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 dog, is known as the Jack Russell Terrier.

Jack Russell Terrier Parson Russell Terrier
Jack Russell terrier - Doudou Suzan´s Pride - first World Winner of Jack Russell Terriers
Parson Russell Terrier


Country of Development: Australia

Date of publication of the original valid standard: 25.10.2000

Utilization: A good working Terrier with ability to go to ground. An excellent companion dog.

Classification FCI: Group 3 - Terriers, Section 2 - Small Terriers, With working trial

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.

- The overall dog is longer than high
- 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 cm

BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: A lively, alert and active Terrier with a keen, intelligent expression. Bold and fearless, friendly but quietly confident.

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.
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.
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.
Cheeks: The cheek muscles should be well developed.
Neck: Strong and clean allowing head to be carried with poise.

General: Rectangular
Back: Level. The length from the winthers 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 cms to 43 cms.
Sternum: 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.

Shoulders: Well sloped back and not heavily loaded with muscle. Forelegs: Straight in bone from the shoulder to the toes whether viewed from the front or the side.
Upper arm: Of sufficient length and angulation ensure elbows are set under the body.
HINDQUARTERS: Strong and muscular, balanced in proportion to the shoulder.
Stifles: Well angulated.
Rear pastern (Metatarsus): Parallel when viewed from behind while in free standing position.
Hock joints: Low set.
Feet: Round, hard, padded, not large, toes moderately arched, turned neither in nor out.
GAIT/MOVEMENT: True, free and springy.

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 or tan markings.

Ideal Height: 25 cms (10 ins) to 30 cms (12 ins). Weight: Being the equivalent of 1 kg to each 5 cms in height, i.e. a 25 cm high dog should weigh approximately 5 kg and a 30 cm high dog should weigh 6 kg.

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. However, the following weaknesses should be particularly penalised:
- Lack of true Terrier characteristics
- Lack of balance, i.e. over exaggeration of any points
- Sluggish or unsound movement
- Faulty mouth

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

hladkosrstý drsnosrstý hrubosrstý
"smooth coat "
Bla Bla
"broken coat "
Suzan's Pride Casandra
"rough coat "
Suzan's Pride Cricket
from left: borken, smooth and rough jack



Jack Russell terriers are since ancients time working dogs. But in contrast to the most other breeds Jack Russell terrier is very close to his original basis. Even if the hunting is not so frequent today, breeders hold the original improving aims and the representative of Jack Russell terrier can we meet on shows only scarcely ever. They are not affected and that's why they are so attractive. Hereditary defects do not almost appear about them, and an appraisal of the length of his life on 15 years is definitely note exaggerated.

Jack Russell terriers are not dogs for lazy fellows certainly. They are intelligent, full of energy. These dogs, with theirs energy and need of activity, have only a few possibilities in the usual residential quarter. Therefore it is the matter of their owner to offer them enough activity. Do not wait that your dog will conform to the life on the couch, it will not happen. It is evident that with regard to his nature the dog will seek for activities, which you and your neighbors will not appreciate. That is why the Jack Russell terrier is the right dog for people, who like to do something with their dog and do not want to spend their time at home.

We must be aware of the Jacks are hunting dogs and they have quite enough of hunting instinct. If a puppy comes to household where more animals live, it will accept them usually without any problems. If the Jack Russell terrier grows up together with parrots, ferrets and cats, it will never harm them and it will be their big friend. But it pays the same thing conversely: when you want to bring home an older "jack" , which wasn't in contact with other house animals, you must count that the other animals will be for it a bag and it will act according to it.


Russell terrier is a true friend of a man. He barks at visitors but it is everything. He embraces all visitors with enthusiasm: more people, more fun. Good socialized Jack Russell terrier is a friend with yours but also other children. These dogs are not oversensitive, they have sport nature and they like games and fun - doesn't matter how crazy it is and how long it takes.

Jack Russell terriers are always independent. It results from their original using - the dog has made decisions during the hunting in fox burrow not its owner. Therefore they need consequential training. They obey their owner not because they want to serve him but because they like it - they do it only for themselves. That's why it is necessary so that the training would be really incentive and interesting. Jacks hate boring exercises. On the other side too much forbearing or democratic orientated owners manage nothing with this race too; the dog does what it likes.

It depends on the owner if he has lovely, cheerful, not complicated, sporting dog and people will envy it to him or if he has a dog which is known as the terrorizing jack Russell terrier.



The Great Britain has a hunting tradition over centuries; its part is a hunt on fox. For this hunt was used hunting dogs, which traced up the fox and then they pursued it with loud barking. Hunters, usually on the horses, followed the dogs and they were able to shut the fox sometimes after hours of pursuing. Nevertheless it happened regularly that the fox hid itself to a burrow and nor the dog neither the hunters could catch it. At this moment terriers improved for this aim has appeared on the scene and hunters can send them to catch the fox in its hole. These terriers were very brave and zealous. They ran quickly towards the fox and barked at it so long that it has left its safety burrow. It was important so that a dog didn't bite the fox to death, it would be the end of the hunt, and it was not the aim. These dogs were called "working terriers". The fox terriers pertained to this group too.

Working (fox) terriers
The photographs of terriers from 19th century and from the beginning of 20. century give evidence about variety of this breed. There wasn't uniform type here. Colour, structure of hair and also the size were different. In the middle of 19.century cynology was on the rise and also the "not hunters" have started to be interested in fox terriers. Dogmen did'nt almost take their hunting skills into account, important was their look. Fox terriers have gotten to show spaces, where the accent was given on their appearance. The breed standard was made and it was chosen more according to improved breed standard. From these dogs has originated "luxury" neat terrier, which we know up to the present day.

Many hunters looked on the disappearing of their working terrier with sorrow. For work under the ground were terriers too big and also their character needful for hunting started to be worse. Hunters have dissociated partialy from exhibition dogs as their owners and have improved terriers suitable for hunt - often without pedigree. To these people pertained a man, who had a big effect on development of Jack Russell terrier - Pastor John Russell. This pastor had almost white, rough-haired, small dogs of good quality, on which we must not forget. Reverend John Russell was one of the oldest members of Kennel Club and he is up today known as the breeder of branch of fox terriers, which is good used for hunting - according to him called Jack Russell terrier. This branch is most roughhewn, primitiver form and has shorter legs than modern exhibition type. Around the year 1818 Jack Russel obtained from dairy-man Marston terrier bitch called "Trump". It has to be a bitch similar to fox terrier but she didn't have so short legs as today's Jack Russell terriers. He always has prefered white dogs with yellow signs. Russell reared short-heared terriers according to pattern "Trump", with long legs, which could follow the hunters during hunting. We could say that "Trump" was a founder of breeding of Jack Russell terrier. Though Russell was one of the founder of Kennel Club and till his deth he stayed its member, he has never exposed his terriers after the year 1869 and he hasn't let them registere into the race book of Kennel Club. During 60 years of his breeding activity he made a type of harsh dogs for hunting needs, which were able to chase out the fox faithfully from the lair, but they hadn't to kill it. These dogs were small; they didn't have more than 15 pounds. His dogs were mostly short-haired. Their hair has a structure of rough-haired puppy's hair. They had, as mentioned, longer legs than today's Jack Russell terrier on the continent. Jack Russell alone has built up his breeding very purposefully. His entries are clear and authentic. When he established his breeding, he made crossing of other blood only rarely. The speech is about dog "Old Jack", working terrier, which obtained a lot of awards on the exhibitions, from breeding of kpt. Percy Williams. Russell used this dog for his breeding in 60´s. Since 1880 different dogs are exposed, of which Jack Russell terriers are ancestors, for example in 1880 "Carlise Tack" daughter of Jack Russell's bitch "Fuss". The next successful bitch was "Pussy", it was sold by Mr. Wootton to a breeder, exhibitor and arbitrator S. E. Shirley for a fantastic price 40 L. (in this time the annual salary of a pastor was 60 L.!). After Russell's death his dogs were dispersed. A big part of them came to Mr. C. H. Basset from Watermonth Castle by Ilfracombe. The dogs have had shorter legs already than first dogs of Jack Russell and they had a little shorter snout. Some names and stories were saved. We can hear about acts of dogs called "Tip", "Nelson" or "Nettle" and so on. Even if this breed can be proud on his long history, it took a long time than cynology has started to engage in it. We can not be surprised at it, because the breeder of Jack Russell terriers didn't want to acknowledge these dogs as a breed at the beginning. Acknowledgement would mean that these dogs would get to exhibitions environmental. Breed standard inseparably connected with refining of appearance led to concessions from original talent to work and working skill by many working dogs. The lovers of working Jack Russell terrier considered it as unacceptable. Today Jack Russell terrier is recognized by FCI meanwhile and it exists its standard edited under FCI 14. december 2000 (number 345).