All The Small Dog Breeds

German Hunting Terrier

Also going by the name Jagdterrier, the German Hunting Terrier is a handsome small dog breed that was used for underground hunting. This versatile dog is courageous, intelligent and has a wonderful aim-to-please attitude.

Origin & History

The German Hunting Terrier is a versatile dog that was developed in Germany for underground hunting to flush out game like wild boars, foxes, badgers, weasels. He could even hunt for wild cats like cougars. 

The name Jagdterrier is German for hunting terrier. The breeding program was part of the growing interest in genetic engineering in the early 1900s.

German dog breeders used black and tan Fell Terriers (similar to Patterdale Terrier), and hunting Fox Terriers. After years of selective breeding, the German Hunting Terrier Club was established in 1926.

The Jagdterrier Club of America was founded in 1956 but died out because the breed was not popular in the US mostly because few Americans hunted prey to ground. 

In the present day, Jagdterriers are used for above and below ground hunting and working in the barn. They are also exceptional hunters in water. 


Physical Characteristics

The Jagdterrier is relatively small with a compact rectangular-shaped well-proportioned body. He has a muscular, sleek appearance and the tail is usually docked. 

His head is a little narrow with a lively facial expression. The strong muzzle is elongated with muscular jaws. His slightly dropped ears are V-shaped and are set high. His small oval-shaped eyes are dark and endearing. 

The dog’s coat is dense can be either hard and rough or smooth and course. Coat colours include:

  • Black and grey
  • Dark brown
  • Black

The coat has tan markings on the eyebrows, muzzle, legs, chest and the base of the tail. Sometimes white markings can be found on the chest and toes. 

Size & Weight

A fully grown Jagdterrier has a shoulder height of 13 to 16 inches (33 to 41cm) and weighs 17 to 22 pounds (7 to 10kg).

Character & Abilities

Developed to be a versatile hunting dog, the Jagdterrier is braveenduring and full of temperament. Because of his strong prey drive, he is a tenacious hunter. 

The Jagdterrier is boldsteady and confident. he is best walked on the leash as he will not back down when challenged or he might run off in hunting pursuit. 

This small dog is reliable and sociable. He is loyalaffectionate and committed to his human companions. He will get along with children and will even be protective of them. 

Exercise & Nutrition Needs

This Terrier is fun-loving and highly energetic. He enjoys playing in the yard and taking several walks a day. Ideal outdoor activities to keep the Jagdterrier active and expending energy include swimming, hiking, playing fetch with balls and flying discs. 

When stuck indoors because of bad weather, some fun indoor activities include:

  • Playing hide and seek
  • Rolling and chasing the ball along the floor
  • Learning new tricks

To tame his restless spirit, this dog will benefit from long walks and jogs. Extensive outdoors time can help to burn off excess energy and prevent unwanted behaviour. 

The Jagdterrier loves eating and is prone to gaining weight. Bowls should not be left with food all the time to make sure he does not overeat. 

His food intake depends on his age, body type, gender, whether neutered or spayed and activity levels. 

Fresh, clean water should always be available. 

Grooming Requirements

Jagdterriers shed moderately but the thick and short coat is easy to maintain. Regular grooming involves using a firm bristle brush and occasional baths to keep the coat clean and tidy. 

This terrier has strong fast-growing nails that require regular trimming to avoid overgrown nails that split and crack.

The ears can be regularly cleaned with cotton wool and a dog ear cleaning solution. This will prevent the build-up of wax and dirt which can lead to ear infections.

To prevent dental plaque and bad breath, the teeth need to be brushed regularly with dog toothpaste and toothbrush.

Trainability & Intelligence

This dog breed is highly intelligenttrainable and takes pleasure in doing his work. He has the focus and determination to be trained to participate in agility and obedience dog sports. 

Because of the Jagterrier’s alert and bold nature, this breed makes an excellent watchdog. He can be relied on to protect and to be aware of his surroundings at all times. 

Socialization and housebreaking are important to raising a well-mannered Jagterrier. This involves exposing the dog to new environments, situations and people. 

Even though he is trainable, he is not recommended for new dog parents

Living Conditions & Adaptability

Though bred to be an outdoor hunting dog, this breed makes a wonderful companion. It is preferable to adopt the Jagthund to be the only dog in the home because he can be aggressive to other dogs. This is unless he is brought up from puppyhood in a multi-dog home. 

It is not recommended to have smaller pets in the home, like cats and rodents because of his strong hunting instinct. 

The Jagthund doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety but when left alone for too long, will find ways of entertaining himself that might be destructive. 

The German Hunting Terrier loves to hear the sound of his voice making him not ideal for apartment living. He barks for attention, entertainment and this is how he likes to express himself. 

Like other terrier breeds, the Jagthund loves to dig

Health & Life Expectancy

Most Jagdterriers are healthy. Responsible breeders use genetic testing of their stock to reduce the risk of inherited diseases. Some health concerns for this breed include:

  • Eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Partial or complete deafness
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Stomach ulcers 

The Jagdterrier has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.


People have developed a soft spot for the hunting and sporting Jagdterrier because of his diverse personality. His popularity is steadily increasing. He has a pleasant lively spirit with a ready for anything stamina. 


Our team at All The Small Dog Breeds, believes you should understand your dog before he comes home. This is why we provide small dog breed descriptions to uncomplicate the adoption process and help you identify the right match for your home and lifestyle. 





Energy Level


Good with kids