German Hunting Terrier
Other names: Jagdterrier, Deutscher Jagdterrier, German Jagdterrier, German Hunt Terrier
This mid-sized German terrier is an accomplished hunter in an efficient, handsome black-and-tan package. His small, dark, deep eyes add an inscrutable sense of mystery while his scissor-bite jaw is neat and impressive. Developed between the wars by a team of German cynologists, hunters, and medical men looking to develop the ultimate hunting dog, his shadowy past does not preclude an affable presence on the dog scene today. A loner, he does not appreciate the company of other dogs, and is best suited only to families with a lively lifestyle and relatively low affection needs.
Key facts about the German Hunting Terrier
Origins and history
If you’ve noticed that the Jagdterrier doesn’t like to talk about his past, it’s because there are skeletons in his closet – and that’s not just his bone collection. Terriers were ‘big’ in the 1920s, but there was no German terrier of note, so two German brothers - Lutz and Heinz Heck – decided to create one, the master terrier if you will, out of national pride. They used their connections in the Nazi party to find sponsors and collaborators for their project, and then had their team boil up a mix of Welsh Terrier, Old English Terrier, and Fox Terrier, with a sprinkle of Pinscher and Dachshund for that German twist. (Lutz would go on to become a high-ranking Nazi officer who organized a ‘hunt’ of unwanted animals from the zoos in the cities the Nazi’s invaded). The project wasn’t completed until after the war, and the breed endures.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 3 - Terriers
Section 1 : Large and medium sized Terriers
Physical characteristics of the German Hunting Terrier
Female : Between 13 and 16 in
Male : Between 13 and 16 in
Female : Between 15 and 18 lb
Male : Between 20 and 22 lb
Type of coat
Well-proportioned, with grace and poise, the Jagdterrier is a quietly handsome dog, raffish yet reliable-looking. His strong jaws and neatly arranged nose complete a face that’s distinguished yet unassuming, and his fold-down V-shaped ears are precise and distinctive yet hardly showy. This fellow may become more or less beardy as he graduates from puppyhood, but of course always looks as if he were born into his hairstyle. Straight, drily-muscled limbs ensure he is always propped up and ready for action.
Good to know
It’s pronounced ‘yack-terrier.’
Even when he is injured, he won’t necessarily show it because he is not very sensitive to pain. Regular inspection is essential.
He’s not the most cuddlesome of dogs but may affect physical warmth towards his family if it seems due in the moment.
This high-energy dog will enjoy expressing his vitality in play sessions.
As with many terriers, his energy can sometimes be difficult to channel.
He was bred for his intelligence and will wield it on the hunt and during games.
This creature is a well-developed hunter, especially adept at flushing small creatures from their underground refuges or tracking those who’ve left a blood trail.
Fearful / wary of strangers
He is a very good guardian, thanks to his natural vigilance towards people he does not know. He is never afraid and does not hesitate to be intimidating if necessary.
Although he is close to his social group, the Jagdterrier can be an independent fellow.
Behaviour of the German Hunting Terrier
He does moderately well by himself but may become destructive if left for too long.
Easy to train / obedience
Like any good terrier who respects himself, the Jagd is stubborn, reckless and can even be nasty. His education requires firmness, constancy and diligence. The puppy Jagdterrier must acquire the fundamentals of dog manners very early to avoid taking bad habits.
He barks for work but may also kick up a fuss if left alone too long or when happy with the general sequence of events.