The Jagdterrier Dog Breed: All You Need to Know

Are you searching for a dog breed with all the prowess necessary for hunting combined with an adorable appearance? If so, you may want to consider the Jagdterrier.

In this article, we will discuss the rich history, unique physical traits, and energetic and loyal personality of the Jagdterrier, so you can decide if it is the right dog for you. 

History of the Jagdterrier

Origins in Germany

The Jagdterrier was developed in the German state of Thuringia, which is known for its dense forests and abundant wildlife. The breed’s name literally translates to “hunt terrier.”

The breed was originally created for hunting game in these forests, where its small size and agility allowed it to navigate through dense underbrush and burrow into small animal dens.

Development as a Hunting Dog

The breed’s development was a result of crossbreeding between various terrier breeds, including the Old English Wirehaired Terrier and the Welsh Terrier. The Jagdterrier was selectively bred for its sharp senses, tenacity, and agility.

Over time, the Jagdterrier was also used for tracking and retrieving, making it a valuable asset to hunters. Its small size and fearless nature made it an ideal choice for hunting in difficult terrain, including rocky mountains and dense forests.

Introduction to Other Countries

As the breed’s popularity increased, it was introduced to other countries around the world. Today, Jagdterriers are recognized and valued in countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, the Jagdterrier is not recognized as a distinct breed by the American Kennel Club, but it has been accepted into the club’s Foundation Stock Service since June 2014. 

Physical Characteristics

Size and Weight

Jagdterriers typically weigh between 17 and 22 pounds and stand 13 to 16 inches tall. Females are slightly smaller than males.

While the breed is small, it is important to note that Jagdterriers are not delicate or fragile. It is built to withstand the rigors of outdoor activities and is known for its stamina and endurance.

Coat and Color

The Jagdterrier has a short, dense, and weather-resistant coat that helps protect it from the elements. The coat comes in three color options, including black, black & grey, and dark brown. All coat options can feature tan markings. 

The Jagdterrier’s coat is not only attractive, but it also serves a practical purpose. The breed was originally developed for hunting, and its coat helps protect it from the harsh outdoor elements and thorns and bushes. 

Distinctive Features

The Jagdterrier has a long, narrow head with a pronounced stop, a strong jaw, and “V” shaped ears, which are set high on the head. This gives the breed a regal appearance that is sure to turn heads. 

Overall, the Jagdterrier’s body is compact, proportional, and relatively small. Despite their small size, Jagdterriers have a muscular, athletic build and are surprisingly strong and agile.

Temperament and Personality

Intelligence and Trainability

Jagdterriers are intelligent and trainable dogs that are eager to please their owners. However, their stubborn streak can make training a challenge, particularly for inexperienced dog owners.

Early socialization and training are essential to channel the breed’s high energy into positive activities and to avoid destructive behaviors in the form of excessive barking, digging, and chewing. 

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

Jagdterriers are energetic dogs that require plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks, games of fetch, and training sessions can help keep them occupied.

Without proper stimulation, Jagdterriers may become bored, leading to destructive behaviors. Mental stimulation can be achieved through training and playing interactive games that challenge the dog’s mind. 

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

Jagdterriers are loyal and affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship. They get along well with children and other pets, provided they have been appropriately socialized.

However, their strong hunting instincts can mean they may be aggressive towards smaller pets such as cats or rabbits. Start socializing your Jagdterrier early so it can grow into a well-behaved adult. 

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Like many other breeds, Jagdterriers are prone to certain health issues such as: 

  • Eye Problems: The breed is at higher-than-average risk of eye issues such as primary lens luxation (PPL) and cataracts 
  • Hypothyroidism: An endocrine imbalance in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care is essential to keeping your Jagdterrier in good health. This includes keeping up with their vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental cleanings. Regular checkups with your veterinarian can help detect any health issues early on, improving the chances of a successful outcome.


The Jagdterrier is a unique and versatile breed that combines hunting prowess with a loyal personality. Its intelligence and energy level make it a great pet for active owners

By providing it with proper care, attention, and training, your Jagdterrier can become a lifetime companion and faithful friend. Research the breed and find a reputable breeder. 

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