by: Carl Erich Gruenewald (a charter member of the German Jagdterrier Organization who describes in this chapter the Foxterrier in Germany during the years from 1911 through 1927).
n 1911, I arrived in Munich where I especially looked for the company of hunters and hunting dogs. At this time, the fox terrier was much more a "fashion" dog than the poodle is today. Also at this time began the movement to stress the breeding of a beautiful, English standard dog on the one hand, and a dog with outstanding hunting qualities on the other hand. The fox terrier represented a wide field of variety at dog shows, which met with the approval of the British judges. But controlled by England, the native land of the fox terrier, the breeding qualities took several directions by concentrating sometimes on smaller dogs and then at other time on larger dogs. Hunters preferred the smaller breed especially since ground hunting was very fashionable. The breeding also was directed towards shorter wire-haired breeds that did not need trimming, and towards the dark-haired dog, often with a black coat and light-haired legs. A dark male dog by the name of "Oacroyd Darkie", which was also a very good worker, was imported to Germany and used for extensive breeding there. With each litter the darker color became more dominant. I, as a young hunting cynologist, was lucky to be acquainted with the best fox hound experts. My best teachers became Walter Zangenberg and the young forest ranger F. Friess, a well-known Wachtelhund (Spaniel) expert. Both men were also specialists in every kind of ground hunting.
We spent many happy hours together and were very successful with our fox terriers. It happened quite often that our dogs unearthed five to six badgers at a time, not counting many foxes. We worked with five foxes and badgers, but tried to avoid as much cruelty as possible. We had beautiful premises outside of Munich where we trained our dogs to perfection hunting foxes and badgers. Our dog's hunting instincts sharpened, but the wild animals also developed better instincts and tricks as well. Yet in Munich, as in other cities, there were many friends of the fox terrier who only were fascinated by the beauty of the dog and only bred this beautiful looking dog. For these breeders the first prize in a dog show was their goal. As hunters, we could not take these people seriously, and we smiled about their ambitions. Yet the basis for the breeding of the pure hunting dog became ever so narrow, and it was necessary to take a champion dog for breeding once in a while that had no hunting qualities whatsoever--as most of the British imports did not. The results were disastrous. Keenness, nose and hunting instincts weakened drastically. At our meetings we wondered what we could do.
The First World War began, and I took part in it from the first to the last day. During this time I had a female Wachteldog (Spaniel) and a very good straight-haired fox terrier from an Austrian Kennel for my companions. The fox terrier was a very keen dog that fought in the Balkan mountains several times with wild sheep dogs. Upon my return to Munich I met my old friends again and we picked up our interest in the fox terrier.
In one of our conversations with Zangenberg I learned that, after breeding with an import English male dog, an almost black female fox terrier bore a litter of four black puppies with red marks at the known places, two females and two males. Since these puppies could be entered into the fox terrier stud book only with the remark "not in conformity with our standards," the owner offered them for sale at a very low price.
I advised Mr. Zangenberg to buy this litter immediately. W. Zangenberg bought the four black and red wire-haired terriers and named them "Werwolf," "Rauhgraf," "Morla" and "Nigra" von Zangenberg.
We had the pedigree for these dogs in our hands. Now every cynologist will skeptically ask how it was possible that two pure-bred fox terriers could produce a black with red wire-haired fox terrier litter? Those who are knowledgeable in international cynology know, though, that more than 100 years ago a smaller breed of black and red wire-haired terriers existed in England. This breed was called "Old English Terrier" and is described in literature and paintings. I own a color etching by the famous English painter of animals, Moreland, that is over 100 years old. It shows next to two spaniels a black and red terrier. He looks exactly like today's German Jagdterrier and not like a Welsh-Terrier, tawney in color with just a black saddle. Here, too, like everywhere in the English dog breeding history, mixed breeding was very common.
Among the pack of hounds during hunting dogs, the Old English Terrier was used to bring an escaped fox back in front of the horseman. In order for the terrier to look like the "hounds," white, straight-haired terriers were mixed into the breeding, and so today's fox terrier, both wire-haired and straight-haired, evolved. The straight-haired fox terrier is the older breed. Every effort was made to keep white as the dominant color.
Yet, it is understandable that--within so many different color bloodlines--the dominate black color continued to reappear so that still today very dark puppies appear in many fox terrier litters. These dark puppies were killed right away, and breeders who very often didn't know why some of the puppies were black would not acknowledge the existence of such black puppies.
We too were not able at that time to explain why the puppies that Zangenberg had bought were only black and red. We realy didn't care. We were glad to own fox terriers with the hunting color, and we hoped to use these four puppies successfully in breeding to establish a hunting fox terrier breed (jagdfoxterrier-stamm). From the viewpoint of hunting these four dogs were not bad, although they left much to desire. First we tried inbreeding, pairing brothers with sisters. But the results were not good. No wonder--after all, the parents weren't real hunting dogs.
The picture changed, though, when we bred our four "originals" with our well-trained old hunting fox terriers. The beautiful dark color continued to be dominate. Dogs with alot of the white color and spotted dogs were selected and eliminated from further breeding.
Thus developed our much desired and planned Deutsche Jagdterrier (German Hunting Terrier)--the breed being further developed and refined by strict elimination. To eliminate once in a while strong white marks which still occurred on the chest and on the legs, we bred our line twice with "Old English Terriers" that we bought from English friends. This was done under the recommendation and supervision of the famous cynologist Dr. Lackner from Koenigsberg, and only those "Old English Terrier" were used that were proven to be good hunters.
This is all there is to tell about the secret surrounding the German Jagdterrier, who is in the meantime known world-wide as one of the best hounds, with great keenness, a sensitive nose, a great ability for scent and great passion for water, commonly great toughness, and well behaved on the leash. These are all qualities and characteristics which the fox terrier who was bred only for his good looks did not have. We cannot deny that this breed originated in England, but we turned the breed into a terrier for the huntsman and his needs.
There are almost 30,000 dogs entered in the stud book in the Federal Republic of Germany. It is hardly possible to fullfill the worldwide demand for this dog, following the organization of many breed owners. The Deutsche Jagdterrier is a small service dog that can do everything with the exception of retrieving large game, and he is not a pointer.
He achieves outstanding results in the ground hunt (small game) and is a very good harrier (tufter), especially for hogs. He also works very well as a bloodhound and as a retriever of small game, and he finds excellent use for any kind of hunting in water. He is a sharp watchdog. The intense breeding work of about 50 years is now paying off.
Of course there were many disagreements and fights among fox terrier experts during the first breeding years. Today we are all getting along well, but in the beginning the Association of Fox Terrier Breeders offered to enter our dogs as pure-bred black fox terriers in a special section of the fox terrier stud book, but we stickily declined this, because than all of our efforts would have been in vain.
Today we are happy about every good litter, and there are still many good ones. We are giving the hunting world a dog which it cannot do without if it wants to hunt in a good huntsman-like manner. On April 3, 1927, our dogs were introduced to the public for the first time. The interest was quite large.