Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Table of Contents

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, often referred to simply as the “Teddy,” is an American breed known for its lively spirit, versatility, and deeply rooted history. Originally bred for ratting and farm work, these terriers are characterized by their short legs, sturdy build, and keen sense of determination. With a name honoring the 26th U.S. president, Theodore Roosevelt, who is believed to have kept these types of terriers, the breed showcases true tenacity and vigor reminiscent of its namesake.

The Teddy’s coat is short, dense, and glossy, coming in a variety of colors and patterns. Their expressive eyes and alert ears convey their ever-present curiosity and intelligence. Agile and quick, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is as adept in the field as it is being a loving companion in the home. Their loyalty, combined with their manageable size, makes them excellent family pets. Adaptable and trainable, these terriers are known to form strong bonds with their families, displaying both affection and a protective instinct. Whether you’re seeking an energetic playmate, a vigilant watchdog, or a cuddly companion, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier offers a delightful combination of all three.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

14 to 16 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is best suited for individuals and families who appreciate an energetic, alert, and loyal companion. Their moderate size and adaptable nature make them an ideal choice for both apartment living and homes with yards.

Active households where the dog can engage in regular play and exercise will find the Teddy particularly thriving. This breed is also great for those interested in dog sports, as their agility and intelligence shine in activities like obedience, agility courses, and even barn hunt trials.

Families with children will find the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier to be a playful and patient companion, although interactions with very young kids should always be supervised. Their strong ratter instincts mean they’re excellent for homes in rural or farm settings where pest control might be needed.

However, this instinct might make them a less-than-ideal fit for households with small pets like hamsters or birds. In summary, the Teddy is best for active individuals or families who can offer engagement, training, and, most importantly, love and companionship.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Traits

Breed Characteristics

With a rich American heritage, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier stands out as a captivating blend of tenacity, affection, and charm. This breed, often affectionately shortened to “Teddy,” carries a distinct physical allure characterized by its muscular frame and lustrous coat. Beyond the surface, however, lies a heart bursting with loyalty and an intellect that’s keen and observant. While they’re innately endearing and bond deeply with their human counterparts, the Teddy’s spirited terrier traits also shine through, giving them a delightful dash of spunk and independence.

When you consider bringing a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier into your home, envision a rating scale from 1 star (minimal) to 5 star (maximum) for its traits. This assessment comes from a collective of pet professionals, spanning dog trainers to veterinarians and behaviorists. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the uniqueness of each dog; even within a specific breed, individual personalities can vary greatly.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Physical Characteristics

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, often lovingly referred to as “Teddy,” boasts a harmonious mix of vigor, grace, and quintessential terrier allure. Its sturdy and athletic build, paired with a lustrous coat and bright, keen eyes, captures the essence of a diligent worker and the elegance of a treasured companion. Every facet of Teddy’s looks, from the unique shape of its ears to its assertive posture, speaks volumes about its American roots and its cherished place in many homes.

1. Ears
Their ears can be button, half-pricked, or fully erect, and they are set wide apart on the head.
2. Eyes
Medium in size and usually dark, the Teddy’s eyes are oval-shaped and exude an expression of intelligence and curiosity.
3. Head
The head is moderately sized with a well-defined stop. Their muzzle is strong, and it tapers slightly towards the nose.
4. Size
Generally considered a small to medium-sized dog, adult Teddies typically weigh between 10-25 pounds and stand about 8 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder.
5. Coat
Their coat is short, dense, and glossy. While it is mostly smooth, it offers protection from the elements, pointing back to the breed’s working roots.
6. Coat Color
The Teddy’s coat can come in a vast array of colors and patterns, including black, blue, brindle, red, and sable, often combined with white markings.
7. Tail
Depending on the individual dog and breeding practices, the Teddy’s tail can be long, naturally bobbed, or docked. When in motion, the tail is usually carried upward or outwards.
8. Build
These terriers have a robust and muscular structure, underlining their working origins. Their body is compact, yet proportioned, emphasizing strength without bulkiness.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Temperament

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is known for its lively and affectionate temperament. This breed is inherently curious, always keen to explore its surroundings and engage in playful activities. Highly intelligent and eager to please, these terriers often form strong bonds with their human counterparts, making them excellent companions for families and individuals alike. Their alert nature makes them good watchdogs, but they are by no means aggressive.

Instead, they thrive on human interaction and enjoy being involved in family activities. While they can be a bit stubborn at times, consistent training paired with positive reinforcement works wonders for them. Socialization from a young age is crucial to ensure they get along well with other animals and people, helping them grow into well-rounded and adaptable adults.

How to Care for a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier

Caring for a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier requires a mix of attentive companionship, regular health check-ups, and consistent training. Here’s a guide to ensuring the well-being of your Teddy:

Grooming the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a relatively straightforward task, but it’s crucial for keeping the dog looking its best and ensuring its overall well-being. Here’s an in-depth guide on grooming this distinctive breed:

1. Coat Care: The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier boasts a short, smooth coat that’s easy to maintain. Weekly brushing using a soft-bristle brush or grooming mitt helps remove loose hair and keeps the coat gleaming. This routine not only promotes a healthy coat but also offers an opportunity to check for any skin issues, lumps, or parasites.

2. Bathing: Unlike some breeds, the Teddy doesn’t require frequent baths. Bathe them every 6-8 weeks or when they get particularly dirty. Using a mild dog-specific shampoo will ensure their skin doesn’t get irritated. Always rinse thoroughly and dry them completely, focusing on areas like the ears where moisture can get trapped.

3. Ear Care: Their ears can be a magnet for dirt and wax buildup. Make it a habit to check them weekly. If they seem dirty, wipe them out gently using a cotton ball dampened with a vet-approved ear cleanser. Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal.

4. Nail Trimming: Regular nail trimming is essential, usually every 3-4 weeks. Overgrown nails can cause pain and may lead to problems walking. If you’re unsure about trimming them yourself, seek the expertise of a veterinarian or professional groomer.

5. Dental Health: Dental health is often overlooked but is essential for overall well-being. Brush the Teddy’s teeth several times a week using dog-specific toothpaste to prevent tartar buildup and gum disease. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are recommended.

6. Eye Care: Gently wipe away any discharge from the Teddy’s eyes using a soft, damp cloth. If you notice excessive tearing, redness, or irritation, it might be a sign of an infection or another issue and should be checked by a vet.

7. Skin Checks: While grooming, it’s a good time to check for any unusual bumps, lumps, or skin irritations. Early detection of issues can lead to quicker treatments and better outcomes.

8. General Health: Beyond specific grooming tasks, regular vet check-ups are vital to ensure that your Teddy Roosevelt Terrier remains in optimal health. Regular visits will include vaccinations, parasite control, and routine health screenings.

Incorporating these grooming routines ensures that your Teddy remains healthy, comfortable, and looking its best. Additionally, grooming sessions can serve as bonding time, reinforcing the close relationship between you and your pet.

Training the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is an essential aspect of raising a well-behaved and socially adept canine companion. Here’s an overview of training considerations and tips for this particular breed:

1. Early Socialization: Start socializing your Teddy Roosevelt Terrier as a puppy. Introduce them to various environments, people, and other animals. This exposure will help them become well-rounded and reduce the chances of developing fears or aggression later in life.

2. Positive Reinforcement: The Teddy responds best to positive reinforcement methods. Using treats, praise, and toys as rewards will make the training experience enjoyable for both the dog and the owner. Avoid harsh corrections, as they can be counterproductive and damage the trust between you and your pet.

3. Consistency is Key: Consistency is crucial when training any dog. Ensure that all family members are on the same page regarding commands and expectations. This clarity prevents confusion and solidifies the training.

4. Address Terrier Traits: As a terrier breed, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier can sometimes display strong-willed or stubborn tendencies. Approach training sessions with patience. Break down commands into smaller steps and celebrate small successes.

5. Mental Stimulation: This breed is intelligent and requires regular mental challenges to keep them engaged. Incorporate puzzle toys, agility courses, or scent-tracking games into their routine to tap into their natural instincts and keep their minds sharp.

6. Obedience Classes: Consider enrolling your Teddy in obedience classes, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner. These classes can provide structured environments for learning and offer opportunities for socialization.

7. Leash Training: Start leash training early. The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier has a strong prey drive, so instilling good leash manners is vital to prevent them from chasing after small animals during walks.

8. Avoid Small Dog Syndrome: It’s essential not to let their small size fool you into permitting undesirable behaviors. Treat them with the same training consistency as you would a larger breed.

9. Address Unwanted Behaviors: If you notice any problematic behaviors, such as excessive barking or resource guarding, address them immediately. Early intervention is crucial to prevent these behaviors from becoming ingrained habits.

10. Continued Training: Training isn’t a one-time event but a lifelong process. Continue practicing commands and introducing new challenges throughout the Teddy’s life to keep them obedient and mentally stimulated.

In conclusion, training the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier requires patience, consistency, and understanding of their unique terrier traits. With the right approach, you can cultivate a strong bond with your Teddy and enjoy a harmonious relationship built on mutual respect and trust.

Proper diet and nutrition play a pivotal role in ensuring the overall health and vitality of the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier. Here’s an overview of dietary considerations for this particular breed:

1. Life Stage Nutrition: Ensure that your Teddy is fed a diet appropriate for its life stage — puppy, adult, or senior. Each stage has distinct nutritional needs. For instance, puppies require more protein and fat to support their rapid growth, while seniors might need fewer calories to prevent weight gain due to reduced activity levels.

2. Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality dog foods that list real meat, poultry, or fish as their primary ingredient. Avoid foods that rely heavily on fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. Whole vegetables, fruits, and grains can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

3. Measure Meals: Overfeeding can quickly lead to obesity, especially in smaller breeds. Use a measuring cup to ensure you’re giving the recommended amount. Consulting your vet can help determine the right portion size for your individual dog.

4. Monitor Weight: Regularly weigh your Teddy Roosevelt Terrier to ensure they maintain a healthy weight. If you notice sudden weight gain or loss, it might indicate a need to adjust their diet or a potential health issue.

5. Limit Treats: While treats are an excellent tool for training and bonding, they should be given in moderation. Treats should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

6. Be Cautious with Human Food: Many human foods are harmful to dogs, including chocolate, grapes, onions, and garlic. Ensure your Teddy doesn’t have access to such foods, and educate yourself on what’s safe and what’s not.

7. Fresh Water: Always provide your Teddy Roosevelt Terrier with access to fresh, clean water. Hydration is essential for digestion, temperature regulation, and overall health.

8. Dietary Sensitivities: Some dogs might have food allergies or sensitivities. If you notice symptoms like itching, ear infections, or digestive upset, consult your vet. They might recommend a hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diet.

9. Supplements: While a balanced diet should provide all the necessary nutrients, some dogs might benefit from supplements, especially those with specific health concerns. Common supplements for dogs include omega-3 fatty acids, glucosamine, and probiotics. Always consult your vet before introducing any supplements.

10. Regular Vet Check-ups: Routine vet visits are essential to monitor your dog’s overall health, including their dietary needs. Your vet can provide guidance on the best diet for your Teddy based on age, activity level, and any health issues.

In conclusion, a balanced and tailored diet is essential for the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier’s longevity and well-being. Being proactive about their nutrition can result in a happier, healthier dog and potentially fewer veterinary bills in the future.

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is an energetic and agile breed that thrives on regular physical activity and mental stimulation. Daily brisk walks are essential, providing them with both physical exercise and the mental engagement they crave as they explore their surroundings.

Interactive play sessions, such as fetch and tug-of-war, cater to their playful nature and help burn off excess energy. Their agility and quick reflexes make them apt candidates for agility courses, offering both fun and fitness. It’s also beneficial to provide them opportunities to run off-leash in secure areas, allowing them to sprint, chase, and roam freely.

However, exercise isn’t just about physical activity for these terriers; engaging their minds with puzzle toys, scent games, and new tricks is crucial. Socializing with other dogs offers a dual benefit of play and interaction.

Owners should be especially cautious with puppies, ensuring they’re not over-exercised, and always be mindful of weather conditions, adjusting activities accordingly. Hydration and regular breaks are vital, especially during intense activities. Recognizing signs of fatigue and adjusting the exercise routine ensures the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier remains healthy, happy, and well-balanced.

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier thrives in an environment where it is showered with love and attention. This breed appreciates both indoor and outdoor spaces, and while they can adapt to apartment living, they benefit from having a fenced yard where they can play and explore safely.

The ideal setting ensures they are protected from extreme weather conditions, as they prefer moderate climates and can be sensitive to extreme cold or heat. Inside the home, they should have a cozy spot to retreat and rest.

Being social animals, they enjoy being involved in family activities and do best when they are not left alone for extended periods. They are known to get along with other pets, but early socialization is crucial. Given their active nature, proximity to parks or open spaces for regular walks and play is beneficial.

Overall, an environment that offers a balance of physical activity, mental stimulation, and affection is ideal for the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Health

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, often referred to simply as the “Teddy,” is a robust and hearty breed, but like all dogs, it has its unique set of health challenges. Being aware of these potential issues can help owners take the necessary steps to ensure a long, happy life for their canine companion.

  • Patellar Luxation: This is a common issue in smaller breeds, where the kneecap slips out of its correct position. Depending on its severity, it can be merely uncomfortable or could require surgical intervention. Regular check-ups can help in identifying and managing this condition early on.

  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease: This condition affects the hip joint, leading to the decay of the femur bone’s head. It can result in arthritis or inflammation of the hip joint. Treatment usually involves surgery, followed by physical therapy to restore mobility.

  • Allergies: Teddy Roosevelt Terriers can be prone to both food and environmental allergies. Symptoms might include itching, redness, ear infections, or gastrointestinal issues. Regular consultations with a vet can help pinpoint the cause, whether it’s a particular food ingredient or an environmental factor like pollen.

  • Dental Issues: This breed can be susceptible to dental problems such as gum disease, tartar buildup, and tooth loss. Regular dental check-ups, tooth brushing, and dental chews can help maintain oral health.

  • Heart Conditions: Some Teddies might develop heart murmurs or other cardiac issues. Regular cardiovascular check-ups, especially as the dog ages, are crucial to detect any potential heart problems.

  • Eye Issues: While not extremely common, they can develop eye problems like cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy. Regular eye examinations can help in early detection and treatment.

  • Deafness: Some Teddy Roosevelt Terriers might suffer from congenital deafness. It’s essential to check puppies for hearing issues, especially if they are unusually unresponsive to sounds.

Preventative care is key to maintaining the health of a Teddy Roosevelt Terrier. Regular vet visits, a balanced diet, consistent exercise, and genetic testing (if breeding) are integral to ensuring the Teddy’s overall well-being. By staying informed and proactive, Teddy owners can provide the best care possible for their beloved pets.

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Breed Comparison and Consideration

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, frequently shortened to TRT, holds its own unique niche in the world of terriers. While many terrier breeds are celebrated for their lively spirit and keen instincts, the TRT distinguishes itself with its tenacity, affectionate nature, and unmistakable American lineage. When compared to its close relative, the Rat Terrier, the TRT is generally stockier with shorter legs, giving it a more compact appearance.

Against the better-known Jack Russell Terrier, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier tends to be less hyperactive, making it more suitable for families looking for a calmer companion. Its hunting instincts are not as pronounced as those in the Fox Terrier, yet the TRT retains the alertness and curiosity intrinsic to the terrier group.

Compared to larger breeds like the Airedale Terrier, the TRT’s manageable size makes it ideal for apartment living, yet it doesn’t compromise on the trademark terrier toughness. While breeds like the West Highland White Terrier are groom-intensive with their thick coats, the TRT’s short, sleek coat requires less upkeep.

In essence, for those desiring the characteristic terrier spirit, yet in a uniquely American package, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a standout choice. Its blend of charm, history, and adaptability set it apart, making it a cherished breed for many dog enthusiasts.


The breed’s name is believed to be in honor of President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, who had a terrier of similar appearance and characteristics.

They can be, especially if socialized from a young age. However, their terrier instincts might kick in around smaller animals, so supervision is advised.

No, their short coat is relatively low-maintenance. However, regular brushing and occasional baths will keep them looking their best.

Teddy Roosevelt Terriers are known for their affectionate, loyal, and friendly nature. They are generally good with families, including children, and can be social with other animals if properly introduced.

Yes, their adaptable and friendly nature combined with their moderate exercise needs makes them a good choice for first-time dog owners. However, like all breeds, they benefit from consistent training and socialization.

While they are moderately active, daily walks and play sessions are essential to keep them healthy and mentally stimulated.

Top Takeaways

The Teddy Roosevelt Terrier, fondly known as the TRT, stands out for its rich American heritage, proudly carrying the name of a former U.S. President. These delightful dogs are not only steeped in history but are also cherished for their affectionate and loyal nature. Perfect for both apartment dwellers and homeowners, they’re adaptable, requiring only regular bouts of exercise to keep them content. Their short coat means grooming is a breeze, with just occasional brushing needed. For those new to the world of dog ownership, the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier is a dream come true, thanks to its even temperament and manageable size. However, potential owners should be informed about the breed-specific health issues and ensure that these pets have routine vet visits to keep them at their healthiest.

Top Teddy Roosevelt Terrier Names

These are the top Teddy Roosevelt Terrier names as chosen by Pawstray pet parents!

Female Names


Ginger Adam









Male Names











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