| General Appearance
The Parson Russell Terrier was developed in the south
of England in the 1800s as a white terrier to work
European red fox both above and below ground. The terrier
was named for the Reverend John Russell, whose terriers
trailed hounds and bolted foxes from dens so the hunt
could ride on. To function as a working terrier, he must
possess certain characteristics: a ready attitude, alert
and confident; balance in height and length; medium in
size and bone, suggesting strength and endurance. Important
to breed type is a natural appearance: harsh, weatherproof
coat with a compact construction and clean silhouette.
The coat is broken or smooth. He has a small, flexible
chest to enable him to pursue his quarry underground and
sufficient length of leg to follow the hounds. Old scars
and injuries, the result of honorable work or accident,
should not be allowed to prejudice a terriers chance
in the show ring, unless they interfere with movement
or utility for work or breeding.
Size, Substance, Proportion
Size: The ideal height of a mature dog is 14 at
the highest point of the shoulder blade, and bitches
13. Terriers whose heights measure either slightly
larger or smaller than the ideal are not to be penalized
in the show ring provided other points of their conformation,
especially balance, are consistent with the working
aspects of the standard. Larger dogs must remain spannable
and smaller dogs must continue to exhibit breed type
and sufficient bone to allow them to work successfully.
The weight of a terrier in hard working condition is
usually between 13-17 lb. Proportion: Balance is the
keystone of the terriers anatomy. The chief points
of consideration are the relative proportions of skull
and foreface, head and frame, height at withers and
length of body. The height at withers is slightly greater
than the distance from the withers to tail, i.e. by
possibly 1 to 1 1/2 inches on a 14 inch dog. The measurement
will vary according to height. Substance: The terrier
is of medium bone, not so heavy as to appear coarse
or so light as to appear racy. The conformation of the
whole frame is indicative of strength and endurance.
Disqualification: Height under 12 or over 15.
Head: Strong and in good proportion to the rest of the
body, so the appearance of balance is maintained. Expression:
Keen, direct, full of life and intelligence. Eyes: Almond
shaped, dark in color, moderate in size, not protruding.
Dark rims are desirable, however where the coat surrounding
the eye is white, the eye rim may be pink. Ears: Small
V- shaped drop ears of moderate thickness
carried forward close to the head with the tip so as
to cover the orifice and pointing toward the eye. Fold
is level with the top of the skull or slightly above.
When alert, ear tips do not extend below the corner
of the eye. Skull: Flat with muzzle and back skull in
parallel planes. Fairly broad between the ears, narrowing
slightly to the eyes. The stop is well defined but not
prominent. Muzzle: Length from nose to stop is slightly
shorter than the distance from stop to occiput. Strong
and rectangular, measuring in width approximately 2/3
that of the backskull between the ears. Jaws: Upper
and lower are of fair and punishing strength. Nose:
Must be black and fully pigmented. Bite: Teeth are large
with complete dentition in a perfect scissors bite,
i.e., upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth
and teeth set square to the jaws. Faults: Snipey muzzle,
weak or coarse head. Light or yellow eye, round eye.
Hound ear, fleshy ear, rounded tips. Level bite, missing
teeth. Four or more missing pre-molars, incisors or
canines is a fault. Disqualifications: Prick ears. Liver
color nose. Overshot, undershot or wry mouth.
Neck: Clean and muscular, moderately arched, of fair
length, gradually widening so as to blend well into
the shoulders. Topline: Strong, straight, and level
in motion, the loin of moderate length. Body: In overall
length to height proportion, the dog appears approximately
square and balanced. The back is neither short nor long.
The back gives no appearance of slackness but is laterally
flexible, so that he may turn around in an earth. Tuck-up
is moderate. Chest: Narrow and of moderate depth, giving
an athletic rather than heavily-chested appearance;
must be flexible and compressible. The ribs are fairly
well sprung, oval rather than round, not extending past
the level of the elbow. Tail: Docked so the tip is approximately
level to the skull. Set on not too high, but so that
a level topline, with a very slight arch over the loin,
is maintained. Carried gaily when in motion, but when
baiting or at rest may be held level but not below the
horizontal. Faults: Chest not spannable or shallow;
barrel ribs. Tail set low or carried low to or over
the back, i.e. squirrel tail.
Shoulders: Long and sloping, well laid back, cleanly
cut at the withers. Point of shoulder sits in a plane
behind the point of the prosternum. The shoulder blade
and upper arm are of approximately the same length;
forelegs are placed well under the dog. Elbows hang
perpendicular to the body, working free of the sides.
Legs are strong and straight with good bone. Joints
turn neither in nor out. Pasterns firm and nearly straight.
Feet: Round, cat-like, very compact, the pads thick
and tough, the toes moderately arched pointing forward,
turned neither in nor out. Fault: Hare feet.
Strong and muscular, smoothly molded, with good angulation
and bend of stifle. Hocks near the ground, parallel,
and driving in action. Feet as in front.
Smooth and Broken: Whether smooth or broken, a double
coat of good sheen, naturally harsh, close and dense,
straight with no suggestion of kink. There is a clear
outline with only a hint of eyebrows and beard if natural
to the coat. No sculptured furnishings. The terrier
is shown in his natural appearance not excessively groomed.
Sculpturing is to be severely penalized. Faults: Soft,
silky, woolly, or curly topcoat. Lacking undercoat.
Excessive grooming and sculpturing.
White, white with black or tan markings, or a combination
of these, tri-color. Colors are clear. As long as the
terrier is predominantly white, moderate body markings
are not to be faulted. Grizzle is acceptable and should
not be confused with brindle. Disqualification: Brindle
Movement or action is the crucial test of conformation.
A tireless ground covering trot displaying good reach
in front with the hindquarters providing plenty of drive.
Pasterns break lightly on forward motion with no hint
of hackney-like action or goose-stepping. The action
is straight in front and rear.
Bold and friendly. Athletic and clever. At work he is
a game hunter, tenacious, courageous, and single minded.
At home he is playful, exuberant and overwhelmingly
affectionate. He is an independent and energetic terrier
and requires his due portion of attention. He should
not be quarrelsome. Shyness should not be confused with
submissiveness. Submissiveness is not a fault. Sparring
is not acceptable. Fault: Shyness. Disqualification:
Overt aggression toward another dog.
To measure a terriers chest, span from behind,
raising only the front feet from the ground, and compress
gently. Directly behind the elbows is the smaller, firm
part of the chest. The central part is usually larger
but should feel rather elastic. Span with hands tightly
behind the elbows on the forward portion of the chest.
The chest must be easily spanned by average size hands.
Thumbs should meet at the spine and fingers should meet
under the chest. This is a significant factor and a
critical part of the judging process. The dog can not
be correctly judged without this procedure.
Height under 12 or over 15.
Prick ears, liver nose.
Overshot, undershot or wry mouth.
Overt aggression toward another dog.
July 13, 2004
Effective: September 29, 2004