HomeHunt Terrier Breed Standard

Hunt Terrier Breed Standard


This breed standard is for breeders worldwide who wish to perpetuate the quality of this working type of dog and improve it by avoiding exaggerated conditions in conformation that are detrimental to its health and soundness. It’s most important that the smalls retain their hunting instinct and that the larger sizes be easily spannable by average sized hands in fitting with the breed description.

General Appearance
The Hunt Terrier is a bold, friendly, active and alert. The length of back from withers to tail is slightly longer than the dog’s height at the withers. The depth of brisket at the point of the elbow should be one half the total height of the dog. The body is capable of being spanned by an average man’s hands when placed behind the front legs. The head is moderately broad, with a flat skull, a defined stop, and a powerful jaw. Ears are button or drop, and very mobile. The tail is set high and to be docked to equal the height of the head or be natural. The skin is thick and the coat is dense. The Hunt Terrier should be evaluated as a working terrier, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog’s ability to work. Scars should not be penalized.

The Hunt Terrier is a small, agile, active hunting terrier, ready to defend your farm from invasion of rodents and varmints. This breed is fearless and requires little encouragement to go to ground.
Faults: Cowardice should be avoided and aggression should be used only on quarry.

The head is proportionate to the size of the body. The skull should be flat, of moderate width at the ears, narrowing to the eyes. There should be a defined stop but not over pronounced. The length of the muzzle from the nose to the stop may be slightly shorter than from the stop to the rear of the skull.

Serious Faults: Apple or domed skull.

The muzzle is strong, with powerful, muscular jaws. There is a minimum of falling away under the eye, giving a moderately chiseled look. Lips are tight surrounding comparatively large teeth meeting in a scissor bite.

Serious Fault: Weak jaw. Snipey

Disqualified: overshot undershot wry mouth, missing teeth unless from accident.

The nose may be black or self-colored, liver, blue or Isabella.

Faults: Dudley nose or winter nose.

Eyes are deep set, almond shaped, dark in color or self-colored, as from liver, blue or Isabella. Full of life and intelligence with keen expression.

Faults: full round, bulging or triangular eyes.

The Hunt Terrier has small, V-shaped button or drop ears of great mobility the fold of the ear is at the level of the skull or slightly higher and the tips of the ears points toward the floor. Ear leather is soft and fine.

Faults: Hound like ears and prick ears or ears that fold to the side of back.

The neck is clean, muscular, and of sufficient length to enable the dogs mouth to extend beyond its forepaws when working underground. The neck gradually widens from the nape and blends smoothly into well laid back shoulders.

Faults: Too short in .length

Shoulders are long, sloping and well laid back. The elbows are set well under the body, and forms a ninety degree angle with the shoulder blade. The forelegs are strong, straight, and with moderate bone. The elbows are neither tight nor loose, but able to move freely in action.

Faults: Cabriole, out at the elbow, toeing out, knuckling over or any other misalignment of joints.

A properly proportioned Hunt Terrier is slightly longer than tall. The length of back from withers to tail is slightly longer than the height at the withers. The Hunt Terrier is perfectly designed to go to ground. The depth of brisket at the point of the elbow, is exactly half the height of the dog at the withers. The body is capable of being spanned by an average man’s hands when placed behind the front legs and compressible which allows the dog to work underground unencumbered and capable of turning around in the tunnels. When spanning the dog the rib cage should feel heart shaped not barrel or round. The top line is slightly long and the loin should be slightly arched.

Faults: Roached topline, sway backed, too long or too short.


Faults: chest too deep or too broad, barrel chested

Well-muscled quarters set wide enough apart to fit into a properly balanced body. As viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel. From the side, well angulated. Thighs well- muscled. Stifles well defined. Hocks short, set well apart.

Faults: Cow hocks, sickle hocks and straight stifles.

The feet are fairly round, toes strong, well arched and closely knit with deep pads. Nails thick and blunt. Dewclaws may be removed.

Serious Faults: Thin feet and splayed feet hair feet

The tail is set high and if docked it’s to the height of the head to giving a balanced look. When moving or alert the tail is carried erect or gaily and may drop while the dog is at rest.

Fault: low tail set

The Hunt Terrier comes in three dense weather resistant coat types and if shown must be in natural condition no trimming or scissoring is allowed.

Rough; A double coat consisting of a short, dense undercoat and a wiry outer coat. Hair over the eyes and on the muzzle will form eyebrows and a beard.

Broken; The broken coat lies closer to the body than a rough coat and has longer guard hairs than a smooth coat, may or may not have face furnishings.

Smooth; A short, flat coat. Coat length may vary and dog may have thicker hair down the center of the back.

Serious Faults: Silky or woolly coat.

-TAN POINT; any tan point based color with less than 10% white markings or as a Tri color Piebald

examples choc&tan, black&tan, blue&tan and isabella&tan,

-RED; any red based color with less than 10% white markings or as a Red Piebald

examples red, sable, shaded red, cream, tan or golden.

-BLACK; any black based color with less than 10% white markings or as a Black Piebald

examples black, chocolate, blue, isabella

Disqualification: Albinism

Height and Weight
The Hunt Terrier is of a size to go to ground. Hunt Terriers range in height from 7 to 12 inches, and weigh from 9 to 15 pounds. Hunt Terriers should always be presented in fit, working condition. Dogs outside the approved range of height shall be penalized only to the degree that their size affects their ability to work. Dogs should be lean, flexible and athletic.

Disqualification: Dogs under 7 inches and dogs over 12 inches in height.

The forelegs and hind legs move parallel with feet turning neither in nor out. When trotting, gait is reaching free and easy in which the front leg moves straight forward and in front of the body and the foot bends at the wrist. The dog drives smoothly and strongly from the rear. The top line remains level with only a slight flex to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward centerline. Poor movement should be penalized to the degree to which it reduces the Hunt Terrier’s ability to perform the variety of tasks it was bred to do.

Cryptorchidism one or both.


Extreme shyness


Overshot bite

Wry mouth

Missing teeth


Under 7 “ or Over 12” in height

Hunt Terrier
Hunt Terrier