Complete Guide To The Cesky Terrier: Health, Personality, Feeding and More

Ceskys are an enigma among terriers. The only AKC-recognized breed from the Czech Republic, they’re playful but relaxed — the antithesis of their excitable cousins.

How Big Do Cesky Terriers Get?

Male11″ – 13″ at the shoulder18-24 lbs
Female10″ – 12″ at the shoulder14 – 20 lbs

What Do Cesky Terriers Look Like?

Their high-set ears fall gently forward, framing a strong muzzle and soft brown eyes. Wavy facial hair and a trademark mustache give this Bohemian charmer a sophisticated expression.

Longer than they are tall with short legs and a thin, tapered tail, their steely gray coats are softer than the typical terrier’s. White spots are common but shouldn’t exceed more than 20-percent of their total body area — furnishings from cream to silver are a distinguished touch. Developed using Scottish and Sealyham Terrier stock, they share similar traits.

What Is The Personality Of A Cesky Terrier?

Terriers can be a handful, but Ceskys are different. Frisky but laid-back, they lack the nervous energy that can make their cousins tough to handle. Exceptional companions for young children and active seniors, they’ll thrive with busy families and individuals alike — they’ll adapt to most settings.

Trainable, Ceskys are intelligent, devoted and eager to please, but they’re also prey-driven. Bred to hunt, chasing small animals from cats to backyard wildlife may be hard to resist. A secure play environment and early obedience training help mitigate those behaviors.

How Much Exercise Does A Cesky Terrier Need?

Ceskys need enough exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit, but they enjoy the simple things in life. Walks are among their favorite activities. With the right toys and room to roam, they can entertain themselves, but they crave human companionship and prefer owner-led fun — plan to commit 20 minutes per day.

Like any ratter, backyard games, like Fetch, that engage their chasing instincts are a hit. Barn Hunt, an athletic event in which dogs and their owners navigate mazes to find rats — held safe from harm — is ideal for honing their tracking abilities.

How Much Grooming Does A Cesky Terrier Need?

The Cesky’s coat is different than most terriers. It’s softer and less resistant to dirt, so it requires somewhat more care — monthly professional grooming, including a bath, ear cleaning and nail trim is recommended.

Twice weekly brushing at home removes loose hair and surface debris, so the house stays cleaner, and dogs look their best between visits. Use a metal comb to tease out tangles where they hide behind the hindquarters and ears. Rare among terriers, coats are not hand-stripped.

Regular ear care is essential for Ceskys — groomers pluck the soft hair from their canals to discourage infections. Short-legged, the feathers on their legs and bellies attract moisture and soil, so their monthly spa day is a must.

Traditionally, Ceskys are clipped or scissored to achieve their handsome look, but their rarity in the US can make finding a skilled expert difficult. A diligent groomer will work with you to learn the ropes, using the breed standard to achieve the best results.

What Kind Of Dog Food Is Best For A Cesky Terrier?

Most small kibble dry dog foods will be suitable for a Cesky Terrier. This particular breed has pretty large teeth so as long as the kibble isn’t too large it should be fine.

Grain-free diets are a myth. Please do not feed your dog a grain-free diet unless there are specific food allergies that would benefit from a grain-free diet. Always consult your veterinarian before you decide to make any major diet changes.

Some good brands that I recommend include:

I usually tend to go with the bigger dog food companies because of the amount of time and money they have to research and test their products. They also have a stronger history of safe foods (very rarely will they have recalls) over the newer, more boutique-style dog foods.

It is important always to give your dog high-quality dog food. Monitor the number of treats and “people food” you give your dog to keep him healthy and fit. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is the best and easiest way to extend the life of your Cesky Terrier. 

How Long Do Cesky Terriers Live?

12-15 years

What Health Problems Can Cesky Terriers Have?

Like many smaller breeds that look similar to it, the Cesky Terrier has certain health issues that prospective and current owners need to know about including:

  • Dental Disease
  • Luxating Patella
  • Obesity

Keep your Cesky at a healthy weight and stay on top of their dental care and your dog should have pretty great odds to live to at least 12 years old.

How Can I Learn More About Cesky Terriers?

American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association

AKC Breed Profile

Where Can I Find A Cesky Terrier?

List of Breeders from the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association is a great place to start. This breed is ranked in the bottom 5% in popularity of all the AKC registered breeds so it may take you a while to acquire a puppy.

I haven’t as yet been able to find a dedicated online resource for coordinated rescues of this breed. They are quite hard to find so far.

Interesting Facts About the Cesky Terrier

Cesky Terriers are scarce — there are fewer than 600 living in the United States. But their star is rising as people learn more about their qualities. Here are a few facts about this extraordinary breed.

Did you know?

• Ceskys Were Ambitiously Bred

Czech’s have a long history of breeding fine dogs — the King of Bohemia once kept an internationally renowned kennel. Lacking a versatile hunting dog that could tackle both small and large game, Czech geneticist and dog enthusiast, Frantisek Horak set out to develop one. Using primarily Scottish and Sealyham Terriers as stock, he added a pinch of Dachshund, a dash of Doberman and a splash of Dandie Dinmont Terrier to create the only-and-only Cesky in record time despite wars and revolutions.

• A Coat of Many Colors

Ceskys are known for their rich gray coats, but they’re not born that way. Many puppies are born black, brown or tan, morphing to gray as they get older with vestiges of their original color left behind in their furnishings. Some don’t achieve their final color for three years.

• They’re Fine Sentries

Despite their size, Ceskys can be formidable guard dogs. Bred to hunt in packs in pursuit of large animals, they stand their ground against threats. Family-oriented and loyal, their boundless devotion and dogged perseverance have earned them a reputation for bravery.

The Road West

Cesky Terriers didn’t arrive in the US until the late 1980s. Recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since 1996, they were officially recognized by the AKC and added to the Terrier Group in 2011 as their 172nd breed.