Teddy Roosevelt Terrier | Information & Dog Breed Facts


The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is an American dog breed that was bred from working burrowing dogs. Burrow hunters were actively exported to America from England. Representatives of the breed are considered versatile burrowing hunters and are a serious competitor to fox terriers. The breed combines the features of the Manchester Terrier, Bull Terrier, Beagle and Whippet. Some experts note that the extinct White English Terriers also participated in the breeding work.

From its benevolent character to its great intelligence, this breed has a series of characteristics that make many consider it one of the most affectionate. They are one more member of their family that they love and truly protect from their own lives.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Origin of the teddy roosevelt terrier

The origin of the teddy roosevelt terrier breed is undoubtedly American, as evidenced by its name, created in honor of American President Theodore Roosevelt. This honorable mention to the late president is believed to have been made not because he had a stuffed roosevelt for companion, but because he shared his life with a masked black and brown mixed-breed terrier rat who was allegedly one of the forerunners of the teddy roosevelt terrier breed.

These dogs were born after many crosses between rat terrier dogs, frequent on farms and hunts throughout the United States, with other breeds such as the beagle, also famous for its hunting dog skills, the Manchester Terrier, the Greyhound whippet and the Little Italian Greyhound.

Although the differences between the Teddy Roosevelt and the Rat Terrier are obvious, they were long considered part of the same breed. In fact, until 1999 the Teddy were known as the “short-legged thieves.” After a process of standardization, they were named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, a great enthusiast of this type of dog.

The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in July 2019, establishing itself as an independent breed and drafting its official standard.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Characteristics of the teddy roosevelt terrier

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a short, muscular, active, small to medium sized hunting dog. The preferred ratio of body length to height at the withers is 10: 7-10: 8. A disproportionate build is considered a serious disadvantage, as it leads to a decrease in dexterity and activity.

Regardless of gender, in accordance with the description of the breed, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier must have developed, dense and heavy muscles. The height of dog’s ranges from 20 cm to 38 cm, Weight is proportional to the physique (with an average weight which is between 4 and 12 kilograms). At the same time, obese dogs are rejected from breeding work, since the dog has a very active temperament and they are not prone to gaining excess weight by nature.

Breed standard

The head is small, in proportion to the size of the body. Seen from the side, the skull and muzzle are of the same length and connected by a moderate transition. An abrupt transition is considered a disadvantage. When viewed, the head of the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier has a blunt wedge-shaped shape. The skull is wide, voluminous, slightly tapering towards the transition to the muzzle. An apple-shaped head is considered a vice. The muzzle is well filled under the eyes, clean lines and tapering slightly to the nose. The jaws are powerful and deep, allowing the dog to open its mouth to contain prey.

Teeth – complete, tightly set, strong, white. Scissor bite is preferred, but straight bite is acceptable. Missing teeth (even after removal for medical reasons), undershot and overshot are considered disqualifying faults. The jaws are powerful with well-muscled cheeks. The lips are dry and tight. Lip color matches the pigmentation of the nose.

The nose is small, mobile, sensitive. Black pigmentation is preferred, but a color in harmony with the color of the coat is also allowed.

Eyes – The shape ranges from rounded to almond-shaped. The eyes are small, set at a slight inclination. The pigmentation of the eyelids matches the nose. The color of the eyes ranges from dark brown to amber and is in harmony with the color. Blue or amber eyes are only allowed for blue dogs, but dark gray eyes with blue eyelid pigmentation are preferred.

Ears – V-shaped and open, set on the highest line of the skull. The cartilage of the ear is thin but firm. In adult dogs, the ears are erect. Ears not fully raised are considered a defect if the dog is one year old.

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier’s body is of an elongated format, taut and very muscular. The length of the forelegs from the elbow to the ground should be approximately one third of the dog’s height. The neck is moderately long, slightly arched, tapering from the shoulders to the head. Regardless of whether the dog is standing or moving, the back line must remain straight. The loin is moderately short, slightly arched and muscular. The croup is moderately sloping. Ribs well drawn back, forming a broad, strong back. The sternum extends to or just below the elbow. From the front, the ribcage (between the forelegs) is well filled on either side of the forward keel.

Extremities – Shoulders are smooth, inclined, muscular. Forefeet almost vertical from shoulder blades to ground. The elbows are placed close to the body. On the front, the forearms turn slightly inward, so that the distance between the wrists is slightly less than the distance between the elbows. The pasterns are straight, although a slight bend is acceptable. The hind legs are strong and flexible, muscular, and the length of the upper thigh is slightly longer than the lower part. The knee joints are well arched and the hocks are strictly parallel. When the dog is standing, the short, strong hind pasterns are perpendicular to the ground when viewed from behind, parallel to each other. The brushes are compact, oval. The middle two toes are slightly longer than the rest of the toes. Cat’s claws are acceptable. The licentiousness of the paw is allowed. Dewclaws on the front legs are removed at will, on the hind legs without fail.

Tail – Set flush with the bevel of the croup. A naturally shortened tail is preferred, but natural length is not a disadvantage. The hock-length tail is thick at the base and tapers towards the tip. When the dog is excited, the tail is lifted up and slightly curved.


The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier can be solid white, bicolor or tri-colored. The presence of white is required (at least a small mark). The breed standard allows the following colors in color:

  • White is required.
  • Black.
  • Chocolate, dark brown.
  • Red, red-red, red-brown.
  • Blue and fawn.
  • Peach and yellow.
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

The teddy roosevelt terrier puppy

When we talk about a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier puppy, we must keep in mind that the breed itself is characterized by an active temperament, usually being quite restless dogs. For this reason, we can imagine that this easily increases to his puppy stage, in which he is even more unruly and playful. However, in the case of the roosevelt terrier, the key is to teach it to release its energy with appropriate activities, such as games or walks, and thus avoid the destructive behaviors and the harms caused by its nervousness.

If we start training him prematurely, instilling basic guidelines when he’s still a puppy and helping him socialize, we make sure that the more likely he is to be a friendly and very intelligent dog when he grows up.

Character and behavior Teddy roosevelt terrier

The temperament of the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is characterized by its pleasant and calm character. They are very loyal dogs, who love the company of people and other animals, to whom their history of farm dogs has them more than usual.

Keep in mind that these dogs are always alert to any type of stimulus that seems threatening. This is because they are very protective animals, which despite their small size, do not hesitate to face whatever it takes as long as they are safe. They are very good guard dogs, because they guard their territory by warning of the possible dangers with their barking and their vocalizations.

The teddy roosevelt terrier is an intelligent animal, which learns quickly and very effectively even the most complex things, being a relatively easy breed to teach. In addition, it is very adaptive, because it is very easily done in different environments, whether a country house, a farm or an apartment in town.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier


The teddy roosevelt terrier is not a breed that is characterized by many health problems, however, we are talking about the most frequent pathologies of this breed here so that you know them and be attentive to their possible appearance.

One of the most common diseases in the teddy roosevelt terrier is hip dysplasia. This disease affects hip joint health, especially in its union with the animal’s femur. Periodic examinations should be performed, including x-rays of the area to check the condition of the head of the femur and take action if necessary, either to prevent or to intervene. In this regard, other joint problems may also appear, such as elbow dysplasia or patellar luxation, which are less common but just as troublesome and dangerous for the animal’s health.

This breed seems to be more sensitive to allergies, either environmental or towards certain substances such as drugs or food. They may also have oral problems, such as a malocclusion of the mouth, or eye problems, such as cataracts.

To prevent and treat these and other diseases at the same time, it is recommended to carry out periodic veterinary checks which include a blood test, tests which make it possible to see the general state of health of the animal and to carry out the appropriate vaccinations and dewormers to keep it protected against pathogenic organisms.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier puppy
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier puppy

Basic care

Due to their size, Teddy Roosevelt Terrier dogs adapt to all types of homes. If they live in small homes, they will need to go out often to release energy. A game session or practicing a dog sport are good choices for day to day. Ideally, they should have a house with a garden. Of course, make sure it is well fenced. The reason? They are great diggers and could get away if you don’t take this into account.

In order for a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier to be balanced, it must be able to walk every few hours. It is better to do it on a leash, as its hunting instinct is still latent and it could run after a small animal. Due to its fine sense of smell, it could also deviate from the route following the trail of a smell that catches your attention.

Although they do not tend to be aggressive towards other dogs, they can try to impose themselves. To avoid unwanted collisions, control their interactions, especially with breeds of powerful build and dominant temperament; for example, Pitbulls, Rottweilers or Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Its coat is easy to maintain. With one brushing a week, using a soft brush, it will be enough. However, keep in mind that they shed once a year. It is in those moments when you should do it more assiduously.

As with any dog, it is important to brush your dog’s teeth daily. Use a pet toothpaste, as human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is toxic to dogs. Regular brushing removes plaque before it turns to tartar and therefore reduces the risk of gum inflammation and dental disease.

Another important aspect of grooming is checking the dog after every walk. Be on the lookout for parasites, such as ticks, and remove them quickly. In the summer, check inside the ears and between the toes for awns grass, which could pierce the skin and cause a nasty abscess.


Teddy Roosevelt Terrier dogs must do a certain amount of physical exercise daily, as they are very active dogs which, if they do not exercise daily, become restless and nervous. It is good to play with them, to let them run, jump and finally release their energy in a positive way. They emphasize their agility and their ability in agility circuits or similar exercises. In this sense, another of the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier’s care concerns the enrichment of the environment. Precisely because they are intelligent and active dogs, it is necessary to provide them with various toys, both joggers and mental stimulation.


As for its food, it will be enough to adjust the quantities and the frequency of feedings to each specimen according to its age, its level of activity and if it has a particular need because of the presence of vitamin deficiencies or any pathology. Except that by providing them with quality food and good hydration, the teddy roosevelt terrier does not need much more specific attention.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Education and training

These dogs are intrepid characters who love to be with their owner. In fact, they are fun loving and eager to please, making them a great combination for training. They respond well to reward-based training methods, and often work for praise (although the treats come out well, too).

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a great companion for dog owners’ interactive activities such as agility. The dog will not only thrive on one-on-one interaction with the owner, but will also satisfy his need for activity and mental stimulation.

In general, the Teddy Roosevelt is considered easy to train. However, its owner must be knowledgeable about the correct way to handle bad behavior, so as not to frustrate his dog.

Where to adopt a teddy roosevelt terrier?

As we have seen, the teddy roosevelt terrier is an adorable puppy who is part of the family as soon as he arrives with us. If we want one of these dogs to join our family, the first thing we need to do is assess all of their special needs, in addition to those common to any dog. Taking these requirements into account, we can judge whether we will be able to provide you with permanent accommodation where your needs will be met.

If this is the case, we have already decided and we are looking for a teddy roosevelt, we recommend that you contact animal associations, shelters and shelters in your area, because it is very likely that you can find a specimen at the looking for a house there.