Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, each as adorable and unique as the last. However, as far as official “breeds” of dogs go, the AKC recognizes 197, as of this year. The newest dog to become an official AKC breed is the Biewer Terrier (pronounced “Beaver.”)
It took a long journey for the Biewer Terrier to earn this title. Here’s everything you need to know about these adorable little fluff balls.
Traits And Characteristics
These little dogs weighing only 4 to 8 pounds certainly belong in the Toy Group. Myrna Torres, one of the co-founders of the breed in the U.S., describes them as:
“A long-haired, tri-colored dog with a soft-silky coat and its feathered tail curled over its back. Add to that a neat ponytail atop its head and a proud sassy walk.”
Gayle Pruett, the other co-founder and Vice President of the Biewer Terrier Club of America, says:
“It is very adaptable, and loves the snow as well as the beach and can keep up with the best of hikers. They do as well on the farm as in a house or apartment.”
It’s no surprise these tiny terriers have goofy, diva personalities. They love to play and they love attention.
“They are dedicated to their owners with a whimsical, childlike behavior. Half of my dogs smile and carry a toy around all the time. When they get excited, they run zoomies throughout the house.”
According to Pruett, the only known health issue for the breed is a sensitive gastrointestinal system, which can be controlled with a proper diet.
The Biewer Terrier’s History Before AKC Recognition
Similar to its Yorkie inspiration, the Biewer Terrier takes its name from the late Werner and Gertrud Biewer. They were Yorkshire Terrier breeders in Germany who began producing tricolor Yorkies in the 1980s.
It wasn’t until 2007 when Mars Veterinary geneticists determined the Biewer Terrier a bonafide breed. That made these terriers the first breed in history to be recognized as a purebred dog as a result of a genetic study.
The Biewer Terrier breed stems from the dominant traits of four other dogs: the Yorkshire Terrier, the Maltese, and the Havanese/Bichon Frise.
What Determines An AKC-Recognized “Breed”
If you’re wondering what makes a breed a “breed” and not just another kind of dog, the AKC website explains:
“The simplest way to define a breed is to say it always ‘breeds true.’ That is, breeding a purebred Irish Setter to another purebred Irish Setter will always produce dogs instantly recognizable as Irish Setters.”
A “breed standard” document sets forth the breed’s ideal physical traits, movement, and temperament.
“The AKC standard for each breed originates with a ‘parent club,’ the AKC-recognized national club devoted to a particular breed. Once approved by the AKC, a standard becomes both the breeder’s ‘blueprint’ and the instrument used by dog show judges to evaluate a breeder’s work.”
If you’re looking to adopt a Biewer Terrier, you might have to shell out a bit more cash. But be warned: purebred dogs are often the focus of puppy scams. Make sure to verify your adoption source with the official Biewer Terrier Club.
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