German Hunting Terrier

FCI standard Nº 103

Johan Gallant / Walter Schicker
Group 3 Terriers
Section 1 Large and medium sized Terriers
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Thursday 02 December 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Thursday 19 March 2015
Last update
Tuesday 26 May 2015
En français, cette race se dit
Terrier de chasse allemand
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Deutscher Jagdterrier
En español, esta raza se dice
Terrier cazador alemán
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Duitse Jachtterrier


Versatile hunting dog, suited in particular for the hunt under the ground and as a flushing dog.

Brief historical summary

After the first World War a group of active hunters separated from the numerically strong Fox-Terrier Club. It was their aim to create a breed, the sole purpose of which would be hunting performance. The experienced hunters and cynologists Rudolf Frieß, Walter Zangenberg and Carl-Erich Grünewald decided to select a black and tan hunting dog in particular suitable for the hunt under the ground. A coincidence came in support of their efforts. A zoo director, Lutz Heck / Hagenberg presented Walter Zangenberg with four black and tan terriers which were said to come from pure-bred Fox-Terrier lines. These dogs became the foundation stock of the German Hunting Terrier. At the time Dr Herbert Lackner joined the founders. After many years of intensive breeding efforts, and through skilful crossings with the Old English Wirehaired Terrier as well as with the Welsh Terrier, they succeeded to fix the appearance of their breed. At the same time they put great emphasis on breeding a multitalented, well trainable, hard, tongue-giving and water-happy dog with an explicit hunting instinct. The German Hunting Terrier Club (Deutscher Jagdterrier-Club e.V.) was founded in 1926. As ever, the breeders continued to value most carefully their breed for its usefulness as a hunting dog, its steadiness of character, its courage and drive.

General appearance

A smallish, generally black and tan, compact, well proportioned working hunting dog.

Important proportions

Proportion of chest circumference to height at the withers : The circumference of the chest is 10 to 12 cm more than the height at the withers.
Body length to height at the withers : The body is insignificantly longer than the height at the withers.
Depth of chest to height at the withers : Circa 55 - 60 % of the height at the withers.

Behaviour / temperament

Courageous and hard, takes pleasure in work, enduring, vital, full of temperament, reliable, sociable and trainable, neither shy nor aggressive.


Cranial region

Elongated, slightly wedge-shaped, not pointed, the muzzle slightly shorter than the skull from occiput to stop.
The skull is flat, broad between the ears, narrower between the eyes. 
Slightly marked.

Facial region

In harmony with the muzzle, neither too narrow nor too small, not cleft. Black, but when the colour of the coat is dominantly brown, a brown nose is also permitted.
Strong, distinct under-jaw, strongly pronounced chin.
Tight and well pigmented.
Jaws and teeth
Big teeth. Strong jaws with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, whereby the row of upper incisors, without gap, perfectly locks over the lower incisors, and with the teeth standing vertically to the jaws. 42 teeth in accordance with the teeth formula.
Well pronounced.
Dark, small, oval, well placed in such a way that injury is hardly possible; the eyelids are tight. Resolute expression.
Set high, not explicitely small, V-shaped; slightly touching semi-drop ears.


Strong, not too long, well put on and blending strongly into the shoulders.


Well defined.
Strong, straight, not too short.
Well muscled.
Well muscled and flat.
Deep, ribs well sprung, not too broad, long breastbone with ribs well reaching backwards.
Underline and belly
Elegantly curved backwards; short and firm flanks, belly slightly drawn up.


Well set to the long croup, docked for circa 1/3. Is rather carried slightly raised than steeply erected, but should never incline over the back. (In countries where tail docking is prohibited by law, it can be left in its natural state. It should be carried horizontally or slightly sabre-formed.)



Seen from the front the forelegs are straight and parallel, viewed from the side they are placed well under the body. The distance from the surface to the elbows is approximately equal to the distance from the elbows to the withers.
The shoulder-blade lies well oblique and backwards; it is long and strongly muscled. There is good angulation between shoulder-blade and upper arm.
Upper arm
As long as possible, well and dry muscled.
Close to body, neither turned inward nor outward. Good angulation between upper arm and forearm.
Dry, straight and upright with strong bones.
Slightly angulated to the ground, bones rather strong than fine.
Often broader than the hind feet, the toes lying close to each other with sufficiently thick, hard, resistant and well pigmented pads. They are parallel, in stance as well as in movement neither turned inward nor outward.


Viewed from behind straight and parallel. Good angulation between upper thigh and lower thigh and also at the hocks. Strong bones.
Upper thigh
Long, broad and muscular.
Lower thigh
Long, muscular and sinewy.
Strong with good angulation between upper- and lower thigh.
Short and vertical.
Strong and placed low.
Hind feet
Oval to round, the toes lying close to each other, with sufficiently thick, hard, resistant and well pigmented pads. They are parallel, in stance and in movement neither turned inward nor outward.

Gait and movement

Ample ground covering, free, with good reach in the front and powerful drive from the rear. In front- and hindquarters parallel and straight; never stilted.


Thick, tight, without folds.


Plain, dense; hard rough hair or coarse smooth hair.
The colour is black, dark-brown or greyish-black, with fawn (yellow-red) clearly defined markings at the eyebrows, muzzle, chest, the legs and at the base of the tail. Light and dark mask is equally permitted; small white markings on chest and toes are tolerated.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Dogs 33 to 40 cm, bitches 33 to 40 cm.
Desired ideal weight for working : Dogs 9 to 10 kg, bitches 7,5 to 8,5 kg.


• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Serious faults

 Narrow skull, narrow and also pointed muzzle.
 Falling away under-jaw, narrow jaws.
 Weak bite, any slight irregularity in the placing of the incisors.
 Light or spotted nose.
 Light, too big or protruding eyes.
 Erected, flying, too small, set too low or heavy ears.
 Steep forequarters.
 Soft or roached back, too short back.
 Short breastbone.
 Too narrow or too wide in front.
 Steep hindquarters, overbuilt.
 Elbows clearly turned in or out.
 Too close or spread toes; cow-hocked, bow-legged or narrow hocks, in stance as well as in movement.
 Ambling, stilted or tripping gait.
 Splayed feet, cat feet.
 Tail inclining over the back, tail set too low or hanging.
 Short, woolly, open or thin hair, bald at the belly or at the inner sides of the thighs.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.
 Weak in temperament and character, shot- or game shy.
 Over- and undershot bite, wry mouth, pincer and partial pincer bite, irregularly placed teeth, missing teeth except for M3.
 Incorrect pigmentation.
 Entropion and ectropion, eyes of different colour, blue or spotted eyes.
 Any departure of the described coat colour.
 Over- and under size.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.



Additional information from visitors

One of the most popular terrier breeds still used for hunting duties, the Deutsche Jagdterier is truly a remarkable working dog of great intelligence and fantastic drive and agility. Even though small black-n-tan terriers existed in Germany since at least the 18th century, this breed was created in the 1920's, after a group of Fox Terrier fanciers decided to abandon their investment into the popular English breed which they felt was becoming a softer pet and show dog while losing its hunting abilities. There is some uncertainty concerning the actual programme and what breeds were used in the creation of the German Hunting Terrier, due to many of the documents being lost during WW2, but the employment of suitable rough-coated English Foxterriers, Welsh Terriers and Old English "broken-haired" Terriers has been confirmed, while the rumoured use of Manchester Terriers, German Schnauzers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Border Terriers, German Pinschers, Dachshunds, Taurunum Terriers and Irish Terriers requires more research. In the early days of the breed, there was a variety of sizes and colourings, so the decision was made to select for coat colour alongside the preferred drive, tenacity and health requirements. The first breed Club was formed in 1924 in Munich by Grunewald, Fries and Zangenberg, the leading men in the programme. A noted hunter and Schnauzer breeder named Herbert Lackner decided to abandon his own dreams of developing a new breed in favour of taking an active role in the establishment of the German Hunting Terrier, quickly inheriting the position of the Club's president from Rudolf Fries and subsequently becoming one of the most important people in the breed's history.
Apart from occasional disagreements about the expected prey-drive levels and coat types, the Club functioned quite well and in a relatively short amount of time, the Deutscher Jagdterrier's type was established. All of the dogs needed to be proven in hunting tests before registration, ensuring that only the best working specimens contributed to the breed's gene pool. The breed gained many admirers quickly and it reportedly numbered a population of around 4000 representatives after the 2nd World War. However, many dogs were unregistered and since the breed Club ceased to function during wartime, a new Club was founded in 1947, again with Lackner as president and chief promoter of the breed in Germany, but also in Austria and Switzerland, as well as other European countries. During the 1950's, the German Hunt Terrier found its way into the United States and the Soviet Union, where it quickly found loyal followings. To this day, it is succesfully used all over the world for a number of duties and although commonly seen as a companion and Show dog, this working breed remains primarily a rugged and tenacious hunter of foxes, badgers, rabbits, boars and even bears and pumas. A natural ratter, it also makes an excellent vermin destroyer. In some countries, these dogs can even be seen in fighting rings, oftentimes being pitted against much larger breeds than itself.
This is a dog that knows no fear and posesses a fierce and explosive personality, remarkable intelligence and playful nature. While loyal to its master and reasonably trainable, the German Hunting Terrier can be unfriendy towards strangers and very aggressive towards other dogs, needing early socialization and responsible ownership. It can be an amenable pet for experienced handlers, but its irritable and quick-trigger nature doesn't make it the best choice for a child's playmate or an urban companion. Although a small breed, the Deutscher Jagdterrier is immensely powerful and athletic, having a strong and muscular body, a deep chest, straight sturdy legs, a level back and a somewhat wedge-shaped and broad head, with a powerful muzzle and well-developed jaws. The tail is usually docked, while the ears are left unaltered. Although rough-coated examples are the most common and preferred by the Standard, a large number of shorthaired working representatives exist which are quite valued by some fanciers. The most popular colouring is the traditional black-n-tan, but some dark grey, brown and red-coated dogs can be seen on occasion, all of which must have clearly defined tan markings, with a small white spot on the chest permitted. Average height is around 14 inches.

Detailed history

A German Terrier! This may seem incongruous at first glance: are the Terriers not British, by definition? Is it not in their selection, their grooming and their presentation in exhibitions that the know-how of English dog breeders has fully expressed themselves and that these outstanding breeders have acquired their reputation? However, abandoning their traditional job, most Terriers quickly evolved into a company role, given their modest size.

The Jagdterrier, as its name suggests, is a "hunting terrier". It is also to use exclusively in the field the Terrier qualities that the Germans were led to create this breed. In order to hunt underground, the German hunters did not have Terriers at their disposal. They obviously owned the Dachshund, whose other name, Dachshund (badger dog), says enough vocation. But at the end of the nineteenth century, Germanic dogs wanted to beat their English counterparts in all areas, including the one, a priori reserved Terriers.

The Jagdterrier is therefore typically German, by temperament and personality, even if his ancestry is essentially British. And it must be said that it forms a detonating mixture, or at least quite amazing, in the field of hunting. To achieve this result, the breeders used, in Bavaria and in the neighboring countries, Fox Terriers with hard hair and smooth hair. A female Welsh Terrier and a male descended directly from the Old English Broken Terrier (or "Broken Hair Ancestral English Terrier"), a type of dog that has never attained a breed status but has contributed to the creation of several Terriers) were also used.

This eminently British cocktail was probably enriched with some Germanic blood. A hint of Dachshund, perhaps, that would have given the Jagd its less square shape than that of the Terriers across the Channel, with a pinch of Pinscher, a dog whose denomination (which comes from the English to pinch, pinch ) clearly indicates the essential quality: the mordant. Let's not forget that a certain Mr. Dobermann, for the same reason, used the Pinscher when he created the race that bears his name and which appears as a kind of "giant Pinscher". The Jagdterrier, for its part, owes much of its existence to Dr. Lackner, thanks to whom the breed could arrive at a satisfactory homogeneity.

Dog working exclusively, the Jagdterrier has not spread in large numbers in his country. This long period of discretion can also be explained if we keep in mind that hunters are much less numerous on the other side of the Rhine than at home. In the fifties, the breed began to establish itself in Alsace, where the detractors knew how to appreciate it. However, the official authorities took longer to recognize the Jagdterrier, which, I believe, had to wait until 1968 to be on the list of breeds recognized by the FCI.

In France, the Jagdterrier's numbers have increased remarkably in recent years, so much so that this dog has become the first hunting lure in our country. The Jagdterrier is also the only Terrier to be obligatorily "subjected to work" (which means that obtaining the titles of champion of beauty is subordinated to results in work tests).

It's been a long time since the detractors noticed the qualities of the Jagdterrier for hunting fox and badger, and it is true, no doubt, that no other dog can be compared to him in terms of courage and fighting face. to the "stinky". Woe to the fox who has the unfortunate idea of wanting to confront a Jagdterrier a little bit experienced. He would be quickly strangled. In fact, the Jagdterrier has no equal to get Master Goupil out of his den.

With the badger, it is quite another thing (in ancient French, this mustélidé was called "taisson", word which has the same etymology as "den", properly "terrier of the badger", and that Dachs in German). The Jagdterrier undoubtedly has impressive teeth, but his opponent, one and a half times or twice as heavy, is even more powerfully armed, with his teeth and his claws, and pugnacity out of the ordinary. The son, with some exceptions, does not leave his lair, using every possible means to get rid of the dog that keeps him on the farm. Thus, he will have recourse to the counter-ground, that is to say that he will dig his burrow under the nose of the dog which will continue in vain to bark. And, if he has exhausted all the tricks, he will face and may inflict severe wounds to the Jagdterrier, because the latter does not hesitate to charge; In these situations, he has been criticized for being unwise.

The Jagdterrier, like all German hunting dogs, is perfectly versatile. It is commonly used, for example, in his country but also in the east of France, the search for the blood of the big game wounded, in other words like dog of red. In this area, its reputation as a "forcer" is well established, and the excellence of its flair, its obstinacy, its endurance, allied to its small size, are all assets much appreciated.

The development of the numbers of the breed is not only explained by its aptitude for the digging and research with the blood. It should be noted that, like common dogs, the Jagdterrier is more and more valued for shooting hunting, be it big game; deer, deer and more particularly wild boar; or hare. Shooting hunting with small packs of currents; most exciting, it must be confessed; takes a notable extension now, and among its followers, fans of the Jagdterrier are more numerous, well beyond Alsace, by the way.

Indeed, the dog's conduct is extremely energetic, and he is very screaming. As for her bravery to keep a big pig in the farm, she is indisputable. In addition, the Jagdterrier does not fear water and knows how to flush waterfowl; he can bring a duck in deep water. Similarly, in hedgerow country, it is an excellent bushman and a rabbit of first strength. In short, it is useful in all forms of hunting and all kinds of game.

To keep a dog so energetic, showing such vitality, it is obviously necessary to show great firmness: generally dominant, stubborn moreover, he does not know the fear and would not forgive the weaknesses of a master too indulgent . Difficult, therefore, the Jagdterrier and he is no less so towards his congeners. Of course, it is out of the question to cohabit two males, and even, sometimes, to make them work together. If it is about females, it will be necessary to be careful not to put in front two dominant.

It is easy to understand that this dog really does not have the vocation to become a pet. Does this mean that he can only live in kennels? Certainly not: well surrounded, pampered, he will adapt perfectly to the house. As much as he shows himself to be a vigilant and suspicious watchdog towards strangers, he is so friendly and affectionate with his relatives. As for children, we can be without fear. If he is accustomed since his young age to attend the children of the house, he will accept without difficulty their boyfriends. The essential thing is that the master appears as a true pack leader, before which the Jagdterrier can submit without hesitation, and that the dog, of course, also enjoys a lot of exercise and training. Allow him to fully satisfy his passion for hunting, and he will be calm in the house.

In the hands of a non-hunter and confined in an apartment, it is likely that the Jagdterrier would quickly cause problems, would do great damage and could become biting. It will be recalled, however, that aggression or unbalanced behavior are among the criteria for refusing confirmation. The Jagdterrier is especially suitable for the most fanatical hunters, the most dynamic, having acquired some experience of dogs of strong character. This one will not disappoint them.

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