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The Biewer Terrier is a modern purebred from Germany also called Biewer a la Pom Pon, Biewer Yorkshire Terrier and Biewer Yorkshire. It is a happy and child like little dog that is good at getting its way! It is a great companion and lap dog that bonds closely with its owners and while small it is fairly sturdy, still quite active and have a mischievous side to them. It is a toy size dog with a life span of 12 to 15 years and is not an especially yappy dog. It looks like a colorful mix of a Yorkie and a Maltese though it is of course not.
|The Biewer Terrier at A Glance|
|Other names||Biewer a la Pom Pon, Biewer Yorkshire Terrier, Biewer Yorkshire|
|Average weight||4 to 7 pounds|
|Average height||8 to 12 inches|
|Life span||12 to 15 years|
|Coat type||Fine, long, silky, straight|
|Color||Black/Blue with Tan/Gold and White|
|Popularity||Registered member of the AKC|
|Intelligence||Very good – bright dog|
|Tolerance to heat||Moderate to good – cannot handle anything too hot|
|Tolerance to cold||Low – needs extra care in the cold|
|Shedding||Low – hardly any hair will be left in the home if any|
|Drooling||Low – not a breed prone to slobber or drool|
|Obesity||Low – not especially prone to weight gain|
|Grooming/brushing||High – coat needs daily care|
|Barking||Occasional to frequent – does bark often, training to stop on command is a good idea|
|Exercise needs||Low – suitable for owners who are not that active|
|Trainability||Difficult – due to stubbornness|
|Friendliness||Good but not especially social|
|Good first dog||Good but best with experienced owners to ensure it is not babied|
|Good family pet||Very good with socialization|
|Good with children||Very good with socialization – best with older children|
|Good with other dogs||Good to very good with socialization|
|Good with other pets||Good to very good – if socialized|
|Good with strangers||Good – if socialized but wary|
|Good apartment dog||Yes due to size as long as the barking is controlled|
|Handles alone time well||Low – does not like being left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety|
|Health issues||Fairly healthy but some issues include Collapsing tracheas, hypoglycemia, patellar luxation and portosystemic shunts|
|Medical expenses||$435 a year for pet insurance and basic health care|
|Food expenses||$75 a year for high quality dry dog food and dog treats|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$460 a year for basic training, grooming, license, toys and miscellaneous items|
|Average annual expenses||$970 as a starting figure|
|Cost to purchase||$2,000|
|Rescue organizations||None breed specific – look to local shelters and rescues|
|Biting Statistics||None reported|
The Biewer Terrier’s Beginnings
The Biewer Terrier is a modern purebred, the process starting in Hunsruck, Germany in 1984 when a Yorkshire Terrier that had been bred to another Yorkshire Terrier had a puppy that had a lot white pattern in its coat making it unusual looking. The breeders named it Scheefloeckchen von Friedheck and its breeders were Gertrud and Werner Biewer. Both of them liked the look and believed correctly it was the result of a recessive piebald gene. Over the next few years they bred for this look specifically and they called the dog Biewer Yorkshire Terrier à la Pom Pon. It was bred to be a loyal companion dog and to be even tempered, happy and sweet.
Eventually the markings became regular as Biewer was bred to Biewer. In 1988 Mr Biewer showed two of these dogs and they proved very popular with others. In the late 1980s they agreed on a standard drawn for them and were given recognition by a German dog club. However when Mr Biewer died in 1997, Mrs Biewer stopped all breeding. But it had gained interest elsewhere and other breeders took up its mantle, it came to the US in 2003.
New Lease on Life
The Biewer Terrier Club of America Ins was started the year it came to the US and in 2008 the American Rare Breed Association give it recognition. In 2007 a study the BTCA did with geneticists proved that the Biewer is actually now a separate breed from the Yorkshire Terrier, and not just a Yorkie with a new look. In 2014 it was entered into the AKC foundation stock service. There is some struggle still with some breeders going against the club’s rules and breeder Biewer with Yorkies to create a designer mixed breed they are calling Biewer Yorkies. In a consultation with Mrs Biewer a new standard for the dog was written by the BTCA and the name was changed to Biewer Terrier. This too causes some controversy with some preferring its original name.
The Dog You See Today
This toy sized dog weighs just 4 to 8 pounds and stands 8 to 12 inches tall. It is a compact dog with a squared or slightly rectangular shape and a plumed tail it carries high like a teacup over its back. In the US its tail is not docked unlike the Yorkie which is. In most of Europe docking is banned. Its coat is long, flowing and silky, it parts in the middle of its back and hangs down straight either side. It is single coated and most owners will either tie back the hair in a topknot or have it trimmed shorter. Its coat is tri-colored with a combination of tan, black, white, gold and blue. The Biewer has eyes that are round and sparkling and its ears are erect and pointed with fringes of silky hair.
The Inner Biewer Terrier
The Biewer is an elegant looking dog but has a lot more spirit and mischievousness in it than you might think is possible in such a small and attractive package. It can be bold, fearless and tenacious, has no real awareness that its size means it should look after itself better, and sometimes will need you to step in to offer it protection! It is very devoted to its owners and will want to hang with you, follow you around the home, want play time and lots of lap time. It is very affectionate and loves to the center of attention. It will be happy being taken out in the car while you do errands as it will be with you.
It is though easy to spoil this dog, carry it everywhere and baby it. Owners need to be firm with it, let it be a dog, it is capable of walking so let it. Spoiling dogs is what leads to them having small dog syndrome where they are nipping, yappy and bossy. Even when raised well it does bark at least occasionally so it is a good idea to control it with a command especially if you have close neighbors. It is alert and will bark to let you know of an intruder.
Living with a Biewer Terrier
What will training look like?
Training the Biewer Terrier is going to be difficult as it is stubborn, it learns quickly that its size and cuteness factor means it can get its own way far too often! It has a lot of tricks to get attention and to get its own way so be prepared to treat it like a dog not a baby, to be firm and set rules it has to stick to, and to be consistent and patient. Use positive techniques, treats, motivate and encourage it. Start training and socialization from a young age, teach them how to react appropriately to different sounds, animals, people, places and situations. One thing you will need to show especial patience with is housebreaking. Small dogs are good at sneaking off to pee somewhere they should not. Set a very regular schedule and accept that this will take some time.
How active is the Biewer Terrier?
Of course a dog as small as this even if it is active, is not going to need a whole lot of exercise. It is a good apartment dog due to its size and some of its physical and mental needs will be met with its indoor scampering, following you from one room to another and playing. It should still be taken outside daily for a couple of short walks, and while a yard is not a requirement it is a great place to play with it and let it explore. As well as making sure it is well exercised it needs enough mental stimulation. When walking keep it on a leash as it does like to chase after anything it wants to. Signs it is not getting enough activity are poor behavior, excessive barking, destructiveness, zipping around the house and pacing.
Caring for the Biewer Terrier
In terms of grooming it has a silky coat of hair rather than fur and it needs daily upkeep to keep that looking good and clear of debris and such. Some owners choose to get it cut short so they do not have to brush as often, but then you do have to commit to regular cuts, and show dogs need to have the hair long. Without daily brushing it also tangles a lot and quickly turns into a mess. Use a spray conditioner before you brush otherwise you can break the hair. It is low shedding so not a lot of hair around the home, and it is hypoallergenic so good for most people with allergies. Unlike with most dogs, this coat should be bathed more often to keep it clean, but still only use a dog shampoo. Before you give it a bath though its coat should be brushed first.
The hair between its paw pads should be trimmed every few weeks, around the rectum and around the ears or it gets too heavy. Its teeth should be brushed two to three times a week, use a dog toothbrush and toothpaste. Its ears should be cleaned by wiping where it can reach but never inserting anything into them. Its nails should be clipped when they get too long taking care not to go too far down. There are blood vessels and nerves that if cut will cause a lot of pain to your dog and bleeding.
Biewer Terrier will likely eat about ½ to 1 cup of a good quality dry dog food split into at least two meals a day. The amount may vary somewhat from one Biewer to another as it depends on age, health, build, activity level and metabolism. All dogs need to be able to access water that is kept as fresh as possible.
How is the Biewer Terrier with children and other animals?
With good socialization and especially if raised with them this dog can get on fine with children but being small means they should be in homes with older children only who have been taught how to carefully touch and play with them. Young children can easily cause serious damage or even accidentally kill a dog of this size with stomping feet and grabby hands. With older children though they are gentle, affectionate and playful. It can get along okay with other pets but will need socialization and supervision when around other dogs especially ones that are larger than it, which lets face it is most of them! It is a fearless and bold dog that will bark and posture against other dogs. As long as that other large dog is careful with it and does not take the posturing seriously they can learn to play together, but again supervision is strongly recommended, a large dog could kill a Biewer with play that is too rough for it.
What Might Go Wrong?
The Biewer Terrier has an average life span of 12 to 15 years and are somewhat healthy but prone to some issues most of which it has in common with the Yorkie. Things to be aware of include collapsing tracheas, patellar luxation, heart problems, dental problems, hypoglycemia, liver problems and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.
Canadian and US reports of dogs attacking people and doing bodily harm in the last 35 years do not mention the Biewer Terrier. That is not to assume that toy dogs never attack people, or that they cannot hurt them. Size and breed do not make a dog 100% safe at all times. Some dogs can have off days or be drawn into something on any other occasion they would have ignored. But key to having a trustworthy dog that is less likely to have problems is to socialize and train, give it the stimulation and exercise it needs, make sure it is well fed and gets the attention and companionship it needs.
Your Pup’s Price Tag
A Biewer Terrier puppy is not a cheap dog – it will cost at least $2000 from a decent breeder, possibly more for a top breeder of show dogs. As much as you may be tempted to turn to less reputable options like backyard breeders, puppy mills or pet stores, avoid them, these are not places you want to fund. Another option is to check out rescues and shelters. While the chance of a pure bred Biewer is unlikely there may be mixes there. Mixed dogs are great companions and there are a lot of dogs hoping for new homes and owners to take them on. Adoption fees range from $50 to $400 and some medical needs are included usually too.
Once you have decided where you are getting your dog from and have your new best friend there are some things it will need, and some health needs to take care of. A crate, carrier, bowls, leash and collar and such will cost about $120. Take it to a vet as soon as you can to get it a physical, and the vet will also carry out some tests, like blood tests, and give it some shots, deworm it, micro chip it and spay or neuter it. This will cost about $260.
Feeding your dog, basic health care, toys and other costs are ongoing. When based on an annual outlook basic health care like flea and tick prevention, shots, check ups and pet insurance will cost $435 a year. A good quality food and treats will cost another $75 a year at least and miscellaneous costs like grooming, license, basic training, miscellaneous items and toys will cost around $460 a year. That means a starting figure annual cost of $970.
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The Biewer is not a common dog, it is still fairly rare so you may have to be put on a waiting list to get a dog from a good breeder. Be patient and eventually you will be rewarded. It has the usual things to consider when getting a toy size dog, it is more fragile than most dogs, an accidental kick could do serious damage. It is best around older children for that reason, or just with a couple or single owner. But it will want you to be around more than you are out and it can be demanding when it comes to how much attention and affection it needs.
Featured Image Credit: Vera Zinkova, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
- The Biewer Terrier’s Beginnings
- New Lease on Life
- The Dog You See Today
- The Inner Biewer Terrier
- Living with a Biewer Terrier
- Caring for the Biewer Terrier
- How is the Biewer Terrier with children and other animals?
- What Might Go Wrong?
- Your Pup’s Price Tag