The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Canada (JRTCC), The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America and the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain, along with the majority of the JR Clubs in the world, strongly oppose recognition of the Jack Russell by any Kennel Club/National All-Breed Registry. Most JR and all Working Terrier people, seem to be in complete agreement on this issue. Why are these breed clubs, owners and Working Terrier enthusiasts so strong on this issue?
THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE…IT IS TO PRESERVE THE WORKING ABILITY, GREAT INTELLIGENCE, SOUND PHYSICAL STRUCTURE, AND BROAD STANDARD SO NECESSARY FOR A VARIETY OF WORK, OF THIS UNSPOILED TYPE OF WORKING TERRIER WE KNOW AS THE JACK RUSSELL.
The Jack Russell is a strain of Working Terrier that has been bred for over 100 years as the working man’s Terrier; it is an invaluable fox hunting tool to the Terriermen who have been working for the hunts for years in England. All JRT enthusiasts know from the history of the old Parson, that the JRT was the Fox Terrier in the days of John Russell. As one book so aptly described John Russell’s Terriers, they were Fox Terriers bred to hunt fox.
When the early Fox Terrier became recognized by the Kennel Club in the late 1800’s, it quickly progressed (or some would say regressed) into a fancy show breed….and rapidly became one of the most popular breeds on the Kennel Club list. It also quickly lost all usefulness as a Working Terrier. Breeding for form rather than function made rapid conformational changes in the breed; the shoulders straightened, the jaw became long and narrow, and the chest deepened to the point of preventing most modern day Fox Terriers from ever entering an earth, assuming they would have an owner would desire them to do so, and that their instinct would remain after years of breeding only for show.
John Russell’s strain of Fox Terriers continued on to be bred as the original Fox Terrier was intended….for hunting fox! They were sound, with good small chests, angulations, and well placed shoulders, that enabled them to move correctly and with agility above and below ground, to go anywhere a fox could go. They were extremely intelligent, loyal, and of a perfect temperment for bolting a fox from an earth.
WHAT IS A JACK RUSSELL? It is simply an extension of the early, unspoiled strain of Fox Terriers…kept sound through years of breeding strictly for temperment, intelligence, and working ability.
Effective February 1st, 1996, the JRTCC implemented a Breed Registry. A terrier is not eligible for registration with the JRTCC in the Breed Register until it reaches one year of age, has attained its full adult height, dentition and other aspects considered for full maturity. The individual applying for “Registration” MUST adhere to the Breed Standard. The “Register” will not accept Terriers with genetic faults.
The highest compliments the JRTCC receives comes from its Register. Those familiar with Kennel Club Registers say they are proud to be associated with a Register that turns down dogs with genetic faults. Kennel Club Registers accept anything and thus implicitly condone breeding from it. By rejecting dogs with inherited defects, the JRTCC strives to protect the Jack Russell and eliminate serious faults in the Terriers. Kennel Club registers accept dogs which are
If one takes a little time to research breeds that are recognized, it would not take long to compile long lists of genetic physical faults in many breeds. This list of working breeds who no longer work, or no longer even resemble their working ancestors in physical or mental characteristics is growing as you read this.
THE JACK RUSSELL WILL BE PRESERVED IF IT CONTINUES TO BE PROTECTED BY THE JRTCC, ITS REGISTER, AND JR OWNERS WHO TRULY HAVE THE TERRIERS’ BEST INTEREST AT HEART!