German Hunting (Jagd) and Cesky Terrier

Jane with Cesky TerrierJane with Cesky Terrier

Both breeds of Terriers we have considered here were developed in Europe to hunt not only deer and hare, but also work in the burrows of foxes and badgers. Prior to 1926 the Germans selectively bred the rough coated Old English Black and Tan Terrier which preceded the Welsh Terrier of Britain. But Czechs only began developing the Cesky Terrier in 1950 in a specialized breeding programme initiated by Mr Frantisek Horak in Klanovice, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) from a Scottish Terrier and Sealyham Terrier cross.

History of the German Hunting (Jagd) Terrier

German Hunting (Jagd) Terrier German Hunting (Jagd) Terrier

The German Hunting Terrier was developed purely as a hunting dog. Whilst the working strain of the Old English White Terrier was retained by the Reverend Jack Russell in UK, the Old English Black and Tan Terrier was developed into various breeds of working terriers in UK as well as this one in Germany.

German Hunting (Jagd) Terrier with FoxGerman Hunting (Jagd) Terrier with Fox

In the 1800's the Old English White and Old English Black and Tan Terriers were similar in size, shape and coat type. Working black and tan terriers were used in parts of England and Wales as hunting terriers and still are to this day.

But after the First World War in Germany, a group of active huntsmen separated from the numerically strong show orientated Fox-Terrier Club. It was the huntsmen's aim to create a breed, the sole purpose of which would be concentrated on hunting performance.

German Hunting (Jagd) Terrier German Hunting (Jagd) Terrier

Experienced hunters and cynologists (scientists who study domestic dogs) Rudolf Friess, Walter Zangenberg and Carl-Erich Grünewald decided to select a black and tan terrier especially suitable to hunt underground. In support of their efforts, zoo director, Lutz Heck from Hagenberg presented Walter Zangenberg four black and tan terriers which were said to come from lines registered with the English Kennel Club. At that time, their coats ranged from smooth through to rough. These dogs became the foundation stock of the German Hunting Terrier.

German Hunting (Jagd) TerrierGerman Hunting (Jagd) Terrier

Then Dr Herbert Lackner joined the founders. Thn there were many years of intensive breeding efforts. Finally, through skilful crossings back to the Old English Black and Tan Terrier (re-named the Welsh Terrier in 1888), they succeeded in fixing the appearance of their breed.

The founders of the breed put great emphasis in breeding the multi-talented, trainable, tongue-giving and water-happy breed with an explicit hunting instinct. The German Hunting Terrier Club (Deutscher Jagdterrier-Club e.V.) was founded in 1926. Since then, the breeders have continued to carefully select the Jagdterrier for its usefulness as a hunting dog, with steadiness of character, courage and drive[2].

The German Hunting (Jagt) Terrier Today

German Hunting (Jagd) Terrier with HunterGerman Hunting (Jagd) Terrier with Hunter

The German Hunting or Jagd Terrier has a body significantly longer than its height at withers. He stands 33 to 40 cms tall, weighing from 7.5 to 10 kilos in working condition.Although his chest is deeper than his height, being a working terrier, the chest should be flexible. So, like the judging of any working terrier, when judging this breed experienced show judges usually use the practice of spanning a terrier.

German Hunting (Jadg) TerrierGerman Hunting (Jadg) Terrier

He has a slightly wedge shaped head with an exceptionally strong muzzle containing a full complement of 42 large teeth. His skull is broad and flat and slightly longer than his muzzle with a slight stop between. His high set (button) ears are carried neatly close to his head.

He has a rough dense coat which, like the Jack Russell can vary in length from smooth through to rough. The coat is usually black, but can also be dark brown or greyish black, with clearly defined fawn or yellow-red markings in the usual back-and-tan coat pattern.

The Cesky Terrier

Cesky First Cross 1950Cesky First Cross 1950

The former Czechoslovakia's national dog, the Cesky Terrier was developed to create an ideal compromise between the Scottish Terrier and Sealyham Terrier the first cross in 1950 producing 'Balda' being pictured here.

The following features were selected:

  1. A soft coat that lends itself to clipping.
  2. Full pigmentation (like the Scotty)
  3. Dropped ears (like the Sealyham)

History of the Cesky Terrier

Cesky Terrier HalaliCesky Terrier Halali

In 1935 Mr Frantisek Horak went on a badger dig and caught his first badger with a Scottish Terrier. By 1940 when he moved to Klanovice Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic), he not only owned Scottish Terriers, but also one Sealyham which he found to be more trainable. He also found the dropped ears of the Sealyham protected the orifice of the ears better when the terriers worked in badger dens. Keen to see whether he could create a Czechoslovakian breed of terrier, after the Second World War he began experimenting with crossing these two breeds.

Cesky Terrier Postage StampCesky Terrier Postage Stamp

By 1950 he had gained the support of the Czech Terrier Club and had produced the dog called 'Balda' pictured above. After several more attempts and by careful selection, in 1956 he then produced a bitch called 'Halali', considered to be the 'pillar of the breed'. From this pair most of today's Cesky Terriers descend. In 1963 the FCI recognized the Cesky as an independent breed. Mr Horak's dream finally came true when the Cesky Terrier became recognized as the National dog of the former Czechoslovakia[1] and this stamp was issued in its honour in 1965.

The Cesky Terrier Today

Cesky Terrier (Light Coffee Brown)Cesky Terrier (Light Coffee Brown)

Although the Cesky Terrier retains the oblong shape and the ears of his Sealyham Terrier ancestry, his distinctive grey-blue or light coffee-brown silky glossy coat is unusual in that it is clipped. This gives him his distinctive appearance. His outline is also very different to that of his two ancestors which both have level toplines with a high set tails. Instead, the Cesky's topline rises to the rear and ends with his low set tail. But his size certainly does reflect his ancestry with his height and weight limits being between those of the Scottish and Sealyham Terrier.

With a head shaped like a long but not too broad wedge, it should look neither as long as a Scottie's nor as wide as a Sealyham's. The cheeks should not be prominent and there is a slight stop between the skull and the strong foreface or muzzle which has a straight nasal bridge. Like many other European breeds, the Cesky Terrier should house full dentition (42 teeth) configured in a level or normal scissors bite within its strong jaws. The eyes are of medium size and like the ears, smaller than the Sealyham's. Although the ears are set just above the level of the skull like the Sealyham's, they are V-shaped rather than rounded at the tips to better protect the orifice of the ears when the dog is working. The large nose and eyelids should be black in blue-grey terriers but can be liver coloured on light coffee coloured dogs. The brown eyes can also be a lighter colour in light coffee-brown dogs. The neck is moderately long, without dewlap.

Cesky Terrier (Grey-Blue)Cesky Terrier (Grey-Blue)

Because the Cesky's oblong body was designed to hunt over the former Czechoslovakia's rough rocky terrain, Although it has the basic construction of short legged terriers with deep chests, it is different to either of his ancestors in three ways:

  1. In the shape of his ribcage. Because his springy, flexible ribcage is round rather than so deep it hangs between the forelegs like the Scotty, his body is positioned more on top of his straight forelegs than either the Scotty or the Sealyham.
  2. The rise in his topline over the rump. Because his loin is so strong and muscular that it is slightly rounded, the rump often appears to be higher than the withers.
  3. His low set tail. The tail should be set and carried as an extension of the topline rather than being set high set tail like the Scotty or the Sealyham. The undocked tail should be strong and naturally not too long, and can be carried in a sabre shape.

Family of Cesky TerriersFamily of Cesky Terriers

The hindquarters and strong and muscular with well arched deep feet with strong nails, the hind feet being smaller that the front. His light, free lively movement indicates drive from his strong loins with the forelegs moving straight and perfectly free of the sides.

In size, the Cesky is not quite as tall but more heavily built than the Sealyham, but taller and less heavily built than the Scotty. The Cesky's height is 25-32 cms (Approx. 10-12.5 ins) is a little more than the 25 - 28 cm (10 - 11 inches) of the Scotty, but less than upper limit of 12 inches (31 cm) of the Sealyham. Similarly the Cesky's weight of not more than than 10 kgs (approx. 22 lbs) is within the required weight of 8.5 - 10.5 Kg (19 - 23 pounds) of the Scotty, but more than the Sealyham whose weight should be less than 20 pounds (9 kilograms).

References and Further Reading

See also Jane Harvey DVD "Terriers Then & Now" Published Rangeaire Vision 2002-2004 ISBN 978-0-9804296-4-0

[1] Hana Petrusova - 'toto je Cesky Terrier' (published by Nakladelstvi Shiba 1999) History and Origin of the Cesky Terrier by Frantisek Horak Pages 15 - 18 and Explanation of the Breed Standard Pages 74 - 75.

[2] Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) Breeds Nominclature, Group 3 Terriers Standard No 103 German Hunting Terrier Published 19-3-2015 Brief Historical Summary translated by Johan Gallant and Walter Schicker.