Robust, tenacious working terrier, with special ability to go to
Group 3 terriers
Section 1 large and medium sized terriers.
With working trial.
Brief historical summary
The promoter of this breed the Reverend John (Jack) Russell
was born in 1795 in Dartmouth, Devon. He became a clergyman and
for most of his life served in the parish of Swimbridge, Devon. An
experienced horseman and great huntsman he became passionately
involved in the breeding and selection of terriers. In 1873 The
Kennel Club was founded and he became one of its early members. He
died in 1883 at the great age of 87. It was while studying at
Oxford that he bought his first terrier, a white wirehaired bitch
with head markings which closely resembled the standard of today.
Jack Russell undertook a number of crosses between different
working terriers, self-coloured and parti-coloured types. His
intention was always to improve the aptitude for hunting without
too much regard for a uniform type. This tradition, crossing with
other breeds of terriers continued later on. He also attempted to
cross the breed with other breeds of dog but the progeny did not
correspond to the ancestral type. These endeavours were
disappointing and were abandoned.
From the end of the Second World War, this breed has enjoyed
increasing popularity on the European continent, particularly with
hunters and horsemen. On 22nd January, 1990, The Kennel Club
(Great Britain) recognized the breed and published an Official
Interim Standard under the name of the Parson Jack Russell
Terrier. The F.C.I. in its turn accepted to add this breed to its
provisional list on July 2nd 1990.
The current name of Parson Russell Terrier was given in 1999 by
the (British) Kennel Club. The breed was definitely recognized by
the F.C.I. on June 4th 2001.
Workmanlike, active and agile; built for speed and endurance. Overall picture of balance and
flexibility. Honourable scars permissible.
Well balanced. Overall length of body slightly longer than height
from withers to ground. Length from nose to stop slightly shorter
than from stop to occiput.
Behaviour / temperament
Essentially a working terrier with ability and conformation to go
to ground and run with hounds. Bold and friendly.
Skull: Flat, moderately broad, gradually narrowing to the eyes.
Jaws/Teeth: Jaws strong, muscular. Teeth with a perfect,
regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely
overlapping the lower teeth and set sqare to the jaws.
Almond shaped, fairly deep set, dark, keen expression.
Small, V-shaped, dropping forward, carried close to the head, tip
of ear to reach corner of eye, fold not to appear above top of skull. Leather of moderate
Clean, muscular, of good length, gradually widening to shoulders.
Well balanced. Overall length slightly longer than height
from withers to ground.
Back: Strong and straight.
Loin: Slightly arched.
Chest: Of moderate depth, not to come below point of elbow,
capable of being spanned behind the shoulders by average size
hands. Ribs not over-sprung.
Docked: Length complimenting the body while providing a good
handhold. Strong, straight, moderately high set, carried well up on
Undocked: Of moderated length and as straight as possible, giving a
general balance to the dog, thick at the root and tapering towards
the end. Moderately high set, carried well up on the move.
Strong, must be straight with joints turning neither in nor
Shoulders: Long and sloping, well laid back, cleanly cut at
Elbows: Close to body, working free of the sides.
Strong, muscular with good angulation.
Stifle: Good bend of stifle.
Hocks: Set low.
Rear Pasterns: Parallel, giving plenty of drive.
Compact with firm pads, turning neither in nor out.
Free-striding, well co-ordinated, straight action front and
Must be thick and loose.
Naturally harsh, close and dense, whether rough or smooth.
Belly and undersides coated.
Entirely white or predominantly white with tan, lemon or black
markings, or any combination of these colours, preferably confined
to head and/or root of tail.
Dogs ideal height at withers 36 cm (14 ins).
Bitches ideal height at withers 33 cm (13 ins).
2 cm above or below is acceptable.
Any 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
Any dog clearly showing physical or
behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the
amended breed standard is effective from April 2004.