The Deutscher Jagdterrier Breed (DJT)

A brief historical outline

The origins of the DEUTSCHER JAGDTERRIER breed (DJT), commonly known simply as the JAGDTERRIER, are quite recent.

In Germany, in the years immediately after the First World War, a few hunters separated from the fox terrier club. The fox terrier had become a fashionable pet and the selection criteria were ever more oriented around external appearance, resulting in the loss of its qualities as a hunting dog. These passionate and expert hunter-cynologists set themselves the task of creating a breed oriented around work; they wanted to select a dog with a marked hunting instinct. Beyond the inheritance of an aptitude for hunting, they also wanted to improve the morphological structure of the dog, and give it a dark matt colour. A stroke of fortune helped these hunters achieve their goal. The director of Berlin zoo gifted one of them several pure-bred fox terrier puppies. These puppies all had a dark coat – seemingly the bitch had been bred with a little black terrier from England. From here the creation and selection of the Deutscher Jagdterrier breed began. They were cross-bred with other good fox terriers,  wire-haired old English terriers, Welsh terriers and Lakeland terriers (from working pedigrees) imported from England, and from this clever cross-breeding, after years of intense and knowledgeable work in breeding and selecting, they managed to reinforce and fix the features related to its function, its appearance, its colour and above all, its hunting abilities.

In 1926 the Deutscher Jagdterrier Club was founded.

In 1947 the Austrian club was born, in 1953 the Swiss one followed, in 1966 one was founded in Luxembourg, in 1970 in Slovakia, in 1980 in Sweden, in 1981 the Jagdterrier club de France, and likewise many others still.

The breed was recognised by the World Canine Organisation (Federation Cynologique Internationale – FCI) in 1968.

In 1993 the international association for the breed was founded (I V-DJT), whose affiliated kennel clubs are bound to undertake rigorous selective breeding. The clubs which cannot yet meet certain criteria are permitted to join as guest members. Now almost every European nation is represented.

The passion for this dog has expanded beyond the borders of its native country, conquering Europe and many other countries of the world.

Use and hunting qualities

The Deutscher Jagdterrier or Jagdterrier is the hunting dog par excellence, from top to bottom a hunting dog made for the hunter. It is a small dog which gets big results, very instinctive, tough, courageous, gifted with a great nose and good spoor loud (voice on the trail) active searching and a great sense of direction. It is willing, always ready to work, energetic and with great endurance, docile and sociable. It is an adaptable jack-of-all-trades and its malleability permits it to hunt any quarry, in any terrain.

The Jagdterrier excels in hunting in the burrows of a fox or badger, which is what they were initially bred for, and also in hunting wild boar, where it is capable, alone, of finding and taking on these often much larger aggressive animals – proof of the jagdterrier’s proverbial toughness and persistence. Of course, it can hunt any other ungulate, down to small animals like rabbits and hares.

It possesses a great love of water, conserved through time by selective breeding; its excellent swimming ability also allow it to hunt ducks and other waterfowl. Its persistence, its nose, its intelligence and its sense of the wild permit it to work as an excellent and reliable retriever of wounded ungulents.

Notwithstanding its amazing hunting qualities and its determination, the Jagdterrier is also very sociable and good with children. However, this doesn’t make it a ‘designer pet’ or a ‘house dog’. In these environments it could never express that for which it was created, and as such it would be wasted.

Considering its great qualities as a hunter, its instinctive nature and its boundless energy, this dog requires the steady and knowing hand of an active and constant master who is able to give it the right training, and knows how to valorise its many talents.

The DJT Breed

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