The Jagd Terrier, also known as the German Jagdterrier or the German Hunting Terrier, is a courageous and fun-natured little dog that was primarily bred for hunting (Jagd means hunt in German).
These versatile and loyal dogs are very energetic and need lots of physical and mental stimulation. They’re full of personality and spunk, and have a unique character that’s sure to make anyone fall in love with them.
But are these fiery pups the right breed for you? Find out everything you need to know about Jagd Terrier dog breed before you consider adding one to your family pack.
Characteristics of the Jagd Terrier
The History and Origin of the Jagd Terrier
Jagd Terriers were first bred in Germany in the period between the two wars. A trio of active hunters and breeders wanted to develop a new breed with the sole purpose of hunting. They broke away from the traditional Fox Terrier Club, feeling that these dogs had become too “showy” and had lost some of their key hunting skills.
Rudolph Frieb, Carl Erich Grunewald, and Walter Zangenberg chose a beautiful black and tan pup that was particularly good at hunting underground animals (such as foxes, badgers, raccoons, and vermin).
Lutz Heck, the director of Berlin Zoo at the time, had a real passion for breeding and gave Walter Zangenberg 4 black and tan purebred Fox Terriers. These 5 pups became the foundation stock of the Jagd Terrier.
As time went on, they also brought Welsh Terriers and Old English Wirehaired Terriers into the mix to create the perfect appearance and temperament. The German Hunt Terrier Club was founded in 1926.
Unfortunately, like the country, this breed was seriously affected by the outbreak of World War II. Their numbers declined dramatically and they were very close to extinction.
But, thanks to conscious breeding efforts in the years to come, numbers started to steadily increase and the first dogs were brought to America in the 1950s.
These dogs were first recognized and added to the American Kennel Club Foundation Stock Services in 2014.
Personality and Character of the Jagd Terrier
The Jagd Terrier is a hunting dog through and through. They’re bold, tenacious, loyal, and love to embark on adventures.
They’re full of energy, meaning they need at least an hour of outdoor exercise a day – preferably in woodland, fields, or other large open spaces they can run around in. This dog breed is very playful too and will be happy entertaining itself with toys or children.
Whilst a working dog at heart, German Hunting Terriers are also great companions for the right owner. They’re affectionate towards those they care about and are happy to snuggle up at the end of the day too (just as long as they’ve had enough outdoor stimulation).
Some describe the Jagd Terrier as being a high-maintenance dog breed – and we can see why. They need to be kept constantly entertained and can easily become bored. They’re certainly not the pup for someone who likes being indoors and is looking for an indoor companion.
Can the Jagd Terrier Live in an Apartment?
These pups are a relatively small dog breed growing to a maximum of 16 inches. And whilst that might make you think they’re suitable apartment doggies, they really do better with some outdoor space.
These dogs demand a lot of an owner’s time but having some outdoor space allows them to entertain themselves – at least for a while!
If you do live in an apartment and have your heart set on adopting a Jagd Terrier be prepared to take them out a lot. They’ll need regular visits to the street and lots of time in the park to use up their energy and keep their minds stimulated and engaged.
Something else worth thinking about is that Jagd Terriers can be quite vocal. They love using their voices to show they’re happy, angry, or scared. This could be a problem for you and your neighbors.
There are lots of more suitable dog breeds for those in apartments.
Can the Jagd Terrier Live With Children?
The Jagdterrier dog breed is famous for getting along with kids. These energetic dogs really enjoy playing with someone who can match their energy levels. Pups need to be well trained to know how to properly play with kids (and other dogs) but with that, your kid will have a new best friend for life.
As with any dog breed, it’s important you teach children how to play with them and respect their space. Playtime should always be monitored by an adult.
Are They Aggressive Dogs?
Jagd Terriers are not naturally aggressive dogs. They can be territorial and protective of their families, so it’s important to train them so they can tell the difference between friends and enemies.
A well-trained and well-socialized Jagd Terrier will be curious about other humans and dogs but not aggressive.
Do They Get Along Well With Other Animals?
Jagd Terriers really prefer to be the only pup in your life. They need a lot of your attention and love and aren’t too happy about sharing it!
They can be wary around other dogs they meet in the dog park but with encouragement from you and lots of early socialization, they should soon relax and be playing with the rest of them.
Similarly to Fox Terriers, these dogs have a very high prey drive thanks to their hunting instincts. They therefore shouldn’t be in a home with smaller pets such as cats, gerbils, or hamsters.
Appearance of the Jagd Terrier
Jagd Terriers definitely have a Terrier look about them. They have smooth or rough coats, stocky and muscular bodies, and a determined look about them.
Jagd Terrier Size and Weight
Bearing in mind the dog breeds that helped develop Jagd Terriers (the Fox terrier and the Welsh Terrier), these pups are considered small dogs.
They grow to be a maximum of 16 inches tall and weigh between 17 and 22 pounds. Female Jagd Terriers may be a little smaller than their male brothers.
How Long Does It Take for a Jagd Terrier to Reach Adult Size?
Jagd Terriers should reach their full size between 10 and 12 months. Some larger pups may take a little longer to be considered fully grown.
Colors of the Jagd Terrier
According to the American Kennel Club, there are three possible coat colorings for Jagdterrier dogs. These are:
- Black and gray
- Dark brown
Tan markings are common and also accepted and they might have white markings on their chest and toes.
According to the German Hunting Terrier Club, a Jagd Terrier’s coat can be rough and hard or coarse and smooth. It’s considered short and is relatively easy to manage.
The Jagd Terrier is a well-muscled dog with a strong back, deep but not too broad chest, well-defined withers, and a straight topline. Their underline is gently and elegantly curved upwards, giving them a compact yet well-proportioned appearance.
These hunting dogs have small and dark eyes that are oval-shaped and with tight eyelids. According to the Federation Cynologique Internationale breed standard, these dogs often have a resolute expression.
Jagd Terriers have elongated and slightly wedge-shaped heads with highly set ears that fold over. Their heads are flat and broad between the ears but much narrower between the eyes. They always have black noses, defined jawlines, and big teeth that close with a perfect scissor bite.
In countries where docking is allowed the tail can be docked ⅓ of its length. It should be slightly raised rather than vertical and never curl over the dog’s back. In countries where docking is prohibited, the tail can be kept long and should be horizontal.
Grooming and Hygiene of a Jagd Terrier
Jagd Terriers usually have bristly, wiry coats that don’t require a huge amount of grooming (at least in comparison to some other breeds). These doggos will need a weekly brush to get rid of any loose hairs and to keep their coats sleek. They only need to be bathed when they’ve been playing in something messy outdoors.
How to Brush a Jagd Terrier?
Because these dogs often have wiry coats, care should be taken when brushing them to prevent even further matting. Softly brush out any mats, paying particular attention to their underbellies. Gently start at the bottom of their neck and move your way down toward the base of their tail. This will ensure you cover all their coat.
Jagdterrier puppies should be groomed from an early age to get them used to it. Grooming can be a great bonding experience for you and your dog as well as help to keep them clean and healthy.
What Brush Is Best for a Jagd Terrier?
A slicker brush is your best bet for a Jagd Terrier. Slicker brushes have lots of tightly packed wire pins which help to detangle your pup’s coat but won’t scrape their skin. They’re also really good at spreading your pup's natural skin and hair oils which promotes healthy growth and keeps their coat looking shiny.
How Do You Wash a Jagd Terrier?
It’s important that you don’t wash your Jagd Terrier too often. Washing a pup with this type of coat too often can strip its coat and skin of healthy oils and even cause more matting. Only wash them when their coat is obviously dirty.
Either wash your pup outside in your yard or in the bathtub. Start by wetting your dog’s body with warm water and applying a little shampoo that’s suitable for Jagd Terriers (depending on whether your pooch has a rough or smooth coat).
Rub in the shampoo, making sure you cover all the coat. If you can, apply it like you would if you were stroking your pooch. This will help your dog to enjoy it more.
Rinse off the shampoo well and apply a conditioner if using. Rinse off the conditioner too and always make sure you fully dry your dog’s coat afterward. Not drying your dog’s coat could cause skin irritations and infections.
Is It a Hypoallergenic Dog?
The Jagd Terrier is not considered a hypoallergenic dog breed. Whilst no pup is 100% hypoallergenic (because it’s actually their dead skin cells that cause allergies), Jagd Terriers shed minimally, so they could be an issue.
Jagd Terrier Training and Education
Jagd Terriers are intelligent dogs that were bred to work closely with humans. This, therefore, makes them eager to learn and please their owners. Whilst happy to partake in training sessions, Jagdt Terriers are still Terriers, meaning they can be strong-willed and get bored easily.
All training sessions should be kept short and varied. They won’t like repeating the same thing over and over again. Try introducing rewards as extra motivation and always using positive reinforcement.
Dog sports or canine classes can be another great way for your pup to learn new skills and use up some energy. A well-bred Jagd Terrier shouldn’t need professional training, but if you’ve adopted a dog and are not sure about its past, a dog behaviorist could be really useful.
As well as fun training, socialization is really important for any dog breed. Expose your Jagd Terrier puppy to new sites and sounds so that they become happy and confident dogs.
What Is the Price of a Jagd Terrier?
The price of a Jagd Terrier puppy will depend on demand and breeders in your local area. As with all dogs, puppies from lines of show winners are likely to be more expensive than other dogs.
In general, however, you can expect to pay anything between $350 – $1000 for a Jagd Terrier. Adopting from your local pound will certainly be cheaper and always be aware of puppy mills offering dogs for much cheaper prices.
Jagd Terrier Feeding
Jagd Terriers need to eat good-quality dog food that’s appropriate for a small dog breed with high energy levels. These pups can be prone to obesity, so it's important not to overfeed them or give them a too-calorie-dense diet.
Dietary requirements of any pup change from puppyhood, through their adult years, and onto their senior years. Their calorie intake should reflect their exercise needs.
Check with a doggy nutritionist or your vet if you’re unsure of what or how much you should be feeding your dog at different life stages.
Jagd Terrier Health
Jagd Terriers are usually healthy dogs, especially if you adopt yours from a reputable breeder (which you should)! But, like all little dogs, they can be subject to some health concerns. These include:
- Primary Lens Luxation (a painful condition that can cause dogs to go blind)
- Field injuries (such as strains, fractures, bites, allergies, and heatstroke)
You should take your dog for regular vet check-ups as these can help identify anything early on which can help them to find a solution quicker.
What Is the Life Expectancy of the Jagd Terrier?
Normally, small dog breeds live longer than their bigger cousins. The Jagd Terrier, however, doesn’t have as long of a life expectancy compared to other small dog breeds.
These pups tend to live between 10-12 years (which, compared to the Chihuahua that can live to 20) doesn’t seem very long.
What Is the Best Climate for a Jagd Terrier?
Jagd Terriers are versatile dogs and can live in warm and cold climates. They don’t, however, love extremes and prefer to be in more moderate climates. If you live somewhere particularly cold, you might want to consider getting your pooch a winter jacket.
As with any dog breed, in the summer months make sure you take them out early in the morning or late at night to prevent heatstroke or overheating. Give them lots of water and make sure they have plenty of shade with a cool breeze for them to relax in.
Breeds Similar to Jagd Terrier
If you’re not sure that the Jagd Terrier is exactly the dog for you, or there aren’t many breeders in your area, you’ll probably want to consider a different breed. The good news is that there are many other pups that are similar in both temperament and appearance.
- Jack Russell Terrier. Jack Russells are full of personality and tenacity – just like a Jagd Terrier. But, unlike the Jagd Terrier, Jack Russells can be other colors and are never black.
- Irish Terrier. These pups are one of the oldest Terrier breeds and have a similar morphology and head shape to the Jagd Terrier.
- Welsh Terrier. As one of the foundation stock breeds for Jagd Terriers, it’s only natural that Welshies look and act like Jagd Terriers.
- Fox Terrier. Both the Wire Fox Terrier and the Smooth Fox Terrier look very similar to the Jagd Terrier. They have a strong prey drive and form loyal bonds with family members too.
- Airedale Terrier. Looking for a somewhat similar but much bigger Terrier dog? The Airedale terrier is the largest Terrier breed. It also has a tan and black coat and a wedge-shaped head.
The Jagd Terrier is an amazing dog breed but they can be demanding. They’re certainly not the breed for those looking for a cute and affectionate lap dog. These pups are active and need lots of your time and energy to keep them entertained.
If you have that energy to give, you’ll be getting a fun-loving, adventurous, and very loyal pet that will accompany you anywhere you go and work hard to please you. They’re very playful and love kids but don’t do well in homes with small animals.
Don’t think the Jagd Terrier is for you? Why not take our unique test to find the perfect breed for you and your home?