The Biewer Terrier is a relatively new dog, first developed in Germany in 1984 when Werner and Gertrude Biewer, breeders of Yorkshire Terriers, crossed two dogs that each possessed a recessive particolor gene. Through selective breeding, the Biewers were able to continue these interesting offshoots. The specific difference between the Yorkshire and the Biewer is that the latter can have white as a coat color, whereas the AKC’s Yorkie standard allows for only four color combinations, none of which is white.
The Biewer is not the first dog to descend from the Yorkshire. Others include the Paisley, the Skye, and the Maltese terriers.
In a show ring at Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1988 Mr. Biewer first introduced his little tri-colored dogs, presenting them as Black and White Yorkshire Terriers. That particular club denied the Biewer as a separate breed, simply deeming them wrong-colored Yorkies. Biewer scoured the country for a registry that would accept his pretty little dogs as a separate breed. The ACH (Allgemeiner Club der Hundefreunde Deutschland e.V.) was the first club to do so. The breed standard written at that time was very brief, but it did specify accepted coloring of white, blue and gold.
Biewers caught on in the 1980s, with Mr. and Mrs. Biewer closely watching the progeny of other kennels for purity of the breed. Even with multiple kennels raising them, Biewers remained rare and as a result, costly.
Today, the Biewer Breed Club of America, Inc., claims to be the only breed club to breed Biewers only with other Biewers (i.e., not crossing them with Yorkies or other small terriers).
The Biewer is a tiny breed, standing up to 8.66 inches high and weighing in at 6.83 pounds. The breed standard calls for the hair on the body to have a length of 3/4 down the sides of the dog, or long enough to reach the ground. The hair also must be absolutely straight, shiny and silky, without an undercoat.
As to coloring,the body and head are typically white, blue-and-white, blue or black (with no brown coloring). The head typically consists of three colors and the legs, belly and tail are white. Hair on the chest is be solid white; white, blue and gold crown his tiny head.
As with all dogs, Biewers need to be socialized at an early age, but as a breed they love attention and have personality to spare. Most owners describe them as cheerful and affectionate. Quick and fearless, they enjoy companionship from adults, children, the elderly, and even large dogs. They love to be the center of attention and seem utterly unaware of their tiny stature.
Biewers do not get along well with cats. If you’re a cat owner, another breed will be a better choice for your household.
Biewers share with their terrier cousins a particular stubbornness that can make training a challenge. They can be trained, especially if they come to realize that compliance with training brings praise or a treat.
Biewers are not necessarily excessive barkers, but and their bark has been described as shrill; so, even while the Biewer does well as an apartment dweller, it’s important the building have either thick walls or tolerant neighbors.
The Biewer enjoys an average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Being descended from the Yorkie, he shares a number of health concerns with that breed; these include patellar luxation (where the dog's kneecap, or patella, is dislocated from its normal anatomic position in the groove of the thigh bone [femur]); Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome, which affects the hip joint; portosystemic shunt, a bypassing of the liver by the body’s circulatory system; bladder stones; and tracheal collapse. Ask your vet about possible ways to watch for and prevent these conditions and keep your dog healthy.
The Biewer needs either a daily walk or an active play time with the family or other dogs to prevent boredom. Given sufficient exercise, he will do will as an apartment dweller or living in a house with a small or large yard.
The Biewer Terrier Club of America (http://btcainc.org/biewer_terrier_rescue.htm) is a group of Biewer Terrier rescue volunteers who will work to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home Biewer Terriers in need, whether abandoned, lost, stray or surrendered to rescue for placement. Many times the club’s members may have adults that they are re-homing also.