Last Updated on September 25, 2021 by Pets Feed

The seemingly inconspicuous German Hunting Terrier (Jagdterrier) comes with a surprisingly wide range of abilities. He is a little dog worthy of respect. He does not need popular love; his audience is exclusively hunters.

The Jagdterrier is a close relative of the fox terrier and a versatile hunter, working professionally with burrowing animals, birds and other types of game.

Basic Info

  • The name of the breed is translated from German as “hunting terrier”.
  • The main qualification of the Jagdterrier is burrow hunting for a fox, raccoon and badger, but with proper training the breed is able to work with a disabled bird and even hunt a wild boar.
  • The Jagdterrier has a high pain threshold. Therefore, during fights, the dog is not able to properly assess the situation and continues to fight, even after being seriously injured.
  • The willful and independent nature of game burrows does not make them the most controllable pets that require long walks, regular training and hunting trips.
  • Despite the fact that the breed is successfully bred in Russia, among connoisseurs, representatives of German and Austrian breeding lines are considered a more valuable acquisition.
  • jagdterriers may be involved in guarding activities, however, such work will not fully satisfy the animal’s hunting instincts.
  • Due to their recklessness and passion, German hunting terriers die hunting more often than representatives of other breeds. In part, the “kamikaze effect” is responsible for the congenital insensitivity to pain, as well as the overactive behavior of the Jagdterrier in the burrows, which contributes to the collapse of the earthen tunnels.
  • Due to an innate tendency to lead, the breed is not recommended for owners who have no experience working with hunting dogs.

History of the breed

The official name of the breed leaves no doubt about the origin of this terrier. Another masterpiece of German cynology belongs to the new times, its history is surprising – what are the possibilities for selection, if you set to work with a clear mind and purpose.

The idea of ​​getting a more practical and improved version of the Fox Terrier for hunting originated in Germany even before WWI. As soon as the post-war difficulties were overcome, work proceeded at an accelerated pace.

Enthusiasts of the southern states of Germany deliberately selected and knitted terriers with given characteristics:

  • Dark color without spots,
  • Great anger,
  • Excellent versatile working qualities.

As soon as Dr. Lackner, a renowned hunter and dog breeder, joined the movement, the work clearly began and in 1926 the German Hunting Terrier Club began its work in Munich. As such, there was no breed yet, but breeders were already developing a common type of new dogs.

The use of fox terriers, both smooth-haired and wire-haired, is reliably known. The blood of other English terriers has also been shed: Manchester, Welsh terrier, Old English, and several combinations have been tried.

In 1934, the main provisions of the new breed standard were formalized. Cattle with a distinct breed type reached the required level of 200 heads, after which the club received permission from the German Kennel Service to keep its own herd book.

Thanks to the joint efforts of several breeders, already 15 years after its foundation, the club considered the work of breeding a new breed completed. But they had to come back to it – World War II has started.

It took well over 15 years to restore the herd and general type of the Jagdterrier. Certainly, modern German breeders have approached the issue with the utmost rigor and thoroughness. They considered that it was possible to register the breed with the FCI only in 1954.

The club’s work deliberately continued in the western part of Germany. Dogs of various types, but very useful for hunting, also spread in the eastern sector – in the GDR – and in Czechoslovakia.

A qualitative leap in breed has taken place since the 1980s, when the consolidation of the exterior type of NOT was completed, unwanted character traits were eliminated and a system of complex working tests was developed. Shortly after the fall of the Iron Curtain, a variety of breeding material became available in the CIS countries, and the Jagdterrier entered the list of the most numerous hunting breeds in the European part of Russia, as well than in Belarus, the Baltic and Ukrainian states.


Physical characteristics of the Jagdterrier

The FCI document numbered 103 is one of the strictest in cynology. It regulates not only the exterior, but also the properties of the psyche, nature and practical use of dogs of the NOT breed. At the same time, the initiators themselves (DJT-Club) consider the requirements approved by the 1998 standard to be minimum and seek further advice from extensive and detailed comments. Everything to preserve the essence of hunting and the functionality of the breed, to avoid both injuries during the hunt and the transition to the principles of the exhibition.

The Jagdterrier is a sturdy little dog, well on his feet, with a confident look and a determined character. There is not the shadow of effemicity, weakness and timidity in him.

The weight, the length of the head and the neck, the proportions of the waist, the elongation of the body and the volume of the chest are important. The measurements are obligatorily carried out at the time of the exposures of race.

The growth limits are the same for bitches and males: 33-40 cm at the withers. In this case, the coverage of the chest is allowed only 10-12 cm more. This ratio is considered optimal for landfill.

Overly rough and heavy dogs are not greeted as clumsy and unsuitable for a safe hunt in burrows. The light skeleton is not good either. The weight range for males is 9-10 kg, for bitches it is lighter – 7.5-8.5 kg.

The Terrier format is slightly elongated, just enough to keep it compact.

The rather large head is wedge-shaped. It is more massive than that of a fox terrier, and the muzzle is not that long. The forceps are slightly narrowed, but not too much, as they adapt to highly developed jaws with large teeth.

When it comes to teeth, the standard is extremely strict. Only the last M3 molars may be absent. In addition, the jagdterrier must have no deviation from the scissor bite, no irregularities in the dentition and no non-vertical tooth growth. It is recommended to regularly check the completeness immediately after changing the milk teeth for the rapid fixing of lost work.

Smaller eyes, the darker the better. The triangular ears are slightly raised, but not on the cartilage, pointing forward and close to the skull.

The proportional length neck blends smoothly into the back. A moderately pronounced withers without a shiny tip is encouraged. The top line is straight. The straight back, as well as the lower back, should be very strong, which experts verify with hand pressure. The muscular kidney passes into the croup, which is not inclined at all.

The tail of the jagdterrier is not as perky as that of the fox, it is carried slightly at an angle.

The valuable limbs are strong bones with correct angles and well-developed muscles, wide hips and tight legs, which provide rapid movements and stability.

Wool is also allowed, hard, elongated and very dense, smooth, without division into types. Belly necessarily covered. With a coarse coat, the beard, mustache and eyebrows are moderately expressed.

The color is mandatory with red, black or brown light. Only a small white spot on the chest is allowed.

When viewed, the Jagdterrier gives the impression of a courageous and determined dog, capable of serious physical exertion. For atypical behavior, he may be disqualified.


Hunting with a Jagdterrier

The breed is versatile and works great underground, on land, in water, but all of this is subject to quality training and baiting. It is believed that individuals of Soviet bloodlines were angrier with the beast than their descendants today, but in general the Jagdterrier have retained purity of hunting instincts and phenomenal stickiness. The Jagdterrier is an excellent carrier of small game, especially waterfowl. Representatives of the family are ready to dive for a downed bird in a body of water of any depth, without suffering from low temperatures at all. For example, there are cases where animals have caught a trophy even during an ice drift.

If desired, the dog can be involved in a rifle hunt to search for injured animals, as well as to hunt a boar. Certainly, in the second case, a support group consisting of representatives of hunting dog breeds will be necessary. But terriers were and remain the real part of the German Jagdterrier. In addition, it is not recommended to bring the animal to a direct fight in the burrow. The task of the Jagdterrier is to guard the predator until the hunter arrives. If the dog has gone too far and tries to deal with a fox or badger on its own, it should be removed from the underground maze by the tail.

The first dressing should be done at the earliest when the animal is 8-10 months old. For this purpose, a “walking” fox is used, which keeps a decent distance and does not repel the pursuer. Keep in mind that a puppy this age has an unstable psyche and aggressive game can discourage them from hunting for the rest of their life. You can build a hole yourself for practice or use ready-made structures for bait stations. The main thing is not to put pressure on the dog and not to push him into the maze. The jagd terrier must be interested in the hole and dive into it.

The first to practice the skills of finding and chasing the beast. The second step is anger and grip training, and the last skill is recommended to be “put” on a raccoon. Unlike the fox and the badger, this minke whale is not capable of seriously injuring a pet. Some hunters use the Jagdterrier on stray cats, but this method is not recommended because it teaches the dog to view pets as potential prey. By the way, among professionals, game burrows are especially popular, because they do not tear the animal to shreds, but competently dodge its claws.


This section is the shortest. All efforts of German breeders were aimed at obtaining a reliable dog, free from problematic heredity. He succeeded 95% – another record in cynology.

The specialists of the DJT-Club intend to face the remaining risks, for which they have introduced a standard for admission to breeding in the form of the PLL test. Laboratory analysis establishes a genetic predisposition to primary lens dislocation. This pathology is the cause of premature blindness in dogs.

PLL is not a specific problem for HOT, which is confirmed by the results of a cattle survey in Germany. The defective gene was only found in 2.5% of the Jagdterriers, and they were excluded from breeding.

Likewise, the club is committed to eradicating another potential threat – muscular dystrophy. These preventive measures can be considered redundant, but German dog handlers strive for an ideal result.

Nonspecific diseases of the jagdterrier are associated with its work and character. They are mainly injuries. With a successful result of the practice of hunting, dogs live up to 13-15 years.


Basic care

After creating a Jagdterrier, German dog handlers set a record – they got a dog with minimum requirements for grooming. The Jagdterriers are Democrats and unpretentious, don’t complain about appetite, but don’t overeat, they feel as good on the compound as they are in a city apartment.

The only problem is walking.

Yes, the Jagdterrier must be provided with a serious, regular and, moreover, emotional physical activity. Even during the hunting season, by going out on the field 1 to 2 days a week, the dog recovers very quickly. Only sports and active games with the owner can distract the game from the search for adventure.

In low season, the jagdterrier gets bored. It’s a bit dangerous, the dog needs to let off steam from time to time. Swimming, summer cabins and long hikes in the surroundings are recommended.

The nature of the breed does not allow dogs of the same sex to be kept on the same territory (in an apartment); when dividing up the enclosures, pairs and neighbors should be selected with care. At the same time, dogs of the same owner interact well when hunting.

For transporting dogs in a car on the hunt, the best option is wooden or plastic boxes.

The hygiene of the burrow is simple: do not shampoo it more than once every 2-3 months, comb the coat twice a week. In apartment living, it is easy to bring cleanliness by drying yourself with a towel and changing the bedding. It is convenient to use dry shampoo powder.

If the puppy’s coat is not coarse and elongated enough, it is recommended that it be trimmed 1-2 times in the first year to improve structure.

Considering the “professional” risks of NON, it is best for homeowners to have a specially selected first aid kit for treating wounds and washing eyes at home and on the hunt.


Character and education

Jagdterrier hunting instincts are found on the surface and are the primary driving force. Therefore, it is at least unreasonable to pick up a puppy while it is small and fun, in the hope of getting an ordinary small pet.

Already after the change of teeth, the small berries are able to seize while holding a prey, catch and stir the game, noticeably bite. These kids’ games on the side are more like a warm-up for the tigers. At the end of the first year, the Jagdterriers cease their friendships with their peers – fighting with other dogs and “hunting” for cats. You will have to walk the burrow under the conditions of the regulation on a leash. It is risky to give a dog to children under the age of 10.

The Jagdterrier is not an easy companion. He is well aware of his abilities, and this gives him a feeling of superiority, increased confidence, sometimes turning into recklessness. He is so brave that he sometimes forgets the meaning of self-preservation.

Jagdterriers are not lazy, passionate, and active, and if they are not loaded with useful activities, they will seek entertainment on their own. However, even when the dog goes hunting regularly, he still has a strong urge to fight. The need to measure strength and character is especially evident in men, but strangers should not be left alone with each other.

When hunting, the berries are jealous of the game they have caught. The competition is so intense that dogs from different owners are guaranteed to fight for a trophy if left unattended.

All of NOT’s valuable qualities – and there are many of them – require a cut in the hands of a qualified trainer. Contrary to the prevailing opinion among our hunters on the uncontrollability of the Jagdterrier, they perfectly pass the course of obedience and master much more complex disciplines. It just takes a lot of time, firmness, and patience to have a well-behaved working dog.

In the homeland of NOT there are serious demands on dogs, which are not limited to testing in an artificial burrow. To pass the DJT-Club (ZP) and Performance Test (GP) breed test, the Jagdterrier must have more than innate hunting qualities. The whole complex can be transmitted by a dog with a balanced psyche, ideally trained, in contact and understanding.

German hunters and dog handlers emphasize the versatility of NOT. The tasks of the dog, in addition to the basic work on the burrowing animal, include a complete complex on the surface:

  • Search by flair for live game (scary birds).
  • Development of a hare track, pursuit with a voice.
  • Work on the water.
  • Hunt and eliminate any injured animal.
  • Carrying of small and medium game from land and water.
  • Work on the blood trace.

In addition, when working in a burrow, the ability to drag (pull the animal to the surface) is checked. The dog’s actions after the shot are evaluated separately.

In ground work, the emphasis is on endurance (dog pose in the absence of the owner) and controllability (walking without a leash). At the sound of a gunshot, long-haired game should remain in place. According to club experts, hunting with such a polite dog is more prey and, of course, more enjoyable.

Jagdterrier training begins in childhood and is not limited to the “no!” Command. They start from 8 months. At this stage, as a rule, there are no difficulties, but also learning for this terrier can not be neglected. It is recommended to visit the bait station once a week until all items are settled: fast entry into the hole, vigorous advance, barking at the animal for 10 minutes without rising to the surface.

In the first year with a junior, you have to sort and locate. It is advisable to postpone the knowledge of ungulates for the second year.

Perseverance, quick reaction to the situation and the ability to make independent decisions in Jagdterriers should be encouraged – otherwise the dog is of little use in hunting, moreover, it is in danger.


How to choose a Jagdterrier puppy

For frequent hunting trips, males of the Jagdterrier are preferable. Female dogs working with animals are often embarrassed by heat, during which attention span and stamina decrease.

Observe how the animal behaves with its litter mates. Little Jagdterriers often organize fights in which there are winners and losers. If during the conflict the puppy found himself an outsider and retreated at the start of the battle, this indicates his cowardice and inconstancy as a future hunter.

The hunting experience and the work diplomas of the parents of the puppies are an important attribute. Good wickedness and tenacity are inherited from German jagdterriers.

Verify the accuracy of the information provided by the vendor on the litter and sires. Contact the Hunting Terrier Breed Club and find out if the mating was really planned and if the puppies born after it claim pedigrees.

Don’t choose the most arrogant and aggressive baby. Having matured, such an animal will have an explosive character, which will complicate the process of education and training.

The correct puppy of the Jagdterrier will not be afraid of the presence of a stranger in the kennel, but will resist, trying to turn it on its back. Such a reaction is considered normal and adequate, unless the baby chokes on screams and growls.


Breed highlights

The Jagdterrier is all about the hunter and has a lot of fans in this community. What they like about the breed:

  • Universal working qualities.
  • Small size – good for city dwellers.
  • Low care costs.
  • Perseverance and determination.
  • Activity, alertness and intelligence.

Important! Not suitable as a dog and companion of children.

Even from the point of view of many hunters, the breed is not without its drawbacks:

  • Too hot and energetic.
  • Often injured.
  • Likes to sort out problems with dogs and chases cats.
  • He needs constant supervision when walking.

Despite all the difficult nature of jagdterriers, their numbers are increasing. Increasingly the percentage of dogs with adequate and civilized behavior and a noble appearance. Race has a perspective.