Dr Tracy Douglas
Your guide to this article today is by veterinarian Dr Tracy Douglas
Published 11:29 am

Possessing all the loving, devoted and happy traits of the terrier, along with the unique Piebald Gene, the Biewer Terrier is hugely popular among breeders. But what is a Biewer Yorkie? For those considering a smaller, cheerful dog that will never wane in their affection for their master, learning all there is to know about this breed is essential.

Below, we take a deeper look into the history and care of the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier, as well as providing you with all the information you could possibly need, before making the choice to bring a Biewer Yorkie into your home. Read on, to become a Biewer Terrier expert!

Biewer YorkshireTerrier

History of the Biewer Terrier

Biewer Terriers are a relatively new breed, and finding their history is easier than some other, ancient breeds. However, they initially came from breeding two Yorkshire Terriers together, both of whom had the Piebald gene (a gene which gives dogs unique markings across their body) – a breed which, in itself, is a fairly recent addition to the canine world.

The Yorkshire Terrier in itself is an ancestor of the Waterside Terrier – also known as the Airedale Terrier. These dogs were known for their high energy and playfulness, as well as being outgoing and confident with new people and places. Happily, these are all traits that have been passed on through multiple breed changes.

These changes in themselves were bred through generations, with breeders eventually creating smaller terriers that were ideal for ratting. Of course, most owners have no need for this trait – but they should be aware that their natural hunting instinct can still be present in the Biewer Terrier from time to time.

The Biewer Terrier is, in fact, such as recent introduction to the dog world that most pups can easily be traced back to the original member of this breed. Schneefloecken Von Friedheck (roughly translated from German to mean “Snowflake”) was given their name due to their unique markings, which hail from the recessive Piebald gene and was born in 1984.

This gene gave the traditional Yorkshire Terrier the unusual trait of having spots of color through their back and along the top of their head, which the original breeders rightfully thought to be particularly beautiful. Because of these markings, owners and breeders Mr. and Mrs. Biewer decided to carefully breed more puppies with this gene, which is a tough task in itself.

It wasn’t long, however, before the Biewer Terrier puppies became popular. So much so, in fact, that they were quickly registered with the Allgemeiner Club der Hundefreunde Deutschland (ACH) – the German equivalent of the American Kennel Club (AKC). In 2003, they were introduced to America and soon became just as popular with dog owners.

Here, some owners began to crossbreed the Biewer with the traditional Yorkie – a controversial move given the history of the two breeds. Still, these breeders have continued to do so and named their puppies the Biewer Yorkie to differentiate their offspring from both the Biewer Terrier and the traditional Yorkshire Terrier.

In 2014, following genetic testing by Mars Veterinary who confirmed that the Biewer was a breed in it’s own right, the AKC accepted the Biewer into it’s ranks as a Foundation Breed. Growing in popularity – although still not as well known as their Yorkshire cousins – the Biewer breeders now regularly require interested owners to sit on a waiting list until new puppies become available.

While Biewer Yorkie puppies are equally as popular, they are not considered a pedigree breed by the AKC and therefore are more freely found and bought or adopted. Thus, if you are interested in gaining a new family member with an AKC-approved ancestry, it’s important to discuss with the breeders about their background and family. This will help differentiate between Biewer Yorkshire Terrier puppies and Biewer Terrier puppies.

Biewer Yorkshire terrier Puppy

Quick Facts

Interested in getting some quick information and facts to impress your friends? Check out these quick facts about the Biewer Terrier!

  • The Biewer Terrier was initially called the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier a la Pom Pon but this name was later changed.
  • The original name was created for a bit of fun and you can still find some breeders who prefer to call their puppies by their full name, with “a la pom pon” included.
  • The name “pom pon” derives from the French “pompon” to mean a small, tufted, decorative ball of fluff.
  • The “Yorkshire” part was dropped when the breed was officially recognized by the AKC
  • The breed was accidentally created when the owners of two Yorkshire Terriers bred a puppy with the recessive Piebald gene.
  • They often grow to 22cm (8.55 inches)
  • Most Biewer puppies grow up to 3.1.kg
  • They can be found in black and white, with some tan markings – or blue and white with tan markings.
  • They currently reside in the “miscellaneous class” within the AKC, which is also home to the Bracco Italiano and Dutch Shepherd
  • They typically live for up to 15 years
  • The Biewer Terrier is hypoallergenic and therefore great companions for those who typically have allergies.
  • They were originally bred in Huntstruck, Germany.
  • In the year 2000, the breed hit a dent in popularity but became much more popular once introduced to America in 2003
  • The Biewer Yorkie and Biewer Terrier are two different breeds, despite being from the same bloodlines.

Things You Should Know

As with all new pets, it’s important to know the basics of how to care for Biewer Terrier puppies and adults. Here, we’ll take you through the basics of what it means to live with a Biewer Yorkie and the essentials of how to raise a happy, healthy and thriving Biewer Yorkshire Terrier.

Training

The Biewer Terrier is a loyal and dedicated breed that, more often than not, is more interested in learning to aid their master. This eagerness to please, along with their natural outgoing personality, makes them relatively easy to train. Of course, you should remember that the more intelligent the dog, the more problems you are likely to have, if you pup is not adequately physically and mentally stimulated.

Training is, therefore, key to living harmoniously with your new canine companion, as without this, it’s likely that the Biewer will become noisy, unruly and destructive. Lots of rewards and plenty of positive associations and feedback will be required, in order to bring out the best of this breed.

Biewer Terriers are known to be a little tough to housetrain, so working on this while they are still young is key. We recommend looking for a puppy around Spring/Summer, when the door can be left open and they can quickly learn that the outdoors is the best place to relieve themselves!

Biewers also need lots of socialization from a young age, so that they can become accustomed to other people and dogs. This will help them to mature into calmer, more comfortable and therefore confident dogs.

Biewer Yorkshire Terrier running

Feeding

For those who have received their puppy from a breeder, it’s very important to follow the feeding schedule and rules given by the breeder. Doing this will avoid any unnecessary stomach upsets, and the routine will help your pup to settle into their new life with you. If you find that you don’t want to continue with the same food for whatever reason, it’s important to gradually change your puppies food. Begin with ¾ of the old food, with ¼ of the new, before slowly changing the ratios over, until the new food is the only food that your puppy is on.

If you have adopted your Biewer from a shelter, you should be given general information about their current feeding routine from the shelter. Always try to stick with the new food and feeding times for at least a short while, as their routine will usually center around feeding times.

Puppies should usually be fed at least 3 or 4 times a day, if you are not free-feeding them. This will help their smaller stomachs to digest the food easily. Over time, these meals can be decreased, although portion sizes should increase at the same time. Once your puppy has reached between 10 and 12 months old, they can be gradually moved on to adult dog food.

A mature Biewer can eat between 63g and 72g of food daily, and should be fed twice a day. Biewer dogs that weigh more than 3.4kg should be given a diet according to your vet, while those under 2.9kg can be fed a little more, according to your vet and your pets’ build.

Be aware that smaller dogs such as the Biewer Terrier are prone to gaining weight easily and this can come with a range of health problems. If you are concerned about their weight or eating habits, do take your dog to the vets for a check up and further advice.

Grooming

Biewers have long, silky coats that grow continuously throughout the year. Because of this, it is important to keep on top of grooming and this breed can be considered high maintenance when it comes to grooming.

Ideally, top knots should be brushed daily and this should then be tied back to avoid the fur becoming tangled and obscuring your Biewers’ vision. The back ends of your pup are another problem area that will need to be brushed daily, as they are prone to becoming tangled or matted. Regular trips to the local dog grooming salon are recommended, as their longer coats can frequently become untidy and, eventually, painful if dirty, tangled or matted.

The Biewer Yorkshire terrier and Biewer Terrier do not shed in the same way as other dogs, which makes them less prone to leaving collections of fur around the house – and most of their brushing needs come from avoiding tangles.

Health

As the Biewer terrier is a relatively new breed, a lot of health problems are not yet known or cannot be proven to be directly linked to the breed as yet. That said, they are known to suffer from a range of problems linked to their Yorkshire Terrier breed and overall size and stature.

Eye and ear infections are some of the most common health problems seen in the Biewer, and this is usually linked to problems with their grooming routine. However, the eyes are a particular issue in this breed, with many pups being known to suffer from progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), primary lens luxation (PLL) and Chiari Malformation Syringomyelia (CMS) and all of these should be tested by your breeder, with detailed information given, before purchase.

As with all small breeds, there is also a risk with excessive weight gain being a common problem. Always keep an eye on the weight of your Biewer Terrier – especially if they have been spayed or neutered – as they can quickly become overweight or even obese over a short period of time. Ideally, you should be able to feel the ribs of your pup when stroking them, but not be able to see them.

Biewer Terrier puppies

Temperament

It’s important to note that the Biewer Terrier comes from a long line of Yorkshire Terriers and, in that sense, they have many of the same characteristics that you may find in this breed. Energetic and happy, they can frequently be found running around with the zoomies if not regularly exercised!

They require lots of mental and physical stimulation, which will help to keep them busy and also be a great way of helping them to learn their place in the pack. Their naturally strong-willed nature needs quick correction using positive reinforcement when they are behaving well, so that they settle into their new home and become the loving, happy dogs they are meant to be.

The Biewer Terrier is perfect for both first time owners and households with children, as these little dogs are incredibly people-oriented and love to please. They do require regular walks to burn off a little energy, but they can also easily adapt to apartment living, as long as they are by their humans. Just be aware that those with other pets may have a hard time training out the ratting instinct. They are, after all, still terriers at heart!

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Source:

  1. Genetic Diversity Testing for Biewer – UC Davis Veterinary Medicine
Dr Tracy Douglas
General Practice Veterinarian, currently working at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Dr. Douglas began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Nurse in Highton Veterinary Clinic, Highton Victoria, and then as an Emergency Veterinarian in Uintah Pet Emergency, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tracy is particularly interested in surgery, neurology and internal medicine, which gives her a well-rounded knowledge on animal health and well-being. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Melbourne, while her undergraduate bachelor of science is from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

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