the Middle Ages but the World War II era where the Cesky story begins.

Like the Doberman Pinscher and the Boykin Spaniel, the Cesky (pronounce it “chess-kee,” meaning Czech) is a breed born of the vision of one person. In this case, the visionary was the mid 20th century Czech breeder, sportsman, and geneticist Frantisek Horak, who grew up hunting in the forests outside of Prague.

Horak set forth an ambitious breeding program. His ideal was a dog that could go to ground and dispatch a rat like a true terrier, but could also work in packs like hounds on bigger game, while being as gentle and obedient at home as retrievers.

If the Cesky looks something like a cross between a Scottish Terrier and a Sealyham Terrier, it’s because that’s what it basically is. Horak employed judicious crosses of Scotties and Sealys over many years to create the dog of his dreams. (At least one canine historian suggests that, at some point, Horak introduced Dandie Dinmont Terrier and wirehaired Dachshund into the genetic mix.)

The old Czech adage “Like dog, like master” certainly applied to Horak. As a 2011 story in the AKC Gazette put it, “Horak persevered through World War II and a communist revolution with terrier-like determination to create his vision of a new hunting breed.”
Ceskys were first imported to the United States in the late 1980s, and the breed was admitted to the AKC in 2011.

Did You Know?

The Cesky Terrier Dog is AKC’s 172nd breed.
The Cesky Terrier has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1996.
The breed is sometimes called the Czech Terrier or Bohemian Terrier.
The Cesky Terrier dog has been assigned the Terrier Group designation.
The Cesky Terrier was developed by Mr. Frantisek Horak, a Czechoslovakian geneticist.
In its country of origin, the Cesky Terrier has been portrayed on postage stamps.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Cesky Terrier was developed to be a well-muscled, short legged and well-pigmented igh-qunting terrier that could be worked in packs. The Cesky Terrier has natural drop ears and a natural tail. The Cesky is longer than it is tall and has a topline that rises slightly higher over the loin and rump. It sports a soft, long, silky coat in shades of gray from charcoal to platinum. The correct coat is clipped to emphasize a slim impression. The hallmarks of the breed should be unique unto itself with a lean body and graceful movement.

HEAD

Head is about 7 to 8 inches long, 3 to 4 inches wide and is shaped like a long, blunt wedge. The plane of the forehead forms a slight but definite stop with the bridge of the nose. The breadth between the ears is slightly larger for a dog than a bitch. The head should join the neck smoothly. Eyes – Almond shaped of medium size. Slightly deep set with a friendly expression. The color is brown or dark brown. Ears – Medium size, dropping in such a way to well cover the orifice. Ears are set rather high with forward edge lying close to the cheek. Shaped like a triangle, with the shorter side of the triangle at the fold of the ear.

NECK, TOPLINE AND BODY

Neck – Well muscled and strong. Medium-long, carried in a slight arch. Set firmly on the shoulders. Topline – Not straight but with a slight rise over the loin and rump. Body – Fully muscled, longer than high. Withers not very pronounced with the neck set rather high. Rump is strongly developed, muscular; pelvis moderately slanting with the hip bones often slightly higher than the withers. Belly – Ample and slightly tucked up. Flanks well fitted. Chest – More cylindrical than deep. Ribs – Well sprung. Loins – Relatively long, muscular, broad and slightly rounded.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulder – Muscular, well laid back and powerful. Elbows – Should fit closely to the sides and be neither loose or tight. Forelegs – Short, straight, well boned and parallel. Dewclaws may be present. Forefeet – Large, well-arched toes with strong nails and well-developed pads.

COAT

Long, fine but slight texture. Furnishings slightly wavy with a silky gloss. Shorter hair can have more curl. Not overdone with too much furnishings.

COLOR

All puppies are born black, or black and tan. In mature dogs, 3 years or older, the correct color is any shade of gray from charcoal to platinum gray. Black may appear on the head, ears, feet and tail. White, brown and yellow markings are permitted on the head, beard, cheeks, neck, chest, limbs and around the vent. A white collar or white tip is permitted on the tail. The base color must always be predominant.

HINDQUARTERS

Hind legs – Strong, well-muscled and longer than the forelegs. Thigh – Longer in proportion to the lower leg with stifle well bent. Hock Joint – Strong and well developed. Well let down and parallel to each other. Lower leg is straight from hock to heel. Hind feet – As front but smaller.

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Cesky Terrier

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Gray Check Mark For Standard Color 100

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Cream Furnishings Check Mark For Standard Mark 092
Silver Furnishings Check Mark For Standard Mark 093
Tan Furnishings Check Mark For Standard Mark 094
White Markings Check Mark For Standard Mark 014
Yellow Furnishings Check Mark For Standard Mark 095

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