back topWhat is the Russell Terrier?

Big DogThe Russell Terrier is a big dog wrapped in a small package. In the terrier’s mind, anything can be accomplished. This drive causes them to be avid hunters and capable athletic partners. The terrier is one of the top breeds to compete in agility trials and competitive hunts. One must not be fooled by their energy, however. Russell Terriers are highly versatile and adaptable. 

snuggleRussell Terriers are equally happy snuggling up to their owner on the couch as they are pursuing their prey. This makes them a great companion choice for both the old and the young. They do well in families with children as well as in a home where only one person resides. The great determination of the Russell Terrier can offer the owner a bit of a challenge at times. The owner must be smarter than their dog! However, Russells have an eager desire to please. They learn obedience and tricks rapidly. The breed also does well as trained therapy dogs, assisting those with medical needs and those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder—even encouraging  kids to read.

readThe Russell Terrier is not a yappy dog, but they will announce the arrival of visitors. This clever dog is fun loving and very entertaining.  The personality of a Russell Terrier cannot help but put a smile on the face of those who are in its presence. Many dog owners are of the opinion after owning a Russell Terrier that no other dog breed will do. The loyalty and tenderhearted companionship of the Russell Terrier are unsurpassed.

Russell Terriers are 10” to 12” tall at the shoulder, and generally weigh between 11 and 14 lbs. They come in 3 coat types: smooth, broken, and rough. Russell Terriers must be at least 51% white, with the markings ranging from the lightest tan to brown, black, or tri-colored. 

back topHistory

The American Kennel Club (AKC) Russell Terrier ORIGINATED in England, but was DEVELOPED as a pure breed in Australia and disseminated from there throughout the world.

The modern day AKC Russell Terrier has its roots in 1800s England in the fox hunts and the professional terriermen employed by those hunts. Although the Reverend John Russell is credited with developing his own strain of white-bodied fox working terriers, after his death, the many terriermen throughout the United Kingdom kept and bred the type of terrier that best suited their own needs for their particular area of the countryside. Consequently, where a terrier was required to hunt over rougher land or run on foot with the terriermen over the terrain, a longer-legged terrier was essential. When the terriermen needed to cover a large expanse on horseback, a smaller dog that could be carried in a terrier bag was required. 

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia was formed in 1972. This national organization implemented a comprehensive registration system and a formal breed standard, choosing to specify 10" to 12" in height as ideal and describing a dog with a rectangular outline, differentiating the Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) from the taller, squarer dogs that later became known as Parson Russell Terriers. This JRT club in Australia also initiated discussions with the national kennel club regarding the possibility of the breed being accepted for registration as a pure breed. The 10” to 12” Jack Russell Terrier was and is a variance of the Jack Russell Terrier that originated in England and was used by the terriermen employed by organized English hunts. It is not a bred-down Parson Russell Terrier, the latter of which was not recognized or registered until the early 1990s. The Russell Terrier in the USA and the JRT developed in Australia are the same breed.

Every Russell Terrier is a JRT, but not every JRT is a Russell Terrier. When the AKC recognized the JRT as a pure breed in the US, It was renamed the Russell Terrier. Russells differ from another pure breed—the Parson Russell Terrier. Parsons are taller (>12” to 15”), and have a more square silhouette than do Russells. Parsons also tend to be higher energy, and are more independent and less tractable than the shorter Russell Terrier. 

back topWhy a Purebred Dog Might Be The Right Choice

Adding a new canine to your family is an important decision. Choosing the right type of dog to fit your lifestyle is the first important step. Personality, energy level, space and exercise requirements, grooming considerations, and above all, the health of the dog, are all essential questions to evaluate before you select a particular breed for your family.

Responsible purebred breeders plan their matings carefully to produce consistent, high quality puppies, with sound temperaments. Breeders know the ancestry of their particular lines of dogs and are able to predict and advise potential new owners on whether particular dogs will blend well with their families. They also have a long-term perspective on the health of the puppies that they breed and are committed to producing the healthiest puppies with the fewest genetic problems.

Mixed-breeds (including so called “designer” breeds) bring many unnecessary complications into the calculation of whether an animal will thrive with your family. Expected size, temperament, and propensity for various health issues are unknowns when adopting a mixed-breed puppy. Raising a puppy or integrating any dog into your family is a large physical, financial, and emotional commitment, but it does not need to be a total gamble.

Choose carefully, and you will be overwhelmingly rewarded by your new best friend.

back topAmerican Kennel Club: AKC Standard

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AKC

General Appearance: The Russell Terrier is a strong, active, lithe, predominately white bodied working Terrier of character with a flexible body of moderate length and rectangular profile. The overall dog must present a balanced image with no one part exaggerated over another. The Russell Terrier is full of life, and moves with confidence that matches his keen expression. Coat may be smooth, broken or rough and may have tan and/or black markings with no preference for coat type or markings. Tail docking is optional.
Size, Substance & Proportion: In size the Russell Terrier measures from 10 inches to 12 inchesSubstance and weight should be proportionate to height, being neither too coarse nor too refined. The body is proportioned marginally longer than tall, the silhouette representing a distinct rectangle when measured from the point of shoulder to point of buttocks than from the withers to the ground. The height and weight descriptions indicate a sturdily built yet balanced dog with smooth muscle transitions, able to traverse narrow tunnels. There may be slight differences between males and females. Males should look masculine while females should look feminine. However both sexes must adhere to the breed standard. When viewed in profile the midline of the dog is at the elbow and the bottom of the brisket. Severe Fault - Any hint of achondroplasia. Disqualification - Height under 10 inches or over 12 inches.
Head and Neck: The skull is flat and of moderate width gradually decreasing in width to the eyes and then tapering to a wide muzzle, that narrows slightly to the end maintaining very strong jaws. The stop is well defined with minimal falling away under the eyes. The length of muzzle is slightly shorter than the length of the skull from the occiput to the stop. The cheek muscles are well developed. Nose - Black and fully pigmented. Disqualification - Nose any color other than black, not fully pigmented. Ears - Small V-shaped button or dropped ears carried close to the head of good texture and great mobility. The points of the ears are even with corner of the eye and pointed downward. The fold is level with the top of the skull or slightly above and forms a straight line when alert. Disqualification - Prick or semi-prick ears. Eyes - Dark, almond shaped with a keen expression of alertness. Eyes must not be prominent. Eyelid rims are to be fully pigmented black. Disqualifications - Blue eye or eyes. Bite/Teeth - The bite is a scissor bite with comparatively large teeth. A level bite is acceptable. Missing and broken teeth due to terrier work should not be penalized. The lips are black and are tight fitting. Disqualification - Overshot, undershot, wry mouth. Neck - A clean, strong neck tapering gradually into the withers is required for terrier work. The neck is of sufficient length to allow the terrier's mouth to extend beyond its forepaws when working.
Forequarters: Shoulders are well laid back and not heavily loaded with muscle. The upper arm should be equal or nearly equal to the length of the scapula forming an approximate 90-degree angle. This assembly allows for sufficient length of upper arm to ensure the elbows are set under the body, with the sternum clearly in front of the point of shoulder. Proper reach matched with equal drive allows for efficiency of movement.
Forelegs: Forelegs are straight in bone from the elbows to the toes whether viewed from the front or the side with a slight angle to the pastern from the side. Legs are moderately well boned. The depth of the body from the withers to the brisket should equal the length of foreleg from elbows to the ground. Severe Faults: Benched or bent legs, leg length either less/more than the depth of body.
Body: The body of the Russell Terrier is proportioned marginally longer than tall, measuring slightly longer from the withers to the root of the tail than from the withers to the ground. The overall presentation is a compact, harmonious rectangular silhouette, in sound athletic condition. From the withers to the bottom of the brisket should represent 50 percent of the distance from the withers to the ground. The brisket should never fall below the elbow. The loins are short, strong and well muscled. The tuck up may be described as moderate. Scars incurred while hunting are not to be penalized. Topline - Level while in motion. There is a slight arch of loin, from muscling that is felt rather than seen. Chest - The small oval shaped, compressible chest is the hallmark of the breed and is the single most important attribute the Russell Terrier must have allowing it to work efficiently below ground. It must be compressible and small enough to be spanned by an average size mans hands, approximately 14 to 15 inches at the top set. Ribs are to be well sprung from the spine, tapering on the sides forming an oval shape so that average-size hands of an adult can span the girth behind the elbows. The chest must never fall below the elbow. Severe Faults - Incorrectly shaped, unspannable, uncompressible chest falling below the elbow.
Hindquarters: Muscular and strong; when looking down on the dog, the width of the hindquarters is equal to the width of the shoulders. Angles are equal and balanced front to rear. The hind legs, when viewed from a rear standing position, are parallel. The stifles and low-set hocks are well angulated, allowing for good driving action.
Feet: Both front and hind are moderate in size, oval shaped, hard padded with toes moderately arched, turning neither in nor out.
Tail: The tail is set high enough so that the spine does not slope down to the base of the tail. Customarily, if docked, the tip of the tail should be level with the top of the ears. When moving or alert, the tail may be straight or with a slight curve forward and is carried erect or gaily. When the dog is at rest, the tail may drop.
Movement: Movement must be unrestricted and effortless, while exhibiting an attitude of confidence. The dog must always be exhibited and gaited on a "loose" lead. On the lateral, the dog must exhibit equal reach and equal drive. When moving down and back at slower speeds the dog must parallel track. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward a centerline of balance.
Coat: May be smooth, broken or rough. Must be weatherproof: all coat types have an undercoat and a harsh outer coat. Coats are preferably natural and unaltered. The conformation underneath is the same with no preference being given to any particular coat type. The belly and underside should be well covered. The terrier is shown in its natural coat with minimal grooming. Sculpted furnishings are to be severely penalized.
Smooth - A dense short, coarse smooth hair with an undercoat.
Broken - Intermediate length hair, between smooth and rough, usually with facial furnishings and possibly a slight ridge down the back.
Rough - Harsh and dense hair with an undercoat. Not thin, woolly, curly or silky.
colorsColor: White is predominate with black and/or tan markings. There is no preference to markings so long as the dog remains 51 percent white. Tan can vary from lemon to mahogany. Ticking is acceptable. Disqualification - Less than 51 percent white, brindle coloring, any other color than listed above.
Temperament: An alert, lively, active, keen terrier with a very intelligent expression. The sporting character of the Russell Terrier is that of a spirited and game hunter. Their intensity for life is one of their most endearing traits. They are playful, curious, loyal and affectionate. Sparring is not acceptable.
Faults: The foregoing description is that of the ideal Russell Terrier. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Disqualifications: Height under 10 inches or over 12 inches. Prick or semi-prick ears. Blue eye or eyes. Overshot, undershot, wry mouth. Nose: Any color other than black, not fully pigmented. Less than 51 percent white, brindle coloring, any other color than listed above.AKC Approved May 2009
Effective January 1, 2010

back topFédération Cynologique Internationale: FCI Standard

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FCI

DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID STANDARD: 08.10.2012.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Jack Russell Terrier originated in England in the 1800’s due to the efforts of the Reverend John Russell. He developed a strain of Fox Terriers to suit his needs for a dog to run with his foxhounds and go to ground to bolt the fox and other quarry from their dens.  Two varieties evolved with basically similar Standards except for differences, mainly in height and proportions. The taller, more squarely built dog is now known as the Parson Russell Terrier and the shorter, slightly longer proportioned do, is known as the Jack Russell Terrier.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: A strong, active, lithe working Terrier of great character with flexible body of medium length.  His smart movement matches his keen expression.  Tail docking is optional and the coat may be smooth, rough or broken.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS:
The overall dog is longer than high, i.e. rectangular. The depth of the body from the withers to the brisket should equal the length of foreleg from elbows to the ground. The girth behind the elbows should be about 40 to 43 cms.
BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: A lively, alert and active Terrier with a keen, intelligent expression. Bold and fearless, friendly but quietly confident.
HEAD
CRANIAL REGION:
Skull: The skull should be flat and of moderate width gradually decreasing in width to the eyes and tapering to a wide muzzle.
Stop: Well defined but not over pronounced.
FACIAL REGION:
Nose: Black.
Muzzle: The length from the stop to the nose should be slightly shorter than from the stop to the occiput.
Lips: Tight-fitting and pigmented black.
Jaws/Teeth: Very strong, deep, wide and powerful. Strong teeth closing to a scissor bite.
Cheeks: The cheek muscles should be well developed.
Eyes: Small dark and with keen expression. Must not be prominent and eyelids should fit closely. The eyelid rims should be pigmented black. Almond shaped.
Ears: Button or dropped of good texture and great mobility.NECK: Strong and clean allowing head to be carried with poise.
BODY:
Back: Level. The length from the withers to the root of tail slightly greater than the height from the withers to the ground.
Loin: The loins should be short, strong and deeply muscled.
Chest: Chest deep rather than wide, with good clearance from the ground, enabling the brisket to be located at the height mid-way between the ground and the withers. Ribs should be well sprung from the spine, flattening on the sides so that the girth behind the elbows can be spanned by two hands - about 40 cm to 43 cm. Point of sternum clearly in front of the point of shoulder.
TAIL: May droop at rest.  When moving should be erect and if docked the tip should be on the same level as ears.
LIMBS
FOREQUARTERS:

Shoulder: Well sloped back and not heavily loaded with muscle.
Upper arm: Of sufficient length and angulation to ensure elbows are set under the body.
Forelegs: Straight in bone from the elbows to the toes whether viewed from the front or the side.
Forefeet: Round, hard, padded, not large, toes moderately arched, turned neither in nor out.
HINDQUARTERS:
General appearance: Strong and muscular, balanced in proportion to the shoulder.
Stifle (Knee): Well angulated.
Hock joint: Low set.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Parallel when viewed from behind while in free standing position.
Hind feet: Round, hard, padded, not large, toes moderately arched, turned neither in nor out.
GAIT / MOVEMENT: True, free and springy.
COAT:
Hair:
May be smooth, broken or rough.  Must be weatherproof.  Coats should not be altered (stripped out) to appear smooth or broken.
Colour: White must predominate with black and/or tan markings. The tan markings can be from the lightest tan to the richest tan (chestnut).
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
Ideal Height: (at the withers) 25 cms to 30 cms.
Weight: Being the equivalent of 1 kg to each 5 cms in height, i.e. a 25 cms high dog should weigh approximately 5 kgs and a 30 cms high dog should weigh 6 kgs.
FAULTS: 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 degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work. 
Lack of true terrier characteristics.
Lack of balance, i.e. exaggeration of any points.
Sluggish or unsound movement.
Faulty mouth.
DISQUALIFYING FAULTS:
Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural
Abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
The latest amendments are in bold characters.

back topAustralian National Kennel Council: ANKC Extended Breed Standard

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ANKC
Last Updated: 5 Aug 2009
General Appearance:
A strong, active, lithe working Terrier of great character with flexible body of medium length. His smart movement matches his keen expression. The coat may be smooth, rough or broken.
Characteristics: A lively, alert and active Terrier with a keen, intelligent expression.
Temperament: Bold and fearless, friendly but quietly confident.
Head And Skull: The skull should be flat and of moderate width gradually decreasing in width to the eyes and tapering to a wide muzzle with very strong jaws. There should be a well defined stop but not over pronounced. The length from the stop to the nose should be slightly shorter than from the stop to the occiput with the cheek muscles well developed. The nose should be black.
Eyes: Small dark and with keen expression. MUST not be prominent and eyelids should fit closely. The eyelid rims should be pigmented black. Almond shape.
Ears: Button or dropped of good texture and great mobility.
Mouth: Deep wide and powerful jaws with tight-fitting pigmented lips and strong teeth closing to a scissor bite.
Neck: Strong and clean allowing head to be carried with poise.
Forequarters: Shoulders well sloped back and not heavily loaded with muscle. Forelegs straight in bone from the elbow to the toes whether viewed from the front or the side and with sufficient length of upper arm to ensure elbows are set under the body with sternum clearly in front of shoulder blades.
Body: Chest deep rather than wide, with good clearance and the brisket located at the height mid-way between the ground and the withers. The body should be proportioned marginally longer than tall, measuring slightly longer from the withers to the root of the tail than from the withers to the ground. Back level. Ribs should be well sprung from the spine, flattening on the sides so that the girth behind the elbows can be spanned by two hands - about 40 cms to 43 cms. The loins should be short, strong and deeply muscled.
Hindquarters: Strong and muscular, balanced in proportion to the shoulder, hind legs parallel when viewed from behind while in free standing position. Stifles well angulated and hocks low set.
Feet: Round, hard, padded, not large, toes moderately arched, turned neither in nor out.
Tail: Docked: The tip of the tail should be on the same level as ears. May droop at rest. When moving should be erect.
Undocked: May droop at rest. When moving should be erect.
Gait/Movement: True, free and springy.
Coat: May be smooth, broken or rough. Must be weatherproof, preferably unaltered.
Colour: White MUST predominate with black and/or tan markings. The tan markings can be from the lightest tan to the richest tan (chestnut).
Sizes: Ideal Height: 25 cms (10 ins) to 30 cms (12 ins). The weight in kg being equivalent of 1 kg to each 5 cms in height, i.e. a 25 cm high dog should weigh approximately 5 kgs and a 30 cm high dog should weigh 6 kgs.
Faults: 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 degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog. However, the following weaknesses should be particularly penalised:
(a) Lack of true Terrier characteristics
(b) Lack of balance, i.e. over exaggeration of any points
(c) Sluggish or unsound movement
(d) Faulty mouth.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

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