BREED STANDARD by
Billie Sumrell, based on ARTC standard.
athletic, lithe and tough; these little dogs are as loyal as they are
fearless, tenacious as they are endearing. The correct JRT is not overly
heavy, or frontloaded and built like torpedo on splayed legs.... nor is
he built with high tuck up and overly long thin legs. His depth of
body from wither to brisket should be equal to length of leg from elbow
to a moderate foot. He has straight front legs, sometimes with a slight
turn out, and with good angles in his rear legs, hocks should be low set
and parallel, perpendicular to the ground. The tail may be uncut or
docked so that ideally, if docked, the tip of the tail is level with the top of the ears. It should be carried up, or slightly forward when moving, and may drop when they are standing or at rest.
They should NOT be too deep in
the chest, there should definitely be some daylight between the
underside and the ground; he should have moderate to little tuck up. The length of the body, from wither to base of tail should be slightly longer than tall, so that from point of shoulder to point of buttock, the profile should present a rectangular dog.
of the most important functional physical characteristics a Russell
should have is a spanable chest. The ribs should NOT be barrel, nor
should they be slab sided (flat), but should be oval shaped and
compressable, to enable him to manouver underground in a tunnel or
He should not be overly muscular and should have a very alert demeinor; confident and a bit mischievious; neither viscious or shy. He embodies moderation
in all ways from his statue to his muscling, with head, neck and
topline flowing smoothly from one to the other.. He is not fragile or
"racey", nor does he have overly dense bone
and muscling. Looking down on him, shoulder area and hip area should be
the same width, with sufficient muscling to pull as well as push his way
built to be able to go to ground as well as give chase to his prey and
is an excellent vermin eliminator. He is also used for above ground
hunting of rabbit and squirrel.
being said, he is more than happy to be curled up in your lap, on your
bed or in your chair with you; as long as he is in as close proximity to
his humans as possible, making him the ideal companion dog in any
setting; apartment, subdivision or in the country. He will do anything
to be with the people he loves and protects.
AKC, FCI and Australian standard specifies a dog within the 10-12"
height range. That does not mean that there are not some excellant dogs
out of that range that can make a possitive contribution to the gene
pool, but these are the standards for the entries of the show ring. The
body must be more rectangular than square, being slightly longer than tall and the proportion of the depth of body to leg length should be 50/50,
or as close to that as possible. Stubby legged dogs and "leggy" dogs
should be penalized since the former boards on "dwarf" characteristics
and the latter is encroaching on the Parson standards.
All of the credible standards mentioned above also note 3 acceptable coat types;
a smooth dense coat, a broken coat (which incorporates some
characteristics from the smooth and rough) and the rough coat, which is
NOT to be soft and wooly, but have a course textered wirey hair that may
be up to several inches long, but generally is pretty close lying,
except around the face and muzzle, where it is encouraged to grow as
full as possible. These are all double coats and meant to protect him from dirt, branbles and harsh weather.
are not a quarelsome dog and will usually not pick a fight. However,
they will stand their ground when challenged, no matter how big the
opponent is. Many people call this their "Neopoleon" attitude. Often it
is said they are a big dog in a small package. Due to the nature of
their breeding and purpose, they can "go" for hours; a trait that was
needed when they had to keep up with the pack on a fox hunt. Often the
smaller JRT was carried in a pouch atttached to the saddle on the back
of a horse, and deposited at the opening where the fox had "holed in".
Their predominently white coats kept them from being "jumped on" by the
fox hounds when they both came shooting out of the hole, and the "hunt"
"caging" a JRT will frustrate him, but they do crave human
companionship, so a compromise has to ensue for the house dogs. These
are true hunting terriers and will keep your grounds free of vermin. A
well bred terrier will have strong hunting instincts, and will
vocalize when they locate prey, detect intruders or when provoked. They
are not a "yappy" dog by nature, but will "alarm" with prey or
intruders. They are also highly intelligent, which sometimes leads to a
"matching of wills". They like to play, but are also content to sit or
lay in your lap, chair, bed...anywhere you are. Considering
the number of (Jack) Russell terriers in film and TV, the breed
shows how versital they are, both in the fields as hunters and in our
homes as companion dogs.
dogs are extremely intelligent and crave companionship, attention and
interaction. They will keep you "engaged" in life and offer you stress
relief from your hectic work schedule.