These popular, feisty little dogs have a long history of assisting people with hunting and vermin control. Their controversial and chequered past makes fascinating reading. The story goes that the breed line was started way back in 1795 by the Reverend John (“Jack”) Russell, a parson with a passion for fox hunting and country pursuits.
The working and sporting owners of Jack Russell terriers of old were vehemently opposed to Kennel Club registration of the breed. They were proud of their hardy little dogs, preferring to call them cross breeds or even mongrels - the words pedigree or pure-bred were anathema to them. Even John Russell, after judging Fox Terriers in the show ring for the Kennel Club, was firmly against any standardisation of the breed, believing that the working spirit of the Jack Russell would be diluted by show breeding, leaving them “constitutionally and generally weaker than their less blue-blooded cousins”
But of course there were those who disagreed and sought to create a breed standard - now known as the Parson Russell Terrier - which is recognised by the Kennel Club. Regardless of Kennel Club recognition, these super little dogs are tough yet affectionate with a larger than life personality. Fearless, agile, quick and energetic, the JRT is a remarkable companion for all walks of life.