Cesky Terriers

The Cesky Terrier is a relatively new breed, created in 1943 by crossing a Scottish Terrier and a Sealyham Terrier. The goal was to develop a pack-hunting terrier with short legs. The Cesky (pronounced ches-kee) is characterized by a long, blunt, wedge-shaped head with a bearded face, drop ears, a long body, and a long, silky coat in shades of gray. He has many good qualities, including a moderate size of 14 to 24 pounds, but he’s not right for everyone. Here’s what you should know if you’re considering acquiring a Cesky Terrier.

Traits, Personality and Behavior

The lively Cesky Terrier is small, but he could never be called quiet or low-energy. Like any terrier, he loves to dig and he has a deep, loud bark. Expect him to chase and try to kill small animals and birds. He'll need a securely fenced yard to keep him safe from traffic or loss. The Cesky needs plenty of daily exercise and enjoys a good game of fetch with a tennis ball.

He might be the right size for a lap, but that is way too boring for the Cesky. He's not as excitable as some terrier breeds, but this is a dog who will always want to be doing something. Keep food well out of his reach. He will take any opportunity to steal it. Not surprisingly, he is prone to obesity.

A Cesky loves his family but is aloof toward strangers. Early socialization is essential with this breed to ensure that he is accepting of guests, people met on the street, children and other animals. He loves being with his family and will be unhappy and probably quite destructive if left out in the yard with little interaction.

Be firm, fair and consistent when training this intelligent and independent-minded dog. He may have a short attention span, so keep training sessions brief and interesting. He responds best to positive reinforcement techniques using praise, play and food rewards, never force.

Cesky puppies need daily grooming, and adults must be brushed twice a week. To maintain its appearance, the coat must be trimmed every three to five weeks. You can have it done professionally or learn to do it yourself. You'll want to clean the beard after the dog eats or drinks. Other grooming needs are regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental hygiene.

Health Issues Common to Cesky Terriers

All purebred dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.

That said, the Cesky Terrier is a healthy breed so far. One of its foundation breeds, the Sealyham Terrier, can have an eye condition called progressive lens luxation, so it is recommended that the Cesky's eyes be tested annually.

The American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association Code of Ethics calls for breeding dogs to be tested for any inheritable defects for which a test is available, such as progressive retinal atrophy or hip dysplasia and to have certification of the result from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the PennHIP program. Some Cesky Terriers may develop a hereditary condition called Scottie Cramp, which occasionally affects the dog's gait but is generally not serious.

Condition Risk Profile Cost to Diagnose and Treat
Hip Dysplasia Low $1,500-$6,000

5 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Cesky Terrier Puppy

Finding a good breeder is more important than finding the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible.

Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health and behavior problems in Cesky Terriers aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an older dog, most of them can be ruled out. Since a Cesky Terrier can live to be 12 years old or more, even an adult dog will be with your family for a long time.

Puppy or adult, take your Cesky Terrier to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.

Don't ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store. You're more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to house-train puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.

Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with "puppy lemon laws," be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.

Pet Insurance for Cesky Terriers

Pet insurance for Cesky Terriers costs more than for mixed breed dogs. This is because Cesky Terriers are much more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.

Embrace dog insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which Cesky Terriers are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your Cesky Terrier is when he's a healthy puppy. You can't predict what will happen in the future, and pet insurance is the one thing you can't get when you need it the most.