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  • Temperament: Playful, Versatile, Intelligent
  • Height: 8-15 inches
  • Weight: 8-25 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 14-16 years
  • Group: Miscellaneous Class

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Breed Standard
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier standing sideways in grass facing left.
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier standing outdoors.

About the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Teddy Roosevelt Terriers are delightful companions in the home. They learn quickly and are ready for any activity their owners engage in. While they will still keep the family farm and home free of rats and mice, the job for which they were bred, they also excel in companion sports such as agility and obedience. They get along with other dogs without belligerence and have retained their prey drive without obsessive compulsion. At the end of the day, they love nothing better than to share the love and companionship of their owners. Teddies can adapt to pretty much any lifestyle, whether you show in conformation rings, work in agility trials, or just want a great companion for your home or farm. Their small to medium size make them suitable to apartment living as well. This loyal, active and playful breed is at its best as a member of its human family.


Club Contact Details

Club: American Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Club
Name: Kaye Stevenson, President
Address: 205 Donna Dr., Montgomery, AL 36108

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country. Since October 2018, The American Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Club has served as the AKC Parent Club for the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier standing outdoors.

Find a Puppy: Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.



The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is very low maintenance and easy to groom. A seasonal shedder, he only requires weekly brushing with a soft brush or rubber curry mitt. The occasional bath will keep him clean and looking his best. Nails should be trimmed as needed with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting, and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed as needed.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Weekly Brushing




The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is an energetic breed with seemingly boundless energy. Options for exercise could include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. If you live in an apartment, even short walks in the hallways can give your dog some exercise, especially during inclement weather. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience, and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity


The sturdy Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a fearless hunter, yet fun-loving, friendly, and a sensible companion. Generally good with other animals and children, this terrier’s intelligence, intuitiveness, and “eager to please” mentality make them easy to train. Teddy Roosevelt Terriers excel in many events, including agility and obedience. These events serve as excellent exercise outlets and bonding opportunities between dog and handler. Teddies thrive on praise, make excellent house dogs, and can be crate trained, but they do not do well in kennels, consistently tied up, or as outside-only dogs where they are isolated from people. Beyond their intelligence, they are unusually intuitive, anxious to please, and determined.


May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Eager to Please




The majority of Teddy Roosevelt Terriers are healthy dogs, and responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as patellar luxation and eye disease. Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier sitting outdoors.
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier sitting outdoors.
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier standing outdoors.
Two Teddy Roosevelt Terriers standing outdoors.
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier


The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier was developed in the United States from the various small and medium breed dogs that accompanied early American immigrants. Most were small hunting and terrier types whose job it was to clear the home and farmsteads of vermin. These versatile terriers probably included crosses between the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Manchester Terrier, the Beagle, the Whippet, the Italian Greyhound, and the now extinct White English Terrier. Over time, the dogs were selected for their hunting ability and harmonious nature in the home.

The Teddy Roosevelt was originally a variety of the Rat Terrier, with the short-legged being known as Type B and the long-legged as Type A. During the 1990s, breeders worked to divide them into two breeds. The short-legged Rat Terriers developed a devoted following and were named in honor of President Teddy Roosevelt, who was thought to have owned these ratters.

Did You Know?

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier has been assigned the Terrier Group designation.
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier has been recorded in the Foundation Stock Service since August 2016.
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier has been approved to compete in the Miscellaneous Class effective July 2019.
Authored by Helen Powell White, there is a series of children’s books featuring “Percy,” a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.
Teddies have an exceptional scenting ability and have been successful in locating black truffles, which grow several inches underground on the roots of trees.
The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier has been approved for Earthdog events since August 8, 2016.
Teddy Roosevelt Terriers are an American breed, developed in the mid to late 1800s to help rid family homes and farmsteads of vermin and to be playmates for children.
The breed was named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt to recognize his use of terriers to combat a rat infestation in the White House.

The Breed Standard


The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a low-set rectangular shaped small hunting terrier; strongly built, giving the appearance of agility and balance. Originally bred for ratting and farm work, this multipurpose companion is capable of hunting rodents and vermin above or below ground and treeing small game but is not a spanned breed. This is a working terrier and must have the agility, speed, and strength to do the work for which he was developed. They are a slow maturing breed, not reaching full maturity until 2 to 3 years of age. They are a devoted companion but can be reserved with strangers.
Size Proportion, Substance: Size – At least 8 inches, not to exceed 14 inches. A properly proportioned Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is longer than tall with an approximate height to length ratio of 7:10, exhibiting an overall balance front to rear. Height is measured vertically from the ground to the highest point of the shoulder blade and length measured vertically from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks. Substance – Substantial bone for a small breed; not course or fine. A well muscled dog, shown in good physical working condition.


The head is proportionate to the size of the body. The expression should be kind and intelligent yet lively and alert. The eyes are oval in shape, somewhat small and set obliquely. Eye color ranges from light to dark and corresponds with coat color. Disqualification – Wall eye. The ears are V-shaped and set at the outside edges of the skull. Ears are carried erect, semi- erect, tipped or button, without preference but should be matching in carriage. Non-matching ear carriage should be penalized to the degree of variation but ear carriage in dogs under one year of age should not be penalized. Disqualification – Hanging or cropped ears. The skull is broad, slightly domed and tapers slightly toward the muzzle. The stop is moderate but distinct. Themuzzle is filled-out under the eyes, chiseled and tapers slightly from stop to the nose, without appearing snipey. When viewed from the side, the muzzle and skull should be of equal length. The nose is self-colored, corresponding with the body color and is completely pigmented. The lips are clean, dry and tight, without flews; fully pigmented and matches nose color. The jaws are powerful with well-muscled cheeks, hinged well back. Scissor bite is preferred. Teeth are well developed, strong and evenly spaced. Whiskers must not be trimmed or removed. Honorable scars or broken/missing teeth resulting from field work are not to be penalized.


Neck, Topline, Body: The neck is clean, moderately long, slightly arched, tapering slightly from the shoulders to the head and is well set. The line of the back is strong and level. The loin is short, slightly arched and muscular. The croup is slightly sloping with the tail set on at the end of the croup. The tail may be docked, natural bobtail or natural full tail without preference. The natural tail is thick at the base and tapers toward the tip. Tail carriage is dependent upon attitude, from an upward curve to straight out behind. Viewed from the front, the chest between the forelegs is well filled in on either side of a prominent sternum and is of moderate width with a pronounced forechest. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung, forming a broad, strong back, then curving down and inward to form a deep body. The brisket extends to just below the elbow. The underline of the rib cage curves gradually into a waist.


Forechest should be well developed with a pronounced sternum. Shoulders should be strong and muscular but without heaviness; length of the Shoulder Blade is slightly longer than the upper arm. Elbows are close to the body, being neither loose nor tied and falling directly beneath the highest point of the shoulder blade. The forearms are short, slightly curved and well boned; forearms do not appear straight, the distance between the wrists is slightly narrower than the distance between the elbows; toes point forward. Pasterns are strong, short and nearly vertical. Leg length from elbow to ground is approximately one third the height from withers to ground. The feet are compact, oval in shape, turning neither in nor out; pads are thick with strong nails. The front dewclaws may be removed.


Hindquarters are strong and flexible with well muscled thighs; the length of the upper thigh is somewhat longer than the lower thigh. The hindquarters and forequarters are in balance. Stifles are well bent and hocks are well let down. Pasterns are short, strong and perpendicular to the ground; when viewed from the rear are parallel. Rear declaws are removed. The feet are compact, similar in shape and slightly smaller than the front; the two middle toes longer than outer toes, toes neither turn in or out; thick pads and strong nails.


Coat: The coat is short, dense, medium-hard to smooth, with sheen. Whiskers must not be trimmed or removed. Disqualification – Wire, broken coat, long coat, hairlessness, or any suggestion of kink or curl.
Color: Any bi-color or tri-color, without preference, but must always have some white, which may be of any size and located anywhere on the dog. Ticking in any white portion is acceptable as long as white is predominant. Disqualification – Merle pattern or absence of white.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier black and white illustration.

Colors & Markings


Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black & White Check Mark For Standard Color 019
Blue & White Check Mark For Standard Color 045
Blue Fawn & White Check Mark For Standard Color 274
Chocolate & White Check Mark For Standard Color 271
Fawn & White Check Mark For Standard Color 086
Lemon & White Check Mark For Standard Color 115
Red & White Check Mark For Standard Color 146
Sable & White Check Mark For Standard Color 165
Silver & White Check Mark For Standard Color 182
White & Apricot Check Mark For Standard Color 200
White & Black Check Mark For Standard Color 202
White & Blue Check Mark For Standard Color 288
White & Blue Fawn Check Mark For Standard Color 334
White & Chocolate Check Mark For Standard Color 287
White & Fawn Check Mark For Standard Color 207
White & Lemon Check Mark For Standard Color 211
White & Red Check Mark For Standard Color 214
White & Sable Check Mark For Standard Color 215
White & Silver Check Mark For Standard Color 216


Description Standard Markings Registration Code
Brindle Check Mark For Standard Mark 051
Brindle Points Check Mark For Standard Mark 046
Tan Points Check Mark For Standard Mark 029
Merle Markings 035