Czech Mates – The Cesky Terrier

Back in 1949, Frantisik Horak was just a lonely research assistant at the Czechoslovak Academy of Science.  Living in communist Czechoslovakia was no picnic…so he did what any lonely intelligent communist would do – he bred Scottish Terriers.  No seriously!

After a while, though, Frantisik decided to apply his research assistant skills to dogs instead of test tubes.  To create a dog that would be more suitable to hunt in packs and more aggressive at hunting bigger game than a Scottie (think fox instead of rat), he bred a Scottish Terrier with a Sealyham Terrier.  The result was the Cesky Terrier.  This terrier would go on to become a star in the Czech Republic – featured on postage stamps, television, and even on the big screen.  (An interesting side note: In Frantisik’s time, the popularity of his breed brought praise and a bit of fame….and a lot of mail from outside the country.  Unfortunately, communists frown on this sort of thing, so Mr. Horak was visited by the secret police of Czechosolvakia on more than one occasion.)

The Cesky Terrier is mellow….well, mellow compared with other terriers.  The Cesky is going to want to play a lot, chase a lot, and dig A LOT.  (Almost everything I read about this breed included a clause about making sure you have a “safe play area” or a “secure backyard” before inviting one into your family.)

Another interesting tidbit about this breed – they aren’t exactly easy going….unless you work at it.  Socialization seemed to be a key word that I kept reading over and over again.  They are fine with strangers as long as they get “continued socialization.” You must provide Cesky Terriers with “enough socialization” – exposing them to unfamiliar sounds, sights, and people – to help them overcome their natural cautiousness.   (Isn’t this true of any dog…any animal, really?)  These terriers (like all terriers) also need someone to discipline them.  They suffer from “small dog syndrome”….in other words, they are going to rule your house unless you show them who’s boss!

So you want a Cesky Terrier?  Well, I hate to break it to you, but they are hard to come by.  In an effort to discover how many of these little Czech guys and gals there are running around the U.S., all I could discover about their current population was ” The Cesky Terrier is one of the six most rare dog breeds worldwide.” (and that came from Wikipedia!)  Every source I checked, though, did confirm they were indeed “rare.”

As you already know from reading our post about the new AKC breeds, the Cesky Terrier made it’s official debut at this year’s Westminster Dog Show.  They also have their own club here in the states, the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association.

I don’t know if I will ever have the pleasure of meeting one of these terriers and getting the chance to judge their personality for myself….but there is one fact I’m sure of after my research.  The Cesky Terriers have the best beards in the world!!

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