Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Alaska Dog Works

How to Train a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Do you want to have your Teddy Roosevelt Terrier be one of the best-trained dogs? Click here to find out how

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a lively, friendly, affectionate dog with his family but can be somewhat of a one-person dog. With his strong protective nature and well-developed pack instincts, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier gets along well with children (when raised with them), cats, and other dogs. He is a bold, tenacious hunter with seemingly unlimited energy whose size and endurance makes him an excellent hunter of squirrels and vermin.

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 makes them suitable for apartment living as well. This loyal, active and playful breed is at its best as a member of its human family.  


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.

Quick Facts

Temperament: intelligent / playful / versatile

Height: 8-14 inches

Weight: 8-25 pounds

Life Expectancy: 14-16 years

Foundation Stock Service


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.

Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • PLL CLEAR (Primary Lens Luxation)


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.


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.


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.


The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier should do well on 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.

Do you want to have your Teddy Roosevelt Terrier be one of the best-trained dogs? Click here to find out how