The Biewer Terrier, also known as the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier a la Pom Pon, the Biewer Yorkie or just the Biewer, is a fairly new toy terrier breed. It has not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club, but is recognized by the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) and of course by their own American breed club, the Biewer Terrier Club of America (BTCA).
The average Biewer weighs between 4 and 8 pounds and stands up to 8 ½ inches in height at the withers. Their single coat is long, straight and silky and comes in white/blue/black and white/gold/tan. It requires regular attention to keep it tangle-free, much like human hair. These tiny terriers are reported to be happy-hearted and almost child-like, and they make extraordinary companions in large or small households. The Biewer Terrier does well with children and other animals and bonds closely with its people. These are playful, mischievous little dogs that can be pushy. Despite their small stature, they are sturdy, active and alert. They are not known to be yappy barkers.
The Biewer Terrier came to be its own breed as a result of a Yorkshire Terrier puppy born in Germany in January of 1984 that had an extreme amount of white patterning throughout his coat. This unusual puppy, named Scheefloeckchen von Friedheck, caused his breeders, Werner and Gertrud Biewer, to wonder whether their Yorkies carried a recessive piebald gene, which apparently they did. Over the next several years, the Biewers bred for the piebald gene and produced blue, white and gold Yorkshire Terriers that bred true to their color. Mr. Biewer showed two of his unique dogs as "black and white Yorkies" in 1988, and the breed took off from there. Biewer Terriers were first officially recognized by the Allgemeiner Club der Hundefreunde Deutschland e. V., one of Germany's dog clubs. The Biewers signed off on the Biewer breed standard in the late 1980s. Mr. Biewer died in 1997; thereafter, his widow stopped breeding dogs. The Biewer Terrier Club of America was established in 2007. Today, this is still considered to be a rare breed.
The average life span of the Biewer Terrier is 12 to 15 years. They may be prone to collapsing tracheas, hypoglycemia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation and portosystemic shunts. Their long coat needs daily brushing, and they should be bathed on a regular basis.
Biewer Terriers are a toy breed with a personality ten times larger then their tiny bodies might suggest. They love to be the center of attention and will do whatever it takes to be the star of the show. Biewers may look fragile and aloof, with their long shiny coats (often held out of their faces by bows or clips), but as with most terrier breeds, Biewers are fearless creatures, quick to posture against dogs of any size. They are good with children, make good companions for the elderly, and love to accompany people on trips outside the home, whether strutting their stuff on a leash, or being carried around like an Egyptian Queen. Because they often have no idea just how tiny they are, Biewers tend to enjoy the company of larger dogs.
Toy breeds don't need a whole lot of room to run, but even apartment Biewers should be walked regularly, to avoid becoming overweight. In a fenced-in yard they will run and play with children, but should never be left off leash, as they will chase after just about anything that catches their eye – even cars.
Though Biewers can get along swimingly with larger dogs, they should be socialized as early as possible to learn to accept new people and situations. They can be wary of strangers and once a fearless little Biewer postures, it's difficult to talk them down.
Terriers are willful little creatures and Biewers are no exception. They can be taught, but they will do it on their own time, and once they realize tricks get them attention, they will be eager to learn more. Training should involve lots and lots of positive reinforcement (they love to the be the star) and treats. Harsh handling of a Biewer can cause them to avoid behaviors all together.
Biewers are tiny, but their bark is shrill enough to set your hair on end. They bark early and often, which makes them excellent watchdogs, but not always the best neighbors. Thick walls are important if bringing a Biewer home to an apartment building.
This dog is fearless and won't back down from a fight. While they may seem timid and even shake when startled, they absolutely will bite. While Biewers love children, kids should always be taught not to startle a dog, and new dogs should be introduced to Biewer Terriers with caution, and cats should be avoided at all costs.
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Sources: American Kennel Club