Page 287 - ShowSight, March 2020
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                            CESKY TERRIER Q&A
They are great with children, but it may take time for an older dog not raised around kids to adjust.”
and facilitate puppy placement. I also believe this breed has a firm following and growth is very possible.
Do these numbers help or hurt the breed? It is a mixed bag. There is some notoriety to being a rare breed and can be a positive help towards attracting interest. On the negative side, sometimes it is hard to be taken seriously as an established breed and not be mis- taken for some kind of designer dog that will go out of style. I don’t focus on the number of the ranking. I am meeting many people in the community who now recognize the Cesky out in public.
Is the Cesky Terrier a hunting dog and what are its prey? The Cesky was specifically bred to be a hunting dog, but I cannot speak to knowing anyone who uses them actively for this purpose. My experience is mostly having my dogs clear the yard of all critters, above or below ground. They are also marvelous at hunting down hidden rubber balls or errant crumbs.
How does the Cesky’s physical appearance aid in his hunting? The furnishings on the head provide protection from brambles or claws of prey. The body construction is flexible and strong, a good advantage when going to ground. Also of note, Ceskys are not as deep in the chest as their relatives so they are a better fit in a burrow.
What ailments does the breed suffer from, if any? Ceskys are generally a very healthy breed without any inheritable conditions except for a small percentage that may have a condition called ‘Scot- ty Cramp’. This is not a serious disorder and doesn’t do any harm to the dog, but there is not a test to verify this benign dysfunction within the breed.
Is the Cesky, despite its hunting nature, a good house pet and is it comfortable around children? I feel as though my dogs are much more suited to being a companion than hunters. Ceskys do not thrive well as outdoor pets as they prefer to be close to their people. They are great with children, but it may take time for an older dog not raised around kids to adjust. Ceskys bond closely with their families are an important element in the home.
Can the Cesky be left alone with food in abundance? Abso- lutely not. This breed is very food-driven. Most all Ceskys are bottomless pits!
Can the Cesky have soft or moderately soft toys? There are a few rare exceptions, but Ceskys cannot have soft toys. They find joy in immediate destruction and most chew and swallow parts. Their teeth are lethal in decimating even the toughest of toys. It is not safe for most to have toys as they are prone to bowel obstructions.
Are there any misconceptions about the breed I’d like to dispel? Ceskys are only reserved with strangers, they make a loving, fun and loyal family pet.
What special challenges do breeders face in our current econom- ic and social climate? ‘Adopt don’t shop’ campaigns are frustrating. People should be endorsing to shop from a reputable breeder if they want a pet consistent with a standard.
At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I start showing puppies at six months of age and continue to watch their development. I surmise that by 9 to 12 months a person would have a good idea of how successful they would be. The dogs them- selves either like to perform or they don’t, and this is usually decid- ed early on by the dog at an early age.
What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? This breed is not a typical Terrier—please
keep in mind Ceskys aren’t big on strangers and may not want to make eye contact with judges. Tails also may be low or tucked, which isn’t a sign of fear, but more of reluctance to participate in a crowd of unknown.
What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? Education and marketing are the best way to attract new- comers. Meet the Breeds help to teach people about the dog, but owners and breeders need to get onboard and mentor to get people involved and to have a successful experience.
My ultimate goal is for a younger generation to discover the breed and to take us to a place where we can leave the description of ‘rare’ behind. I also want to see Ceskys in a movie sometime!
My favorite dog show memory? The first time I attended a major gathering with Ceskys and their owners from across the country was amazing. Not only did I meet some wonderful people for the first time who have remained my good friends, but I had happy tears looking at so many of these special dogs gathered together. We posed for a group photo that I will always treasure.
We live and raise our dogs in Jones, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City. Our kennel is Bluefire. There are three main breeders who work togeth- er. Tim Smith, Pamela Bale and myself, Holly Million.
I work in media so I am always meeting people. I go to University of Oklahoma Football games. But dogs take up most of my time. Tim and I are also breeders of Soft Coated Wheatens for the last 20 years. Pam is a Boston Terrier breeder.
Tim: I have had Ceskys in my life for the last eight years and could not imagine my life without them. I have had fun traveling all over the country and many places in the world to show and see these wonderful dogs.
Holly: Along with the Ceskys, I have bred Soft Coated Wheatens for close to 20 years. The two breeds meld
together in our pack well. I love showing my dogs and being in the world of dogs shows. I feel the trill of accomplishment when one of our dogs wins Breed and then goes on to compete in Group, hope- fully to place. We compete in National Owner-Handled and feel this is a worthy competition for us as breeders.
Do we hope the breed’s popularity will change or are we com- fortable with the placement? Holly: I wish more people would get involved with the breed. I feel we don’t have enough breeders of these lovely dogs. We need more genetic diversification in the US. And to do this we need more breeders and more people involved in showing and performance events. Like most rarer breeds, it is hard to get people involved.

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