Cesky Terrier

Canis lupus

Last updated: September 27, 2022
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© Sevostyanova Tatyana/Shutterstock.com

This breed is also known as the Bohemian Terrier (Bohemia was an historical Medieval kingdom and a region of the modern Czech Republic)


Cesky Terrier Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Cesky Terrier Conservation Status

Cesky Terrier Locations

Cesky Terrier Locations

Cesky Terrier Facts

Fun Fact
This breed is also known as the Bohemian Terrier (Bohemia was an historical Medieval kingdom and a region of the modern Czech Republic)
Alert, inquisitive, and adventuresome

Cesky Terrier Physical Characteristics

  • Grey
  • Blue
  • Light-Brown
Skin Type
12 – 15 years
24 lbs

Cesky Terrier as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Tendency to Chew
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Separation Anxiety
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
Friendly With Other Dogs
Pure bred cost to own
$500 to $2,500
Dog group
Male weight
14-24 lbs
Female weight
14-24 lbs

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The Cesky Terrier was originally bred in Czechoslovakia as a fox hunter. Its superb problem-solving skills would help it locate underground dens and track down prey.

The Cesky Terrier (pronounced chess-kee) is a hard-working but fun-loving dog native to the Czech Republic. The father of this breed was geneticist and hunter Frantisek Horak, who, in 1948, sought to create a working terrier that could hunt foxes and other small game in the forests surrounding Prague, then part of Czechoslovakia. To arrive at his ideal dog, he crossed a Sealyham Terrier and a Scottish Terrier together over several generations. Despite being very niche in the United States, it was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2011.

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The Cesky is characterized by short legs, a rectangular and muscular frame, and downturned ears. The soft silk coat comes in several shades of grey, including platinum and charcoal. Less commonly, it will develop a lighter brown color. The coat grows quite long around the snout, giving this dog the appearance of a beard and moustache. Temperamentally, the Cesky is calmer and less energetic than most other breeds of terrier, which may appeal to owners who don’t want a high maintenance dog.

3 pros and cons of owning a Cesky Terrier

Fun and Adventurous
The Cesky Terrier is a great playmate for all members of the family.
Wary of Strangers
The Cesky Terrier has a natural tendency to distrust unfamiliar faces.
Eager to Please
The Cesky Terrier is an obedient and hard-working dog.
Tendency to Wander
This breed has an instinct to chase prey and explore its surroundings.
Low Shedding Coat
Since it rarely sheds, this breed should be suitable for people with allergies.
Requires Regular Clippings
The dog has a rough coat that needs to be clipped on a regular basis.
Cesky terrier standing in a flower meadow

©Dora Zett/Shutterstock.com

Cesky Terrier Size and Weight

The Cesky Terrier is a small, short-legged dog with a sturdy frame. There are few differences in size between the males and females.

Height (Male)10 to 13 inches
Height (Female)10 to 13 inches
Weight (Male)14 to 24 pounds
Weight (Female)14 to 24 pounds

Cesky Terrier Common Health Issues

The Cesky Terrier is a very healthy type of dog with a lifespan of some 12 to 15 years. While the gene pool in the United States is still fairly small, breeders are working to minimize genetic health problems. This breed is prone to heart disease, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, cancer, patellar luxation (essentially, a loose kneecap), and Scotty cramp (chronic spasms that affect the dog’s ability to move; this condition is serious but not life-threatening). Good breeders should naturally screen for these health problems, but it might be a good idea to have a thorough physical examination at the vet. To sum up the most common issues:

  • Heart Problems
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cancer

Cesky Terrier Temperament

The Cesky Terrier is an excellent choice for owners who want a small dog that’s nevertheless athletic, alert, fearless, and adventuresome. Calmness is another defining trait of this breed. It doesn’t get riled up or excited over much and should be on good behavior. Despite being friendly and affectionate toward its acquaintances, this breed is just as reserved and distrustful toward strangers. This makes it a good watchdog. However, with a little time and affection, it’s very possible for strangers to earn the trust of the Cesky Terrier. Another good quality is that the Cesky Terrier doesn’t need too much space and should adapt well to apartment living.

Health and Entertainment for your Cesky Terrier

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How to Take Care of the Cesky Terrier

The Cesky Terrier is actually a good choice for novice terrier owners. While it still requires quite a lot of time and investment, this dog is probably easier to care for than many other breeds of terrier. Perhaps the main reason for this is the ease with which it can be trained. The Cesky Terrier responds well to human commands and lacks the stubborn streak of other terriers. If you decide to purchase the Cesky Terrier, then you should try to find a high-quality dog breeder in your area who selects only the best dogs and screens for health problems. Another option is to look around various shelters or rescue agencies, but this dog is so rare in the United States that it is unlikely any rescue group will carry them. After bringing your dog home, make sure it has a physical examination at the vet and regular visits after that.

The Best Dog Food for Cesky Terriers

The Cesky Terrier needs about 1.5 cups of high-quality food every single day, based on its size, age, and activity level. Owners should not leave out more food than is necessary, because the dog has a tendency to gain weight.

This breed can also be vulnerable to heart problems. With a vet’s guidance, look into the link between legumes and heart failure in dogs, and compare legume-free dog foods.

A-Z Animals selects Inception Dry Dog Food – Complete and Balanced Dog Food as the best dog food for Cesky Terriers.

That’s because this legume-free fish kibble has taurine to support an unstoppable heart. The taurine has another benefit- healthy eyes. Plus, this recipe includes selenium and natural omegas for the immune system.

Check Chewy or Amazon for this product.

Inception Dry Dog Food – Complete and Balanced Dog Food – Meat First Legume Free Dry Dog Food
  • INCEPTION IS PROTEIN FIRST – Inception is formulated with animal protein first to serve your canine companions’ needs. We understand your canine companions are carnivore first, omnivore second and thrive with good animal protein in their diets. At Inception, we ensure our first two ingredients are animal protein.
  • INCEPTION CHICKEN FORMULA - Our Inception Chicken recipe contains chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein providing high-quality, essential amino acids, and trace minerals. Chicken is a “protein-dense” ingredient, meaning that it provides a lot of protein compared to fat in a given amount of meat. This makes it an excellent source of protein that may help in weight control because fat contains more calories than protein. Chicken is high in vitamin B3, vitamin B6 and vitamin B5. It’s also a great source of selenium and phosphorus.
  • INCEPTION IS LEGUME FREE – Inception formulas are free of legumes, potatoes, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. We want to give your canine companions everything they need for a long and happy life with you.

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Cesky Terrier Maintenance and Grooming

The Cesky has a fairly hypoallergenic coat characterized by short hair around most of the body, leaving long hair on the legs, stomach, and face. However, it is quite different from the typical rough-haired terrier. While many terrier breeds to be hand stripped (a method of removing the top layer of the coat by hand), the Cesky should suffice with weekly brushes and the occasional clipping every six to 10 weeks (depending on the climate). A professional groomer will be best equipped to trim the dog’s hair, although it may be possible to do it on your own. Bathing needs to take place in between grooming sessions since the coat does not tend to naturally remove dirt on its own. You should also check the ears regularly (and clip the ear hairs) to remove any excess debris or obstructions. Trim the nails on a regular basis before they become long and unwieldy.

Cesky Terrier Training

The Cesky Terrier was bred to be a fairly intelligent and trainable dog with the ability to track down prey while on the hunt. This breed will benefit greatly from early house training, socialization, and basic commands. It also needs to be taught to avoid chasing prey. Fortunately, the Cesky lacks the stubborn streak of many other terriers that may lead it to ignore commands. As a sensitive breed, it should respond best to a positive training style. If you become too aggressive, then this breed might shut down and become unresponsive.

Cesky Terrier Exercise

The Cesky Terrier needs about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every single day in the form of walks, fetching, and playtime. This dog also excels at agility challenges and competitions. Unless this breed has been well-trained from the beginning, it is not a good idea to let this dog run free, since it has a strong prey drive and might wander off against the objections of its owner. That is why this breed does best with a fenced yard to play in. When you take it for a walk or run, the dog should normally be kept on a leash.

Cesky Terrier Puppies

The Cesky Terrier is always bred to meet a particular standard, so there is little deviation in appearance except for the coat color. Puppies are normally born with a very dark coat, and it usually takes a few years for it to lighten a bit toward a gray or brown color. As mentioned previously, they will benefit from a disciplined training regime with a strong leader as its guide. Cesky breeders are uncommon, and rescue groups are even rarer, so it may take some effort to track down one of these dogs.

Cesky Terriers and Children

The Cesky Terrier should excel in the presence of children. Its patient, loyal, and playful personality make it a good companion. The dog’s small size is also very approachable for everyone. But parents should supervise all interactions between dogs and younger children.

Dogs Similar to the Cesky Terriers

The Cesky Terrier bears the strongest similarities to the following breeds of terriers:

  • Scottish Terrier – As the one breed from which the Cesky Terrier originated, the Scottish Terrier shares a lot in common with it. This breed is a small, short-legged dog with wiry hair, an intelligent mind, an alert demeanor, a strong sense of purpose, and a playful personality.
  • Russell Terrier – The Russell Terrier, along with its close cousins, the Jack Russell Terrier and Parsons Russell Terrier, is a type of working terrier. It has a strong-minded but playful personality. The coat comes in three different varieties: long and rough (like a traditional terrier), short and smooth, or broken (a mix between the two).
  • Australian Terrier – Descended from several rough coat British terrier breeds, the Australian terrier has a very alert, feisty, and friendly personality. It was originally bred to be an expert vermin hunter, but today it’s mostly kept as a companion and friend.

Famous Cesky Terriers

As a relatively obscure and niche breed, the Cesky Terrier hasn’t made a major cultural impact in the United States, but it is a lot more common within its native Czech Republic.

If you’re looking for a good Czech name or just a good terrier name in general, then you might want to consider the following options:

  • Marek
  • Ivana
  • Hana
  • Milos
  • Chloe
  • Baxter
  • Sadie
  • Riley
  • Bailey
  • Bodie

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What's the right dog for you?

Dogs are our best friends but which breed is your perfect match?


If you have kids or existing dogs select:

Other Dogs

Should they be Hypoallergenic?

How important is health?
Which dog groups do you like?
How much exercise should your dog require?
What climate?
How much seperation anxiety?
How much yappiness/barking?

How much energy should they have?

The lower energy the better.
I want a cuddle buddy!
About average energy.
I want a dog that I have to chase after constantly!
All energy levels are great -- I just love dogs!
How much should they shed?
How trainable/obedient does the dog need to be?
How intelligent does the dog need to be?
How much chewing will allow?
About the Author

AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

Cesky Terrier FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Cesky Terrier?

The Cesky Terrier is a type of working terrier (a terrier that pursues its prey into burrows and ground) that originated from then Czechoslovakia around 1948. It is curious, inquisitive, adventurous, and hard-working. And it doesn’t shed much.

What is the price of a Cesky Terrier?

The price of a new Cesky Terrier tends to be somewhere between $500 and $2,500. Adopted dogs tend to be the least expensive; it may be possible to find one for only a few hundred dollars. Dogs with a strong pedigree will tend to have a higher price. New puppies from a good breeder will probably cost somewhere in between.

Do Cesky Terriers shed?

The Cesky Terrier is a very light shedder. Its hypoallergenic coat should be mostly okay for people with allergies.

Do Cesky Terriers bark a lot?

Cesky Terriers may have a tendency to bark on some occasions such as when a stranger is at the door. But it’s also not a very mouthy dog either.

Are Cesky Terrier good family pets?

Yes, the Cesky Terrier is an excellent family dog. It has a rather playful personality and alert but fairly mellow temperament. Once the dog has actually become part of the family, it may be very protective of all the members of the household.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/cesky-terrier/
  2. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/9-facts-about-the-cesky-terrier/

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