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Jagdterrier: Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Jagdterrier Running

Height: 13-16 inches
Weight: 17-22 pounds
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Colors: Black, black and tan, black and gray, dark brown
Suitable for: Families looking for an active small breed that can also be used as a working dog
Temperament: Intelligent and adaptable, brave and energetic, a classic Terrier with a high prey drive

If you’ve been looking for a courageous and clever little dog with plenty of attitude and a great work ethic, then you need to meet the Jagdterrier. This plucky breed originated in Germany and was bred to work as a small hunting dog. Of course, they share many personality traits with other Terrier breeds, including an independent spirit!

That means while these little pups may be adorably cute, they’re not the right breed for everyone. Their combination of energy and intelligence means they suit active homes where they’ll regularly be allowed to show off their hunting skills, as well as get plenty of exercise.

As a Foundation Stock Service breed, the Jagdterrier isn’t yet well known. So, you might not know that much about the characteristics and temperament of this breed. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about these dogs, so you can work out if they might be the perfect pup for you.

Divider 1Jagdterrier Puppies

puppy Jagdterrier
Image Credit: Ksenia Merenkova, Shutterstock

Visiting a litter of puppies before you’re 100% sure they’re the right breed for you increases the odds that you’re going to end up coming home with a puppy! Before you decide on a whim, though, it’s best to do your research.

The Jagdterrier isn’t a low-maintenance breed, so you need to make sure you can provide the home environment they need to thrive. This breed is a true Terrier type, so they need above average amounts of exercise. They also have a high prey drive and a strong work ethic. If you don’t give your pup a chance to feel useful, they may well develop behavioral problems as a result of frustration and boredom.

Jadgterriers suit homes where they can spend at least some of their time in a working environment. Whether that’s clearing your barn of rats, competing in agility, or training for field trials, these dogs thrive when they’re active and feeling useful.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Jagdterrier

1. These pups are also known as the German Hunt Terrier

An alternative name for the Jagdterrier is the German Hunt Terrier. In case you’re wondering, Jagdterrier is pronounced “yackterrier.” You might also see them called Deutscher Jagdterrier. The word “Jagd” is German for “to hunt” and gives us a huge clue that these pups have a high prey drive and will stubbornly pursue their quarry.

The word Terrier has its root in the Latin word “terra,” which literally means “ground.” This refers to the fact that Terriers will often hunt their prey by heading underground into their dens. Any dog that’s bred to work and hunt in this way needs to be small-sized (so they don’t get stuck!) but incredibly brave and tenacious too.

2. The Jagdterrier is a true hunter

While some Terrier breeds are relaxed enough that they can easily adapt to a more sedate lifestyle, the Jagdterrier doesn’t belong in this category!

These pups just love to work, and without the regular motivation of and training for some kind of job, they will soon become incredibly bored.

3. The breed is happiest as a working dog

The Jagdterrier breed was created by a group of experienced hunters in Germany. They intended to breed a true hunting Terrier, one that was easy to train, tough across a range of terrain, and happy to go through water and had a strong voice and hunting instinct.

They crossed the Old English Wirehaired Terrier with Fox Terriers and Welsh Terriers to create the Jagdterrier. Hunting instinct has always come before appearance with this breed, so modern-day puppies will still retain a strong prey drive.

This means they’re happiest when at least some element of their lives involves doing what they were bred to do: chasing down prey, going to ground to drive them out, and using their distinctive and loud “bay” to let their handlers know where they are.

Image Credit: Snowboy, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Jagdterrier 🧠

Jagdterriers are incredibly smart and have so much energy that you’ll need to be sure you can match them in both respects! They have other wonderful character traits, but these can be overshadowed until you get to grips with meeting their needs in terms of exercise and training.

They are loyal and affectionate to their owners but don’t tend to get on with smaller pets due to their strong prey drive. The same goes for the local wildlife! They will enjoy guarding your home and keeping an eye out for the entire neighborhood. Their Terrier bark, also known as a “bay,” is loud enough to let everyone nearby know that your pup has seen something interesting!

Unless you plan on training your Jagdterrier for hunting, agility trials, or obedience, you might find that they simply have too much energy to slot into your home. While a Jadgterrier will be more than happy to collapse after a long day’s work hunting, they aren’t the type of dog to cope well without plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Jagdterrier can make a great family pet as long as you have a firm plan in place for providing them with what they need. If family time will be split up with working or training, then these pups can happily slot into family life.

But if they don’t get enough exercise, then you’ll run the risk of your dog developing behavioral issues due to boredom and lack of physical activity. Jagdterriers crave movement and interest, and without plenty of both, they can become destructive and high maintenance.

Having a large family is a bonus when owning a Jadgterrier, as you might need to set up a shift system to make sure these active little dogs get enough exercise! They get along great with kids and will enjoy being involved in all aspects of family life. From playing in the backyard, day hikes, swimming, agility classes, and more, a Jagdterrier will love them all.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Jagdterriers usually get along well with other dogs, especially if they’re introduced while they’re young. They tend to enjoy having another dog to play with, so keeping a Jadgterrier in a multi-dog household can be a good way to keep both dogs entertained.

They don’t tend to adapt so well to living in a house with smaller pets like cats and rodents, because they have such a high prey drive that they sometimes can’t resist chasing cats or overly worrying small animals in cages. If you’re planning on keeping rodents in an area of the house that your Jadgterrier can’t get access, you may be okay. Just be aware that if your pup sniffs a scent of an animal that it instinctively recognizes as prey, then they may become obsessed with trying to gain access to that part of the house. A tenacious Terrier is certainly a force to be reckoned with!

If a Jadgterrier is introduced to a cat while they’re both young, they can usually both acclimatize to living together, but a timid cat who tends to run rather than stand their ground can be irresistible to any Terrier-type dog!

You’ll need to carefully introduce a Jadgterrier to cats, while also making sure that the cat has a space that they can retreat to if the dog’s enthusiasm gets a little too much. Never leave your Jadgterrier unattended around cats and other small pets.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Jagdterrier

Choosing to share your life with a Jadgterrier isn’t a decision to take lightly, as these little pups require plenty of time and energy that can end up being simply too much for some families. These pups thrive in homes where they can be working dogs at least some of the time.

Before you make your mind up, here are a few more things to consider.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

When it comes to food, these little pups are low maintenance. They will do best on a high-protein dog food designed for active small dog breeds. Make sure you select one designed for the specific life stage of your dog, so start with puppy food and then transition to a brand designed to meet the nutritional needs of adult dogs as your Jagdterrier reaches maturity.

Treats are an excellent way to keep your dog’s attention during training sessions, but make sure to account for these when calculating your dog’s daily rations. Smaller breeds like the Jadgterrier can quickly put on weight, which will place your pup’s joints under additional stress. Likewise, avoid scraps from your food, which can be too high in fat for your dog.

Exercise 🐕

The Jadgterrier is an exceptionally active breed, and you’ll need to be prepared to commit a large amount of time keeping this little dog active. They’ll need, at a minimum, 90 minutes of exercise every day. If you feel like a day off on a Sunday, your pup will not be happy about it.

While 90 minutes might be the minimum that your Jagdterrier needs, they will happily keep going for much, much longer. These enthusiastic dogs are bred for spending all day in the field hunting and flushing out prey, so their stamina is impressive, to say the least.

Their walks will need to be more energetic than a simple slow plod around the block too. Think about incorporating fast games of fetch, swimming, agility, and of course, hunt trials if they’re available in your area. If anyone in your family enjoys hiking and running, a Jadgterrier will love to come along too! Just bear in mind that it’s safest to keep them on a leash whenever you’re out. Their strong prey drive means they often can’t resist the chance to chase local wildlife. A fenced backyard is also essential for when you’re at home, so you can let your pup out without worrying about them trying to escaping when they catch sight of a squirrel.

Training 🦮

Jagdterriers are extremely intelligent and will pick up new commands with ease. They do love to please their owners, but they also have a stubborn streak, similar to many other Terrier breeds. That means they can sometimes lose concentration and head off to do their own thing.

Positive reinforcement works great with these little dogs, as will anything that challenges them to use those brains. Fast-paced agility and fly ball competitions are great ways to make the most of the fact that these dogs have both brains and energy aplenty.

Jagdterriers also love the chance to be given a job to do. So, if you’re looking for a small hunting dog who can also be a family pet or a tenacious pup who can spend afternoons chasing the rodents out of your barn, these dogs will shine.

Grooming ✂️

While Jadgterriers can have smooth or wiry coats, the wiry coat is more common. They require little grooming, so a quick brush once a week is all they’ll need to keep their coats looking shiny and healthy.

Their nails can grow quickly, so make sure you check them weekly and trim if necessary. At the same time, it’s good to get into the habit of checking their ears and teeth.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Compared to some other purebred dogs, the Jagdterrier is an extremely healthy breed, and there are few health issues reported. Part of the reason for this may also be that as a more unusual breed, there aren’t as many breeders to report conditions.

One health test that any reputable and experienced breeder should be testing for is primary lens luxation (PLL). This is a genetic condition and if passed on from both parent dogs, can result in blindness. Make sure to ask any breeder about this condition, as well as asking to see the test results.

Minor Conditions
  • None reported
Serious Conditions
  • Primary lens luxation

Male vs. Female

If you’ve decided that the Jagdterrier is the perfect breed for you and your family, then you might now be trying to decide if you’d prefer a male or female pup.

It’s best to stop right there! Most personality traits won’t be affected by a puppy’s sex, so it’s a good idea to wait until you meet them first before making any decisions. You might end up falling for an outgoing female puppy rather than the male that you imagined.

Something else to bear in mind with the Jagdterrier is that as a rare breed, you may need to put down a deposit with your breeder of choice and then wait for a litter of pups to be born. That means you might not get a choice of the color and sex of the pup in any case.

If you’re concerned about hormonal behavior, then rest assured that most of these will be removed when you have your puppy spayed or neutered.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

The charismatic and energetic little Jagdterrier may not be the best-known breed, but they have plenty of good points that can make them the perfect pups for some families. They’re intelligent, motivated, and keen to please. They don’t need much grooming and will love playing in the backyard or heading out on a hunt.

You’ll need to be prepared to invest plenty of time and energy into keeping your pup well-trained and exercised if you want them to grow up content and well-adjusted. A bored and energetic Jagdterrier can cause no end of trouble!

If you’ve got a job in mind for a Jagdterrier, though, they will give it their all. Prepare for these sweet pups to steal part of your heart with their sheer love of life and bouncy nature. One thing is for sure, you’ll also become quite fit as the owner of a Jadgterrier!

Featured Image Credit: Snowboy, Shutterstock

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