Cesky Terriers are fairly small but robust dogs that have their roots in Czechoslovakia. With long bodies and short legs, they are excellent for hunting rodents and keeping fields and gardens free from pests. Ceskys were developed from crosses of Scottish and Sealyham Terriers, and they resemble a combination of both two ancestral breeds. This is a showy, sophisticated, lean and graceful breed that sports a grandfatherly beard, mustache and eyebrows, as well as a fall of hair that flows from the forehead over the eyes. It has high set dropped ears, a natural tail and a long, soft coat that comes in varying shades of gray and brown. The Cesky’s head is blunt and wedge-shaped, with a black nose and a strong square jaw. Its head should be roughly one-third the length of its body when viewed in profile, which gives the Cesky a somewhat silly, out-of-proportion appearance.
Size and Weight
Cesky Terriers typically range from 10 to 13 inches in height measured at the withers and weigh somewhere between 13 and 24 pounds. From tip to tail, Ceskys are about 24 inches in length. The size and weight standards of various purebred dog registries vary only slightly from these average ranges.
Coat and Color
The Cesky’s coat is naturally long, bushy, fine, firm, glossy, silky, puffy and slightly wavy. It should not be as wiry, curly, course or harsh as the coat of other terriers. Ceskys have well-defined beards and prominent eyebrows that blend into the long fall of hair that flows from their foreheads over their eyes and across their muzzles. Their legs and chest carry long furnishings or feathers, which continue to but should not drag on the ground. Cesky Terriers have thin, sensitive skin that is prone to tearing if it is handled too roughly.
Ceskys are born either all black or black with a dusting of brownish tan. Their coat color changes as they age. Mature Ceskys typically are some shade of gray, ranging from the deepest charcoal to the lightest platinum, although some are brown. Adults may develop black on their head, ears, feet and tail. Brown, yellow or white markings may show up on the head, cheeks, beard, neck, chest, belly and legs, and the tail tip may be white. However, the base coat color should always predominate. Brindling (striping) and white facial blazes are not permitted.
Cesky Terriers that are groomed and trimmed on a regular basis, preferably by a professional groomer, are fairly low-maintenance. However, Ceskys that are left in natural coat without trimming require up to 4 hours or more of brushing and combing weekly to keep their coats tidy, attractive and free from knots and mats. Show dogs need even more maintenance, as the proper show coat for this breed takes a tremendous amount of time to achieve and maintain. The Cesky’s coat is groomed by shaping and trimming with scissors and clippers, not by hand stripping as is common with most other terrier breeds. Cesky Terriers benefit from weekly or bi-weekly baths. If regular trips to the groomer are part of their routine, they only need to be bathed at home every few months, unless they get particularly muddy or dirty. It is important to use shampoos and conditioners that are designed to help reduce the accumulation of mats. This is especially important in untrimmed dogs. It is also important to rinse Ceskys several times, because their coats tend to hold onto shampoo, which can cause rashes. Grooming a Cesky is a lifelong commitment. This is not a breed for someone looking for an easy keeper.
Regular dental care is important in most breeds. However, it is especially important for Cesky Terriers, who are prone to developing mouth and gum disease, including gingivitis. Brushing teeth daily and providing healthy chew toys and bones are the best ways to prevent the unhealthy buildup of plaque and tartar. Occasional dental cleanings by a veterinarian are also important to good dental hygiene in this breed.