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

    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.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier standing sideways in grass facing left

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

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.
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Find a Puppy: Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

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You are going to want to feed your Teddy Roosevelt Terrier a formula that will cater to his unique digestive needs throughout the various phases of his life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and extra-large breeds. The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a small breed. Older or altered terriers can have a tendency toward obesity and if this happens you should place them on a lower-calorie kibble. Otherwise, there are no other exceptional nutritional requirements for this breed.

What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity. 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 an 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 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 teaching them 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




Like all breeds there may be some health issues, like patellar luxation and eye disease. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Teddy Roosevelt Terriers are healthy dogs. 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
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
Teddy Roosevelt Terrier
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.
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 middle 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.