If you hang around Jagdterrirer owners, sooner or later the issue of a Jagd being "hunter versus pet" will crop up.   This issue sometimes even becomes an issue of strife between Jagd owners, and there is absolutely no need for such division. If a choice must be made, you would have to definitely say that the Jagdterrier is MUCH MORE of a hunting dog than it is a companion dog.  Jagds do make excellent companions, but they are very intense hunting (and blood tracking) dogs that require a lot of exercise and exposure to game.  Some Jagd owners have what I call the "tough approach".  They believe that a Jagdterrier is simply a "tool" used to hunt and track game.  This approach is OK if that is all you want out of your dog, but many Jagd owners have a completely different mentality.  Their dogs are their companions when not in the field, and their "partners" when they are out hunting and tracking game. 

Many of those who lean towards this "tough approach" to hunting with Jagds are either hog hunters or those who use their dogs as general game-getters---so their different approach to hunting is understandable.  Hog hunters know that they could lose any dog on any given hunt, so they view things a bit differently--compared to the person that uses his Jagds for blood tracking on lead, and for running rabbits.  People who have Jagds that they use for barn-busting (or for drawing fighting game out of holes) tend to relish a tough dog that can fight.  When you are primarily  hunting for denned animals, most of the hunt does involve "fighting".  So their approach is not "wrong"---just skewed towards their own personal preference and style of hunting.  Jan and I have chosen to avoid any such strife that arises from the different preferences in style of hunting.  Jagd owners are just as diverse (versatile) as the dogs they feed---and one or two groups should not criticize others for not using their dogs as they do.  At 55 years of age I will not get into a contest with any other Jagd owner (saying "my dog is tougher than your dog").  My dogs please me and they get the job done on any type fighting game I have put them on, so I do not need to "prove" their gameness to anyone.  I quit the "my-Dad-is-tougher-than-your-Dad mentality" when I left the playgrounds of elementary school. 

Some hunters are either younger, or others may have a lighter work schedule, so they are more active in hunting their dogs.   These more-frequently hunted dogs do not require the extra yard exercise or personal attention compared to a Jagdterrier that is hunted less.   But I see no reason to fault those who are not ABLE to hunt their dogs on a regular basis.  In Texas we can hunt year round, wheras in many states hunters are restricted to particular seasons by state game laws.  They still own Jagds that they enjoy, and since they do not hunt them regularly, they spend more time with them as companions.   There is not a thing wrong with this---as long as they realize that they MUST hunt their dogs whenever possible.  Hard-core hunters that hunt every day or night---do not have to worry about their dogs not getting exercise or exposure to game.  So they CAN probably spend less personal "pleasure time" with their dogs---compared to the person that is not able to get their dogs out in the woods as often.  Getting puffed up against those who hunt less is shear foolishness!  A person that blood tracks on lead, or uses his Jagds on upland game, does not necessarily need to develop the gameness in his dogs that a hog hunter or game-getter requires.  A viscous critter-killer is not needed for cottontails!  Our game of choice is raccoons, bobcats, fox, lion and bear---all fighting game---so we do need dogs with plenty of gameness.  It is all a matter of "function" rather than just bragging about the "fight" in our dogs.

Personally, I feel we should not try to compare our dogs to other hunters' dogs.  Everyone has their own personal preferences in a hunting dog, and everyone has a different work schedule and different priorities.  If a dog PLEASES YOU, then that is all that matters.  Personally---I didn't buy Jagds just for their GAMENESS ALONE, but it did have much to do with my choice of a hunting breed. 

I once owned an old female Running Walker that had no interest in fighting any animal.  She was solid-broke on bobcats, and would run nothing else.  She had a great nose and was an excellent strike dog, but her real strength was in DRIVING a track.  She would put the heat on a bobcat, and was usually the lead dog in most of a cat race.  But if the cat was treed or was bayed by the other dogs, she would simply back off and watch.  I never saw her come within 20 yards of a fighting cat (or a tree with a cat).   In my view, she was a top catdog!  Gameness was her weakness, but gameness was not something that was lacking in our other hounds---so her weakness did not hurt the overall efficiency of my dogs as a pack.  Her input into our hound pack was phenomenal, but she was "zero" in the Gameness Department.  Do we want that in a Jagdterrier?  Certainly not---nor in any other hunting breed.  However---anyone that ever hunted with her agreed that she was one of the best running dogs they had ever seen.  With bobcat dogs---you hunt with a pack--and each member of that pack has its strengths and also some weaknesses.  The strength of one dog supplements the weaknesses of another dog.   A well-rounded pack of dogs with diversities of talent will tree you lots of cats!  This is the same reason why some hog hunters are still hunting curs with their Jagds, and then pit bulls as their catch dogs.  They have combined the strengths of 2-3 breeds to better FUNCTION as a pack of hog dogs.

So why talk about hounds when we are dealing primarily with Jagdterriers? For the same reason that I now want to talk about my best coon hound ever.  He was a Grand Nite Champion Walker hound that was bred to be a coondog, and a treedog.  It was natural for him to strike, run, and tree game, so I only rarely allowed thim to put his mouth on a coon.  He was a coon-hunting-and-treeing- specialist, and that is what I used him for. He did not need to ENGAGE coons on a regular basis to be a top hound. 

So now let's apply this reasoning to the Jagdterrier. Because I have owned a pack of broke bobcat hounds in the past as well as many competition coonhounds---TODAY---I do not have an obsession with putting any of my hunting dogs on fighting game---just for the fight itself.  If a dog NEEDS to fight an animal to hold it at bay until I can come in to dispatch it (if necessary), then I EXPECT the dog to have the gameness to get the job done.  It is FUNCTION, rather than "fighting alone" that interests me in the Jagdterrier.  Can my 20lb. blood tracking Jagdterrier stop and hold at bay a large wounded feral hog?  That's what I am interested in!  Can this same Jagd run and tree a bobcat, or catch it on the ground---and either finish it off, or hold it at bay until I can show up on the scene?  Again, that's what I care about.  Can one dog stand flat-footed and face off with a full-grown bobcat and it fight to its death?  Maybe---but I see no need for it UNLESS IT IS NEEDED to get the job done.  If that is what a dog has to do to hold its game, and it choses to finish off the critter---rather than hold it until I show up---that is fine.  So after several decades of hunting with dozens of dog breeds, I am not looking just for "killing power" but I do DEMAND "functional power".  I don't hunt my Jagds in a pack like I did bobcat hounds, so if they were like the old Walker female that loved to run, but wouldn't engage a critter, then they would be lacking in FUNCTIONAL power as hunting dogs for me (at this stage in my hunting career).  FUNCTION is more important than raw killing power.  A pit bull has plenty of killing power, but it has absolutely no value to me whatsoever (as my own personal breed of choice for hunting). 

So if a Jagd strikes, runs, bays and holds its game, or trees and stays put---I am happy.  I don't need a dog that I can BRAG on as a "killing machine".  I need a dog that will do what is expected.  If it is EXPECTED of a dog to catch, hold, and kill (if necessary), then there is really nothing to brag about when it DOES ITS JOB!   When Waco and Otter catch a coon on the ground, I EXPECT them to go in and lock down as soon as they engage the animal.  I don't want a long drawn out bloody fight, and I surely have no "testosterone-induced" need to brag about the animal's demise.  They caught the animal as expected, and they did not play around when they engaged it.  They are Jagdterriers, and anyone who buys a Jagdterrier EXPECTS it to be plenty gamey!  Why brag---it is one of the strengths of any Jagd that is pure-bred. 

So basically, I own Jagds for ALL that they DO, and all that they do in a very efficient manner.  I have not seen a Jagdterrier yet that couldn't hold its own in a fight with any game species.

Their size, their hunting drive, their gameness, their versatility, their intelligence, their scenting ability, their general demeanor, and all other traits of the breed are very attractive to me.

If you are just an "occasional" hunter (or tracker) that buys a Jagdterrier mainly as companion dog---and you only plan to use it on a couple of personal blood tracking jobs per year (during a short deer season)---you might be asking for more than you bargained for.  If that dog is not exercised every day and exposed to game on a fairly regular basis, you are inviting problems.  You may think you want a Jagdterrier, but after six months of doggy boredom, your occasionally-hunted Jagdterrier is probably going to start getting more rambunctious---and your "very high octane" Jagdterrier may no longer be happy remaining contained in your house or in your back yard.  A bored Jagdterrier (or of any other breed) can easily develop behavioral problems (incessant barking, aggression, lack of handling/obedience, etc.).  A dog that is cooped up in the house---or in someones back yard---will not be a happy camper---and it may eventually make a very "unhappy camper" out of its owner.  

Jan and I hunt our dogs weekly on various game species (mainly coons and other tree game)---and we use our Jagdterriers regularly for blood tracking.  We bow-hunt for hogs year-round.  We have not adopted the the "tough" approach to hunting our Jagdterriers.  But we fully-understand the immense hunting drive in the Jagdterrier.  We intentionally purchased dogs with such drive and intensity.  And we do our best to satisfy that drive---by exposing them to game continually. 
While they are used each week to hunt and blood track, we do not consider them just "tools" of the hunting trade.   Every Jagd we own is a cherished friend and companion, and each one of them has a special place in our hearts.  They are our "partners" in helping find wounded animals.  They are our hunting COMPANIONS when we put them on any game that could harm (or even kill) them.   When they bay a coon in a creek or pond, I will not wait to see how tough my dogs are in water---if a dog gets in trouble--I am bailing in the water to pull coon and dog to the bank.  If one of them bays a large wounded boar (alone), they know that I am on the way with a rifle or pistol to "equalize" the situation for them.  My dogs know that I am working beside them at all times, and they are always wanting to please me. 

Our dogs are our "dearest of friends" and each one is a wonderful companion for the entire family.  This works for us, because we are a family of hunters!   My wife bow-hunts besides me, my son is a bow hunter, and his wife hunts with rifle.  Our family has owned hunting dogs from the beginning, so even though we do not view our dogs as simply tools for hunting and tracking, they indeed have become valuable tools for these purposes.  If we did not desire the "intensity" of the hunting Jagdterrier, we would have chosen another breed.  We chose the Jagdterrier ON PURPOSE---because it IS an intense hunting dog.  We knew that we would have to be putting our dogs to use regularly. And certainly---the Jagdterrier is the perfect dog for such intense hunting and tracking. 
Jan and I have owned hounds since we were married 33 years ago.  Her Dad owned hounds while she was growing up, and I have owned hunting dogs since I was a little boy and I am now 55 years old.  I've owned not only hounds, but also spaniels, Weimeraners, feists, terriers, and curs---and have used them to hunt everything from lizards to mountain lions.  My favorite animal to hunt with dogs is the bobcat.  We caught hundreds of cats back in the '70's with our hounds (and one lion).  And I have always had a good coon dog in my yard.

I've also had some of the best "ratters" that I fellow could ask for, and I have owned a half-dozen or so good squirrel dogs. The best squirrel dog I ever owned looked like a fuzzy miniature version of a Mountain Feist.  She was the hardest-treeing little dog that I have ever seen.  She was only about 12" at the shoulder and was so ugly she was cute---but, boy, was she a good little hunter!  Coyotes caught her out by herself one night and killed her, but you could tell that she had put up a good fight before they took her down. 

So after over 45 years of hunting with every breed of dog imaginable---why have I now chosen to own Jagdterriers?   It's easy....they are the perfect dog for my needs.  I do not need a deep-hunting hound anymore---that will leave the country to find a coon---like I owned when I was mostly competition coon hunting.  

Grand NiteCh---Grand Ch
Ace Creek Billy
The best coonhound
that I ever owned.

He was a good strike dog that would drift a track and come treed.  He was a good-locating, hard tree dog. He would go as deep as needed to strike a coon---TOO DEEP for the smaller hunting areas available to me today!
Our small town is rapidly becoming a suburb of the Greater Austin Area---which means that hunting land is being lost continually.  I need a dog that I can turn out in a fifty acre woodlot.  A dog that hunts closer in, but not a dog I need to kick out from under my feet all night. I can walk creeks---hunt farm ponds---turn my dogs out at corn feeders---or road hunt them from my Mule---and catch, bay, or tree plenty of game.  And I can do this in much shorter time and with less territory needed---than when I hunted hounds exclusively.  My Jagds do not open (bark) on colder tracks, but still work them very fast.  By the time they get a track worked out and start to open (bark) freely, the animal is usually either runnning or  is looking to tree or bay up somewhere.  I can use the same dogs on bear and lion out-of-state---that I use on coons, bobcats, and fox at home.  The fearless demeanor of the Jagdterrier---along with its speed, athleticism, and agility---enables it to be very successful in hunting big game animals like bear, mountain lion, bobcat, and lynx.  Two or three Jagds are scrappy enough to hold a mature boar hog, a black bear, or a mountain lion---so I just don't need hounds anymore.  I don't need a track-sniffing dog that will cold-trail across three mountains to jump a mountain lion.  I can throw out two Jagds on a lion track in the snow, or on a bear that has been spotted.  Since I don't live where there are bear or many lion, I have to be able to go in to unknown areas---find a track or spot my game---and then get on it quick.   The Jagds are tighter-mouthed than hounds, and much more athletic, so they will be able to get closer to game before it is aware of actual pursuit.   That keeps me closer to my vehicle--- making the bayed or treed bear or lion much more accessible for a 55 year old man in country that he is not familiar with.  Many outfitters and houndsmen are discovering that the smaller and grittier Jagdterrier can outmaneuver a bear or a lion at close range--and can change directions of attack on a bayed animal much quicker than the larger hound breeds that are often forced to retreat. Hunting dog owners have also learned that a bear, lion, or raccoon will often bay or tree sooner when run by just a couple Jagds (compared to a large pack of hounds that are very vocal while cold trailing and less agile in thicker terrain). Jagds can also become proficient on fox, raccoon, and even coyotes. Any dog that is used in hunting these larger predator species must be fleet of foot and must have the stamina, drive, and gameness to endure long periods of tough fighting. Two 15-25lb. Jagdterriers will often dispatch a bayed raccoon quicker than a pack of four or five 60-80lb. coon hounds. 

A Jagdterrier is not a scent hound, so it does not have a typical hound-nose for use on extremely old tracks. But the keen nose of the Jagdterrier is unsurpassed by any other terrier breed. That does not mean that there are not some individual animals that have excellent noses (that have been known to track wounded animals after a 24 hour period has lapsed).  But these colder-nosed Jagds are exceptions, and not the rule. The Jagd will often use its nose on the ground like a hound—then throw its head in the air to “wind” the animal once it is jumped and running.

My Jagds also make much better companions than most of my old hounds (Billy being the exception---he was very personable and loved to mingle with people).  I really enjoy having a smaller dog that can ride in the cab of the truck or sit beside me on my utility vehicle (without having to mess with a large heavy and bulky dog crate).  I also like the fact that I can throw a dog in the cab of the truck when I am going in to town for a loaf of bread or half-gallon of milk.   Then if a coon, bobcat, or fox crosses on one of our country roads, I have a dog that I can turn out for an an instant race.   Since owning Jagds, I can now use my favorite hunting dog to also track wounded game.  

The Jagdterrier is also used by many (especially in Europe) as a retriever. Retrieving is not necessarily a natural instinct like that of conventional retrieving dog breeds, but when exposed to other dogs that are used in this manner, they can be taught to retrieve all type of migratory birds and waterfowl on both land and in water.

FINAL NOTE: Because of changing times and limited areas to release free-ranging hounds in our region of the state, Jan and I decided to purchase one hunting dog breed that could do everything we needed. If a 20lb. terrier could bay or tree coons and bobcats—and get it done in less time and in less territory---this was the dog for us. If we could find a breed where one or two dogs could handle a fighting critter (that usually required a pack of large hounds)---that was the dog for us. If we could find a dog that we could use to hunt---and also to recover wounded game—that was the breed of dog for us. If we could find a dog that could do all this---and eat much less---that's even better.  Two Jagds can be fed what it used to take to feed one hound.   I found a breed that could do what I needed---at about 1/3 the size of an average hound.  And finally, when we saw the regal appearance and the fire in the eyes of a Jagdterrier, and we learned that this ferocious dog (on game) would be very gentle with small children---we started buying Jagdterriers.


SOME OF YOU MAY BY WONDERING WHY WE ARE USING HOUNDS WITH OUR JAGDTERRIERS? SO LET'S ANSWER THE QUESTION OF WHY SOME JAGD OWNERS HAVE CHOSEN TO WORK THEIR JAGDS WITH OTHER HUNTING AND SPORTING BREEDS?   The Jagdterrier is relatively new to our country, so it has not been used on a widespread basis for some of the game species that we have in North America.  The Jagdterrier that is used predominantly for ground work, blood tracking, and an occasional wild boar hunt (in Europe) may not be accustomed to the different kind of hunting that is necessary for North American game species.   There are no coon dogs in Europe, and I doubt if Jagds over there are chasing mountain lions, bobcats, and gray fox. Here in America, we have many species of game that will run up a tree to escape pursuit from hunting dogs.   This is a new experience for even the versatile Jagdterrier.   So while our breed can HANDLE the new demands placed upon it to successfully strike, bay, or tree wild American game---there still has to be an adjustment and training period for individual dogs.  Jagds have not been specifically bred for "tree power" in Europe, so to become successful tree dogs they have to be exposed to tree-able game on a regular basis.  Some will tree naturally, and some will have to "learn how" to tree (simply from exposure).  

Providing positive exposure by hunting the Jagdterrier with breeds that have been developed to hunt specific game species is a "plus" in proper training.   If we had an abundance of Jagdterrier coon dogs then we would be using these experienced Jagds to train our pups.  But since there are not many Jagds in America (in the first place) then we are wise to use whatever experienced dogs we have available to introduce our dogs to a particular species of game.   You can do it the hard way, and just keep hunting and hoping your dog will catch on to what game species you are pursuing (and shocking a dog from running unwanted game) or you can put the Jagdterrier in a situation where it can learn from positive reinforcement gained from hunting with a successfully trained dog (regardless of the particualar breed). 

We are currently using a hound that best matches the style of the Jagdterrier.  Our new Walker hound, Sounder, is not a bark-every-step boo-ing hound that stands on his nose until he finally noses down a coon at a tree.  He will open some on a cold trail, but is predominantly silent on track until he lines out the direction the coon went, or a tree where it is located.   He barks just enough on a trail to call our dogs to him, and once our Jagds realize that a coon is being tracked, they will generally put out just as much mouth as he does on the hot track.   Our Jagds are just now learning how to "honor" another dog when it barks on the track of a coon.  So having a solid-broke dog on coons that will expose my Jagds to at least 2-3 coons every time I take them out is a wonderful asset.  

I have friends that hunt hogs with their Jagds, but all of them had curs before they owned Jagdterriers.  So naturally they used their curs to train their Jagdterriers.   I know of only a few hog hunters that hunt Jagds exclusively---simply because the curs are so much more easily accessible, and less costly to purchase.   They are discovering, however, that all they need is 2-3 Jagds as bay dogs, so many of these Jagd-owning hog hunters are now decreasing their numbers of curs.  

Hunting with Jagdterriers is a whole lot of fun.  They are fast-hunting aggressive bay dogs on hogs---track drivers on coons and other tree-able game---and awesome little rabbit dogs.   If you are looking for a barn-buster to catch denned game---the Jagderrier is tops in that category also. 

Whatever you hunt, the Jagd will probably fit in somewhere to enhance your hunting experience.   You might have a traditional American breed of hunting dog mixed in with your Jagd(s) and that is quite OK!   My loyalty is to the hunting and tracking experience and not to any particular breed.  There is no doubt that I prefer the versatility and personality of the Jagdterrier far above any other hunting breed, but this does not drive me to exclude other breeds in my kennel---especially when they are helping me further my training program with my Jagdterriers!

Hunting your Jagdterrier with a trained dog of another breed may speed up and enhance your training program.   It is not a matter of "loyalty" to a breed---just good practical sense.  In America, hounds are much more common than Jagdterriers, so if you can find a hound doing the job that you want your Jagds to do---get one!   The Jagdterrier is very intelligent, and if you show it what you want it to do, it will respond.  We plan to eventually go to an all-Jagd pack of hunting dogs, but in the meantime, we are having a blast treeing and baying coons with our Jagds and hounds every time we take them out! 

After working hard to locate the best Jagdterrier hunting and tracking stock that I could find in America---and driving thousands miles to pickup dogs---I discovered that WHAT MAY BE CALLED A JAGDTERRIER" MAY BE SOMETHING OTHER THAN A JAGDTERRIER. 

Unfortunately there will always be those who will compromise their breeding programs to accomodate a modified version of their breed to suit their own personal preferences.   This seems to especially be true with hog dogs.   Many hog hunters prefer a bit more size on their dogs---thinking that a larger more-leggy animal can cover more ground faster on a running hog.   So whether anyone is willing to admit it or not----we now have a significant number of Jagd hog dogs that have some Cur mixed in with them.  The majority of hog hunters that I know use Curs for hog hunting anyway,  so it is sometimes "convenient" to interbreed the best dogs that they own.   A designed (or even accidental) breeding of a Jagd to a Cur---that produces good hog dogs is justifiable to the person that is looking for performance only. So when you see a slick-haired 30lb+ Jagdterrier with a Cur head, you can be sure that it is nothing more than a "grade dog".  This animal should not be passed on as a pure-blooded Jagdterrier.   Some true Jagds have been bred for larger size in America, and when this is the case, the dog that is produced will still carry all of the typical Jagdterrier characteristics.  

So one rule of thumb to go by is this. If a Jagdterrier is 28lbs. or more, and it looks like it could be as much Cur as it does Jagdterrier---that's exactly what it is---a CUR/JAGDTERRIER CROSS. 


So when you are looking to buy a Jagdterrier pup, go to the website or ask to see pictures of all the dogs in the breeding program.  If one or two obviously exceed the height and weight breed standards of the true Jagdterrier, and you see any Cur (or other non-Jagd) characteristics in that particular animal, you can KNOW that you have some mixed blood in that kennel.  

With a low number of quality Jagdterrier breeders in America, it is hard to be picky about what dogs you buy for your hunting and tracking needs.   Unfortunately---for that reason----we have some JUNK that has been introduced into the limited gene pool of German Hunting Terriers that we have on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.  

I may breed one of my male Jagdterriers to a female hound someday---just to see what type of nose I could get in a hybrid blood tracker.  But you can be sure that I would not be introducing the F-1 and F-2 outcrosses back into my Jagdterrier breeding program.  This type of thing is going on.   I've heard some prominent Jagdterrier people admit that they are aware of this occurring----but no one has had the courage to publicly address the problem.  Jagd crosses are being registered as pure-blooded animals consistently, and for whatever reason (whether political or financial) the problem definitely remains.

A good Jagd crossed with a quality Cur dog  is probably going to make an outstanding hog dog.   But make sure this is what you want, and then NEVER try to pass on your dogs as pure-bred Jagdterriers. 

So when you go to buy a Jagdterrier---use common sense.  Some Jagds in America have been purely bred for larger size, so they may be slightly larger than the traditional animals from Europe.   Some Jagds may be smoother-coated than others, and some may have some white coloration on chest and toes (which is acceptable).  An American Jagd that weighs from 13-25 lbs. and is 13-16" at the shoulder (that looks like a Jagd) probably is a Jagd.   But a slicker-haired Cur-headed dog that is 16-1/2" (or greater) at the shoulder---that weighs near 30lbs. or over---is probably a cross-bred mutt.   I've owned some mutts that were awesome hunting dogs, but they were still mutts.   It's all about what you want!


The plans that good people make are fair, but the advice of the wicked will trick you.        NCV                          (Proverbs 12:5)