The Cesky Terrier is a small terrier-type dog and is the national dog of the Czech Republic. It a well-muscled hunter with short legs, long body, natural drop ears and has a long and silky coat. The body of the Cesky Terrier is longer than it is tall and has a rising topline to the rear. The eyes of the breed are medium-sized brown to dark brown in grey dogs and liver in brown dogs. The pendulous ears are triangular and set high on the head reaching close to the cheeks. The head is a blunt wedge shape with a straight muzzle, apparent stop but not accentuated, black nose in grey dogs and liver nose in brown dogs, and relatively thick lips. The teeth form a complete scissors bite. The low set tail is carried downward with a slight bend at the tip when the dog is at rest or carried horizontally or higher in a sabre form when the dog is in motion. The coat of the Cesky Terrier is long, fine and firm with a silky gloss. It is traditionally groomed by clipping and scissoring so that the body is highlighted by its well-developed muscles and the face sporting a beard, a moustache, and eyebrows. The ideal height of a Cesky Terrier is 29 cm for a male and 27 cm for a female while the typical weight is between 5.9 - 10 kg with males being bulkier and heavier than females.
The Cesky Terrier is one of the relatively new, man-made breeds which was created to do a specific purpose. In 1948, Czech geneticist and dog breeder Dr. František Horák bred a Sealyham Terrier to a Scottish Terrier to create a breed suitable for hunting vermin in the forests of Bohemia, in the western region of the Czech Republic. The result was a gentle-mannered little dog, capable of effective hunting in a pack and going to ground to chase the prey in burrows. It was in his many years at the Academy of Science in Prague that Dr. Horák became famous for his Scottish and Sealyham Terrier breeds which he used in hunting. His kennel was named “Lovu Zdar” or “Successful Hunter”. Dr. Horák’s first Cesky Terrier was born on the 25th of December 1949 and was named Adam Lovu Zdar but was unfortunately shot by a careless hunter a year later. In the same year, he repeated the breeding and used a Scottish Terrier named “Scotch Rose” and a Sealyham named “Buganier Urquelle” which produced six puppies and are considered the foundation stock of the Cesky Terrier. The breed was first shown in public in 1956 and gained official recognition by the Czechoslovakian Kennel Club three years later. It was first registered by the FCI in 1963, arrived in the UK in 1989 and officially recognised by the Kennel Club in 1990.
The Cesky Terrier is a docile breed, very loving, friendly, affectionate, and outgoing especially to its owner, although there are some dogs that are somewhat reserved towards strangers but never aggressive or shy, unlike other terriers. This breed is sociable and is not the type that will pick a fight with other dogs. It is very much a family-oriented pet, although it can sometimes have a stubborn streak. It will not do well living in a kennel but would rather prefer to live inside with the family, joining in all the activities inside the house. It does not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. When bored, it becomes noisy and will bark a lot or will channel his boredom into some destructive behaviour.
Training the Cesky Terrier is on the moderate side of the scale. Although it is known to be intelligent and eager to please, it does have a stubborn streak at times, but given the right handler and proper training, the Cesky can be taught easily. Training should be firm, but not harsh and must always be consistent to get the best results from the breed. Positive reinforcement training will yield the best results.
The coat of the Cesky Terrier is fine and silky and dead hairs are not pulled out with the fingers as in stripping but rather trimmed with a clipper. The tail is clippered, as well as the body, to emphasize the well-built muscular outline of the dog. The hair that hangs down under the body, on the lower legs and on the face (which form eyebrows, beard, and moustache) are traditionally left long but trimmed from time to time. Grooming is straightforward. The furnishings (longer hair) needs daily brushing with a pin brush to prevent mats (especially under the arm area) and help remove debris that might become entangled with the long hair. Bathe the Cesky Terrier on a regular basis using a mild shampoo and conditioner.
The Cesky Terrier is generally a healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. It is sometimes prone to a disease known as Scotty Cramp, inherited from its Scottish Terrier parent. This disease causes spasms and hyperflexion, and hyperextension of the legs. Although it is just a minor problem and not life-threatening, it may cause awkward movement to the dog. There are some Cesky Terriers that have been known to suffer from hip dysplasia, patella luxation, heart problems, primary lens luxation, thyroid problems, glomerulonephritis (acute inflammation of the kidney), and other eye problems.
Exercise requirement is at a minimum. The Cesky Terrier will take as much or as little exercise the owner is prepared to give him but it is recommended that this dog should be taken for daily short walks. An ideal home for this breed is a house with a fenced yard or garden where it can play and run to his heart’s contentment. Exercise also helps prevent the breed from becoming overweight which may cause some serious health problems.
The Cesky Terrier has a strong sympathy for children, particularly if it is raised with them from puppyhood. It is a wonderful family companion that likes to socialize with every member. However, any interaction between the Cesky and younger children should be well-supervised to make sure no one gets hurt or scared. It is a pack animal in its native land so it can live in harmony with other animals in the house, especially if it was introduced to them from a very young age.