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Teddy Roosevelt Terriers

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier running on grass


The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a chondroplastic, low-set, rectangular-shaped, small hunting Terrier. They are strongly built, with substantial bone for a small breed, making them an easy choice for an eventing or conformation companion for those who want a “grab-and-go” breed.

We haven’t always been known as “Teddy Roosevelt Terriers.” Prior to their separation from their sister breeds, the American Hairless Terrier and the Rat Terrier, in 1999, the “Teddies” were also referred to as Type B Rat Terriers or Bench Legged Feist. Since President Theodore Roosevelt brought so much attention to the “ratting” community as a whole, when it came time to select our “new” name, we were named in homage of this beloved President for his contributions to the canine community.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

A properly proportioned, mature Teddy will exude balance, front-to-rear, exhibiting a deep chest, well-developed shoulders, short legs, and a muscular hip. They are longer than tall, with a ratio of 7:10, height-to-length, their height being measured from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the ground, and length being measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks.

There is no weight requirement for Teddy Roosevelt Terriers, but the height requirements are 8 inches at a minimum and 14 inches as the maximum, with the average in the breed of 10-11 inches. Teddies are dense. A 10-inch Teddy Roosevelt Terrier can weigh as much as 18-20 pounds if proportioned properly. The bone density should be substantial, but should not be so heavy as to be coarse or too light as to be fine. Teddies should, at maturity, have an elbow-to-ground height of approximately one-third the withers height.

They are a slow-maturing breed, with females reaching full maturity at 2-3 years of age and males at 3-4 years of age. They should be shown in good, physical working condition. Immature dogs should be evaluated with their potential at maturity when considering depth of chest, density of bone, and muscling.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Teddy Roosevelt Terriers come in a large variety of colors with four patterns to choose from, but they must also always have some white somewhere on the body. The ears may be carried in any manner, as long as they are matching, with the exception of pups under a year of age, as their carriage is not yet solidified. Teddy tails may be docked, natural bob or natural tail, without preference.

Teddy Roosevelt Terriers are natural hunters, originally bred for ratting and farm work, but their skills expand beyond the farm. They have been proven to be amazing truffle hunters, shed finders, blood trackers, and cadaver dogs, all because of their excellent noses and innate tracking abilities. This multi-purpose companion is capable of hunting rodents and vermin above or below ground, and treeing small game; however, they are not a spanned breed. They have retained their prey drive without being belligerent or obsessively compulsive, but they are not sparred in the show ring.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

You might think those little chondroplastic legs would hold Teddies back, but they don’t. They excel in most any companion event, including Scentwork, Agility, Barn Hunt, Dock Diving, Earthdog, Obedience, Coursing, Rally, and FastCAT. They are also excellent Therapy dogs, instinctively knowing how to make you smile, and exhibiting a sense of compassion for those around them. Those keen senses and that willing-to-please attitude make this breed excellent for any type of event, but these same characteristics are what make them perfect for most family activities too!

They are happy and are ready to tag along on errands, be your companion for that long road trip, protect you from that bear on your camping trip, or simply pass out under a blanket on the sofa with you—as long as they are with their owners. When raised with children, Teddies become their fearless protectors during the day and their bed warmers at night.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

While the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is an energetic and alert dog, their curiosity, intelligence, and eagerness to please make them very easy to train. They are a soft-hearted breed that needs a “light” hand. They are lively, friendly, and affectionate dogs with their human partners, but can be reserved with strangers, so early socialization is recommended for eventing/conformation prospects. Even with a strong protective nature and a well-developed pack instinct, Teddies get along well with cats, other breeds of dogs, and farm animals when raised around them.

Teddies are the “un-Terrier” Terrier! They are amazing companions, with all the drive you want, but are ready to cuddle when you are. Among the many attributes of this breed is a definitive on/off switch, an intuitive intelligence, and a “class clown” mentality—they keep their owners giggling! Small enough to tuck under your arm, and tenacious enough to leap from tall buildings in a single bound, these cuddly Terriers make a fun and exciting companion for enjoying all the nuances of life.

Teddies are natural hunters, originally bred for ratting and farm work, but their skills expand beyond the farm. They have been proven to be amazing truffle hunters, shed finders, blood trackers, and cadaver dogs, all because of their excellent noses and innate tracking abilities.


Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Photo Gallery



Are you looking for a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier puppy?

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.


Want to help rescue and re-home a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier dog?

Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.


Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Dog Breed Magazine

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the versatile Teddy Roosevelt Terrier dog breed with articles and information in our Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Dog Breed Magazine.


Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight