Breed Information Centre

Jack Russell Terrier

Description

Illustration of Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier was given official recognition by the Kennel Club in 2016. Although the country of development is seen as Australia, the breed has its roots in the working Terriers of the British Isles, many of which were early exports with ex-pats who emigrated to Australia and which proved their worth keeping down vermin in the new homesteads. Many small working Terriers, some of them genuine Jack Russell Terriers and others loosely carrying the title, were exported to Australia in the 1960s and 1970s and in 1972 the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia was founded.

It was in Australia that the breed was first seen as a dog for the show ring. Developed there, with some differences from the foundation stock, the ‘Australian’ Jack Russell has become popular world-wide at dog shows and was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1991. It must be said that the type developed in Australia has some differences from the type maintained by the Jack Russell breeders in the UK, who have retained the original type: a dog similar to the Parson Russell in proportion, but in a smaller frame. However, the British standard has been drawn up as a compilation based on the British breed club standard with the Australian and FCI standards. Owners of Jack Russell terriers registered with non-Kennel Club breed clubs have been invited to register their dogs with the Kennel Club, in the hope that they will add to the gene pool and compete at Kennel Club shows.

Despite its development in Australia, the nomenclature pays respect to the origins of the breed as a working Terrier in England, and it is hoped that the Jack Russell of the show ring will remain essentially a working Terrier both in type and temperament. (see also Parson Russell Terrier).

The Terrier Breed Group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.


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