Posts Tagged “Jack Russell Terrier”

Jack Russell Terrier In America

The JRT Club of America (JRTCA) was founded in 1976. Thirty years later, thousands of members are united in admiration of and dedication to the protection of the Jack Russell Terrier.
The history of the Fox Terrier and the Russell Terrier seems to have repeated itself when the Jack Russell Terrier Association of America (JRTAA) broke away from the JRTCA, with the intention of seeking recognition for the breed from the American Kennel Club. The JRT was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1991 and by the American Kennel Club in 1997 – two moves that were opposed by the JRTCA.
Why do most of the Jack Russell Terrier clubs and the Jack Russell Terrier United World Federation oppose recognition by any all-breed kennel club? Why does the Jack Russell need “protection”? Showing dogs in highly competitive conformation contests has resulted in physical and mental changes to nearly every breed in history. While this kind of competition may be fine for other breeds, it is not suitable for the Jack Russell because beauty alone has nothing to do with the dog’s ability to perform the task she was bred to do.

The Parson Russell Terrier

The JRTCA breed standard has not changed since the club was formed. But the little terriers being shown in AKC breed rings began to change – much as the Fox Terriers of old began to diverge from the working terriers in Britain. The JRTCA eventually sold the name Parson Russell Terrier to the JRTAA. The idea was to help make clear the difference between the two breeds. In 2003 the AKC officially changed the breed name of the dogs it registers to the Parson Russell Terrier and the club changed its name to the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America.
With a more rigid standard that seems to place appearance above working ability, changes will happen quite quickly to this new terrier breed. The Parson Russell Terrier is already a dog of more substance than the Jack Russell Terrier. The Parson Russell standard tolerates less variation in height – just twelve to fourteen inches at the withers, compared to ten to fifteen inches for the Jack Russell, which is suitable for a variety of hunting applications. The Parson Russell breed standard notes a preference for a spot at the base of the tail, which will have some breeders working hard to breed dogs with those markings, rather than on striving to maintain the essence of what the dog should be, a working hunting terrier.
There is currently another group approaching the AKC with another variant of the breed that has short legs, again seeking to use the name Jack Russell Terrier. David Ross of the JRTCA comments, “By adopting the name ‘Parson Russell Terrier’ for the AKC variant of the Jack Russell Terrier, the AKC and the Jack Russell Terrier Association did in fact separate the standards into two different terriers, eliminating much of the confusion and leaving the name Jack Russell Terrier for the standard the JRTCA and the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain have used for many decades. While education and time will be needed for both our organizations to completely sort these terriers out in the public’s mind, a good start has been made. However, if the AKC now accepts yet another standard for ‘Short’ Jack Russells and calls them ‘Jack Russell Terrier,’ both our registries will be in the unenviable position of telling innocent buyers that while their breeder and pedigree say they own a Jack Russell Terrier, the fact is they have purchased a ‘new’ variant of the terrier named after our terrier.”

Preserving the Breed

The Fox Terrier was once the dog now known as the Jack Russell Terrier. However, today’s Fox Terrier no longer has the conformational structure or even the desire to perform her original function of holding at bay or bolting foxes from their earth dens. The Jack Russell Terrier today is the unspoiled working terrier of the 1800’s. The breed has been preserved in the standards of most of the major terrier clubs, which emphasize working ability. The mental and physical soundness of the Jack Russell Terrier is protected by those dedicated to their breed’s performance and character.
Fierce protection of these traits motivates loyalty to the breed, and the members of the JRTCA are devoted to the organization and its task. Through understanding, the club can continue protecting this remarkable terrier.
Today, the Jack Russell Terrier is a much-loved pet in homes and families across the country. In addition to preserving the working function of the Jack Russell Terrier, the JRTCA educates pet owners about the unique qualities and requirements of keeping a Jack Russell. The JRTCA offers services and activities to keep people working and bonding with these special dogs. The club encourages people to love, play with, and work their terriers, and to fight for the dog’s ability and instinct to work, both now and in the future.

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JRT - After Jack Russell

Upon Jack Russell’s death, at the age of 88, his stock was scattered. It is doubtful that anyone today can trace a terrier back to Trump.
What does live on is his strain or type of hardy, old-fashioned, willing-to-work terriers. Those who did not hunt were culled along the way, or kept as pets in homes of nonsporting people. Others who did not conform correctly for earth work, perhaps having too much blood of other breeds, were kept by people who found they were useful above ground for the task of rodent control. Some of these dogs had short, bandy legs and barrel chests. They may have carried some Dachshund or Bull Terrier blood.
Many of these pet strains came to the United States with fanciers who brought them from England. With them also came fine examples of the hardy, well-conformed working terrier so favored by the Reverend Russell himself. Fortunately, while the show-ring Fox Terrier continued to develop – and change-devoted fans of the original Fox Terrier continued to happily breed and work their tough little dogs in both Britain and North America. During this time they were still called by many names: hunt terrier, white terrier (after their extinct ancestor), and working Fox Terrier.
But as Greg Mousley, a noted terrier man and world authority on Jack Russell Terriers, relates, “Parson Russell was an extrovert and a flamboyant character and in his role as the sporting Parson he became very well known. Along with his fame went the awareness of his terriers, and when the Fox Terrier Club was formed, a name was needed for the many thousands of white bodied working terriers belonging to the working terriermen of the day, in order to distinguish them from their Kennel Club counterparts.” They became known as Jack Russell Terriers (JRT).

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Jack Russell Terrier - The Reverend Jack Russell

John Russell’s dogs were of a type suitable to the terrain of the West Country where they lived. But, with the fame of both Reverend Russell and his dogs spreading, it became the desirable thing in other parts of the country to have one of his terriers. Apart from his church activities, the reverend was well known throughout England as a man passionate for the sport of fox hunting and breeding fox hunting dogs. Before long, the name Jack Russell Terrier spread and began to be applied to these feisty little working terriers.
The reverend’s foundation bitch was named Trump. In 1819, while still an undergraduate at Oxford University, he bought her from a milkman in the Oxfordshire village of Marston. In Russell’s eyes, Trump was the ideal terrier. She was white with brown ears, a patch of brown over each eye, and one no larger than a British penny at the base of her tail. Her coat was reported to be thick, close, and wiry, but not the long jacket of the Scottish terrier. Her legs were as straight as arrows, her feet were perfect, and she was of a size that has been compared to a grown vixen. Said Russell of this lovely animal: “Her whole appearance gave indications of courage, endurance and hardihood.” Even now, there is a painting of Trump hanging in the harness room of the royal residence at Sandringham, in Norfolk, England.
In England, the red fox was considered a varmint, a killer of spring lambs and poultry, so if the hunt crossed a farmer’s land, risking damage to crops and fences, it was considered appropriate to kill the plentiful foxes encountered during the hunt. In America, there is little, if any, interest in harvesting foxes. Americans concentrate on the chase, and the greatest admirers of the fox are those who have spent time observing them and their intelligent strategies. Foxes in the country have many safe escape routes and seem to exhibit a sense of humor about the hounds “singing” their scent. Country sport affords a participant the pleasure of the sights and sounds of good hound work, and the enjoyment of following the hounds on horseback.
It has been reported that John Russell was also not interested in the killing of the fox. He said of the terriers: “A real Fox Terrier is not meant to murder and his intelligence should always keep him from such a crime.” When fair terrier work is possible, with a noncombative terrier employed, one can well understand John Russell’s fondness for the chase alone. He was a participant well into his 80’s.
Russell became vicar of Swymbridge in 1832 and was occupied by both his church duties and his position as Master of Foxhounds. His circle of friends included the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and other Masters of Foxhounds and often, even late in his life, he would travel long distances on horseback to meets. Legend has it that the bishop of his diocese once accused him of refusing to bury a body on a Wednesday because it interfered with the hunt. There are also stories of the bishop repeatedly asking Russell to give up his hounds and hunting. He agreed to give up his hounds. “Mrs. Russell shall keep them,” he said.

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Jack Russell Terrier - The Fox Terrier In The Show Ring

The popularity of the terriers reached its zenith in the late nineteenth century, and Fox Terriers were accepted as an English Kennel Club breed. Popular fashion tends to require change, and it was not long before the Fox Terrier was caught up in the whims of the show ring.
The breed developed an upright scapula, a deepened chest and a lengthened, narrowed head. In the show ring a smooth coat was favored over the less popular but more protective wiry-haired coat. The show ring’s Fox Terrier was no longer at all like the working terriers in the hunt kennels. With its redesigned structure, it could not enter shallow earth even if the instinct to do so remained.
Russell himself was a member of England’s Kennel Club (he was one of the original founders in 1873 and judged Fox Terriers at the first sanctioned show in 1874), but he did not exhibit his own dogs. Apparently disapproving of the changes in the terriers, he stated: “True terriers they were, but differing from the present show dogs as the wild eglantine differs from a garden rose”.

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JRT - The Fox Terrier

The original strains of Fox Terriers were based on what were called White Terriers, which now are extinct. Many hunt kennels in England kept their own strains of terriers to work with their hounds. The hounds would give the fox chase, and the mounted staff and hunters would follow to observe and hear the hounds sing. Of course, chasing foxes with a pack of hounds and many riders is hardly an efficient method of fox control. It is more a country tradition and an active outing – part of the rich history of humans and hunting.

The hounds were always the aristocrats, and the terriers were the hunting partners of the hounds. Pedigrees were carefully kept on hounds, but many terriers were simply the product of one good working dog bred to another for the job of dislodging a fox the hounds had chased to ground.

When the fox was chased into an earthen den, the hounds and field of riders were moved back by the Master of Foxhounds so the terrier could enter the deep underground passage. Sometimes a staff member would carry a terrier in a pouch on horseback so the terrier would be handy the minute she was needed to enter the earth for the foxhunters. The terrier willingly entered, and her intrusive presence below ground would give the fox the idea to move on and the chase could continue. The dog was not bred to do the fox harm.

The fox is a formidable opponent, larger and more at home in the earth. The Fox Terrier therefore had to be a strong, spirited dog to encourage the earth dweller to bolt and continue the chase. Although smaller than the fox, the terriers often knew the landscape and where the dens were. They could listen and figure out which den the fox might duck into and be there before the hounds by taking shortcuts. The intelligence of the terrier has always been notable when applied to hunting.

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Jack Russell Terrier history

The Reverend John Russell lived between 1795 and 1883 in Devonshire (England). He contributed to developing one of the world’s finest strains of working terrier. John Russell, also known as Jack, was a popular character in Devonshire, and he loved hunting with hounds and terriers. He and his strain of terriers soon became well known, and to this day the dogs he developed carry his name.

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Jack Russell Terrier Not A Latchkey Pet

Jack Russell Terrier very adaptable pet who craves an interesting lifestyle. For example, a Jack Russell is a good candidate to go to work with you every day – if you are lucky enough to have a job that permits this. Many will be happy to sleep near you for most of the day. But you can’t park this dog silently all day while you work someplace far away from your Jack Russell. If you must leave a dog alone for nine or more hours a day unattended, this may not be the dog for you.
Jack Russell’s need a job and thrive when they are given a routine and have something to do. They are worse than little children when they’re bored. A bored dog may bark to fill his days – which may also fill your neighbors with annoyance. The protests can be very vocal; this is a dog bred to use his voice when hunting to work quarry.
You will need reliable containment if you leave your JRT for even half a second. They can escape most containment that is not a maximum-security setup. Your Jack Russell Terrier can dig under fences that lack proper turned-under safe wire buried under the edges of a pen or dog run. They can climb human style up and over chain-link fences. They can jump four feet up effortlessly from a standstill.
It is unthinkable to keep any dog tied out on a rope, chain, or cable, especially the active Jack Russell. It is also cruel to leave such an active dog in a crate for long hours. This active dog does not fare well with such treatment. Expect this dog to require a great deal more of your time and attention than you ever imagined.
Learn about and meet the breed before selecting a JRT. Be prepared for the dog and what he will need. Many people can make adjustments and work out what both they and the dog require to be happy. The need to surrender a dog can be prevented with some adjustments by both dog and owner. But I cannot stress too strongly that this is not the dog for everyone.

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Jack Russell Terrier And Children

One of the most charming qualities of Jack Russell Terriers is their gentle and kindly  nature toward children. The dog may be capable of being unusually friendly with small children provided the child understands how to handle the terrier. The intelligence of the dog and the strength of his presence mean he will not tolerate abuse from children. This is not a dog who takes well to punishment. He may defend himself if pushed too far, even from accidental abuse. Adult supervision is always suggested. Terriers fare better with children over 6 years of age. Some, however, adore their children and will allow themselves to be put in baby carriages and dressed in doll clothes.

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Jack Russell Terrier - Active, Determined Companions

Jack Russell Terriers relish close contact with the humans they love. They are very adaptable in many ways, but they do demand enormous amounts of physical and mental activity that are meaningful and satisfying to the dog. It is not easy to wear one out.
JRTs also have an assertive nature and require discipline and acceptance of their pluck and courage. They pack a big-dog attitude. They can sometimes be bullies to the biggest dogs they encounter, but they can also curl up for a nap next to a beloved companion.
There are many ways to provide fun outlets for the dog’s energy. If you spend time tossing a ball or Frisbee at a set time each day, the dog will anticipate this quality activity time. It is wise not to encourage too much tug of war, because these dogs can develop an attitude of always wanting to be the winner, which may encourage behavior that is too assertive. Arrange the game of tug or toss so you and the dog take turns winning. The Jack Russell Terrier needs to know that the humans in his family, including the children, hold a rank in the family pack that is higher than his. This is not the dog to lend your car keys or credit cards to.

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Jack Russell Terrier - A Hunting Dog

The Jack Russell Terrier was developed to meet a formidable opponent below ground, the red fox (although JRTs also hunt other quarry). He was blended from now extinct strains of white-bodied terriers in Great Britain. With a dash of this working breed and a dash of that one, a hearty, healthy, keen, earthworking dog was shaped to the job of hunting.
The Latin word terra means earth, and that is the origin of the word “terrier”—earth dog. First and foremost, the Jack Russell Terrier is a hunting dog who works below ground. The dog’s job is to keep the fox in check while the handler digs to both the fox and the dog. The dog has to possess a good voice to
address the quarry below ground when located, to help keep the prey at bay, and to help the handler locate the dog by sound.
Everything about the dog reflects his job as hunter. It is said about the Jack Russell Terrier that where the fox can go, so must the terrier. This terrier’s structure is modeled after that of the vixen (female fox). Like the fox, the Jack Russell must be well angulated and possess a small, compressible chest that enables him to maneuver in narrow earthen tunnels, often deeply below ground. The predominantly white coat is to help distinguish the dog from the fox when the hunter digs to where the dog holds his quarry at bay.
The intense character is all part of the hunting package, as well. Without a doubt, the Jack Russell is a courageous companion with the grit to hunt. The intelligence of the dog adds to the package, because the dog must independently solve problems below ground and hold himself back from taking on the quarry;
a dog too eager to do battle below ground is apt to be lost.
The breed was not meant to harm the quarry he encounters. Still, Jack Russell Terriers do have different styles of work. Some are “hard” and engage their quarry with intent to inflict harm, while and some are “soft” and bay at or dislodge their quarry with their intense presence. All JRTs, however, should have the attitude,
grit, and tenacity to confront larger and more formidable animals below ground. A very intelligent and cooperative Jack Russell may sometimes be called out of the den by the handler, but don’t count on it!
The courage of the Jack Russell Terrier must be understood and accepted, whether you hunt with your dog or not. The dog’s behavior may be described as total abandon. The instincts of the dog may make him act with single-mindedness in both work and play. You must be prepared to protect the dog from himself and always expect the unexpected.

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