Biewer Terrier: One of America’s Newest Toy Breeds

The Biewer Terrier became a fully recognized breed with the American Kennel Club in 2021. Since then, his striking appearance and charming personality have won over many dog lovers in this country. How do you pronounce Biewer? Just like “beaver.” Now, let’s dive into everything you need to know about the Biewer Terrier’s history, size, temperament, activity level and care.

Where does the Biewer Terrier come from?

The breed originated in Germany.

How did the Biewer Terrier get his name?

From the creators of the breed, Mr. and Mrs. Biewer.

What size is the Biewer Terrier?

Height is 7 to 11 inches at the shoulder; weight 4 to 8 pounds.

What is the Biewer Terrier temperament like?

The breed is intelligent, loyal, devoted, charming and is said to maintain a “child-like attitude” in puppyhood and all through adulthood.

How active is the Biewer Terrier?

Moderate energy level. Exercise needs can be easily met indoors, combined with short, regular walks.

Is the Biewer Terrier good at any dog sports or activities?

The breed is a people pleaser, so would do well in obedience, rally and agility.

Is the Biewer Terrier good at dog jobs?

Yes. They’re versatile and adaptable.

Is the Biewer Terrier good for first-time owners?

Typically, yes. They are smart, fun and very sweet. The breed is bound to become more popular as it gets better known, so take the time to find responsible dog breeders who have the Biewer Terrier’s best interests at heart.

Is the Biewer Terrier a good family pet?

Typically, yes. These dogs are loving, intelligent and eager to please. Biewer Terriers may not be the best choice for a family with very young children, who may be rough in their play or accidentally drop a fragile, wiggling puppy. Adult supervision is always a must.

Is the Biewer Terrier a good apartment dog?

Yes! A great choice. This is an active little dog whose exercise needs can easily be met indoors during harsh weather.

How easy is it to train a Biewer Terrier?

Relatively easy. They are very willing to please. As with many small breeds, housetraining can sometimes be a challenge.

Is the Biewer Terrier given to excessive barking?

Their barking level is moderate. They are watchful and attentive to strange sights and sounds, true to their toy terrier heritage.

Does the Biewer Terrier make a good traveler?

Typically, yes. They are a nice, compact package. Get the Biewer accustomed to car travel early. Crate training is essential for safe car travel, hotel and motel stays, visits to the groomer, overnight stays at the veterinarian, etc. If you will be flying with your Biewer, get him used to a carrier as well so he’ll be content to ride in the cabin with you, under your seat.

Is the Biewer Terrier easy to groom?

The breed has a long, silky coat that needs regular baths, and frequent brushing and combing to prevent mats and tangles. On the plus side, shedding is minimal. Most pet owners have a professional groomer keep the dog in a shorter, puppy cut. Much easier to care for!

How popular is the Biewer Terrier?

No AKC statistics available yet for the breed.

biewer terrier groom
Most pet owners keep the Biewer Terrier in a puppy cut for easier care. ©Volchanskiy/Getty Images

Delve into the Biewer Terrier history

Mr. and Mrs. Biewer had been longtime breeders and exhibitors of Yorkshire Terriers in Germany. On January 20, 1984, one of their females, “Frou Frou,” presented them with a uniquely colored blue, white and gold puppy. This tiny puppy marked the beginning of the Biewer Terrier. They named the breed the German Yorkshire Terrier, but their veterinarian suggested instead calling it after themselves, the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier (pronounced just like the well-known rodent, the “beaver”).

The German Registry rejected their application for official status, designating the dogs “not for breeding.” Mr. and Mrs. Biewer were crushed by the news but determined to go on, and set about starting their own registry to document the breed’s development. The couple devoted many years to breeding and trying to create the very best representatives of the breed. Demand was high but Mr. and Mrs. Biewer were very selective about where the dogs went. In time, Mr. Biewer became ill, and his wife stopped the dog breeding to care for him. Thankfully that was not the end of the breed.

How America meets the Biewer Terrier

The Biewer Terrier was introduced to mainstream America in 2003, at which time there were only a handful of breeders both in Germany and the USA. Americans Gayle Pruett and Myrna Torres felt that the story regarding the development of the breed did not match the look of the dogs that were arriving here from Germany. They contacted Mars Veterinary Health to determine if the Biewer Terrier was a Yorkshire Terrier. In September 2007, Mars Veterinary said they were ready to release their tests to determine all the breeds suspected to have been used in the development of the Biewer. Gayle submitted 10 blood samples. This was the first time in the history of dog breeding that a dog had been proven to be purebred using scientific tools. The Biewer Terrier was established as a purebred dog using science, through the collection of genetic data, instead of the usual pedigree documentation.

Later that same year, Gayle Pruett and Deb Sidle went to Germany to meet Mrs. Biewer. It was an exciting time to exchange information about the breed’s development in the two countries. Mrs. Biewer was very happy to hear that the breed bearing her name was flourishing in the USA. She wanted to be a part of the breed’s progress here and became a member of the Biewer Terrier Club of America.

What is the Biewer Terrier’s coat like

The American Kennel Club breed standard describes the Biewer as an elegant, longhaired Toy Terrier. It is a single coat (meaning no undercoat), parted down the back, with a silky texture, and will flow to the ground with maturity.

Frequent bathing and daily brushing are recommended to keep the full Biewer coat clean and mat-free. Most pet owners prefer a short puppy cut to make grooming more manageable.

What is the Biewer Terrier’s trademark color

Since the Biewer Terrier’s unique tricolor coat pattern has distinguished the breed since Fru Fru delivered that first puppy to Mr. and Mrs. Biewer in Germany in 1984, correct color is highly prized. The Biewer is white, with blue-black and golden-tan markings pleasingly distributed on the head and body.

The Biewer Terrier’s ponytail

When it comes to grooming, American Dog breeders wanted to distinguish the Biewer Terrier from the other lavishly coated and more familiar Toy breeds. While Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzu and Maltese competing in dog shows have their long head coat tied up in elaborate topknots and roll overs, the Biewer Terrier breed standard allows only a simple ponytail.

The Biewer Terrier temperament: charming and whimsical

As striking as the Biewer Terrier’s appearance is, the breed’s joyful love of life has captivated dog enthusiasts young and old. The Biewer has a whimsical attitude that is maintained throughout adulthood. This is a happy-go-lucky little fellow, friendly with strangers, devoted to family, easy to train and eager to please. The breed standard describes the Biewer as having a “child-like attitude,” thoroughly sweet and entertaining.

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