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The Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier


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Time and time again when I'm out with my dogs people stop and look at them, and quite often they will come up to me and say those dreaded words,

 

"Are those dogs Parson Russell Terriers ?"

 

"NO, they are not" I reply, trying to stop myself screaming, "They are Jack Russell Terriers".

 

As many of you know the Jack Russell Terrier is a type of Terrier which was first bred by Reverend John Russell, a parson and hunting enthusiast born in 1795. In his last year of university at Oxford, he bought a small white and tan terrier female called Trump from the milk man. Trump was purchased based upon appearance alone and she was the basis for a breeding program to develop a terrier with high stamina to run with the hunt hounds, as well as the courage and formation to bolt foxes which had gone to ground.

 

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of GB (JRTCGB) was formed in 1974 and it's primary aim is to promote and preserve the working terrier known as the Jack Russell Terrier. It's other aim is to protect the Jack Russell Terrier as a true working terrier and to preserve the rights of the working terrier enthusiast to work the terrier in the traditional manner.

 

In the 1980's a group of people with JR Terriers wanted to gain recognition of the breed by the Kennel Club in GB. However, the JRTCGB was strongly against this as the Kennel Club had no in-breeding policy, but also felt the dog would be then bred for the show ring and not for it's working ability.

 

These people broke away and went ahead in gaining recognition of the breed by the KC, but they weren't allowed to call the dogs Jack Russell Terriers because of the JRTCGB, so they named them Parson Russell Terriers. The Kennel Club also used the JRTCGB Breed Standard for all the dogs they accepted.

 

Ironically, Parson John Russell was also one of the founding members of the Kennel Club, yet never at any point did he try to gain recognition for his new breed of Terrier.

 

All my dogs are registered with the JRTCGB, the club for the genuine Jack Russell Terrier, and I have their pedigrees going back six generations of good working Russell stock.

 

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I always understood that a Jack Russell and a Parson Jack Russell were the same dogs and not aware of any difference.

There are so many variations in the "breed standard" of Jack Russells that any attempt to differentiate and claim a "sub breed", or anything similar is a bit pointless IMO.

 

They are good, sound dogs and born to work.

Even the most "domesticated" JR I have ever met, would have a rat as soon as blink. :good:

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Even the most "domesticated" JR I have ever met, would have a rat as soon as blink. :good:

Ain't that the truth.

Our mutt, defitly not a pedigee JRT has had 10 this week on his own just out on walks, and we were out on our first 'organised' ratting session yesterday with about other 10 terriers, not sure any of them would come under the KC definition of a JRT, the 30 odd rats they encountered certainly aren't able to comment :good:

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There are so many variations in the "breed standard" of Jack Russells that any attempt to differentiate and claim a "sub breed", or anything similar is a bit pointless IMO.

 

 

The short legged little teriers, sometimes called Queen Anne Jacks or Irish Jacks, are not proper Jack Russell Terriers.

 

This type of dog is also sadly what many people think a Jack Russell Terrier is. They are also usually the snappy nasty ones which has got the breed a bad name in some circles.

 

These smaller Jack Russell looking type terriers first started to appear around World War I, when people realised that they were good little dogs to keep around the house to keep rats and other vermin down. So you then started to get the smaller short legged dogs appearing, which conformation wise are a disaster for the breed of Hunt Terrier known as the Jack Russell.

 

There is only one breed standard for the Jack Russell Terrier, which was formulated by the JRTCGB and adopted by every Jack Russell Terrier Club in the world. It was also used by the KC when they registered the Parson Russell Terrier.

 

CHARACTERISTICS. The terrier must present a lively, active and alert appearance. It should impress with its fearless and happy disposition. It should be remembered that the Jack Russell is a working terrier and should retain these instincts. Nervousness, cowardice and over-aggression should be discouraged, and it should always appear confident.

 

GENERAL APPEARANCE. A sturdy, tough terrier, very much on its toes all the time, measuring between 10" and 15" at the withers. The body length must be in proportion to the height, and it should present a compact, balanced image, always being in solid, hard condition.

 

HEAD. Should be well balanced and in proportion to the body. The skull should be flat, of moderate width at the ears, narrowing to the eyes. There should be a defined stop but not over-pronounced. The length of muzzle from the nose to the stop should be slightly shorter than the distance from the stop to the occiput. The nose should be black. The jaw should be powerful and well boned with strongly muscled cheeks.

 

EYES. Should be almond shaped, dark in colour and full of life and intelligence.

 

EARS. Small “V†shaped drop ears carried forward close to the head and of moderate thickness.

 

MOUTH. Strong teeth with the top slightly overlapping the lower.

 

NECK. Clean and muscular, of good length, gradually widening at the shoulders.

FOREQUARTERS. The shoulders should be sloping and well laid back, fine at points and clearly cut at the withers. Forelegs should be strong and straight boned with joints in correct alignment. Elbows hanging perpendicular to the body and working free of the sides.

 

BODY. The chest should be shallow, narrow and the front legs set not too widely apart, giving an athletic, rather than heavily chested appearance. As a guide only, the chest should be small enough to be easily spanned behind the shoulders, by average hands, when the terrier is in a fit, working condition. The back should be strong, straight and, in comparison to the height of the terrier, give a balanced image. The loin should be slightly arched.

 

HINDQUARTERS. Should be strong and muscular, well put together with good angulations and hand of stifle, giving plenty of drive and propulsion. Looking from behind, the hocks must be straight.

 

FEET. Round, hard-padded, of cat-like appearance, neither turning in nor out.

 

TAIL. Should be set rather high, carried gaily and in proportion to body length, usually about four inches long, providing a good hand-hold.

 

COAT. Smooth, without being so sparse as not to provide a certain amount of protection from the elements and undergrowth. Rough or broken coated, without being woolly.

 

COLOUR. White should predominate with tan, black, or brown markings. Brindle markings are unacceptable.

 

GAIT. Movement should be free, lively, well co-ordinated with straight action in front and behind.

 

NOTE:

1) Dogs and bitches should be entire and capable of breeding. Dogs should be shown to have both testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

 

2) Old scars or injuries, the result of work or accident, should not be allowed to prejudice the terrier’s chance in the show ring unless they interfere with its movement or with its utility for work or stud.

 

3) For showing purposes, terriers are classified into two groups according to their height, which are 10†to 12½†and over 12½†to 15â€.

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The problem you will have with Parson Russell Terriers is that their gene pool is severely restricted to those dogs first registered and their off-spring, and these dogs were mainly JRTCGB dogs anyway and their lines are JRTCGB. All the best JRT Breeders are also JRTCGB, which has a far reaching gene pool over the Parson enabling faults etc to be bred out.

 

Parson Russell Terriers look like Jack Russell Terriers because that's what they are, but for how long one has to question before their breeding for the show ring ruins the breed ?

 

Cheers

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I had a jack russell as a youth and thought i was a brilliant dog, but really had a mind of its own, So this time gone for a border, What a difference superb little dog, But still like the russell, Hard to believe they all had assosiation with a dandy dinmount! Weird looking dog,

Edited by fishman307
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to be fair your JR's do look more like parsons, due to the longer legs. Not sure on the breed specs but it should almost be a compliment shouldn't it?

 

 

Did you read what I've written ?

 

The Parson Russell Terriers breed standard was taken from the JRTCGB, all proper JRT's have the longer legs because they were originally bred to run with the fox hounds.

 

Jack Russell Terriers are the original dogs as bred by Parson Jack Russell, Parson Russell Terriers are the same dog but for how long they remain so is a matter for debate, especially considering the way the Kennel Club has ruined so many of the other working breeds.

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There is only one breed standard for the Jack Russell Terrier, which was formulated by the JRTCGB and adopted by every Jack Russell Terrier Club in the world. It was also used by the KC when they registered the Parson Russell Terrier.

 

Purely an observation, but why have a "Parson Russell Terrier" and a Jack Russell Terrier, with exactly the same breed standard ?

Why not just call them one thing or the other ?

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I had a jack russell as a youth and thought i was a brilliant dog, but really had a mind of its own, So this time gone for a border, What a difference superb little dog, But still like the russell, Hard to believe they all had assosiation with a dandy dinmount! Weird looking dog,

 

 

Cracking little Terrier the Border and excellent workers too.

 

Sadly not many Terriermen use them nowadays but I do know of a couple who do. I think this is primarily down to the cost of them because they are Kennel Club Registered dogs and the price gets hiked, and this is why the Patterdale, Fell, Lakeland and Russells have become the favourite breeds of the Terrierman.

Edited by Santlache
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Purely an observation, but why have a "Parson Russell Terrier" and a Jack Russell Terrier, with exactly the same breed standard ?

Why not just call them one thing or the other ?

 

 

Because the JRTCGB is the oldest club for the breed and who formulated the breed standard for the working dog called the Jack Russell Terrier. The dogs which were to become the Parson Russell Terrier came from the stock of JRTCGB registered dogs.

 

Because the JRTCGB was against registration of the breed they were not allowed to call them Jack Russell Terriers, but the KC needed a breed standard for the dogs and the only logical one that they could use was that of the JRTCGB, as this is how proper Jack Russell Terriers should look.

 

Parson Russell Terrier dogs which are Kennel Club Registered are not allowed to be shown at JRTCGB Working Dog Shows as the JRTCGB do not allow them. No JRTCGB registered dog is allowed by the Club to be shown at any KC Shows either.

 

The JRTCGB was set up to protect the JRT as a working dog, and they feel as a club that by being registered with the Kennel Club, Parson Russell Terriers are bad for the breed and over time they will harm it.

Edited by Santlache
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so let me get this right, they actually are the same as a parsons Jack Russel but because you don't want to be associated with the KC you call them Jack Russels. Isn't it a bit like calling a spade a fork and wondering why everyone else calls it a spade :good:

 

I'm with cranfield I'm lost on this one

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There is no such dog as a Parson Jack Russell

 

If you don't understand after what I've written above, and it's not rocket science, then you never will.

 

The simple fact is that Parson Russell Terriers should not exist, but by doing so in my opinion it can only be bad for the breed.

Edited by Santlache
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As far as you are concerned there is no such thing as a parson russell terrier, yet if you were to ask the kennel club the same question they would tell you there is no such thing as a jack russell.

 

So really if parson russell terriers should not exist then nor should jack russells as they are exactly the same animal.

 

It's a bit like are plain crisps just plain crisps or are they ready salted?

Edited by MC
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As far as you are concerned there is no such thing as a parson russell terrier, yet if you were to ask the kennel club the same question they would tell you there is no such thing as a jack russell.

 

So really if parson russell terriers should not exist then nor should jack russells as they are exactly the same animal.

 

It's a bit like are plain crisps just plain crisps or are they ready salted?

 

 

Why did some Jack Russell Terrier owners want recognition for the breed, when the main body for the breed, the JRTCGB, were and are today very much against it ?

 

Money, Fame, a trip once a year to prance around the ring at Crufts ?

 

It certainly wasn't for the protection or for the good of the breed, but you would have to ask the founders of Parson Russell Club why ?

 

The Parson Russell Club do recognise the JRTCGB and not so long ago they were offering Kennel Club Registration for any JRTCGB registered dogs, as they know they have not got a good enough gene pool. No member with JRTCGB Registered Dogs as far as I'm aware crossed over.

 

Parson Russell Terriers are bred to make money,and are sold as pets to people sucked in by the Kennel Club registration, or to show them at Kennel Club Shows. All of the top Russell Terriermen in the UK, many of them internationally respected, use JRTCGB Terriers and not Parsons. I have also never seen a Parson Russell Terrier win any of the hundreds of Working Terrier Shows I've been to up and down the country.

 

It's a crazy situation to have two names for a breed of dog which are in all intents and purposes the same dog, but I think you know my feelings as a breeder of these dogs where I stand, which is on the side of the JRTCGB and the protection and preservation of the breed as a working dog.

 

As far as I'm concerned there is no need whatsoever for Parson Russell Terriers, and the existence of such a dog is bad for the breed.

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As far as you are concerned there is no such thing as a parson russell terrier.....

 

No, what I said was there was no such thing as a Parson Jack Russell.

 

There are Jack Russell Terriers, and Parson Russell Terriers.

 

This just shows there is still confusion in the name, even after I have carefully and quite clearly explained it all in several posts. It also just reiterates my point, there is no need to have two dogs, which at present are the same breed, being called by two different names.

 

It also highlights the foolishness and stupidity of the Kennel Club in allowing such a situation to occur. The Kennel Club Breeders have already ruined the Wire and Smooth Haired Fox Terrier, they will do exactly the same with the Parson Russell.

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Thanks, Mike.

 

They are good dogs, the best workers are the two bitches in the middle, daughter and mother, and I'll be breeding from them this year.

 

They have both won classes at the JRTCGB National Show for me and the nearly all-white one second right also won the drag hunt trial. Both have worked Fox, Bush, Rat and take any legal vermin.

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  • 5 months later...

i read the first couple of posts and then clicked reply so forgive me if someone has already mentioned this. But it really ****s me off when i'm out with my jack russel and people ask if he is a true jack russel because he is tall i know its not there fault and they don't know any better but they belive that the fat 10 inch and under "jack russell" that you see so often is the true jack russel. I appologise to anyone who has a fat 10 inch and under jack russel as i know they are still useful dogs

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KC is bad news for any breed out there if they get there hands on them. I fear for my breed (Patterdales), as theres so many people keeping them as pets now that I dont think it will be long before the KC take an interest in them. If I were in your shoes I would be pleased that they re-named the KC russells, as this allows the Jack russell to thrive as a working dog without many parson owners wanting to cross a Jack into their pedigree Parsons, as this would mean getting less for their pups and not being able to register the pups with the KC. I would like to think if the KC did get their hands on the Patterdale terrier that they changed the name, as this would protect the working lines out there. Hope I've made sense?

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Cracking looking JRT's pleased to hear that they are doing what they are bred for also, How much will you be asking for a pup when you do get them lined because I am seriously contemplating getting a terrier, You should get on the hunting life forum if your not already on it you will fit in well there.

 

Regards RS

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I have seen the JRTCGB web site and its very informative and hat off to them with what they are trying to achive.

Nice looking dogs there mate, good examples of the breed, what type of hunting do you do with them.

 

Dave,

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Educate them, Steve, it's the only way.

 

Thanks as well, Dave.

 

If anyone wants to see some fine working Jack Russell Terriers, the JRTCGB are having their National Show this coming Sunday at Market Bosworth Rugby Club.

 

Cheers

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