Cesky Terrier

The Cesky Terrier, also known as the Bohemian Terrier, is considered to be a fairly recent dog breed, with a relatively short history.  The genesis of the breed and its early lineage are well documented, which is uncommon in many dog breeds, and allows for a complete account of the Cesky Terrier from the very first specimen, to the present day.  Because such precise records were kept during the early development of the breed, we know that the Cesky Terrier is a cross breed between two talented and sprightly hunting Terriers, the Scottish Terrier and the Sealyham Terrier



Breed Information

Breed Basics

Country of Origin: 
Small 8-15 lb
Medium 15-35 lb
12 to 15 Years
Very Easy To Train
Energy Level: 
Medium Energy
Professional Grooming May Be Required
Protective Ability: 
Good Watchdog
Hypoallergenic Breed: 
Space Requirements: 
Apartment Ok
Compatibility With Other Pets: 
Generally Good With Other Dogs
Generally Good With Other Pets If Raised Together
May Have Problems With Non-Canine Pets
Litter Size: 
2-4 Puppies
Ceský Teriér, Bohemian Terrier


13 - 23 lbs, 10-14 inches
13 - 23 lbs, 10-14 inches

Kennel Clubs and Recognition

American Kennel Club: 
ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council): 
CKC(Canadian Kennel Club): 
FCI (Federation Cynologique Internationale): 
KC (The Kennel Club): 
NZKC (New Zealand Kennel Club): 
UKC (United Kennel Club): 


The history of the Scottish Terrier goes back centuries, and with a breed as aged as the Scottie, there is little documentation about its precise origins.  What is known however is that the earliest reference to a dog resembling the Scottish Terrier comes from 1436, in Don Leslie’s book The History of Scotland 1436-1561.  The Sealyham Terrier is not quite as archaic as the Scottish Terrier, and is recorded as being developed between the years 1850 and 1891, in Pembrokeshire.  A man named Captain John Edwards is responsible for the creation of the Sealyham Terrier breed.


From these two noble breeds, the Cesky Terrier would be created.  And although stemming from dog breeds with a much longer past, the Cesky Terrier’s specific story doesn’t begin until the mid 20th century, with a man called Frantisek Horak.  Prior to the creation of the Cesky Terrier breed, Horak worked for many years as a geneticist at the Academy of Science located in Prague.  There, Horak bred dogs as part of his work as a research assistant.  Horak was not only a geneticist, but a hunter as well.  In 1932, Horak acquired his first Scottish Terrier.


While at the Academy of Science, he became well known for the breeding work he had performed with the Scottish and Sealyham Terrier breeds.  The dogs being whelped in his breeding programs were often used by Horak for hunting near his home.  Horak considered the Scottish Terrier in his possession to be a bit too aggressive for his taste, so when he came across a Sealyham Terrier owner, Horak discussed with him a possible cross-bred Terrier, a pleasing mix of the two breeds.  Horak would become a successful dog breeder, and his kennel would be called Lovu Zdar, actually meaning “Successful Hunter”.  He would prove a talented breeder with all of his Terrier breeds, the Scottish, Sealyham, and his very own breed, the Cesky Terrier.


The World Wars would prove to be a difficult time for all European dog breeds and their breeders.  It would not be until after the end of the Second World War, that Horak would be able to begin his creation of the Cesky Terrier.  The breed’s genesis would occur in 1949, when a female Scottish Terrier, Donka Lovu Zdar would be mated to a male Sealyham Terrier, Buganier Urquelle.  Donka was a conformation dog as well as being used for hunting.  Buganier was kept as a member of a hunting pack of Terriers.  These two produced the first Cesky Terrier pup.  The new pup would be called Adam Lovu Zdar; it was born on December 25, 1949.


Horak bred his dogs for very specific physical characteristics and personality traits.  During his breeding program, Horak documented everything.  He recorded bloodlines, as well as any other important information on the dogs in his kennel.  Because of this, the Cesky Terrier is one of only a few breeds that have a complete account of its genesis, as well as its breeding lines and development since that time.  Sadly, that first Cesky pup was accidentally shot and killed in the 1950’s, causing a minor delay in the breed’s creation.  Horak, despite the sad loss of the dog, continued the breeding of the Scottish Terrier and the Sealyham Terrier.   From this second attempt, six puppies would be born, and this would be the true start of a brand new breed of Terrier.


The Scottish Terrier was used for its hunting talents, and the Sealyham for its pleasing temperament.  The Cesky Terrier would become known as a petite but solid member of the Terrier family; slightly calmer than most other Terrier breeds.  The Cesky Terrier is well suited for hunting in the Bohemian forests in which it was raised.  Not only was the Cesky Terrier popular in its homeland, but it began to gain popularity in foreign countries as well.  So well liked was the little Terrier, that during the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, Horak received visits from the secret police because of the excessive amounts of mail coming to him from other countries regarding his new breed of hunting Terrier.


A Club specifically for hunters using the Cesky Terrier was established in the breed’s homeland.  In 1956, the Cesky Terrier was presented to the public, and in 1959, the breed was officially shown for the first time.  The Cesky Terrier was subsequently recognized by the Czechoslovakian Kennel Club, and just a few years later, was granted full registration as a unique and separate breed by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1963.  The Cesky Terrier was considered a national breed and there was a ban placed on the exportation of the dogs from Czechoslovakia for a period of time.


The Cesky Terrier became very popular with hunters, but they also had much success in the show arena.  A Cesky Terrier by the name of Javor Lovu Zdar was the first of the breed to win championship status, a title he was given in 1964.  The success of the Cesky Terrier created a demand for the dog.  Therefore, the breed began to make its way out of Czechoslovakia and into other countries.  Currently, the Cesky Terrier can be found as far from home as the United States, England, Canada, and Australia.


Later in the his breeding program, Horak desired to add some fresh Terrier blood to the well established Cesky Terrier line he had been developing for all those decades.  The FCI granted Horak permission to introduce some new blood into the Cesky Terrier’s lineage.  Horak chose to breed a Sealyham Terrier back into the Cesky line.  The dog was used twice, originally brought into the breeding in 1984, and then again in 1985.


The Cesky Terrier is truly a delightful little chap and a skilled hunter.  As such, the Cesky Terrier has gained tremendous acclaim in both its homeland and throughout the world.  The breed is so adored in its home country, that the Cesky Terrier has been given the status of National Treasure.  The breed’s well recognized image has also been used on postage stamps, in literature, in works of art, in movies, and even on painted buses.


The Cesky Terrier finally made it “across the pond” and into America in 1987, and by 1993, there were 150 members of the breed documented as living in America, proving that the Cesky Terrier breed had truly taken hold in the U.S.  The American Cesky Terriers Fanciers Association (ACTFA) was established and would go on to become the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) parent club to the breed. Although the Cesky Terrier has been well liked since its inception, it is still considered a rare breed, one of the six rarest breeds in the world.  The Cesky Terrier is currently recognized as a unique breed by all the major kennel clubs. The Cesky Terrier was finally granted full recognition as an independent breed by the AKC in 2011.




The Cesky Terrier is a small, rectangular shaped dog with a sturdy build and a lively and sprightly step .  The Cesky Terrier may appear stocky; being both short but muscular; and strong.  The Cesky Terrier is a breed known for their charming appearance as much as they are known for their skilled work as hunters.  The breed stands between 10 and 14 inches tall at the withers, and displays an average weight of 13 to 23 lbs.


The head of the Cesky Terrier is long and shaped in such a way that it resembles a wedge, only blunt.  There is a pronounced stop between the forehead and the bridge of the nose, which is straight and leads into a well developed nose that is black in color.  The space between the dog’s ears should be moderately wide.  The face is narrow, with cheeks that are vaguely prominent and mid-sized eyes that are dark in color and almondAmong experts, the use of Almonds, or Almond derived products in pet food appears to have been met with mixed reviews. While some feel that there is no issue and that the .... shaped; set somewhat deep into the face, the eyes are soft and project a friendly air. The triangular-shaped ears are set high on the head; they are medium in size and drooping.  The jaw of the Cesky Terrier is powerful and displays teeth in a scissor or level bite.


The head flows gracefully into a firm, strong, and moderately long neck that displays a trivial arch.  The shoulders are muscular and strong, and give way to short but heavily boned forelegs, with tight fitting elbows.  The front legs should be straight and parallel.  The topline is slightly raised in the loin area.  The muscular body of the Cesky Terrier is rectangular, meaning it is longer than it is tall, with the approximate ratio being that of 1 ½ length to 1 height.  The measurement from the chest to the dog’s rump should be about 15 to 17 inches in length.  The chest in not so much deep as it is cylindrical, with well sprung ribs and a liberal tummy that tucks toward the loin.  The loin is well-developed with the pelvis displaying a minor slant.  The loin is long and round; slightly wide as well.  The hindquarters display powerful legs that are a bit longer than the front legs, muscular, with long thighs and straight, well developed lower legs.  The feet of the Cesky Terrier are solid, with strong pads and nails; the toes are moderately arched as well.  The hind feet are the same as the front, only slightly smaller.  The tail of the Cesky Terrier is left natural and can be roughly 7 to 8 inches long.  The tail may be carried in several different ways: downward, slightly bent at the end, or in a saber shape. 


The coat of the Cesky Terrier is one if it’s most outstanding characteristics.  This delightful little Terrier sports a soft, fine, long coat.  The hair is textured and commonly displays a slight wave.  Although long, the coat of the Cesky Terrier is not overly thick.  There is a lovely fall of hair that covers the eyes, as well as a beard and moustache.  The color of the coat is generally a bluish-gray.  Some dogs may have a coat that is consistent in its coloring, while others may have markings on the face and extremities that range from pale gray to yellow to cream.  White markings are also allowed.  Generally, the dog’s coat should be as uniform as possible.  The Cesky Terrier breed experiences fading due to a gene that the breed possesses, therefore, there may be some lightening of a solid colored dog over time.  Puppies are generally born black/black and tan.  By maturity (3 yrs) the dog should display one of a variety of gray shades that are common among members of the breed. 




The Cesky Terrier is a loving and devoted companion; of a more mild temperament than the average Terrier, the Cesky Terrier is gentle and patient.  The Cesky Terrier is non-aggressive and displays a strong desire to please.  The breed also possesses a less independent personality than a typical member of the Terrier family.  The Cesky Terrier is calm and good natured; the breed makes an excellent companion to just about anyone and displays good manners and a happy attitude.  They are well behaved with children as well as adults, and are often friendly and kind to most other pets.  A sporty little chap, the Cesky Terrier has an easy going and pleasant attitude towards life.


Although kept more as family companions in modern times, the Cesky Terrier is still a hunting dog.  As such, the breed displays a good attitude towards its work.  In the field, the Cesky Terrier is cheerful, full of life, energetic, and hard working.  The Cesky Terrier is little, but it is also quite tough, and possessing of an incredible stamina and enthusiasm for the sport of hunting.  The Cesky Terrier has been described as “feisty” and “fearless” when working the field, persistent when hunting its prey, and brave when confronting larger animals than itself. 


When in its role as companion, as opposed to hunter, the Cesky Terrier is much more laid-back and calm.  The breed is easy to train, loving, loyal, and sweet.  The Cesky Terrier is mild and calm, making it the easiest Terrier breed to keep as a family pet.  The Cesky Terrier is playful when in the company of its family, but is also inquisitive and explorative. The Cesky Terrier is protective by nature and therefore, makes an excellent guard dog, although being a non-aggressive breed, the dog will not attack.   The Cesky Terrier is also very alert to their surroundings and will quickly announce any suspicious activity in the area.  The breed makes a great companion to children because of its calm and gentle attitude, and the Cesky Terrier is friendly and considerate of other pets and animals in the household and that it meets in its daily life.  The Cesky will display a more social and friendly quality than most other Terrier breeds when dealing with other pets. 


Early socialization that continues throughout the life of the Cesky Terrier will ensure that it is well-behaved in the company of others.  The breed is generally polite to strangers, but reserved as well.  Socialization will further encourage the Cesky Terrier to see strangers as new friends and not something to be feared.  They are still a hunting breed however, and small animals like rodents will be seen as and treated like prey, so a Cesky Terrier should always be walked on a leash.  The dog should be exposed to many new and exciting places as a puppy, where it can meet and interact with other dogs and new people in order to be properly socialized into adulthood. The Cesky Terrier is a happy and communal breed; it can get lonely and bored if left on its own.  Destructive behaviors can occur if the dog is not mentally satisfied through companionship and attention.


The Cesky Terrier is easy to train, but it is an intelligent breed and therefore, patience and skill will need to be displayed during the dog’s lessons.  The breed can also have a short attention span, so vary the training sessions and keep them relatively short, so the dog doesn’t get bored.  Firmness and consistency are important when training a Cesky Terrier, but the breed can be sensitive, so harsh reprimand should never be used.  A raised voice or hand will only discourage a Cesky Terrier from learning its lessons.  Rewards such as treats or play will encourage the dog to learn its lessons successfully.    The Cesky Terrier can be head-strong and stubborn at times, therefore, training should begin as early in the dog’s life as possible to ensure proper development into adulthood.


Cesky Terriers are full of energy and enthusiasm.  They love to play and run, therefore requiring plenty of daily exercise.  The breed enjoys hunting and loves to dig in the yard.  The dog will enjoy playing games like retrieving a ball or stick.  The breed is versatile and excels in agility, conformation, tracking events, and obedience training so games of this nature will be very stimulating for a Cesky Terrier.  A fenced yard is necessary for the dog in order to let it exercise and play safely.  The breed also makes an excellent therapy dog.  The Cesky Terrier enjoys going on walks with its family.  Active families are recommended for the breed, as they are lap dog size but are certainly too athletic for such an activity. 


The Cesky Terrier is adaptable.  It is small in size and can therefore thrive in most any living situation so long as the dog is given enough exercise and attention.  The Cesky Terrier can live in an apartment or a larger home, but should be kept indoors with the family.  The breed would not do well being kept outside in the yard or in a kennel.  One concern with the Cesky Terrier is its love of food.  The breed loves to eat and has been known to steal food.  Not only does it have a slight obsession with food, but the dog will on occasion eat things that are not food, as these little Terriers have been known to eat inedible objects. 


Overall, the Cesky Terrier is a sweet, gentle, and fun-loving breed; a faithful companion who is devoted to pleasing its master.   They are friendly and well behaved with people of all ages and with most other animals.  A smart and easily trainable breed; adaptable and versatile, the Cesky Terrier is an ideal family pet and hunting companion to those who have the time for and are willing to spend the necessary attention on such a pleasant breed.


Grooming Requirements: 


The Cesky Terrier although a small breed, does require a moderate amount of grooming.  The breed sports a relatively long coat and does not shed; therefore the coat will need to be brushed regularly.  Brushing the coat daily will ensure that the hair stays clean and free of any matting that can occur.  The Cesky Terrier coat does not shed dirt either, and the dog will need bathes regularly to help keep it clean.  Use a good quality shampoo and conditioner, and be sure that the coat is completely dry before you begin to clip it.  The coat of the Cesky Terrier will hold shampoo, so make sure you rinse the dog several times to remove any shampoo residue that can be left on the hair.  Bathing the dog every two or three weeks should be adequate, however if the dog is an active one, more regular baths may be needed to keep it clean.


Cesky Terriers have a specific type of style that the coat is generally displayed in, requiring that the dog be clipped every six to eight weeks.  Unlike many other Terrier breeds, clipping should be done on the Cesky Terriers coat as opposed to hand stripping.  Certain facial hair, such as the eyebrows, moustache, and beard are kept long on the Cesky Terrier, as is the coat on the underside of the dog.  The rest of the coat is generally clipped short for style.  This longer hair can be trimmed with scissors as needed to keep it looking good and free of debris and tangles.  The Cesky Terrier does require some upkeep when it comes to their lovely coats, therefore, you should only keep Cesky Terrier as a pet if you have enough time and the desire to groom the dog regularly.


The Cesky Terrier has drop ears, and therefore should have its ears cleaned and checked often to prevent infection and other health concerns from developing.  The Cesky Terrier breeds is one in which excess hair will grow in the ear canal, this hair should be removed during grooming, as should the extra hair that grows between the pads of a Cesky Terrier’s feet.  Trim the nails about once a month or as needed.  Also, pay close attention and care to the eyes, nose, and teeth as well.  Keeping these areas clean and well cared for will prevent any disease or infection.  Brush the teeth daily, or as often as possible. 


Health Issues: 


The Cesky Terrier is a hearty and healthy breed, generally living an average of 12 to 15 years.  The females of the breed whelp two to six puppies per litter.  Although few heath conditions are a consideration for the breed, Scottie Cramp is sometimes seen in the breed, but is relatively uncommon.  It is not life threatening or painful for the affected dog, but it does cause some trouble in the dog’s movement when it walks. 


Although not common in the breed, tests for inheritable health conditions such as Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) and Progressive Retinal Atrophy have been suggested for the Cesky Terrier breed by the ACTFA.  The following is a list of possible health concerns associated with the Cesky Terrier breed, and may or may not be seen in your dog:

  • Patella Luxation
  • Obesity
  • Eye problems 


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