What Is a Jagdterrier? (2024)

A young Jagdterrier chewing on a stick.

Many people, even devoted dog fans, have never heard of a Jagdterrier. If you have, you probably had no idea that this is how it was spelled.

This is a very rare breed of dog with some unique, interesting points that may attract anyone willing to seek out such a hard-to find-breed.

What is a Jagdterrier? The Jagdterrier is a rare breed of hunting and vermin-flushing dog that is not yet considered a purebred, registered breed by the AKC. It is a small, courageous Terrier with a rectangular body and a rough coat, usually black and tan, that may be either wiry or smooth.

This powerful little dog is full of life, bravery, and energy.

Depending on what you are looking for in your next dog, the Jagdterrier may be just what you had in mind. 

History of the Jagdterrier

Jagdterriers were created after World War 1 when breeders split from the standard Fox Terrier Club.

They did not like the way that the Fox Terrier breed was being developed largely for looks rather than purpose. 

Therefore, the Jagdterrier was developed as a dog who would have superior hunting performance.

They decided to differentiate their breed with a black-and-tan color pattern. 

When early breeders came upon four purebred Fox Terriers with black-and-tan coloration, the line was formed.

The breed was also crossed with Old English Wire-Haired Terriers and Welsh Terriers to develop the multi-talented dog they wanted. 

How to Pronounce “Jagdterrier”

When you first look at this breed’s name, you may have some serious questions about how you’re supposed to say it.

After all, there seem to be a few letters that are not necessary for English pronunciation. 

This German word is actually pronounced Yack Terrier, but you better not be caught spelling it like that.

The word Jagd means to hunt in German. The breed is also known as the German Hunt Terrier and the Deutscher Jagdterrier. 

Jagdterrier Characteristics


Jagdterriers have a very distinct appearance. Some may mistake this dog for a Rottweiler puppy if not for the more slender head and terrier features.

They are compact and very well-proportioned dogs weighing between 17 and 22 pounds and standing between 13 and 16 inches tall at the shoulder.

The dense coat can be either rough or smooth. It is usually black and tan, but dark brown and grayish black are also acceptable.

Some white markings on the chest and toes are tolerated as well. 


Jagdterriers are good-natured little dogs that are not prone to human shyness or aggression.

These courageous dogs never back down from prey, and they take a great deal of pleasure in working.

They are very reliable, sociable, and trainable, especially compared to most dogs in the Terrier group.

These dogs are beloved both in the working field and in the home. 

Shedding and Grooming

The hard coat of the Jagdterrier is not prone to shedding.

The rough coat will shed less than the smooth coat, but neither coat is particularly likely to be dropped all over your home. 

The coat is designed to withstand harsh brambles and not pick up seeds, so maintenance is quite easy.

A good brushing with a sturdy slicker brush and an occasional bath are all you need to worry about in caring for your Jagdterrier’s coat.

Are Jagdterriers Purebred Dogs?

Jagdterriers are classified with the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a Foundation Stock Service breed.

That means that while this is a purebred dog, it is not currently registered with the American Kennel Club. 

The Foundation Stock Service is for rare breeds under scrutiny by the AKC for full registration.

For many breeds that may have been in existence for many years but with few records, this is mostly about keeping records long enough for the AKC to consider the dog. 

Purebred dogs, like Jagdterriers, can continue to develop into a consistent breed with their records maintained through the AKC Foundation Stock Service.

These dogs are also able to compete at performance and companion events.

There is a breed standard for these dogs, and they are generally as expensive as any other purebred dog.

Prices slightly under $1,000 can be expected, depending on the dog’s bloodlines.

Jagdterriers have been part of the Foundation Stock Service since June of 2014.

There is a long way to go in terms of record keeping before they will be fully accepted into the AKC. 

What Do Jagdterriers Enjoy?

This is an unusual breed, so many people who seek it out do so with the intention of working with their dog.

The Jagdterrier is an extremely versatile working dog able to hunt in a range of different conditions.

They are very water-friendly and happy to hunt in marshes but will also go to ground without hesitation after prey.

Unlike many terriers, these are quality flushing dogs who will wait for your word before they jump into the brush to drive out birds or other prey. 

If you don’t actually want to hunt with your dog, you may find that Earth Dog events as well as Barn Dog competitions are very well suited to their talents.

If you don’t want to do any kind of hunting activities with your dog, it is important to offer him other opportunities to exercise those hunting instincts.

Try playing with a flirt pole (this one by Outward Hound is the best), playing games of fetch, and nose-work activities.

What Home is Well Suited to a Jagdterrier?

Jagdterriers are lovely dogs whose fans are utterly devoted to them, but they aren’t the best fit for every home. 

These dogs are highly energetic, and they have a powerful prey drive. 

While they are very amenable to training, they are still Terriers and may have obstinate moments.

Here are a few things that should be true about your home before you consider this dog.

A Job to Do

This dog is best suited to a home where they have active work to do.

Not everyone enjoys prey-based games like Barn Dog or Earth Dog events.

However, if you don’t have pests for him to control or property for him to run on, your dog is unlikely to be happy and very likely to cause problems in your home.

You’ll need to provide a lot of active play if you don’t have a job for your Jagdterrier to do. 

Willingness to Commit to Steady Training

Jagdterriers are highly trainable and enjoy learning from their owners.

These are dogs who take true joy in their work and like challenging themselves to learn new things. 

However, they will follow their own mind if you do not properly motivate them.

It is important to steadily and consistently train this dog if you expect him to behave the way you want him to.

Commitment to the Breed

You may be able to find a Jagdterrier as a pet, but the chances are good that the breeders would prefer you consider breeding if your dog has breeding potential.

This is a very rare breed, and it is very difficult to find, especially outside of its native Germany. 

Don’t have Smaller Animals In The Home

Jagdterriers naturally have an extremely high prey drive.

While they may learn to live safely with cats and other small animals in the home with careful training, you are not setting a Jagdterrier up for success by putting him in a home with small animals. 

The temptation of prey drive may be too high at some point, so it is best that you not have small animals in the home.

Only Mature Children 

Jagdterriers can do great with kids, but like many other Terriers, they are very energetic and can be headstrong.

This, combined with a strong prey drive to chase anything that moves, may mean that they are not an ideal match for small children. 

These are dogs that may be prone to chase and nip at small kids, especially kids that run from them and squeal.

Mature children who are interested in taking a hand in training may find a Jagdterrier to be their new best friend, but this breed is probably not the best choice for younger children.

You Have Lots of Space

Jagdterriers are happiest when they can run loose hunting after prey under your command.

However, if you don’t have plenty of open, fenced space for him to run, it is essential that you keep your dog leashed.

The strong prey drive of this breed means that they are unlikely to be safe off leash, and because of their surprising speed, they can disappear before you realize what happened.