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1 History of the Jack Russell Terrier.

The breed began to be created towards 1820, in the county of Devonshire, England, by the well-known by all, Parson John Russell. Starting off with the famous dog  "Trump" , that was the prototype of  ideal working terrier for the Parson, and by crossing her with    foxterrier type dogs of those times, it secured a line of ideal dogs for working underground ........ around 1850 a certain type of terriers were already known as a breed called  Jack Russell Terriers, or also Parson Russell Terriers ......... although there are no documented pedigrees previous to 1860  it is known that Jacks as well as   foxterriers descend of the same type of dogs .......

Old Jock. Famouse fox terrier of those times

The club of the Fox Terrier was based in 1875 and  John Russell was one of the charter members ......... . Towards beginings of century XX Foxterriers already  began to become the breed that are today, quite distant from those old foxterriers ...... ...... Parson Russell had to sell all his dogs several times during his life because of financial deficiencies, it is for this reason the historians of the breed believe it little probable that all the jack russells come from the  bitch "Trump", ....... The Reverend  Russell, when dying in 1883, owned dogs of less than four years and did not breed with them .............. but in many corners of the British rural area they  continued breeding the  jacks of the parson, and mainly they continued working with them, hunting foxes , the majority of hunters prefered a terrier  under 30 cm since they were better for going underground .......... but they continued having  "long legs"

Carl Isle Tack

I have tried to compile more information about the appearance of our friend the Jack  Russell and from where  the Jacks of shorter legs appeard
: On the one hand I found references to a possible division between two lines of Jacks in the early history of the breed in 1835, when the sister of the one in charge of   Russell s Kennells, sells a lot of dogs like '  Jack Russells ' that were in fact  dogs that did not descend from the Parsons Terriers (Trump and company), instead of that, they were terriers of shorter leg and of variable origins .......
 More ahead towards end of the century, the secretary of the Parson Russell Terrier, Albert Heinneman raised a line of terriers to hunt badgers, he introduced Bull Terrier blood to give them shorter legs and to increase their force ,  these dogs again were  called Jack Russells.. Heinnemann surley did write a page in the breeds history.
 World War II had ominous consequences on the breed, working dogs stopped  being worked and their number descended drastically, many Jacks were destined to company animals and they were crossed  with other breeds, between which it is thought that they were Corgis, Chihuauas, Teckels, stafforshire bull terriers, among others .......... My opinion is that such crossings were made inside and outside England, I do not believe that no English crossed with a  German breed like the Teckel ( Datschund), consequently the term " shortleg english type" is erroneous, in addition the breed clubs in England are against  that this type of dogs are named  Jack Russells  ....... Evidently there ' are references of  shortjacks  coming from  Great Britain, mainly from Ireland. One of the most known is a Kennell called Cumbreck  ....
...... The kennell is in Carlisle, in the county of Cumbria, to the north of England, touching  Scotland ....... This family says they have been breeding their line of Jack russells from times of his great great grandpa, this had its first working terrier in 1806! (15 years before Parson began breeding .....: S), but that was not until his grandfathers in 1950 began to keep registries from genealogical trees that  written  documents exist........ they say to have the older line of short jack russells in the world! They say that their lines are more calm, more obedient, and  more coloured than parsons ........ very interesting ....... I recommend  you visit their site, the gallery of photos is very illustrative ....... It explains that working terrier of his greatgreatgrandpa descended of the dogs of John Peel, famous hunter and breeder of dogs born in 1776, his old line of terriers were also white, but shorter and with shorter legs than old foxterriers ....... It mentions a dog of John Peel called ' Buffet' , a smooth haired bitch, like the majority of those of the line of John Peel , was the grandmother of Carisle Tack one of the dogs   Russell  used for the creation of the Parson Jack breed ..... Another clear example that not all what we knowadays call Jack Russells , come from Reverend Russells dogs.

The Australians, where surely this type of short Jacks arrived , degenerations of the breed the Parson had raised, put themselves to work in the subject to conserve and to recover many breed, not only the Jack Russells  ...... also others like the Tenerfield Terrier ........ but they, although  basing themselves on the breed standard  in England, wanted to conserve the new qualities and morphology of the  Jack Russell as we  all know them today, a dog longer than higher .......... To be able to maintain that type, but to correct all the defects that the short jacks had, that were dispersedall over the world, not only  England, they appealed to  import  dogs from England, today admitted like Parson Russell Terriers, but of the class of less than 30 cm and 5 - 6 kg, that are bred under the standard of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain (JRTCGB)…. and this they did  ... The only imports the AKC accepted were from Jack Russells with a JRTCGB pedigree, and these were used during the 70s and 80s quite often.....  For example Foxwarren Tommy or Tarsia Dracula who are in many pedigrees of Australian Champions.... to learn more about first steps of the breed in Australia visit this website, it clearly explains how they began to create their type of Jacks


.... Towards principles of 1970 appeared the club of the Russell Jack in Australia defending a standard traced to the one of the English but modifying relation height-length and looking for a jack longer than higher ......
Foxwarren Tiger, a typical english Jack Russell Terrier JRTCGB

As we can see there  are many theories of how the shorter Jack Russell Terrier of  longer  body appreared, the one that  we all like, now, this variant needs to improve it and to try to understand what we looking for ........... Homogenity. so that the breed is recognized definitively, an approach of opinions and an understanding between all of us it ..... I hope someday it is posible…. meanwhile lets try to learn of forums, books, breeders, etc, finding  contrasted opinions and asking ourselves questions, that way we will find  improvement ..........

Best wishes to all.......


Albert Heinemann can be considered one of the main precursors of the breed after the death of the Reverend and  the main responsible for the emergence of a clear division of the breed ..... Heinemann was 8 years old when he  Russell died, so direct contact between them is unlikely, but undoubtedly Heinemann wrote a page in the history of this breed .... In 1894, he founded the Heinemann Devon and Somerset Badger Club.Its objective was to foment an interest in badger digging and breeding terriers adapted for that purpose. Terriers were acquired from Nicholas Snow, in Oare, and it is probable, that  blood of terriers from the Parson Russell  flowed through their veins, although maybe already in a diluted form.   Snow had founded the Exmoor Pack in 1869 and the  priest certainly had hunted with ' The Stars from occident' , as they were called , and it is more than probable  that some of original  terriers were provided  by him. Heinemann concentrated his sport activities on badger digging and, immediately after he stopped being Masterful of the Cheriton, he changed  the name of his Devon and Somerset Badger Club to the one of the Parson Jack Russell Terrier Club. Possibly the change was conceived like a  way of increasing the value of terriers that Heinemann now breed and produced in great amounts, but whatever the reason was the change had the effect to help to perpetuate the name of the breed Parson  Jack Russell Terrier, although asociated now with  a terrier very different of those that the priest had created. Badger digging requires a very  different terrier that the made to run with the  bloodhounds and to work to hunt a fox. It is probable that Heinemann introduced blood of BullTerrier, that the  priest hated, with the purpose of to produce the type of force and the aggressiveness that allows terrier to fight against badgers, and  by the photographies that we have of terriers of Heinemann, it seems probable that those terriers of shorter legs,  often are associated erroneously with the own parish priest and to whom its name is often united, they can have their origins in the activities of Devon and Somerset Badger Club. To the division that was being developed between exposing and working Fox Terriers, now a  one more a division appeared with   very different  types and both having Jack Russells as a name.

Heinemann died at the age of 59 years, in 1930, and his terriers went to the kennels of Annie Harris. Annie Harris soon became mistress of keys of Henry Williamson and the situation was very different there. Williamson was not fan of badger digging at all. It was not a experience that hr enjoyed and that well could have ended any interest that he could have in terriers. Perhaps it is not surprising that it did not find interest in the papers of Russell and Heinemann, that Mrs Harris took with her when she became his mistress of keys. It is possible that the documents  were lost for always, although it is equally possible that they are hidden in some forgotten corner.   Williamsons lack of interest in terriers  did not prevent Mrs. Harris to continue breeding them and she was able to produce a great amount of  these called Jack Russell Terrier, whose popularity extended much more there of Devon. These were already in all Great Britain and  soon they are exported all over the world......... 


The country of origin of these dogs in doubtlessly England…. The history of the Reverend John Russell and the dog Trump ,  is already are well-known by all ..... The country of development of the breed is considered nevertheless, Australia. We know that white English colonists took terriers with them in late  1700 - begining of 1800s. It is even known that the own Reverend Russell sent at least 2 of his terrier, Grove Tartar and Grove Willy, to Australia at the end of 1800. Although there are no registries, it is known that several Jack  Rusells was imported  in later years, from the kennells of the Dukes of Bedford they brought several, Hardy, Kiss Me Kate, Shandy and Judy. In the 70´s several came from England, including  Beau  , Bim, Brighthelms Alice Springs and Fern. Later they arrived by the hand of Eddie Chapman and Ann Brewer,  Foxwarren Tommy, Foxwarren Tag, Tarsia Fly and Tarsia Monocle, that are in many pedigrees of  Jack Russells of nowadays, in many Australian and European champions

Visit this site for full information on the beginings of the breed in Australia:


The first club of documented registry that forms in 1970 is the JRTCGB, in England. This club proposes a standard and two classes, from 25 to 30 cm and another one of 30 to 38 cm, the dogs are same lenght as hight. Soon after in America  the JRTC was born, molding itself to the written up thing by the English club. Both of these Clubs refuse to recognize the Australian Jack, or  the Irish, like pure, for them our  Jack´s are a mestization of dogs,  an impure fowterrier type dog . IN 1972 the Australians founded the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia, sat down wrote up a standard, took pedigrees and worked jointly to create a dog of 25 to 30 cm but longer that higher, they based tjemselves completely on the standard of the race written up by the JRTCGB. Soon they got FCI and the entire world accepted a breed like Jack Russell Terrier with these measures and proportions. All EXCEPT the English, the  English Kennel  Club does not accept these type of Russells.But are accepted by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and the FCI (international canine federation), to which the majority of countries estan affiliates. ..... We know that at the beginning of the 80 there were attempts on the part of the English club that English Jacks of 25 to 30 cm were recognized by the Kennel Club, but it  is known that the formation of the PRTC, Parson Russell Terrier Club, blocked the recognition of that type of jacks. In 1990 the KC recognized the line of 30 to 38 cm like Parson Russell Terrier. In the year 2000 the AKC also accepts to the Parson, as well as the FCI. It would be interesting to know what interest was in all that, one but this clear one that war PRTC versus JRTCGB in England favored the Australians. Could it  be because the Australian Club and the AKC only accepted imports of jacks from England with pedigree JRTCGB to form their breed? I would love  to know i, but probably that had to do with it.....

English Jack Russells

Eddie Chapman, expert breeder for over more than 40 years

Australian Jack Russells