Russell Terrier

Russell Terrier

Infobox Dogbreed
ankcgroup = Group 2 (Terriers)
ankcstd =
country = England
fcigroup = 3
fcinum = 345
fcisection = 2
fcistd =

image_caption =
name = Russell Terrier
altname = F.C.I. Jack Russell Terrier
note = Country of Development: Australia. The U.K.C. and A.K.C. F.S.S. Russell Terrier was accepted into both kennel clubs based on the F.C.I. Jack Russell Terrier standard.
akcgroup = Terriers
akcstd =
ukcgroup = Terriers
ukcstd =

The Russell Terrier is a predominantly white working terrier with the insatiable instinct to hunt formidable quarry underground. The breed was derived from the Reverend John Russell's fox working terrier strains that were used in the 1800s for fox hunting. The Reverend's fox working strains were much smaller than the Show Fox Terrier and remained working terriers. The size of the Russell Terrier (10" to 12") combined with a small flexible, spannable chest makes it an ideal size to work efficiently underground. Their unique rectangular body shape with a 50/50 ratio of body to leg makes them distinctly different from the Parson Russell Terrier and the JRTCA Jack Russell Terrier.

The Russell Terrier originated in England with Australia being designated as the country of development.

About the Jack Russell Terrier

. The only requisite was color, the instinct combined with the will to employ earth-work and the size to work efficiently underground. Still today, the name is widely used for working terriers of the Parsons Reverend's style. It was in the country of development, Australia, that this 10-12 inch dog was first standardized by Kennel Club recognition with the official name "Jack Russell Terrier" applied to the breed. This ultimately led to recognition of the breed by FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) countries including Ireland and most recently the USA. Unfortunately, due to the previous use of the name in the USA and England, the name Jack Russell Terrier is conflicting. In the USA, the Jack Russell Terrier conforming to the Australian/FCI standard is simply called a Russell Terrier.In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the most common Jack Russell Terrier stood between 10" and 12" at the shoulder. There were those over 12", but these were in the minority. In the United Kingdom, each hunt had its Hunt Terriers made up usually of an assortment of Jack Russells, Borders, Lakelands and "Patterdales".

Even now, the size of the Jack Russell Terrier in a hunt kennel will vary depending on its usage. In areas where the terriers are expected to run with hounds, they will be longer in leg. In areas where the terriers are carried in a saddle bag or, more likely today, in the back of a vehicle, they will be of the shorter and longer than tall variety. During the hunts' off-season the kennels usually have fun days and conformation events accompanied by a Hound Show, Terrier Show and Terrier racing. The Russell Terrier is a very popular companion breed in the US. It must be noted first and foremost the breed is a working breed not a companion breed. They are bred by dedicated Fanciers to preserve their working functional conformation and the instinct to employ their original purpose as earth terriers. This makes them an excellent performance breed participating in a variety of events; natural hunting which includes earthwork, agility, rally, obedience, tracking, go-to-ground and conformation, just to name a few. They are also found as therapy and service dogs.

Then and Now

In the early 1970s, the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain was formed, and this body instituted a very primitive form of registration. Soon, Jack Russell Terrier Clubs were being formed world wide, including Australia. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia was formed in 1972. This national organization set up a particularly comprehensive registration system, along with a formal breed standard. This club also initiated discussions with the KCC regarding the possibility of the breed being accepted for registration as a pure breed. The ideal height for the Jack Russell Terrier in Australia was to be 10" to 12".

In Australia, the Jack Russell Terrier Club initially held one show a year, but by the late 1980s, states were holding one or two shows each per year, as well as the National Annual Show. Discussions continued with mainly the KCC and from there to the Australian National Canine Council (ANKC). By now most Canine Councils were giving approval for their Judges to officiate at Jack Russell Shows, and those who were taking an interest in the breed began to realise that the type was improving, and the numbers increasing. In 1990, there were 109 entries at the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia's NSW Branch Easter Show. Since the beginning of development within Australia, the Breed has only progressed with great strength.Today, Jack Russell Terriers frequently gain Group awards at Championship Shows, are trialled at Obedience Trials, run in Endurance Tests, and compete in Earthdog Tests. Their most popular role...though is as pets, make lively and amusing companions.

Recent Breed Development in England and the U.S.A.

The Russell Terrier, also known as the F.C.I. type Jack Russell Terrier, is a recognized Kennel Club breed in the United States and is maintained separately from the AKC Parson Russell Terrier, JRTCA Jack Russell Terrier and the UKC Jack Russell Terrier. In 2001 The United Kennel Club accepted the application from the English Jack Russell Terrier Club [] officially recognizing the Russell Terrier. The American Kennel Club AKC accepted the breed into the FSS Program in December 8, 2004 again based on the F.C.I. Jack Russell Terrier Standard, also submitted by the E.J.R.T.C. AKA the American Russell Terrier Club [] .

In England (country of origin) the slightly longer than tall, more rectangular Russell is yet to be recognized. The original finer legged, more square in form (Parsons) were preserved for the most part and, in England, are called "Parson Jack Russell Terriers". This form was recognised by the Kennel Club (UK) in 1990 and gained provisional recognition by the international breeds association, the F.C.I, in the same year. The name of the breed was changed to "Parson Russell Terrier" in 1999 by the Kennel Club (UK) and gained full recognition by the F.C.I under this name in 2001. Also in England the Parson type Russell through the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain (JRTGB) is accepted as a working terrier breed. The JRTGB has no ties to any kennel club.

The United Kennel Club (UKC) has officially recognized the F.C.I. type Jack Russell Terrier based on the FCI standard since November 2001. All UKC FS designated dogs were those previously registered with the ARTC [] . The FCI Jack Russell Terrier was also accepted into the AKC FSS known as the "Russell Terrier" in December 2004 on the application submitted by the ARTC [] . The AKC Parsons Russell Terrier, the UKC Jack Russell Terrier (Parsons in style) and the AKC, UKC Russell terrier all evolved using parallel breeding strains from the fox-working terrier bred by the Reverend John Russell. The Jack Russell Terrier, the Parsons Russell Terrier and Russell Terrier (Australian/FCI JRT) will forever be linked in ancestry. However, after 12 years of maintaining the Russell Terrier in the US and longer internationally as a distinctly separate breed with the selection of the rectangular appearance unique only to the Russell Terrier they can no longer be considered variations.


The breed originated in England and was developed in Australia with a well-documented history. The history of the breed detailed in the standard is as important as the definition of the description of the Russells. The AKC Parsons Russell Terrier and the AKC FSS Russell Terrier are maintained as distinctly separate breeds in AKC and in Europe.

The AKC FSS books are open and accepting registrations for the FCI type Jack Russell Terrier/AKC FSS Russell Terrier. The American Russell Terrier Club [] in October 2007 was designated the AKC Parent Club.


Used with permission and rewritten and pasted from WORD.

A strong, active, lithe working Terrier of great character with flexible body of medium length. His smart movement matches his keen expression. Tail docking is optional and the coat may be smooth, rough or broken.
*The overall dog is longer than high.
*The depth of the body from the withers to the brisket should equal the length of foreleg from elbows to the ground.
*The girth behind the elbows should be about 40 to 43 cm.;Temperament
*A lively, alert and active Terrier with a keen, intelligent expression. Bold and fearless, friendly but quietly confident.;HeadCranial Region
*Skull: The skull should be flat and of moderate width gradually decreasing in width to the eyes and tapering to a wide muzzle. THIS PORTION OF STANDARD DIFFERS DEPENDING ON THE BREED CLUB.
*Stop: Well defined but not over pronounced.Facial Region
*Nose: Black.
*Muzzle: The length from the stop to the nose should be slightly shorter than from the stop to the occiput.
*Lips: Tight-fitting and pigmented black.
*Jaws/Teeth: Very strong, deep, wide and powerful. Strong teeth closing to a scissor bite.
*Eyes: Small dark and with keen expression. MUST not be prominent and eyelids should fit closely. The eyelid rims should be pigmented black. Almond shape.
*Ears: Button or dropped of good texture and great mobility.
*Cheeks: The cheek muscles should be well developed.
*Neck: Strong and clean allowing head to be carried with poise.;Body
*General: Rectangular.
*Back: Level. The length from the withers to the root of tail slightly greater than the height from the withers to the ground.
*Loin: The loin should be short, strong and deeply muscled.
*Chest: Chest deep rather than wide, with good clearance from the ground, enabling the brisket to be located at the height mid-way between the ground and the withers. Ribs should be well sprung from the spine, flattening on the sides so that the girth behind the elbows can be spanned by two hands - about 40 cm to 43 cm.
*Sternum: Point of sternum clearly in front of the point of shoulder.
*Tail: May droop at rest. When moving should be erect and if docked the tip should be on the same level as ears.;Limbs
*Shoulders: Well sloped back and not heavily loaded with muscle.
*Upper arm: Of sufficient length and angulation to ensure elbows are set under the body.
*Forelegs: Straight in bone from the elbows to the toes whether viewed from the front or the side.
*Hindquarters: Strong and muscular, balanced in proportion to the shoulder.
*Stifles: Well angulated.
*Hock joints: Low set.
*Rear pastern (Metatarsus) : Parallel when viewed from behind while in free standing position.
*Feet: Round, hard, padded, not large, toes moderately arched, turned neither in nor out.;Gait / Movement
*True, free and springy.;Coat
*Hair: May be smooth, broken or rough. Must be weatherproof. Coats should not be altered (stripped out) to appear smooth or broken.
*Color: White MUST predominate with black and/or tan markings. The tan markings can be from the lightest tan to the richest tan (chestnut).;Size and Weight
*Ideal Height: 25 cm (10 ins) to 30 cm (12 ins).
*Weight: Being the equivalent of 1 kg to each 5 cm in height, i.e. a 25 cm high dog should weigh approximately 5 kg and a 30 cm high dog should weigh 6 kg.;FaultsAny departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree, and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog. However, the following weaknesses should be particularly penalized when entering a conformation competition:
*Lack of true Terrier characteristics.
*Lack of balance, i.e. over exaggeration of any points.
*Sluggish or unsound movement.
*Faulty mouth.Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities should be disqualified when showing.


A well-cared-for Russell can live for anywhere between 14-21 years.Fact|date=June 2007 Health concerns with the breed include hereditary cataracts, primary lens luxation, congenital deafness, medial patellar luxation, cerebellar ataxia, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, myasthenia gravis, atopy, and von Willebrand's disease. It is responsible breeders to have puppies BAER tested for hearing. The dams and sires should be CERF tested annually and Orthopedic Foundation for Animals examined to reduce the chance of passing on congenital eye or joint problems. Prospective puppy buyers are encouraged to avoid dogs sired or whelped by dogs under two years of age as congenital problems in the sire or dam may not yet have expressed themselves.

References and Sources

* Lucas, Capt. Jocelyn M. "Hunt and Working Terriers", 1931. UK. []
* Russell, Dan. "Jack Russell and His Terriers." 1990. 0851312764 []
* Fédération Cynologique Internationale - breed standard for the Russell Terrier []

ee also

* American Working Terrier Association
* Jack Russell terrier
* Fox hunting
* Fox terrier
* Working terriers

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