The breed

The Parson Russell Terrier


Breed standard    


Origin: Great Britain

Utilization: Robust, tenacious working terrier, with special ability to go to ground.

Classification: 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 the 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, particulary 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 FCI 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 FCI on June 4th 2001.