Comments to the FCI standard of the Jack Russell Terrier

Welpen "vom Greterhof"The desired appearance refers in some points clearly to the original use of the Jack Russell terrier as a hunting dog. Thus, the reason for the required predominately white colour must have been the need of distinction the dog from the hunted animal. It would be regrettable if the hunter were to shoot his own dog instead of the hunted game. Most of the interested buyers seem to prefer Jack Russell terriers with more colour, but at shows the "whites" win leaving the breeder with a conflict. In this point as well, supply will influence demand. We feel that since the Jack Russell terrier is not primarily used for hunting but as a family dog today, he can well have a bit more colour, especially since pure-white dogs are prone to have some undesired innate characteristics.

So that a Jack Russell terrier does not become stuck in a foxhole, his chest must not be bigger than that of a fox. It should be possible to encompass it with two average-sized hands. This is a reasonable consideration. But why should a docked tail be more suitable to pull a dog out of a den than a longer, undocked one? This defies logic. We suppose this is a compromise – docking the tail to prevent injuries but leaving it long enough to be able to pull it out of a den if necessary. In any case, those who do not hunt will probably never understand the reasons for docked tails. In Switzerland, the docking of tails has been prohibited since 1997.

To accompany a mounted hunter demanded enormous running ability of the Jack Russell terrier as well as tenacity. While the long-legged types had to run along side the rider, the short-legged dogs were taken in the saddle to the site of the hunt. This is why two types of larger and smaller Jack Russell terriers emerged. It is also the only breed for which the standard sets an ideal height but no maximum height. In all likelihood, there will be a trend toward a larger Jack Russell terrier since it is much more difficult to breed a well-proportioned smaller dog.

Text: Dr. J. Willi, Sarastro