German Hunting Terrier

Other names: Jagdterrier, Deutscher Jagdterrier, German Jagdterrier, German Hunt Terrier

German Hunting 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

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Playful Hunter

Size :

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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

FCI Group

Group 3 - Terriers


Section 1 : Large and medium sized Terriers

Physical characteristics of the German Hunting Terrier

  • German Hunting Terrier
    German Hunting Terrier

    Adult size

    Female : Between 13 and 16 in

    Male : Between 13 and 16 in


    Female : Between 15 and 18 lb

    Male : Between 20 and 22 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    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.


    • 66%


      He’s not the most cuddlesome of dogs but may affect physical warmth towards his family if it seems due in the moment.

    • 100%


      This high-energy dog will enjoy expressing his vitality in play sessions.

    • 33%


      As with many terriers, his energy can sometimes be difficult to channel.

    • 66%


      He was bred for his intelligence and will wield it on the hunt and during games.

    • 100%


      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.

    • 66%

      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.

    • 66%


      Although he is close to his social group, the Jagdterrier can be an independent fellow.

      Behaviour of the German Hunting Terrier

      • 66%

        Tolerates solitude

        He does moderately well by himself but may become destructive if left for too long.

      • 66%

        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.

      • 66%


        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.

      • 100%

        Tendency to run away

        He is a keen and talented escapologist.

      • 66%


        He is quite powerful enough to do some serious damage if left home alone.

      • 66%

        Greedy / Gluttony

        Treats can be a useful recourse to overcoming this stubborn chap.

      • 100%

        Guard dog

        He is a small but feisty guardian, who won’t hesitate to sound the alarm.

      • 66%

        First dog

        He is mostly a working dog and a wily character with it, so a family adopting this chap as their first dog may find their expectations go unmet or even subverted unless this is what they are looking for.

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        • 33%

          German Hunting Terrier in a flat

          The city life is not for this country rogue. He needs to follow his nose in the country air to be happy.

        • 100%

          Need for exercise / Sporty

          This is one dynamic dog, who needs constant physical, mental, and olfactory stimulation. A sedentary or inactive life could have serious consequences on his well-being.

        • 66%

          Travelling / easy to transport

          The Jagdterrier is quite a good traveller if accustomed from a young age, but needs to be exercised before and during a long car journey. If you like to run or jog to places, he could be an appropriate companion.


          • 33%

            German Hunting Terrier and cats

            This dog has been known to take down bobcats, so you’d better believe your neighbour’s tabby has a fight on his hands.

          • 66%

            German Hunting Terrier and dogs

            He may be cold with unfamiliar dogs when first they meet; he could even become aggressive. Certainly, it is very important to socialise him with his own kind from puppyhood.

          • 100%

            German Hunting Terrier and children

            This fellow will probably be good with your children, but beware with smaller children since he is boisterous and may knock one flying out of misadventure.

          • 33%

            German Hunting Terrier and the elderly

            He may not be the best choice for elderly owners due to his boundless energy.



             £425 for Non KC Registered dogs.

            Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £50 to £80 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


            Ordinary weekly grooming will keep this dog looking more attractive than most.


            Moderately as the year progresses.

            Nutrition of the German Hunting Terrier

            Standard dog food is fine. If he is working, an evening meal is preferable so as not to upset his tummy.

            Health of the German Hunting Terrier

            Life expectancy

            The life expectancy of a Jagdterrier is approximately 15 years.

            Strong / robust

            He is a sturdy dog and will generally get back up when knocked down. He can, however, occasionally injure himself when out and about.

            Withstand heat

            His courage and determination mean that he can take the heat.

            Withstand cold

            If he’s not busy, he will need a shelter to protect him from the weather.

            Tendency to put on weight

            Overfeeding will pie on the weight, which can affect his ability to work.

            Common illnesses

            • Primary lens luxation
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