Cesky Terrier Dog History, Health And Care

Introduction Of Cesky Terrier Dog

The Cesky Terrier, also known as the Bohemian Terrier, Cesky Terier, Czech Terrier, Czesky Terrier or simply the Cesky (pronounced “chess-key”), is a short-legged, long-bodied, muscular, fairly uncommon breed that originated in the Czech Republic and is now considered one of that country’s national dog breeds. It was developed in the 1940s due to the efforts of a Czechoslovakian Scottish Terrier breeder and avid hunter who wanted a small, smart, low maintenance dog that could enter the burrows of its rodent prey more easily than larger, stockier terriers. He crossed Scottish and Sealyham Terriers, and probably a few other breeds like the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, to create a pack-hunting terrier with a narrow chest, slim head and soft, silky coat. These attributes, together with the Cesky’s short stature, gave it an advantage when going underground after small prey animals. Ceskys have terrific digging skills, which help them reach prey that other dogs might not have the energy or ability to pursue. They are adept at hunting fox, duck, rabbit and pheasant and also have been used to hunt wild boar. These are smart, active, attractive dogs that are unwaveringly loyal to their owners and are a bit less high-energy than other terrier breeds.

Affenpinscher Dog Breed Quick Facts

Affection Level4/5
Apartment Friendly5/5
Barking Tendencies4/5
Cat Friendly3/5
Child Friendly3/5
Dog Friendly3/5
Exercise Need2/5
Grooming Needs4/5
Health Issues2/5

Cesky Terrier – Appearance & Grooming

General Appearance

Cesky Terriers are fairly small but robust dogs that have their roots in Czechoslovakia. With long bodies and short legs, they are excellent for hunting rodents and keeping fields and gardens free from pests. Ceskys were developed from crosses of Scottish and Sealyham Terriers, and they resemble a combination of both two ancestral breeds. This is a showy, sophisticated, lean and graceful breed that sports a grandfatherly beard, mustache and eyebrows, as well as a fall of hair that flows from the forehead over the eyes. It has high set dropped ears, a natural tail and a long, soft coat that comes in varying shades of gray and brown. The Cesky’s head is blunt and wedge-shaped, with a black nose and a strong square jaw. Its head should be roughly one-third the length of its body when viewed in profile, which gives the Cesky a somewhat silly, out-of-proportion appearance.

Size and Weight

Cesky Terriers typically range from 10 to 13 inches in height measured at the withers and weigh somewhere between 13 and 24 pounds. From tip to tail, Ceskys are about 24 inches in length. The size and weight standards of various purebred dog registries vary only slightly from these average ranges.

Coat and Color

The Cesky’s coat is naturally long, bushy, fine, firm, glossy, silky, puffy and slightly wavy. It should not be as wiry, curly, course or harsh as the coat of other terriers. Ceskys have well-defined beards and prominent eyebrows that blend into the long fall of hair that flows from their foreheads over their eyes and across their muzzles. Their legs and chest carry long furnishings or feathers, which continue to but should not drag on the ground. Cesky Terriers have thin, sensitive skin that is prone to tearing if it is handled too roughly.

Ceskys are born either all black or black with a dusting of brownish tan. Their coat color changes as they age. Mature Ceskys typically are some shade of gray, ranging from the deepest charcoal to the lightest platinum, although some are brown. Adults may develop black on their head, ears, feet and tail. Brown, yellow or white markings may show up on the head, cheeks, beard, neck, chest, belly and legs, and the tail tip may be white. However, the base coat color should always predominate. Brindling (striping) and white facial blazes are not permitted.

Grooming Requirements

Cesky Terriers that are groomed and trimmed on a regular basis, preferably by a professional groomer, are fairly low-maintenance. However, Ceskys that are left in natural coat without trimming require up to 4 hours or more of brushing and combing weekly to keep their coats tidy, attractive and free from knots and mats. Show dogs need even more maintenance, as the proper show coat for this breed takes a tremendous amount of time to achieve and maintain. The Cesky’s coat is groomed by shaping and trimming with scissors and clippers, not by hand stripping as is common with most other terrier breeds. Cesky Terriers benefit from weekly or bi-weekly baths. If regular trips to the groomer are part of their routine, they only need to be bathed at home every few months, unless they get particularly muddy or dirty. It is important to use shampoos and conditioners that are designed to help reduce the accumulation of mats. This is especially important in untrimmed dogs. It is also important to rinse Ceskys several times, because their coats tend to hold onto shampoo, which can cause rashes. Grooming a Cesky is a lifelong commitment. This is not a breed for someone looking for an easy keeper.

Regular dental care is important in most breeds. However, it is especially important for Cesky Terriers, who are prone to developing mouth and gum disease, including gingivitis. Brushing teeth daily and providing healthy chew toys and bones are the best ways to prevent the unhealthy buildup of plaque and tartar. Occasional dental cleanings by a veterinarian are also important to good dental hygiene in this breed.

Cesky Terrier – History and Health


The Cesky Terrier is a relatively new breed that originated in Czechoslovakia in the middle of the 20th century as a result of the efforts of one man with quite an interesting background. Frantisek Horak was born in June of 1909 at the castle Karlova Koruna in Chlumec, an area of Czechoslovakia known for its lovely palomino Isabela horses. Young Frantisek wanted to study and breed horses from a very young age. His parents let him start breeding dogs when he was nine. He ended up focusing on Scottish Terriers and Sealyham Terriers. When Horak grew up, he worked for many years as a geneticist at the Academy of Science in Prague. By the late 1930s, Horak was well-established as a breeder of Scotties and Sealys under the kennel name “Lovu Zdar,” which translates as “successful hunter.” He began breeding horses in 1945, after World War II ended. Horak developed two distinct dog breeds during his career: the Cesky Terrier (originally called the Bohemian Terrier) and the Czech Piebald Dog (originally called Horak’s Labor Dog). He maintained his interest in both dog and horse breeding and genetics throughout his life.

In the early 1940s, he became interested in developing a lighter, more low-slung terrier that was especially well-adapted to “going to ground” and entering the narrow tunnels and burrows of small game that inhabited the Bohemian forests. He thought that crossing a Scottish Terrier with a Sealyham Terrier might produce the ideal hunting dog for his local terrain. He liked the Sealy’s dropped ears and the Scotty’s darker color. However, he felt that those breeds had become too large to hunt successfully below ground. He wanted a dog with a narrower chest, a smaller head, longer legs, a softer coat and a slightly more aggressive hunting attitude, yet he still wanted a dog that was reliable and easy to handle. In 1949, once World War II ended, he bred one of his female Scotties with a male Sealyham. One puppy from that litter survived. Horak started hunting him when he was old enough, with promising results. Unfortunately, the young dog was killed in a hunting accident in 1950.

Undaunted, Horak bred a male Sealyham named Buganier Urguelle to a female Scotty named Scotch Rose. This pairing produced six first-generation Cesky puppies. Horak kept meticulous records of all of his breedings and started a private registry to track the development of his new hunting terrier. The Cesky Terrier is still actively used to hunt fox, rabbit, duck, pheasant and boar. It is used as a tracker, watchdog and guardian and is an increasing presence in the conformation ring. It also is gaining a following as a companion and family dog.

The Bohemian Terrier was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1963. Its name was changed to the Cesky Terrier shortly thereafter. In the early-to-mid-1980s, with the FCI’s permission, Horak crossed some of his Cesky Terriers back to Sealyhams, to broaden the breed’s gene pool. Despite a Communist ban on exporting Ceskys out of Czechoslovakia, the breed became popular in other parts of the world. The Cesky Terrier first arrived in North America in the late 1980s. The breed was acknowledged by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1993. It has been recorded in the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service since 1996. It was approved for competition in AKC Earthdog events as of January 1, 2004. In October 2007, the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association was recognized as the Parent Club for the breed. Ceskys were accepted into the AKC’s Miscellaneous Class in July 2008. Cesky Terriers have been eligible to compete in all AKC events since June 2011, as a member of the Terrier Group. The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) accepted the Cesky Terrier for full registration in January of 2011.


Cesky Terriers on average live between 12 and 15 years. Breed health predispositions may include hip dysplasia and a metabolic disorder known as Scottie Cramp or Wobbly Scottie.

Cesky Terrier – Temperament & Personality


The Cesky Terrier is less edgy than most terriers, and their normally friendly, happy, easygoing temperament and cute looks makes this breed a potential choice for those who are looking for a lively household companion. Unlike many of its terrier cousins, the Cesky is fairly good around unfamiliar people and dogs, although it still often is reserved around strangers. Ceskys are smart, loyal and generally well-mannered. They love to play and are not particularly yappy or excitable. Nevertheless, they are still terriers and retain the hot, feisty, stubborn streak that makes them such talented hunters and watchdogs.

Activity Requirements

The Cesky is an active breed that needs daily exercise to stay physically and mentally well-tuned. It does not do well living exclusively outdoors or spending most of its time in a kennel or crate away from its people. This is a breed that can thrive in large homes as well as in homes where space is limited, as long as there is regular play and exercise time. A securely fenced yard where the Cesky can stretch its legs and run freely is great for this breed, as are daily walks at the park or around the neighborhood. Ceskys can be sensitive to outdoor conditions and do not enjoy being in extreme temperatures or weather, preferring to stay warm and dry inside. Although it gravitates to a leisurely lifestyle, the Cesky still loves to, and needs to, get regular playtime. It is always ready for a game of fetch with its owner – or anyone else, for that matter. This is not a breed for people who don’t have time to spend with their dog. Cesky Terriers crave attention and above all want to be with their family.


Cesky Terriers are eager to please their owners and usually are easy to train. As with any breed, the Cesky does best when training and obedience classes start when the dog is still young, but it is still quite trainable if acquired as an adult. This sensitive breed does not respond well to harsh training methods. Cesky Terriers are highly intelligent and respond well to positive, reward-based obedience training. A beginner agility class can also be a good, fun, interactive positive training activity.

Behavioral Traits

Cesky Terriers are extremely food-oriented. They have a particular affinity for stealing and begging for food, which predisposes them to putting on too much weight and suffering the adverse consequences of obesity. Owners of this breed should not leave food, dirty dishes, leftovers or garbage unattended anywhere within its reach. In addition to its inclination to pilfer food, the Cesky has some other recognized behavioral traits. It is likely to become destructive if left alone for too long, wreaking havoc on its surroundings. This breed is known for being a vigorous digger, as it was bred to be. Ceskys can be reserved and reclusive around strangers. They have fairly short attention spans and tend to be loud barkers. They are very smart, which some people mistakenly confuse with stubbornness. Ceskys should not be left unsupervised with toys or bones; they have very strong jaws and can be quite destructive. Owners should take precautions when bringing a Cesky into a family with children. These dogs don’t appreciate rough handling and definitely aren’t fond of being picked up and carried around by kids. They aren’t the best long-distance travelers and usually are more content staying home than riding in the car or on a plane for extended periods of time. Most of these behavioral traits are easily avoided if owners socialize their pets early and often with other people and animals, and make them integral parts of their families.

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