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A Biewer terrier running outside.

Source: Flickr, Borek Lupomesky

Breed overview

  • Breed group — Toy group (American Kennel Club)
  • Height — 7-11 inches
  • Weight — 4-8 pounds
  • Coat length & texture — Long, silky, soft coat
  • Coat color — These pups come in a piebald coloration of bluish-white and white markings over their white undersides and bellies. Their faces and backs have chocolate brown, tan, and black splotches.
  • Exercise needs — Average
  • Intelligence — High
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 12-16 years
  • Temperament — Happy, fun-loving, caring, and loyal
  • Hypoallergenic — Though no dog is truly hypoallergenic, with their low shedding, Biewer terriers are considered hypoallergenic.
  • Origin — Germany

Biewer terrier fun facts

  • Scientific advancements lead to better accuracy. The Biewer terrier was the first breed to be recognized as a purebred through scientific means like blood samples and genetic testing rather than traditional pedigree documentation.
  • It’s not an English name. Being of German origin, the name can be complicated to pronounce. Don’t worry though, we’ll help you out. “Biewer” is pronounced the same way as our flat-tailed river friend, the beaver.
  • These pups are the perfect fit for your home. With their endearing, happy-go-lucky personalities, Biewer terriers are incredibly charming and lovable. They are the perfect match for anyone looking for a friendly companion.

Biewer terrier temperament and characteristics 

There are many dogs that require a certain type of atmosphere to flourish. Biewers, however, are extremely adaptable and will thrive in nearly any home that they find themselves in. As long as you have the love and room in your heart for a small package of joy, the Biewer terrier is right for you.

Loving to play, these pups will get most of their exercise needs met simply by being around you and your family. Singles, senior citizens, or families with kids would all be able to offer a Biewer the perfect home. Whether or not you have a backyard, this rare breed will be happy to go from playing with you and their toys to cuddling in your lap.

If you already have other dogs or cats, you don’t need to worry. The Biewer terrier, with proper socialization training, will have little issues with getting comfortable and used to other animals. The biggest thing you will need to look out for is that this small dog has a big personality; they will not be afraid to stand up for themselves around large dogs.

Biewers make for great companions for the entire family, children included. They love playing games and spending time with the family, but there are things that will need to be taught. Biewers are a rare purebred dog breed with an energetic drive to play, so young children need to be taught early on how to approach them and play safely for the sake of everyone involved. They take some time to warm up to strangers in the house, but with the proper socializing, they will not be a concern for guests.

Common Biewer terrier health problems 

The Biewer terrier is a generally healthy breed, though with most dogs, there is a chance of health issues interrupting your way of life. Being direct descendants of the Yorkshire terrier, there are possibilities that your Biewer will have some of their conditions.

  • Patellar luxation . A condition where the kneecap can dislocate and slip from where it should be. There are four grades of increasing severity, but limiting the height your Biewer jumps from, especially as a puppy, can help reduce the risk of injury. The condition gets passed down genetically, so breeders shouldn’t breed dogs with luxating patella or any other orthopedic issue.
  • Sensitive GI tract. Due to their sensitivity, Biewers will have occasional bouts of discolored or soft stool and diarrhea. These are not life-threatening, but if your pup has persistent issues, contact your vet to make sure it is nothing more serious.
  • Dental issues. Being a toy breed, Biewers can be prone to dental issues because it may be difficult to clean their teeth. Contact your vet to help you set up a home dental care routine.

Cost of caring for Biewer terrier

Even though your puppy does not have a long list of possible health issues, it is still your responsibility to prepare for unexpected circumstances. For instance, if your vet discovers that your Biewer has developed patellar luxation, you will be looking at a possible surgery that costs between $1,500 and $3,000. One of the best ways to be ready for these situations is to get health insurance for your companion. If you are unable to do that, there are alternative ways to prepare. You can set aside a  budget with a pet savings account should you need to pay for surgery.

History of the Biewer terrier

Mr. and Mrs. Biewer, a German couple that bred Yorkshire terriers in the 1970s and 80s, found their first black, white, and tan puppy born on January 20, 1984. A few months later, a second puppy with this recessive piebald coloration was born, and with it, the beginning of a new breed.

The naming process started early when the couple took the puppies to one of their friends and their local vet Dr. Bardeleben. He suggested that they name the breed after Mrs. Biewer: Gertrud Biewer Yorkshire Terrier. The famous German singer, Margot Eskens, suggested that they add “a la Pom Pon” to the dog’s name. And so, the new breed made a debut as the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier a la Pom Pon in 1986.

The breed had a slow start because Mr. and Mrs. Biewer were very selective with who they would give their puppies to. This, in conjunction with Mr. Biewer becoming ill, caused the popularity and availability of the breed to fall by the year 2000. Thankfully, in the years following when the breed arrived in America, it was able to grow and spread to many families. In 2021, it was recognized by the AKC as a pure breed in the toy group.

Caring for your Biewer terrier

Despite how badly you want to take your new puppy home, there are some important things you must take care of first. You want your new dog to be healthy, so make sure to schedule your first vet visit and your pup’s vaccinations. We can provide helpful guides to puppy-proof your home and ready yourself for the teething process. Biewer terriers love to play, especially games like hide-and-seek, so it will be important to register your dog with FidoAlert and get a free Fido ID and tag if they get too good at hiding.


Being an active and energetic breed, Biewer terriers have a knack for expending their energy and getting in their daily exercise needs by running around and playing with their family. This can be through games like hide-and-seek, fetch, or simply teaching them new tricks that will challenge their mind and body. Even short walks up and down an apartment building’s hallways will work as exercise.

However, there is a concern for not getting enough exercise and the issues that can come with that. If you find that your Biewer is too hyper, they may start to exhibit destructive traits like digging or chewing on furniture. If you notice these behaviors, a swift hand in redirective training and making sure to get out that excess energy will help to correct any bad habits.

Being a smaller breed, Biewers do not have the body mass to handle extreme temperatures. Longer coats in the winter and shorter cuts in the summer can help to combat the temperature outside, but be mindful of how cold your pup is when going for walks.


If you decide to keep your Biewer’s coat longer, you will need to make sure to practice daily brushing. Their silkier coats exhibit minimal matting, but you need to make sure that their soft coats stay well-groomed. This issue can be avoided somewhat by cutting your pup’s coat short, but even then, you will need to do regular brushing.

Brushing your Biewer and cleaning them, however, doesn’t have to feel like a chore. With their small size, they are easy to handle and so this can be a great bonding experience. Occasional baths can help keep their coats looking beautiful and clean.

Beyond their coat, you will need to maintain good nail health by trimming their nails and keeping them from breaking, splitting, or becoming too long. It is also important to clean their ears regularly to avoid ear infections. As stated before, regular teeth brushing will keep your pup healthy and happy.

No breed is truly hypoallergenic. Allergic reactions occur due to the protein found in a dog’s dander, hair, and saliva. Biewer terriers simply shed less, and thus have a smaller effect on those with dog allergies.

Diet and nutrition

Due to being susceptible to GI tract issues, it is important to address this as early as you can with your Biewer’s diet. High-quality foods that are low in protein and marketed for smaller breeds will be the most helpful for keeping your dog happy and healthy. Kibble is preferred over wet food as the latter can cause plaque build-up and aggravate possible dental issues.

Feeding your Biewer on a set schedule of 2-3 times a day will be most helpful for keeping them at a healthy weight. If you find your pup putting on excess weight and losing energy, it will be best to contact your vet to set up a feeding routine.

Training your Biewer terrier

The Biewer terrier is highly intelligent and wants to please their family. They are easy to train and will pick up most tricks and habits, but they can also be stubborn, so be persistent and patient.

Consistency is key, both with rewarding good behaviors and redirecting them from bad behaviors. If they get bored or are too energetic without an outlet, Biewers have the tendency to be destructive. Taking the time and making the effort to correct this behavior will reward you with the perfect companion for all ages.

One area of training that Biewers struggle with is potty training. But, with patience and consistency, you can help your pup overcome this struggle.

Breeds similar to the Biewer terrier

Not quite sure that a Biewer terrier is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Yorkie. Playful, affectionate, and highly energetic, Yorkies will likely steal your heart with no apology. Can you really expect to say no to such a cute breed?
  • Shih tzu. Loving and elegant, the shih tzu is much like the Biewer terrier in its desire to be close to its family. They have a playful spirit and enjoy being around everyone.
  • Toy poodle. Incredibly intelligent and eager to please, you will not find yourself struggling to fall in love with them and their affectionate personalities.

Frequently asked questions

Are Biewer terriers high maintenance?

Compared to breeds that have high grooming needs, dietary needs, or health concerns, a Biewer’s needs are relatively moderate.

Do Biewer terriers bark a lot?

Biewers will alert you when there is a stranger coming, but they are not one to fill your house with constant barking or whining.

Are Biewer terriers expensive?

The cost of purchasing a Biewer can range from $1,500 to $3,000.

What breeds make up the Biewer terrier?

Born from Yorkshire terriers that exhibit the recessive piebald gene, the Biewer terrier is a direct descendant of the Yorkie.

Is the Biewer terrier an easygoing breed?

Highly energetic and playful, the Biewer terrier is not one to sit and laze about. They will love to be in your lap, but they also enjoy playing around and learning new tricks and games.