OVERVIEW OF THE BIEWER TERRIER
The Biewer Terrier breed is a fairly new breed. Biewers originated in Germany in 1984 when avid Yorkshire Terrier breeders noticed the recessive piebald gene their Yorkies inherited. The rare purebred dogs stand only 7 to 11 inches tall with a weight between four and eight pounds. The piebald colorization refers to irregular patches of white or blueish-white patches on their legs, chest, and underside with tan or black faces.
These energetic little dogs are sometimes referred to as Biewer Yorkies, Biewer Yorkshires, or Biewer à la Pom Pons.
They adapt well to apartment living as long as they get their fair share of activity. Biewers are hypoallergenic and do well in a range of households whether with seniors, singles, or families with kids. They’re incredible companion dogs, very affectionate, and love sitting on their pet parent’s lap. If there are small children in the home, be aware that these dogs can get hurt easily and need to be handled with care. Always supervise small children when playing with dogs.
Biewer Terriers lack the high prey drive that the Terrier breed is generally known for. Despite their small size and friendliness, they make good watchdogs. They can be noisy when they feel the need to alert their owners of approaching strangers (or cats and dogs they don’t know) or if they are bored.
They love playing and exploring. They can be a little stubborn but are intelligent. It is important to train your Biewer with persistence, consistency, and positive reinforcement, from a young age. Socialize your pup early since they don’t naturally warm to unfamiliar dogs. It will also help them get used to being around other people.
If you are planning on welcoming an energetic and loving Biewer to your family, here’s what you need to know.
BIEWER TERRIER FOOD AND HEALTH
Biewer Terriers may be predisposed to similar health conditions as their forebears (Yorkshire Terriers) but are generally healthy dogs. It is recommended to specifically get a patella evaluation and Superchem blood test done as well as get general health and eye clearance certificates from the breeder for the parents and the puppy. This will prevent the likelihood of hereditary diseases in your puppy.
Patellar luxation is common in small breeds and affects the hind legs. It happens when the knee joint slides out of place and can cause crippling pain. The disease can be treated with anti-inflammatories and sometimes with a leg brace and physical therapy. In severe cases, leg surgery may be required. Many dogs that experience patellar luxation go on to live happy, healthy lives after treatment.
Biewers are prone to suffer from GI (gastrointestinal) tract sensitivity. This can appear in bouts of diarrhea, discolored or soft stool, and cause pain. It is thus incredibly important to keep your pet’s diet high quality and be very careful about what and how much you feed them. With their small size, they can also gain weight quickly which will negatively affect their health (and your vet bills).
Avoid feeding your Biewer table scraps since one lick of your food will very likely total their entire day’s calorie allowance. Take their snacks and training treats into account when determining their daily food intake. Your pup may only need as much as half a cup of dry food daily, divided into two meals. This will however vary according to your pet pal’s activity level, age, and weight. Consult your vet to determine the best portion size and frequency of feeding.
When feeding your dog dry food you can optionally wet it with some pet gravy. Look for food that is specially formulated for small dog breeds. Canned food is not recommended due to plaque build-up and Biewers sensitive dental hygiene.
Puppies require different nutrient ratios than adult dogs for healthy development. They should only get puppy-specific formulas and never adult food. The packaging will give you an indication of the quantity according to their age and weight. Always make sure they have plenty of clean, fresh water available.
Be careful when giving your pup human food. Check that the ingredients are safe for dogs to ingest since many foods are toxic to dogs. These include onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, xylitol, chocolate, and caffeine, among others. High-sodium, high-fat and sugary foods should be avoided.
LEASHES AND COLLARS FOR YOUR BIEWER TERRIER
Your Biewer Terrier should get at least 30 minutes of vigorous walking and playing daily in one or two sessions. Since they are small they can easily disappear in parks or across roads. Keep your pup on a leash when out on walks.
Using a back-clip harness is the best option for these small dogs. The harness-style leash eliminates any pressure against the dog’s throat or neck which is usually experienced with a collar. The pressure from a leash attached to a collar can cause permanent damage to your Biewer’s trachea, thyroid, or neck, and restrict blood flow. If you are keeping their hair long, look for a fabric and harness design that won’t cause too much tangling or matting.
If you want a collar for your pet pal, use it for an identification tag. Remove it in the evenings or when you are at home. Leaving the collar on permanently can cause hair to fall out, bald patches around the neck, rashes, or infections.
Check the size of the collar and harness daily as your puppy grows. Upsize as needed before it becomes too tight and causes choking or pain.
When training your pet pal, always use positive training methods with lots of encouragement. If training feels like their idea of playing, they are generally very keen to participate. Harsh training methods should be avoided at all costs. These terriers are sensitive. Forceful training methods will affect them and ruin your relationship with your pup. Be consistent and firm, but never harsh.
BEST CRATES, BEDS AND DOG HOUSES FOR BIEWER TERRIERS
Biewer Terriers are loving companion dogs who adore their pet parents and need to be around their human families. Forget an outdoor dog house. If you’re not in it, your pet pal will not have much interest in spending time there either.
Their small size and low shedding nature make them ideal indoor pets. At night, they’ll probably want to be in the same room as you if they can, or even on your bed.
A crate can be useful for training, avoiding accidents in the house, and can serve as their own indoor den. If you decide to get a crate, make it comfortable for your pet pal with a blanket or mattress and a soft toy. Although used for training, do not use it as punishment. Keep it a positive space for your Biewer where they can retreat for a nap.
A soft crate cover can turn it into a cozy evening hideout. Make sure the cover has a flap door so your pet pal can easily enter and exit as needed. When choosing a crate you need to make sure it has good airflow and that it is big enough for your fully grown pet to move around and stand without any restriction. Keep in mind that their mattress will also take up space inside.
There is a wide range of fun dog beds for small breeds. Some dogs instinctively curl up when sleeping to retain body heat and protect their organs. Donut-shaped beds are inexpensive and easy to move around the house. Although Biewers are generally very clean dogs that don’t shed much, you may want to consider an odor-resistant bed with a removable cover for washing.
BEST TOYS FOR BIEWER TERRIERS
Besides their daily walk, Biewer Terriers need fun playtime with their family. When buying toys, keep their small size in mind. If they can’t fit the fetch toy in their mouth, it won’t be coming back to you! You also don’t want it to be so small that they’ll choke on it or that it gets stuck in their back teeth.
If you have a puppy, be sure to get some teething toys. These give them something rather than your shoes to chew on to help relieve aching and itchy gums. Some types can be frozen which helps with inflammation, while others are flavored or textured.
Older dogs will also enjoy rubber chew toys or flavored ropes. Teeth cleaning toys have small nodules that assist with removing plaque, however, they are not a replacement for brushing.
Some Biewers love carrying toys in their mouths. Get your pet pal some soft toys, however, make sure the toys are durable enough that chewing won’t cause them to fall apart quickly. Keep an eye out for any spilled plush-toy inners so your pup doesn’t eat fluff.
After a game of fetch is done, give your pet pal some mental stimulation with a puzzle toy. These are treat-dispensing toys that require your terrier to solve the puzzle to get to the treat. Try to break treats up into smaller pieces and stick to low-calorie options to avoid weight gain.
Getting your Biewer puppy a companion toy can help ease anxiety if you have to leave them alone for a while. Companion toys come in the form of pillows or soft toys. They can heat up and some even simulate the sound of a heartbeat. Additionally, some companion toys have a timer to turn these features on or off.
GROOMING INSIGHTS FOR BIEWER TERRIER OWNERS
Biewer Terriers have a long silky coat. When it comes to grooming, the maintenance requirements will depend on whether you prefer to keep their coats long or short.
Long coats can grow to near ground level, hanging evenly on both sides. Keeping your Biewer’s hair long will require daily brushing. Shorter coats can do with brushing once weekly. Always use gentle products specifically designed for dogs when grooming or washing your pet to avoid skin irritations and drying out their hair.
Keep a check for long hairs that can grow between their eyes. These can sometimes cause irritation so you will need to trim them carefully.
Use a pin brush for brushing and be gentle against sensitive areas such as their legs, belly, whiskers, and ears. When brushing your pet pal weekly, check their eyes, skin, mouth, and ears for any redness, sores, or infections. This will allow you to treat irregularities before they turn into something serious.
Clip your dog’s nails once a month or when you can hear them clicking on the floor as they walk. Dogs have blood vessels in their nails which makes this a little tricky so you may want to get a professional groomer to do this for you.
Brush their teeth daily with dog-specific toothpaste. This will help prevent tartar build-up and gum disease. Don’t ever use your own toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth as it can make them very ill.
Dogs can be sensitive about having their paws, mouth, and ears touched. Get your Biewer used to being groomed and checked from a young age and always make this a positive experience with plenty of encouragement. If they are not used to being checked and groomed, vet visits and grooming will likely be unpleasant for everyone when they’re older.
BEST BIEWER TERRIER ACCESSORIES
If you keep your Biewer’s coat short, get them a dog jacket, especially for colder weather. Make sure the fit is not too tight and see how your pup reacts to wearing one. Some dog jackets can also double as a harness for walks out in cold conditions. Keep in mind that these dogs don’t do well in extreme weather conditions, either hot or cold.
A dog car seat is a good way to keep your pet comfortable and safe while traveling. Choose a dog car seat that has a non-slip base so it won’t move if you need to stop quickly. Many versions fold up on the sides to form a basket so your terrier can curl up comfortably as if they were in their bed. You also need to ensure the unit fastens securely around the back of the car seat and headrest.
For old dogs, we recommend a set of dog stairs. As dogs age, they can hurt themselves easily trying to jump on or off your couch or bed. Their joints may also be more fragile or painful, especially in cold conditions. A set of dog stairs will allow your pet pal to get up and down easily and safely.
Since they are prone to gastrointestinal problems, it is important that your pet has access to water even when you’re out and about. A pet portable water bottle has a lid that doubles as a water bowl. Having one of these when spending a day at the park or when traveling will allow your pup to stay hydrated without you having to carry a bulky water bowl around.
To learn more about small breeds like the Biewer Terrier, check out our breed hub page.