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Jagdterrier: Dog Breed Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

Jagdterrier dog up close

Jagdterrier: Dog Breed Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

This Jagdterrier is affectionate, smart, and energetic but rare outside of their native Germany. If you’re not familiar with the German language, here’s how to pronounce the name: YAW-kt-terrier.

For more interesting information about this breed, read on!

Breed Overview


13–16 inches


17–22 pounds


10–12 years


Black, dark brown, or grayish black with yellow/red markings

Suitable for:

Active families or singles, experienced owners, house with a yard


Loving, energetic, intelligent, hardworking, brave, stubborn

The Jagdterrier was bred in Germany shortly after World War I, with the intention of breeding the perfect hunting dog that could go to ground. This means the dog would pursue prey into burrows underground, which is what terriers are generally bred to do. German breeders bred a combination of terriers, including Welsh Terriers and Old English Wirehaired Terriers, with a foundation of four black and tan Fox Terriers, and they ended up with the Jagdterrier.

Jagdterriers are small, compact, and sturdy dogs that can be smooth or wirehaired. They are most often black and tan but can be black, gray, or dark brown with yellowish-red markings. These markings are usually found on the muzzle, eyebrows, chest, legs, and base of the tail.

Jagdterrier Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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Jagdterrier Puppies

Jagdterrier puppy
Image By: Zuzule, Shutterstock

Jagdterriers are known in Germany but quite rare elsewhere in the world. If you live in or near the country, finding one won’t be that difficult, and it might even be possible to find a breeder willing to fly a puppy to you.

You should always take steps to ensure that the breeder you find is responsible and ethical. One of the most effective methods to determine if you’re dealing with a good breeder is asking relevant questions and visiting the breeder’s home/kennels, if possible.

We usually recommend adopting a dog, but you’re not likely to find a Jagdterrier at your local animal shelter.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Jagdterrier 🧠

Jagdterriers are highly intelligent and energetic dogs and like all terriers, feisty and tenacious! They can make excellent watchdogs; even though they aren’t known to be barkers, they are wary around strangers and will alert you to any intruders.

This breed is generally happiest when they have a job to do, but they do enjoy a cuddle at the end of the day. These are the perfect dogs if you love spending time outside!

jagdterrier dog
Image By: Oksamutnaya, Shutterstock

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Jagdterrier makes an excellent family pet but tends to do better with older children. If they are socialized well from a young age, it will be much easier for them to form strong bonds with every family member.

If you have children, get them involved in the dog’s care, which will teach them responsibility and how to treat a dog respectfully. No matter their age, all children must treat dogs with respect, which means no roughhousing or pulling on ears and tails.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

Socialization is vital here! That said, Jagdterriers don’t always get along all that well with other dogs, as there’s the potential for problems.

This breed also has a high prey drive, so a house without small pets is recommended. The Jagdterrier was bred to chase small and larger prey, such as foxes, so access to cats and rabbits should be off-limits.

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Things to Know When Owning a Jagdterrier

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Jagdterrier requires high-quality dog food formulated for their high-energy needs and current age and weight. Check the feeding guidelines, and speak to your vet to determine how much and how often you should feed your dog.

Go easy on treats and avoid giving them table scraps. Far too much human food is toxic to dogs and is not worth the risk. You must also ensure that your dog has access to fresh and clean water at all times.

female Jagdterrier dog
Image Credit: Zuzule, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

The Jagdterrier is not for people who aren’t willing to take them out for extensive exercise. These dogs need something to do every day, or they will become bored and destructive. You’re looking at about 1 hour of intense exercise daily, which should include off-leash running and active playtime.

While they are relatively small dogs, they do best in a house with a yard. An apartment is doable if you can give them the right amount of exercise, but rural living suits them best.

Training 🦮

Training any terrier can be tricky and the Jagdterrier is no different. They are eager to please and highly intelligent and can pick up training quickly. However, they are also quite stubborn.

Only use positive reinforcement, and keep the training sessions short and fun, which will help keep their attention.

Grooming ✂️

How you groom the Jagdterrier depends on the coat. This breed can have short, smooth hair or a rough wire coat. The smooth-coated dog is easy to groom and will only need brushing about once a week. The wirehaired coat needs more attention and does best with hand stripping during the shedding seasons in the fall and spring.

They only need a bath when necessary using a good dog shampoo. You’ll also need to trim their nails, clean their ears every month, and brush their teeth daily.

Jagdterrier dog running
Image Credit: Snowboy, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

The breed is generally robust and healthy, but like all dogs, they are prone to a few specific health issues. While most Jagdterriers aren’t all that likely to inherit the following conditions, it’s still a good idea to be familiar with them.

Minor Conditions
  • Primary lens luxation
  • Periodontal disease
  • Ear infections
  • Obesity
Serious Conditions
  • Luxating patella
  • Myopathy
  • Hypothyroidism

Male vs. Female

Physically, there aren’t that many differences between male and female Jagdterriers. This breed can be 13 to 16 inches in height and weigh 17 to 22 pounds. The males might be a little larger than the females, but part of what determines the dog’s size is their genetics.

Some believe that there is a difference in temperament between male and female dogs. Females are generally thought to be easier to train and less affectionate, whereas males seem to be more excitable and loving.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Jagdterrier

1. The Official Name of This Dog is Deutscher Jagdterrier

This roughly translates to the German Hunting Terrier in English because “jagd” is the German word for “hunt.”

2. The Jagdterrier Is in the FSS of the AKC

The Jagdterrier isn’t formally recognized yet by the American Kennel Club, or AKC, but has been in the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service, or FSS, since June 2014.

3. The Jagdterrier Competes in Earthdog

The Earthdog Event is perfect for terriers like the Jagdterrier. These breeds were bred to chase prey underground, which is why they love to dig! The Jagdterrier was approved to participate in Earthdog starting January 1, 2016.

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Final Thoughts

The Jagdterrier is a well-known breed in Germany, but they are rare outside their homeland, particularly in North America. Experienced owners who are active outdoors are required to keep up with this active breed. Apartment living is possible, but they need room to run, so a house with a yard or a rural setting would suit them best.

Jagdterriers are fearless and wary of strangers but are loving with their families. You will certainly gain a hardworking and sweet companion if you add a Jagdterrier to your family.

Featured Image Credit: Snowboy, Shutterstock

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