ORIGIN : Great Britain.


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

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I. : 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 he 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 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, particularly 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 F.C.I. 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 F.C.I. on June 4th 2001.

GENERAL APPEARANCE : Workmanlike, active and agile; built for speed and endurance. Overall picture of balance and flexibility. Honourable scars permissible.

IMPORTANT PORPORTIONS : Well balanced. Overall length of body slightly longer than height from withers to ground. Length from nose to stop slightly shorter than from stop to occiput.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT : Essentially a working terrier with ability and conformation to go to ground and run with hounds. Bold and friendly.



Skull : Flat, moderately broad, gradually narrowing to the eyes.

Stop : Shallow.



Nose : Black.

Jaws/Teeth : Jaws strong , muscular. Teeth with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Eyes : Almond shaped, fairly deep-set, dark, keen expression.

Ears : Small, V-shaped, dropping forward, carried close to head, tip of ear to reach corner of eye, fold not to appear above top of skull. Leather of moderate thickness.

NECK : Clean, muscular, of good length, gradually widening to shoulders.

BODY : Well balanced. Overall length slightly longer than height from withers to ground.

Back : Strong and straight.

Loin : Slightly arched.

Chest : Of moderate depth, not to come below point of elbow, capable of being spanned behind the shoulders by average size hands. Ribs not over-sprung.


TAIL : Customarily docked.

Docked : Length complementing the body while providing a good handhold. Strong, straight, moderately high set, carried well up on the move.

Undocked : Of moderated length and as straight as possible, giving a general balance to the dog, thick at the root and tapering towards the end. Moderately high set, carried well up on the move.



FOREQUARTERS : Strong, must be straight with joints turning neither in nor out.

Shoulders : Long and sloping, well laid back, cleanly cut at withers.

Elbows : Close to body, working free of the sides.


HINDQUARTERS : Strong, muscular with good angulation.

Stifle : Good bend of stifle.

Hocks : Set low.

Rear Pasterns : Parallel, giving plenty of drive.


FEET : Compact with firm pads, turning neither in nor out.

GAIT/MOVEMENT : Free-striding, well co-ordinated, straight action front and behind.

SKIN : Must be thick and loose.


HAIR : Naturally harsh, close and dense, whether rough or smooth. Belly and undersides coated.

COLOUR : Entirely white or predominantly white with tan, lemon or black markings, or any combination of these colours, preferably confined to head and/or root of tail.

SIZE : Dogs ideal height at withers 36 cm (14 ins).

Bitches ideal height at withers 33 cm (13 ins).

2 cm above or below is acceptable.

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 and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

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

This amended breed standard will become effective from April 2004.