Biewer Terrier

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Get the 101 on the Biewer Terrier dog and see if you're a good match for this good-looking pup.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
16 years
Size:

Extra Small

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Very low

Temperament:
SmartLoves To PlayEven-Tempered
Coat Color:
Blue Or Black And Gold Or Tan; Gold Or Tan And White

Best For

Biewer Terriers are best for moderately active pet parents looking for a constant shadow. They are good for apartment-dwellers and will do well in families with older kids.

Biewer Terrier Traits

What makes the Biewer Terrier a Biewer Terrier? Let's find out how they stack up.

Biewer Terrier Temperament

The temperament of the Biewer Terrier breed is easygoing but energetic. Small-sized dogs with large-sized personalities, they are happy, smart and amicable. Fearless and devoted to their family, Biewers can be a bit of a Velcro dog, so plan on checking them into doggie daycare if you’ll be gone for long.

Biewer Terriers gets along well with adults, older kids and other animals (cats included!). Because of their small size, supervise all playtimes with toddlers and babies; small children may accidentally injure these tiny pups. Your Biewer dog will insist on being the neighborhood Welcome Wagon, so plan on making plenty of stops to meet and greet others during your daily walks. These dogs will bark at strangers, but that’s about the extent of their aggressive ways.

How to Care for a Biewer Terrier

Biewer Terrier dogs look like high-maintenance pooches, but their overall care needs are actually relatively moderate, when compared to Poodles. You’ll spend the most time grooming your dog, but with that gorgeous coat, you’ll want to spend time running a brush through those long, silky locks. Even though these pups are small, they still need a moderate amount of exercise and training.

Biewer Terrier Health

Biewer Terriers have a lifespan of about 16 years. They are a relatively new breed with only a few health issues identified at this time. Knowing what could affect your pup can help you give them the longest and happiest life possible.

  • Dental Disease: Dental disease starts with tartar build-up, which leads to gum infection, then damaging the roots. Not only can your pup lose their teeth if not properly cared for, dental disease can lead to other health problems, including kidney, liver and heart issues.
  • Congestive Heart Failure: This is the condition where the heart isn’t able to effectively pump blood throughout the body. A common sign is persistent coughing coupled with difficulty breathing. You may also notice your pup tiring out more frequently, excessively panting, blue gums or won’t play as they normally would. Contact your vet if you see these signs in your pup.
  • Portosystemic Shunt: Like Yorkies, some Biewers can experience a portosystemic shunt. PSS is when blood vessels are diverted from the liver. Signs include stunted growth and poor muscle development. While there’s no cure, the condition can be managed with diet and medication.
  • Luxating Patella: This is a condition when the knee slips out of place. It can slide back on its own; severe cases may need surgery to correct.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Syndrome: In this condition, the head of the femur spontaneously starts to degenerate. Signs include a gradual limp that worsens over a few weeks. Mild cases can be managed with pain medication and maintaining a healthy weight. More severe cases may need surgery.

Biewer Terrier History

The Biewer Terrier origin story is a short one. This young breed began their journey in 1984.

Biewer Terrier history begins with a pair of Yorkshire Terriers bred by Werner and Gertrud Biewer, who bred Yorkies for several decades in Germany. In the early 80s, a few pups were born with the recessive piebald gene, which interrupts pigmentation so an animal’s skin or fur looks spotted or multi-colored. (This gene is not common in Yorkies.) The pups were originally called German Yorkshire Terriers, but later became known as the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier; the German singer Margot Eskens suggested adding “a la Pom Pon” because of their fluffy tail.

The Biewers made their American debut in 2003. There weren’t many breeders in either Germany or America dedicated to the breed, so the pups were hard to come by. (Can you say “exclusivity”?) To determine if pups in the US were truly Biewers, DNA tests were performed. These tests came back with typical purebred “cluster traits” (meaning genetic markers were clustered together on the test) making the Biewer the first-ever breed established using science! The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in January 2021 and is their 197th breed.

Are you looking to add a little Biewer Terrier love to your life? You can find a list of reputable breeders at the AKC’s website. Their characteristics and easygoing temperament make them much in demand and hard to find. Those traits plus their relative newness also makes the Biewer Terrier price pretty high; expect to pay between $1,500 to $4,000, although some may fetch as much as $7,000 for highly desireable lines. But for that price, you’re likely getting a dog who’s been screened for health and temperament issues and may come with pedigree papers. If you’re looking to adopt, contact the Biewer Terrier Club of America.

FAQs

Do Biewer Terriers shed?

Biewer Terriers shed so little, it’s hardly worth mentioning. This trait alone will make them a delight to people who suffer from allergies.

How do you pronounce Biewer?

Biewer is the last name of the German couple responsible for creating the breed and is pronounced BEE-vehr (like the woodland creature that builds dams).

Are Biewer Terriers good family dogs?

Biewer Terriers are great family dogs and are excellent with older kids. Because these pups are tiny, supervise all playtimes with toddlers and babies. And they love being with you, so be sure to devote plenty of time to your happy little friend.

Are Biewer Terriers aggressive?

Biewer Terriers are not aggressive, but if you ignore them, they may act aggressively towards your favorite pair of heels.

Do Biewer Terriers bark a lot?

Biewer Terriers only bark when there’s a stranger about. They don’t bark as much as other terriers, like the Silky Terrier.

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Top Takeaways

Biewer Terriers are lively little dogs who’re ready to take a big piece of your heart. They’re perfect for people living in apartments and can get along with cats. Biewers enjoy being in the mix of your home’s activity and are a good playmate for older kids. But they don’t enjoy a lot of alone time. They need a little exercise and a lot of grooming, but there’s no better way to spend part of your day.

Expert input provided by Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM and veterinary consultant for DogLab.com, and trainer Amber Walker, KPA-CTP, zoologist, and owner of Animal Intuitions.

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