Cesky Terrier

Cesky Terrier dog
John Walton
Written by John Walton

The small Cesky Terrier is considered to be one of the six rarest breeds in the world. Originated in Czechoslovakia, they are a fairly new breed and only been around since 1948. The Cesky Terriers were developed by crossing the Scottish and Sealyham Terriers.

Breed characteristics

TrainabilityAbove Average
Health and GroomingHigh
All Around FriendlinessHigh
Exercise NeedsAbove Average

Dog Breed Group:Terrier Dogs
Height:10-13 inches tall at the shoulders.
Weight:13-30 lb.
Life Span:10 to 15 years

They were bred to hunt in the forests of Bohemia, which is why they are also known as the Bohemian Terriers.

The more easy going and less aggressive of all the Terriers, they are easy to train and are more sociable and playful with other dogs and cats than most of the other Terriers. They are reserved towards strangers and require plenty of socialization to grow up to be a well-rounded and emotionally balanced adult.

They are a great addition to families with children or seniors as they quickly adapt to any living arrangement and get along with children. They don’t like to be alone for long periods of time and will do better in homes where there is someone present for the majority of the day.

They excel in agility, tracking, hunting and obedience trials, some serve as therapy dogs as well. The Cesky Terriers are joyful, courageous, loyal and sweet.

Main Highlights
  • The breed originated in Czechoslovakia in 1948 to hunt vermin.
  • They were specifically bred for hunting in the forest of Bohemia, they are also known to be called Bohemian Terriers.
  • The Cesky Terriers are the result of a breeding between the Scottish Terriers and the Sealyham Terriers.
  • They are considered the more mellow and calm of the Terriers, polite with strangers as well as other dogs and cats.
  • The breed is suitable for apartment dwelling.
  • The coat doesn’t require much upkeep except for weekly brushing or combing.
  • They are prone to small dog syndrome.
  • They are a fairly rare breed and are very hard to find.
  • May chase small critters and rodents depending on their early socialization and upbringing.
  • The Cesky Terriers make good watch and guard dogs.
Breed History

The Cesky Terrier, also known as the Bohemian Terrier is a relatively new breed. They were developed in 1948 in Czechoslovakia by Frantisek Horak by crossing the Sealyham Terriers and the Scottish Terriers for the purpose of hunting vermin in the forests of Bohemia.

The breed was first introduced in the United States in 1980 and in the United Kingdom in 1989 and they are considered one of the world’s six most rare breeds, with less than 100 puppies being born each year in the United States.

The Cesky Terriers were officially recognized by the AKC in 2011 and rank 189th most popular breed in the world according to the AKC.


The breed generally measures 10-13 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs 13-30 lb, the females are usually smaller than the males.

Personality and Character

The Cesky Terriers are believed to be the calmest and easy going among Terriers. They are more sociable with other cats and dogs as long as they have been raised together. Still, they are suspicious and shy towards strangers, which makes them a good choice for a watch or guard dog but they also require plenty of socialization.

The breed is playful and inquisitive outdoors and requires moderate exercise to vent excess energy. They are calm and mellow indoors which makes them suitable for apartment dwellers as well as life in the country. The breed is intelligent and possesses the stubborn and independent streak which the Terriers are famous for.

They are known to follow their noses and need to be leashed when they are not in a fenced and secured environment to avoid potentially dangerous situations to them and to the small critters they are most likely chasing. The Cesky Terriers are playful, patient, sweet, and are highly trainable.

Their mellow and affectionate personality, small frame and moderate exercise needs makes the Cesky Terrier a great companion to families with children and seniors. Their sensitivity and devotion also makes them good therapy dogs.

Health and Potential Problems

The breed isn’t known to have many health problems and is usually considered to be a healthy breed. However, as with all breeds, some individuals are more prone to certain health conditions than others.

That’s why reputable breeders as well as shelters tend to test their dogs for any genetic or hereditary conditions prior to breeding and also test the litters for any such issues as well. The puppies also receive a clean bill of health from the vet prior to adoption or purchase.

Backyard breeders should be treated with caution as most of them don’t have the necessary knowledge and understanding of the breed and may cause behavior issues as well as health conditions in future bloodlines. Never purchase a dog from a puppy mill as most of these organizations keep the animals in their care in heartbreaking conditions, putting financial gain above their mental and physical well-being.

With regular exercise, healthy diet and yearly vet checks, your companion will remain by your side for many years to come.

The main conditions that should worry you, are:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A common problem in dogs, caused by the femur not fitting properly into the hip joint. The condition may cause pain, lameness and arthritis in old age. It is usually managed with pain medication or surgery in severe cases.
  • Scottie Cramp Syndrome: The condition is caused by lack of serotonin in the body, the condition is not life threatening but usually causes awkward movement while walking.
  • Slipped stifles: A common issue in smaller breeds, it occurs when the thigh bone, knee cap and calf are not aligned properly. The condition causes dislocation of the knee cap, discomfort, lameness and arthritis. It can be corrected with surgery in severe cases.
Care Features

The Cesky Terriers are considered to be the more agreeable of the Terrier bunch. They do have the independent and stubborn streak but they are also the more trainable Terrier. The breed requires a handler that can set clear boundaries and reinforce them using positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise.

A handler with a natural air of authority who can prove themselves a worthy pack leader will get the most out of the Cesky Terriers. Without a pack leader they may become head strong, feisty and harder to handle. They are an intelligent breed and also need a regular physical and mental vent.

The Cesky Terriers do well in agility and obedience trials, tracking and earth dog events.

As most small breeds, the Ceskys are also prone to small dog syndrome; it is a human induced syndrome that allows the small dog to get away with leader of the pack behaviors bigger breeds usually can’t get away with such as leading and pulling on the walk or jumping up.

The handlers establishing themselves as pack leaders and proper training would successfully curb the ill manners and bad habits that are associated with small dog syndrome.

The breed tends to be on the shy and reserved side when it comes to strangers, making socialization extremely important. The process of introducing the puppy to the world should begin as soon as possible.

Encouraging family members and friends to come over for a visit, going to the dog park once the puppy is fully vaccinated, running errands and going on car rides helps view the new experiences as positive ones, eliminating the factor of fear and stress of the unknown.

Enrolling the Cesky Terrier in puppy kindergarten is also highly recommended as it helps deepen the bond between the handler and the Cesky as well as receiving professional guidance and support with the socialization process.

The Cesky Terriers are playful outdoors but calm and mellow indoors. They are quick to adopt to new environments and due to their small frame and undemanding exercise needs would do well in an apartment as well as acreage.

When they are not in a safe and secure area, they should be leashed at all times as they have the tendency to follow their nose and chase smaller critters, putting themselves and the other animal in danger. They should also be provided with identification means such as a microchip or a tag with the owner’s up to date contact information such as an address and a phone number for a safe and quick return in case they did manage to run off.

The breed loves food and stops at nothing to get to the treat you’re hiding in the cupboard, they are very food motivated which helps greatly in training, but their diet should be monitored to keep their weight at a healthy level for their build.

They are also known to eat things they are not supposed to which might result in expensive vet trips, it is recommended to dog proof the home as much as possible. Crate training would also be efficient in that matter as it is difficult to supervise them when the owner is not at home. Crate training should begin at a few hours at the time while the owner is around to reassure them.

Crate training is also proven to minimize the house training time by about a half, as long as the Cesky Terriers gets consistent and often bathroom breaks in the same spot and time.

The crate is viewed as their den which they are less inclined to soil. It is also considered their special spot where they can retreat to when tired or needing space. Some owners also find the crate effective to deal with separation anxiety.

Due to their loving and affectionate nature they don’t like being left at home by themselves for long periods of time. People who work long hours or are away from the home for extended periods of time might want to consider a different breed.

Feeding Schedule

The recommended amount of daily food intake is individual to each dog. Puppies tend to consumes more than adult dogs to accommodate for their rapid growth and development, the same is true of active dogs, while less active dogs and senior dogs tend to consume less.

The food intake depends on the age, size and activity levels. Choosing a high quality, free of unnecessary ingredients such as corn, grain free and high in protein dog food will go a long way in providing your companion with healthy bones, coat and skin, mental and physical vitality and longevity.

It is important to note that the Cesky Terriers love food and will stop at nothing to get to it. Monitoring their eating habits is highly recommended, as well as dividing their daily amount into 2-3 meals a day instead of leaving it available all the time will aid them in maintaining a healthy weight.

Coat, Color and Grooming

The Cesky’s silky and wavy coat doesn’t require much maintenance, it needs to be brushed a few times a week to keep it mat and tangle free as well as clipping their coat about four times a year. They don’t shed much either and may be a good choice to consider for people with allergies or asthma.

It is important to note that there is no such thing as a truly hypo allergenic breed as the allergens are most commonly found on the hair or in the saliva. The only way to truly tell if one is allergic to the breed is spend plenty of time with them, although certain allergies can build up over time.

The common colors of the coat range from silver to black.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

The Cesky Terriers are loyal, devoted and playful. They make a great companion for children as long as they have been raised together and the children have been taught proper boundaries.

They have the energy to keep up with the younger members of the family and won’t refuse a play of fetch in the yard. However, even though they are the more laidback of the Terriers, their patience shouldn’t be tested.

The foundation of mutual love and respect between children and dogs should be laid down before bringing the Cesky Terrier home.

An alarming number of dogs are being surrendered to shelters, abandoned, or put down each year due to the adults’ failure to educate the younger members of the family on proper dog handling etiquette.

Any ear or tail pulling as well as any other form of teasing should be discouraged immediately. Playtime between animals and children should be supervised by an adult at all times.

The Cesky Terriers are usually more social and playful than other Terriers when it comes to other dogs and cats, especially if they have been raised together. However, due to their breeding as a vermin hunter, interactions between the Cesky’s and smaller critters should be supervised at all times as they might chase the small critters.

Although there are similar traits in each breed, every dog should be treated as an individual. Their behavior and character depends on their breeding, upbringing, socialization, training, environment and handler.

Terriers are known to be spirited, stubborn and somewhat aggressive in their dealings with other dogs and cats. The Cesky Terriers has all the great Terrier qualities such as independent thinking and intelligence but they are also known to be the calmest, more polite and obedient of the Terriers.

They are one of the rarest breeds in the world and even if one succeeded in finding a breeder, one is most likely to be put on a long waiting list.

They are curious outdoors and enjoy activities that get their paws moving and brains thinking. They are calm and mellow indoors which makes then ideal for apartment living as long as they are sufficiently exercised and provided with plenty of human companionship.

They make great companions to anyone that can fulfill their mental and physical needs. They have plenty of love to give and their devotion makes them great therapy dogs. The Cesky Terriers are sporty, patient, loving and a kind breed that will brighten the life of anyone.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.