Cesky Terrier

Cesky Terrier (Grey-Blue)Cesky Terrier (Grey-Blue)

The former Czechoslovakia's national dog, the Cesky Terrier was developed to create an ideal hunting dog by crossing a Scottish Terrier with a Sealyham Terrier.

The following features were selected:

  1. A soft coat that lends itself to clipping.
  2. Full pigmentation (like the Scotty)
  3. Dropped ears (like the Sealyham)

History of the Cesky Terrier

The creator of the Cesky Terrier was Mr Frantisek Horak, a geneticist at the Academy of Science in Prague. In the early 1930s, he went on a badger dig and caught his first badger with a Scottish Terrier. By 1940 when he moved to Klanovice in the former Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), he not only owned Scottish Terriers, but also a Sealyham which he found to be more trainable. Keen to see whether he could create a Czechoslovakian breed of terrier, after the Second World War he began experimenting by crossing these two breeds. In 1950, the first cross produced 'Balda' pictured on the left.

The Cesky Terrier becomes a Pure Breed

Cesky Terrier HalaliCesky Terrier Halali

By 1951 he had named the breed Cesky and formed the Czech Terrier Club. That year he exhibited them (not for competition) at the International Dog Show in Liberec, one of the largest cities in the former Czechoslovakia. Here he gained the approval of the general public. After several several more attempts and by careful selection, in 1956 he then produced a bitch called 'Halali', on the right. She is considered to be the 'pillar of the breed'.

Cesky Postage Stamp 1965Cesky Postage Stamp 1965

From her most of today's Cesky Terriers descend. In 1963 the FCI recognised the Cesky as an independent breed. Mr Horak's dream finally came true when the Cesky Terrier became recognised as the National dog of the former Czechoslovakia[1]. In 1965, this stamp was issued in its honour.

From there the breed gradually increased in popularity internationally. First exported to UK in 1991, and by the year 2,000 had earned a place in the English Stud Book. A decade later, it gained USA recognition.

The Cesky Terrier Today

Cesky (Light Coffee Brown)Cesky (Light Coffee Brown)

The Cesky Terrier has distinctive appearance. It is unique in the following ways:

  1. He retains the oblong outline of his Sealyham Terrier ancestor.
  2. His head is shaped like a long but not too broad wedge, neither as long as a Scottie's nor as wide as a Sealyham's.
  3. His distinctive grey-blue or light coffee-brown silky glossy coat is clipped and not hand stripped.
  4. His topline rises to the rear and ends with his low set tail.
  5. His height and weight limits are between those of the Scottish and Sealyham Terriers ancestors.


Cesky with JaneCesky with Jane

The wedge shaped head should not have prominent cheeks and just a slight stop. Like many other European breeds, the Cesky Terrier should house full dentition (42 teeth) configured in a level or normal scissors bite within its strong jaws.

The eyes and ears are of medium size. Like the Sealyham's, the ears are set just above the level of the skull are V-shaped rather than rounded at the tips to better protect the orifice of the ears when the dog is working. The large nose and eyelids should be black in blue-grey terriers but can be liver coloured on light coffee coloured dogs. The brown eyes can also be a lighter colour in light coffee-brown dogs.


Cesky TerrierCesky Terrier

The neck is moderately long, without dewlap. Because the Cesky's oblong body was designed to hunt over the former Czechoslovakia's rough rocky terrain, the basic construction is different to either of his ancestors in three ways:

  1. The shape of his ribcage. Because his springy, flexible ribcage is round rather than so deep it hangs between the forelegs like the Scotty, the Cesky's body is positioned more on top of his straight forelegs than either the Scotty or the Sealyham.
  2. The rise in his topline over the rump. Because his loin is so strong and muscular that it is slightly rounded, the rump often appears to be higher than the withers.
  3. His low set tail. The tail should be set and carried as an extension of the topline rather than being set high set tail like the Scotty or the Sealyham. The undocked tail should be strong but not too long to be carried in a sabre shape.

Cesky Puppy (Grey-Blue)Cesky Puppy (Grey-Blue)

The hindquarters and strong and muscular with well arched deep feet with strong nails, the hind feet being smaller that the front. His light, free lively movement indicates drive from his strong loins with the forelegs moving straight and perfectly free of the sides.

The Cesky can either be grey-blue (born black) or light-coffee-brown (born chocolate brown). In both colours, yellow, grey or white markings are permitted on the head, neck, chest, belly, the limbs and round the vent. The basic colour, however, must always predominate.


Family of Cesky TerriersFamily of Cesky Terriers

The Cesky is not quite as tall but more heavily built than the Sealyham, but taller and less heavily built than the Scotty.

The height of 25-32 cm (Approx. 10-12.5 ins) is a little more than the 25 - 28 cm (10-11 inches) of the Scotty, but less than upper limit of 12 inches (31 cm) of the Sealyham.

The weight of not more than 10 kg (approx. 22 lbs) is within the required weight of 8.5 - 10.5 kg (19 - 23 pounds) of the Scotty, but more than the Sealyham whose weight should be less than 20 pounds (9 kg).

References and Further Reading


We have now published a unique Terrier book 'Terriers Unveiled' Available at our sister site: https://rangeairevision.com/terriers-unveiled/

See also Jane Harvey DVD "Terriers Then & Now" Published Rangeaire Vision 2002-2004 ISBN 978-0-9804296-4-0

[1] Hana Petrusova - 'toto je Cesky Terrier' (published by Nakladelstvi Shiba 1999) History and Origin of the Cesky Terrier by Frantisek Horak Pages 15 - 18 and Explanation of the Breed Standard Pages 74 - 75.