Over the last several years the general public, as well as the members of the canine sporting community have been totally confused and perplexed with the multitude of names and name changes, all referring to the same breed of dog. Compounding the difficulty has been the recognition of the new Russell Terrier in both of the major American registries, the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. The brief explanation of the different breeds, hopefully, clarifies some of the confusion involved in an attempt to assist interested parties with understanding the differences in the names and the breed type of these two terriers.
In the interest of further education, the RoHM has added the following link the UKC Earthworking Guide. This presentation gives the basics involving traditional earthwork for both of these marvelous terrier breeds. Perspective into the conformation required by both terriers in order to accomplish their utilitarian duties can be gleaned by studing the material.
The AKC Parson Russell Terrier
In the 1990’s a group calling themselves the Breeders Association, formed within the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA), an independent registry for the Jack Russell Terrier. Over time members of the Breeders Association (BA) became disgruntled with the politics and restrictions of the JRTCA registry, and became themselves another independent Registry for their style of Jack Russell Terrier. Over time it became apparent that the new BA group could not survive as an organization, so the American Kennel Club was petitioned to accept the Jack Russell Terrier as a new breed.
In 2000 this quest was accomplished and the newly recognize Jack Russell Terrier began AKC Group competition. Prior to full admission into the world of dog show competition, however, it was soon discovered that many newly imported Jack Russell Terriers did not meet the AKC breed standard. Around that same time the “Mother Club”, The Kennel Club of England, approved a name change for their own registered Jack Russell Terriers to that of Parson Russell Terrier. This move was to define the breed as the Parson Type, the taller and squarer profile style of the Terrier, making the breed distinctly separate from the shorter more rectangular bodied style of dog. Registries around the world had always recognized the Jack Russell Terrier as the “longer and smaller” style of dog and the taller version was known worldwide as the Parson “Type” Russell Terrier. The AKC Breed Club followed suit and with approval from the AKC, renamed its terrier the Parson Russell Terrier.
The AKC Breed Standard recognizes the taller more square body style or proportion, measuring between 12″-15″. It requires a three generation numbered pedigree certified by an acceptable foreign or domestic registry. The AKC is a closed registry, meaning that it registers dogs on lineage rather the type.
Click here to view the AKC Parson Russell Terrier Breed Standard.
The UKC Parson Russell Terrier
The United Kennel Club recognized the Jack Russell Terrier as a breed in 1991. The UKC breed standard also defines the breed as a square body type or proportion, or the Parson Type. The UKC breed standard is similar to that of the AKC, but allows for two height varieties, dogs measuring from 10″-12.5″ and from 12.5″-15″. UKC had kept the name for the Parson Type as The Jack Russell Terrier until April of 2008, now becoming the Parson Russell Terrier. Many AKC registered Parsons Russell Terriers are also UKC registered Parson Russell Terriers and compete in both conformation and performance events within each respective venue. In January of 2009 the breed standard for the smaller and more rectangular built type became the official UKC Jack Russell Terrier.
The UKC is still considered an open registry as it qualifies registration more on type than on lineage. Should a dog apply for registration to the UKC stud book for its respective breed, a dog’s pedigree is considered a part of the registration process, but no certification may be required for most breeds. Some breeds are required, however, to furnish photographs with the application. Should the individual look more like a Russell Terrier it is added to that breed’s database. Should it present he picture of a Jack Russell Terrier it is added to that database, regardless of what the pedigree may indicate.
Click here to view the UKC Parson Russell Terrier Breed Standard.
The AKC Russell Terrier
Historically, although bred from similar bloodlines of the Parson type, in the 1800s, enthusiasts infused very dissimilar strains of blood to develop a smaller version of fox working terrier that could be more easily transported in terrier bags and work in smaller earthen dens in more rugged terrain. Australia has been designated the country of development for this breed and the AKC breed standard reflects this influence.
Since 1995, The American Russell Terrier Club, Inc. Inc has served the breed as the premier domestic registry for the purebred Russell Terrier. The ARTC ushered the Russell Terrier breed to AKC recognition in 2005. The American proponents of this newly recognized AKC breed have worked tirelessly to solidify the consistency of domestic breed type while eliminating any influence of the Parson/JRTCA Jack Russell blood within their breeding lines. By selectively breeding the domestic foundation stock of the shorter height and longer body type to quality purebred imports of the same breed, the members of the ARTC have effectively and very specifically eliminated “Parson or domestic JRTCA Jack Russell” blood. The ARTC registry has solidified the purity of the Russell Terrier in American.
The purebred Kennel Club registered Russell Terrier is not to be confused with the traditionally named Puddlin Dogs found in the English or Irish country sides. The traditional Puddlin Dog has shorter benched legs and an extremely elongated body, usually with a pointed rounded head. The Puddlin is generally not noted for pleasant disposition nor has it been bred for hunting or any utilitarian purpose.
Click here to view the AKC Russell Terrier Breed Standard
The UKC Russell Terrier
In 2001 the United Kennel Club recognized the Russell Terrier also known as the Jack Russell Terrier worldwide. UKC adopted the FCI standard for the breed which they named the Russell Terrier due to the fact that they had already assigned the Jack Russell Terrier label to the breed with the taller stature and squarer body proportion. In January of 2009, updated their standard for the breed and reverted to the original nomenclature of the Jack Russell Terrier. The 2001 Foundation Stock taken in by the UKC registry is indeed the very same foundation stock that the American Kennel Club has taken as their Foundation Stock Russell Terrier. Both registries found merit in the work accomplished by the English Jack Russell Terrier Club ®, now The American Russell Terrier Club, Inc, the AKC Parent Club for the Russell Terrier.
Again, The purebred Kennel Club registered Jack Russell Terrier/Russell Terrier is not to be confused with the traditionally named Puddlin Dogs or the American Stable Dog, found throughout the American, English or Irish country sides. The traditional Puddlin Dog has benched legs and an extremely elongated body, with a pointed rounded head. The Puddlin is generally not noted for pleasant disposition nor has it been bred for hunting or any utilitarian purpose.
Click here to view the UKC Jack Russell Terrier Breed Standard
The JRTCA Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA), founded in 1976, is an independent, private and open registry of Jack Russell Terriers whose tenants are opposed to any Kennel Club registration of the breed. Interestingly enough, most of the domestic breeding stock for the AKC Parson Russell Terrier and UKC Jack (now Parson) Russell Terrier are and were bred from individuals whose primary registry was originally the JRTCA. The respective Kennel Club breed standards are simply variations of the JRTCA breed standard. The UKC breed standard is the most similar to the JRTCA breed standard.
The JRTCA is an open registry, meaning that any Jack Russell looking dog applying for registration which meets the JRTCA registration requirements is either registered or recorded on its merit. The JRTCA “registers” a dog, which closely meets the breed standard on looks (type) rather than a lineage of pure blood. It will register a dog whose parentage is of several different breeds of dogs, even as close as the parents. In other words should a mating between a Jack Russell and a Border Terrier occur, any puppies from that litter which look like a Jack Russell can be fully registered as a JRTCA Jack Russell Terrier. The dog still must pass a vet check, have a pedigree, however, the individual dog does not need to prove registration in any other Registry.
For many years the JRTCA has “recorded” dogs that do not meet all of its registration requirements; either failure to meet minimum vet certifications, absence of a pedigree or failure to meet the look dictated by the breed standard. In years past the JRTCA did fully register the longer bodied, shorted legged “Puddlin” style. But since the mid to late 80s, efforts were made to eliminate this style of dog as breeding stock and subsequent Puddlin types were merely recorded. In the JRTCA “recording” a dog means that the dog is restricted from all conformation classes intended for breeding stock but it is allowed to participate in all performance events.
Click here to view the JRTCA Breed Standard.