Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Jagdterrier
Average Cost to keep/care for a Jagdterrier
Jagdterriers are small dogs that originate from Germany where they were originally bred to work both above and below ground tracking their prey. They have always been highly prized for their hunting abilities in their native Germany where they are still used to hunt larger game like wild boar and smaller quarry like badgers, foxes and weasels. Although lesser known here in the UK, the Jagdterrier is a smart looking little dog and one that's highly intelligent with the added bonus being they form strong bonds with their families and owners which in short means they are not only very good working dogs, but they make great companions and family pets too.
The Jagdterrier hails from Germany where they were developed to be the ultimate working dog. The breed was created by two brothers and by 1938, these little terriers were making their mark on the country with one enthusiast in particular, Max Thiel taking his dogs with him to America. He continued to breed Jagdterriers outside of their native Germany with great success. However, Jagdterriers fell out of favour thanks to the breed’s German connection during the Second World War.
Over time they earned themselves a reputation for being excellent working dogs and companions both in American where they are used as “tree dogs” to track down squirrels and raccoons. Although their numbers are still very low here in the UK, the Jagdterrier is gaining popularity although anyone wishing to share their home with one would need to register their interest with breeders because so few puppies are bred every year.
The breed is not recognised by The Kennel Club, but Jagdterriers are recognised by other international organisations which includes the American Kennel Club and the UKC as well as a few others. They are often called German Hunt Terriers in other parts of the world.
Height at the withers: Males 33 - 40 cm, Females 33 - 40 cm
Average weight: Males 9 - 10 kg, Females 7.5 - 8.5 kg
Jagdterriers are compact, sturdy little dogs that boast having an alert appearance. When working, they are athletic, energetic and quick off the mark, but when they are at rest they are regal looking although they always have a fiery expression in their eyes. Their heads are quite long being wedge-shaped with the area between a dog's ears being flat but tapering towards their eyes. They have a slight stop and shortish muzzles with nice prominent cheeks and extremely strong underjaws.
The Jagdterrier has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones and they have strong teeth. Their eyes are dark in colour and small being deeply set with dogs always having an alert, determined look about them. Their noses are black although dogs with more brown in their coats can have brown noses which is acceptable. Their ears are V-shaped and nicely in proportion to a dog's head being set quite high and carried forwards touching the side of the head.
Jagdterriers have strong, slightly arched, powerful necks that are a little broader at the shoulder than at the nape. Shoulders are sloping and long with dogs having well-muscled front legs that show a good amount of bone. They have deep chests that are not too broad and their ribs are well sprung and nicely laid back. Their bodies are sturdy and compact with dogs having short, level backs and well-muscled loins with flat croups.
Their hindquarters are well angulated and muscular showing a good amount of bone with dogs having long, sinewy and powerful back legs. Feet are oval shaped with a dog's front ones often being wider and larger than their back feet. Tails are well set which dogs carry gaily much like the Foxhound when they are working or alert.
When it comes to their coat, the Jagdterrier can either have a harsh or smooth coat as well as any kind of texture in between the two. However, their coats are thick and dense which offers terriers a lot of protection when working in rough undergrowth and in challenging conditions. The accepted breed colour under AKC rules is as follows:
Jagdterriers can have either a light or dark mask and a small amount of white both on their toes and chests is acceptable under the UKC's breed standard
The Jagdterrier has always been highly prized for their intelligence and hunting abilities because they are such determined little dogs. In short, they are quick off the mark and will not give up until they achieve their goals all of which are traits that are deeply embedded in a dog's psyche even when they are in a home environment. They have a tremendous amount of stamina and energy which means they are best suited to people who live in a more rural environment and who lead active, outdoor lives.
They are bold, courageous and always extremely alert, but very people oriented. They make good companions and family pets, but they are first and foremost working dogs. As such, they are not the best choice for first time owners, but a good choice for anyone who is familiar with the breed or this type of high energy working dog and who therefore understands and can satisfy their specific needs.
They have extremely high prey drives and are never happier than when they are outside doing what they have always been bred to do which is to track and hunt down their quarry both above and below ground. Puppies need to be well socialised from a young age and this has to involve introducing them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated so they mature into well-balanced, calm adult dogs.
Their training has to start early paying particular attention to the "recall" command right from the word go and even then if a Jagdterrier sees something in the distance they are likely to take off after it which is why care has to be taken as to where and when they are allowed to run off their leads. They tend to be wary around people they don't know, but rarely would a Jagdterrier show any sort of aggressive behaviour towards a stranger, preferring to keep their distance until they get to know someone.
The Jagdterrier is a highly intelligent little dog, but they are also strong willed and independent by nature which can make training them a bit of a challenge. This is one of the reasons why they are not the best choice for novice owners who may find these quick witted dogs a bit of handful especially as they are known to be dominant characters. Their training has to start early in a dog's life and it has to be consistent throughout their lives remembering that these terriers boast an extremely high prey drive.
They are bold, courageous and hard which are traits needed in a hunting environment, and it’s important to bear in mind that these traits remain deeply embedded in a dog's psyche which has to be taken into account during their training. They need to be handled and trained with a very firm, yet gentle hand and their training always has to be fair so that dogs understand what is expected of them. Jagdterriers must be taught their place in the "pack" and who they can look to for direction and guidance for them to be obedient, well-rounded dogs.
The key to successfully training a Jagdterrier is to keep their training sessions as interesting and as diverse as possible and to keep them short which is the best way to keep one of these quick-witted terriers focussed on what is being asked of them. They would quickly lose interest in longer more repetitive training sessions because they would get bored.
Jagdterriers might be lively and always alert, but they can be calm and gentle around children. They might not be the best choice for families where the children are younger, but they are a good choice for households where the kids are slightly older and who therefore, know how to act around dogs. With this said, any interaction between younger children and a dog should always be well supervised to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with a child being knocked over and frightened or hurt.
When well socialised from a young enough age, the Jagdterrier generally gets on well with other dogs, but they can be a little "off" with dogs when they first meet them. If they have grown up with a family cat in the house, they usually get on well together, but care has to be taken whenever a Jagdterrier meets any other cats and the same can be said of any other smaller animals and pets because of their high prey drive.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Jagdterrier is between 13 and 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Jagdterrier is known to be a robust, healthy dog and one that does not seem to suffer from the sort of hereditary and congenital health issues that plague many other breeds. This could be due to the fact there are so few dogs around and therefore not enough information has been gathered regarding their health. However, there have been reports of some dogs developing the following condition:
As with any other breed, Jagdterriers need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Jagdterriers are low maintenance on the grooming front thanks to the fact their coats repel water and dirt extremely effectively. They shed steadily throughout the year although more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary to keep on top of things and to remove any dead and loose hair from a dog's coat.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Jagdterrier is an extremely high energy, intelligent dog and one that boasts a very strong prey drive. As such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well-rounded dogs. They are best suited to people who lead active, outdoor lives and who would like a canine companion at their side. With this in mind, Jagdterriers are never happier than when they are working and cannot be given too much exercise which has to involve as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Jagdterrier would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home simply because they would be so frustrated and unhappy.
With this said, Jagdterrier puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.
If you get a Jagdterrier puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be fed a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Jagdterrier, you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because very few puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. You would need to pay anything upwards of £500 for a well-bred puppy.
The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Jagdterrier in northern England would be £18.35 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.75 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Jagdterrier and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Jagdterrier would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.
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