Breed History

Hektor plays well with others, in this case a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

History of the Cesky Terrier

Frantisek Horak, Czechoslovakian by birth and creator of the Cesky Terrier, was an avid hunter. In 1932 he purchased his first Scottish Terrier for the purposes of studying its hunting habits. The purchase was not capricious, as Mr. Horak had spent four years simply studying the breed’s characteristics. By 1934 he had learned what he felt he needed to hunt hare, fox, and red deer in his beloved Bohemian woods and began breeding Scotties. He was quite successful and well respected as both a hunter and a breeder. One item eluded him, however he wanted a dog that could more readily hunt in packs, a circumstance that rarely happened with this Scotties.

In 1940 he purchased his first Sealyham believing this breed to be the exact opposite of the Scotties and easier to control. Nine years passed before he felt that through his study and experiences he had enough information to breed these two dogs.

Yet, there is more to the story. Mr. Horak was for a time an accountant and later worked as a technician at the Czechoslovak Academy of Science. Both disciplines played an important role in the development of the Cesky Terrier. Mr. Horak wanted a family loving hunting dog. The premise was for the Cesky to be an aggressive, mobile, well-muscled, short-legged and well-pigmented canine who, at the end of the day of running through dense forests, bogs and thickets could be cleaned with minimal effort. This could allow the dog to easily transition from hunter to “family’s best friend”.  The accountant in Mr. Horak pursued the dream as he took copious notes, not only on the dog’s physical characteristics (he envisioned dropped ears, axed shaped head, natural tail and strong hindquarters) but also on all his breeding. Because of his great attention to detail, today most owners can trace their dog’s lineage back to Mr. Horak’s original breeding.

As the technician Mr. Horak had more than a passing knowledge of genetics.  He bred a Scotty bitch DONKA Lovu zdar to the Sealy dog BUGANIER Urquelle. The litter netted three pups, but only one dog survived. He christened it ADAM Lovu zdar. For two years he watched the hunting habits of ADAM. However, in 1951 the dog was shot by a careless hunter and died. Mr. Horak had, however, repeated his breeding experiments crossing the same Sealy dog with the Scotty bitch known as Scotch Rose. The liter produced six pups. From 1950 to 1963 Frantisek Horak worked tirelessly bringing the characteristics he sought to reality.  In 1963 the Cesky Terrier was officially recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) as an established breed. A detailed account of these activities can be obtained by reading the bilingual book Cesky Terrier by Hana Petrusova.

Also in 1963, the Cesky Terrier (also known as the Czech Terrier or Bohemian Terrier) migrated to Germany, the Scandinavian countries and eastward to the then  Soviet Union. From this start the breed journeyed to England, Canada and, in the 1980’s, to the United States.

Today, the Cesky Terrier is still a minority breed and there are less than 600 in the United States. From their arrival in the US a series of clubs located on the East Coast  devoted themselves to the betterment of the breed. It is the concern and affection of these organizations that established the bred in this country. In 2002, the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association (ACTFA) was created in Ft. Meyers, Florida and has remained the custodians taking the breed from approval for competition in AKC Earthdog tests to competition in AKC events such as Obedience, Tracking and Agility. Effective as of the October 8-9, 2007 AKC Board Meeting the ACTFA was selected to serve as the AKC Parent Club and the Cesky Terrier was eligible to compete in the Miscellaneous Class on July 1, 2008. The breed entered the Terrier Group on June 30, 2011. The Cesky Terrier has appeared at Westminster; and received its first Group 1 win on October 14, 2012. The Cesky also competes aggressively in luring, agility and other performance events where the  breed handles itself like the proven winner it is.

a gathering of Ceskys to celebrate the weekend shows and our fraternity. We collectively showed at Gateway (Thursday), Mississippi Valley and the Missouri Rhineland Kennel Club in May 2013

a gathering of Ceskys to celebrate the weekend shows and our fraternity. We collectively showed at Gateway (Thursday), Mississippi Valley and the Missouri Rhineland Kennel Club in May 2013

If you want to become a member of the American Cesky Terrier Fanciers Association and learn more about this wonderful breed, please click on “Membership” on the top.