The Cesky Terrier is a well-muscled, short legged and well-pigmented hunting terrier that was developed to be worked in packs. The breed originated in the Czech Republic and is considered one of the country's national breeds. As such, it has been featured on postage stamps, on television, in books and even in a movie. The Cesky has natural drop ears, a natural tail, and sports a soft, long, silky coat in shades of gray from charcoal to platinum.
Mr. Frantisik Horak, an avid hunter and breeder of Scottish Terriers, had a vision of creating a terrier suitable for hunting in packs in the forests of Bohemia. In 1949, he completed the first breeding between a Scottish Terrier and Sealyham Terrier that would eventually become the Cesky Terrier. In 1950, he reported his records of these breedings to the Czech Terrier Club (FCI) and made the request to name the new breed the "Cesky (chess - key) Terrier." Keen and alert, the Cesky Terrier has been used in hunting fox, rabbits, ducks, pheasants, and even wild boar.
Cesky Terriers are loyal family members who require continued socialization throughout their lives due to their reserved nature towards strangers. They are an active breed and like most terriers, love to dig. Ceskys require a moderate amount of grooming with monthly clippings. A secure backyard where the breed can get regular exercise is strongly recommended.
The Cesky Terrier was developed to be a well-muscled, short legged and well-pigmented hunting terrier that could be worked in packs. The Cesky Terrier has natural drop ears and a natural tail. The Cesky is longer than it is tall and has a topline that rises slightly higher over the loin and rump. It sports a soft, long, silky coat in shades of gray from Charcoal to Platinum. The correct coat is clipped to emphasize a slim impression. The hallmarks of the breed should be unique unto itself with a lean body and graceful movement. They are reserved towards strangers, loyal to their owners, but ever keen and alert during the hunt.
Size, Proportion Substance
Height – Height at withers 10 - 13 inches.
Weight – Weight is ideally between 16 and 22 pounds, bitches slightly less, (suggested to be no less than 14 pounds and no more than 24 pounds) however, no Cesky in good condition and otherwise well balanced shall be penalized for being only slightly outside the suggested weight.
Length – The length of body, measured from sternum to buttocks ideally between 15 and 17 inches. To be in a ratio of approximately 1 1/2 (Length) to 1 (Height). The overall balance is more important than any single specification.
Girth of thorax (behind elbows) – The girth of the body measured at the thorax, behind the elbows ideally is 17 to 18 inches.
Head – Head is about 7 to 8 inches long, 3 to 4 inches wide and is shaped like a long, blunt wedge. The plane of the forehead forms a slight but definite stop with the bridge of the nose. The breadth between the ears is slightly larger for a dog than a bitch. The head should join the neck smoothly.
Eyes - Almond shaped of medium size. Slightly deep set with a friendly expression. The color is brown or dark brown.
Ears - Medium size, dropping in such a way to well cover the orifice. Ears are set rather high with forward edge lying close to the cheek. Shaped like a triangle, with the shorter side of the triangle at the fold of the ear.
Skull – Skull is shaped like a blunt wedge with the broadest part between the ears which tapers moderately towards the supraorbital ridges. Occipital protuberance easy to palpate, cheek bones moderately prominent. Frontal furrow only slightly marked. A shallow indentation running down the brows, and joining the muzzle with a moderate stop.
Muzzle - Nasal Bridge straight. Narrow foreface undesirable.
Stop – Not accentuated but apparent.
Nose – Dark and well developed. The color is black.
Teeth – Set square in a strong jaw, sound and regular, and of good size. Either scissor or level bite is expectable. Complete dentition preferred.
Neck, Topline and Body
Neck – Well muscled and strong. Medium-long, carried in a slight arch. Set firmly on the shoulders.
Topline – Not straight but with a slight rise over the loin and rump.
Body – Fully muscled, longer than high. Withers not very pronounced with the neck set rather high. Rump is strongly developed, muscular; pelvis moderately slanting with the hip bones often slightly higher than the withers.
Belly – Ample and slightly tucked up. Flanks well fitted.
Chest – More cylindrical than deep.
Ribs – Well sprung.
Loins – Relatively long, muscular, broad and slightly rounded.
Tail – The ideal length is 7 to 8 inches. Set following the line of the rump. Tail may be carried downward or with a slight bend at tip; or carried saber shaped horizontally or higher. All of these tail carriages are considered correct with none having preference over the other. Curled squirrel tail penalized.
Shoulder – Muscular, well laid back and powerful.
Elbows – Should fit closely to the sides and be neither loose or tight.
Forelegs – Short, straight, well boned and parallel. Dewclaws may be present.
Forefeet – Large, well-arched toes with strong nails and well-developed pads.
Hindlegs – Strong, well-muscled and longer than the forelegs.
Thigh - Longer in proportion to the lower leg with stifle well bent.
Hock Joint - Strong and well developed. Well let down and parallel to each other. Lower leg is straight from hock to heel.
Hindfeet – As front but smaller.
Long, fine but slight texture. Furnishings slightly wavy with a silky gloss. Shorter hair can have more curl. Not overdone with too much furnishings.
Clipping for presentation:
Head and neck
On the foreface, the hair is not to be trimmed except for cleaning up long hair to form a beard and eyebrows. The eyebrows should angle from the outside corner of the eye and work into the fall that is left long between the eyes. The beard is trimmed at an angle from the underside of the eye to the corner of the mouth and around the lower jaw. The hair on the cheeks and underside of the neck is clipped quite short, ¼ inch long. The hair on the upper side of the neck is trimmed to about ½ to 1 inch long.
Chest and Forequarters
The short hair on the underside of the neck is continued down the chest. Long furnishings begin at the level of where the front leg couples with the body and continue across the front of the dog in a straight line that is not blended into the short hair of the upper chest and neck. The short hair is continued over the shoulder muscles and stops where the body ties into the forequarters of the dog. The top lateral portion of the front leg is also clipped short in a U shape as to show off the powerful muscle of the upper leg. The rest of the hair on the front leg is grown out in long furnishings that stop at ground level.
The hair on the body is clipped to ½ to 1 inch to form a saddle starting at the withers and ending in a V shape on the tail. The longer hair on the back is blended into shorter ¼ to ½ inch hair which covers the sides of the dog. Long furnishings start at the level of the elbow and continue across the lower portion of the ribcage to the tuck-up.
The hair covering the heavy muscling of the thigh from the point of the hipbone to the top of the hock is clipped short, ¼ inch. Long furnishings start at the tuck-up run down the front of the hind leg and across to the hock. The furnishings continue down from the hock to ground level. The hair covering the vent and tail is clipped short 1/8 to 1/4 inch except for a V shape of longer hair from the back saddle worked into the very top part of the tail where it meets the body.
The transition between clipped and unclipped areas should be pleasing to the eye and never abrupt. The final haircut should show off the strong, muscled Cesky Terrier.
All puppies are born black, or black and tan.
In mature dogs, 3 years or older, the correct color is any shade of gray from charcoal to platinum gray. Black may appear on the head, ears, feet and tail. White, brown and yellow markings are permitted on the head, beard, cheeks, neck, chest, limbs and around the vent. A white collar or white tip is permitted on the tail. The base color must always be predominant.
The action should be free and even, with good reach in both the front and back, covering the ground effortlessly. This is a working terrier, which must have agility, freedom of movement and endurance to work.
Balanced, non-aggressive. Not to be sparred in the show ring. Can be reserved toward strangers. A pleasant dog that is not as excitable as other terrier breeds but always ready to give chase to something of interest. When working they can be silent but right on target and also able to work underground in burrows and scent track game.
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Sources: American Kennel Club