With a German name meaning “hunt terrier,” this dog was bred to do exactly that. Adept at digging for and flushing game, the Jagdterrier hails from a post-World War I German breeding group that aimed to create a high-performing hunting dog. But this breed is also a loyal and companionable family dog. (By the way, it’s pronounced “yack terrier.”)
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
About this Breed
These handsome black and tan dogs were developed in Germany post World War I as a versatile hunting dog. They are generally best-suited to hunting animals that den underground due to their compact size but were historically used to track larger animals as well. Small in size but packed with personality, Jagdterriers have been well loved in Germany for the past one hundred years or so and valued for their ability as small game hunters and vivacious personalities.
While primarily bred to hunt smaller animals such as foxes and badgers, Jagdterriers quickly proved to be multitalented little dogs and have been known to dabble in larger game, such as wild boar.
While Jagdterriers are cute and small, they are still formidable hunting dogs and are primarily used for this purpose, even in modern day. While you can definitely keep a Jagdterrier as a pet, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. They are extremely energetic and thus require a lot of exercise. They have a high prey drive and cannot be trusted around smaller mammals, such as cats or hamsters. That being said, they are intelligent and adaptable dogs that can make lovely family companions. They are better suited to rural or suburban life (as opposed to apartment living) and can do well with older children if socialized with them from an early age. They are small enough to live in apartment buildings, but remember that they need a lot of outdoor time and space to burn their energy! Jagdterriers possess the spunky spirit that is typical of terriers, and are independent and fiercely intelligent. They are easy to train with consistency, but expect that they may try to outsmart you!
Jagdterriers won’t be easy to find in the United States, as they are still relatively rare outside of their native Germany. If you manage to find a breeder and are ready to add a feisty little terrier to your life, you won’t regret it!
Jagdterriers on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Jagdterrier ancestry.