JRT Montefiore Amateur Breeding by Simonetta Del Frate and Gianni Carmignani for the selection of the dog of the breed Jack Russell Terrier and the dog of the breed Parson Russell Terrier.


In the early 1800s in English Devon the Reverend John Russell, called by his friends Jack, an avid hunter, decided to give life to the selection of a dog that was morphology and character more ‘suitable for hunting in the den than were the races used up at that time as the Fox Terrier. He then worked to create a morphologically more contained dog, with a narrower, more streamlined stern and with characteristics that allowed him to enter and move easily in a den of fox or badger and a character suitable to reach the wild at any cost. and there ‘do not seek total contact but work to flush it or immobilize it and then a courage to the limits and a tireless tenacity.


After long years of crossbreeding with various terrier breeds the Parson Jack Russell Terrier was outlined but Russell was not interested in registering the breed at the FCI and the British Kennel but only at the development of the new breed that in fact took the name of “Parson Russell Terrier “And that is” Reverend Russell’s terrier “. This aspect, however, made sure that enthusiasts and breeders selected for many years but without univocal criteria recognized in an official international standard. The result was that in the world different types of Jack Russell emerged. Very intense was the work of Australian breeders who were the first to request the recognition of the breed in 2000 after years of commitment in the selection.


Later because of the different types of Russell breed developed the FCI recognized the breed as the Parson Russell Terrier in 2001 defining the Standard in 2003. Here it must be said that the British Kennel, the ancient body for the protection of dog breeds in England, never having accepted to be part of the FCI, he does not recognize his Standards and considers Russell dogs to be all Jack Russell Terriers, but in reality most of them today would be considered Parson RT for morphology and character.


This state of things leads to a bit ‘of confusion especially in those who approach the race for the first time. There are various clichés that do not correspond to the true species regarding the morphology, character and mantle that many think is smooth-haired in Jack and thick coat in the Parson. Instead the hair in both races is coded in 3 types: smooth or satin, broken and rough or long.


It is certainly true that it will take years before morphologically, both breeds conform, and hence the fact that many dogs are not exactly similar to each other. To the state of things, Russell races should be considered recent and despite the two recognized breed standards we are in a paradoxical situation in which many specimens of Jack RT and Parson RT even in possession of regular pedigree issued by the FCI and the National Agency in charge of the cynological protection, do not correspond species morphologically to the standard of breed with the consequence however that their owners feel authorized to the reproduction aggravating thus the confusion.


In my opinion the characteristic to protect the most is the character. This is why I think it is very important that we do not abandon the “work” activity for our Russell. Hunting in the den, ratting, and other activities inherent in the character of these dogs, their sense of smell, courage and tenacity, what the British terriermen call “gameness”, must be safeguarded in breeding and developing these otherwise you would lose a history of more than 200 years in which many Terriermen and breeders in England have worked hard and worked.