EXTENDED BREED STANDARD

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AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL KENNEL COUNCIL

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Extended Breed Standard of

THE JACK RUSSELL TERRIER

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Produced by

Mrs Ann Mitchell
ANKC Breed Standard Coordinator with material supplied by
The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Queensland The Jack Russell Terrier Club of NSW Inc The Jack Russell Terrier Club of WA
in conjunction with
The Australian National Kennel Council

ANKC Standard adopted 1990
Breed Standard Extension adopted by the ANKC 1999

Copyright Australian National Kennel Council 1999 Country of development ~ Australia

Extended Standards are compiled purely for the purpose of training Australian judges and students of the breed.

In order to comply with copyright requirements of authors, artists and photographers of material used, the contents must not be copied for commercial use or any other purpose. Under no circumstances may the Standard or Extended Standard be placed on the Internet without written permission of the ANKC.

HISTORY OF THE BREED

Jack Russell Terriers have been around for over a hundred years but the breed has only been officially recognised recently when Australia recognised the breed in 1991.

The breed takes its name from one of England’s hunting parsons, the Reverend John (or Jack, as he was known locally) Russell from Devon, who established the breed in the early 19th century.

The Reverend, being a keen fox hunter, needed an agile dog with plenty of spirit that could keep up with hounds and have the courage to face up to its quarry underground. When not pursuing foxes, Jack Russells were used as exterminators of vermin, such as badgers and rats.

Jack Russell racing has become very popular with owners and the public and most State Jack Russell Terrier Clubs hold race days. Another sport, “Earthdog Tests”, first introduced in Queensland and now approved as a recognised activity by the ANKC for all breeds bred to go to ground, has become very popular and at most meets Jack Russells are at the fore.

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia (Inc.) was founded in 1972. A small group of breeders instigated the setting up of the first stud book and register of Jack Russells in Australia and set about establishing type here. Although there were terrier of Jack Russell type in Australia, the first known import of a Jack Russell was in 1965. Further imports during the early 1970’s were known to be from the ‘right side of the track’, for they came from the Duke of Beaufort, Duchess of Bedford, the Eastleigh and the Cowdray Hunts. Some did not have pedigrees but it was known they were the genuine article.

Members of the Jack Russell Club already had an expanding pool of dogs of similar type which were carefully documented and registered. The end result being that today Australia can boast of playing a leading role in the development of the Jack Russell as a genetically pure breed.

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia was entirely responsible for the development of the breed up until 1991, when the Jack Russell was officially recognised by the ANKC as a pure breed. State breed clubs have since been formed in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 2

!GENERAL APPEARANCE
A strong, active, lithe working terrier of great character with flexible body of medium length. His smart movement matches his keen expression. Tail docking is optional and the coat may be smooth, rough or broken.

The Standard calls for ‘a strong, active lithe working terrier’. The key word here is ‘lithe’, and there are several interpretations of what is meant. The Concise Oxford Dictionary says: Flexible, supple’. It is meant to mean slimly built. (Queensland). Bending, readily pliant, limber, supple. (NSW).

The dog should not be too deep or wide in the chest, otherwise the measurement of 40-43 cms cannot be spanned, especially when the height is relative to the weight. I.e., a 25 cm (ten inch) high dog weighs approximately 5 kgs (11 lbs) and a 30.5 cm (12 inch) high dog weighs 6 kgs (13 lbs).

Remember, the Jack Russell is a small dog that is required to enter a fox hole and must be built with the ability to turn around.

!CHARACTERISTICS
A lively, alert and active terrier with a keen, intelligent expression.

Key points: Great character, smart movement, keen expression.

! TEMPERAMENT
Bold and fearless, friendly but quietly confident.

‘Bold and fearless’ – this does not mean aggressive. They should be ‘friendly but quietly confident’, a dog that looks to be enjoying himself. It should be neither aggressive, nervous or shy.

Sound temperament and character have always been essential ingredients of the breed. They have a great personality and are remarkably brave for their size. They enjoy hunting just as much as a good romp in the garden with the children.

!HEAD AND SKULL
The skull should be flat and of moderate width gradually decreasing in width to the eyes and tapering to a wide muzzle with very strong jaws. There should be a well defined stop but not over pronounced. The length from the stop to the nose should be slightly shorter than from the stop to the occiput with the cheek muscles well developed. The nose should be black.

The skull should be flat and of moderate width, not domed or apple-headed. The muzzle should be wide with no tendency towards snipeyness. The stop should be neither over pronounced nor too slight. The planes of the skull and foreface should be parallel.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 3

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Fig. 1

General Appearance: A sturdy, tough terrier, very much on its toes, measuring between 25.5 – 30.5 cms (10 – 12 ins) at the withers. The body length must be in proportion to the height and it should present a compact, balanced image, always being in solid, hard condition.

Examples of typical faults:

Fig. 2 Too long in back Too short in back

Chest too deep Roached back

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 4

! EYES
Small dark and with keen expression. MUST not be prominent and eyelids should fit closely. The eyelid rims should be pigmented black. Almond shape.

Light eyes are a fault as are large, round eyes which spoil the expression. The pigment on white-faced, young dogs may sometimes be slow coming through, while this may be recognised, it cannot be taken into consideration whilst judging as there is no way of knowing at the time whether it will correct itself or not. White faced dogs who have black, well pigmented eye rims and nose should not be penalised.

! EARS
Button or dropped of good texture and great mobility.

‘Of good texture’ means the leather is to be soft and fine to the touch, not coarse and heavy. No preference should be given to either button or dropped ears, both are equally correct, although the dropped ears should not be too large, hound-like, or low set. A hound type drop ear is lower set and heavier than is that of the Jack Russell.

The ears must never stand erect (neither one nor both). A dog working underground needs ear cover.

The definitions of the two correct type ears as per the ANKC Glossary of Terms are:

Button ear — The ear flap folding forward, the tip lying close to the skull so as to cover the orifice and pointing toward the eye.

Dropped ear — Ear hanging down from its ‘set-on’.

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Fig. 3

Button ear – Correct

Drop ear – Correct

Semi pricked – Fault Hound ear – Fault

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 5

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Fig. 4

!MOUTH
Deep wide and powerful jaws with tight-fitting pigmented lips and strong teeth closing to a scissor bite.

Being a hunting terrier, a full set of teeth is highly desirable with a correct scissor bite. Any other variation is a serious fault and no other bite is acceptable. See Faults. However, as a working terrier may incur damage to teeth, broken or missing teeth, clearly due to accident, and provided that the bite is correct, should not be penalised.

! NECK
Strong and clean allowing head to be carried with poise.

The strong, clean neck gradually widens towards the shoulders. A strong neck is required for working in confined spaces.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 6

Three views of the same head

!FOREQUARTERS
Shoulders well sloped back and not heavily loaded with muscle. Forelegs straight in bone from the shoulder to the toes whether viewed from the front or the side and with sufficient length of upper arm to ensure elbows are set under the body with sternum clearly in front of shoulder blades.

The shoulders MUST be well laid back. Legs must be straight.

‘Forelegs straight in bone from the shoulder to the toes whether viewed from the front or side’ does not mean that the shoulder and upper arm should be upright. It is important that well angulated shoulders and upper arms are maintained. The upper arm should also be of sufficient length to ensure that the elbows are well under the body and the sternum is clearly visible in front of the shoulder blades. The Jack Russell front is not a ‘Terrier Front’ as defined in the ANKC Glossary of Terms.

Check for:

Straight shoulders, the movement will be affected (hackney gait). Sufficient length of upper arm.
‘Cabriole’ legs.

Take particular care when going over rough coats as some faults may not be so easily visible.

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Fig. 5

Straight front – Correct

Correct front – side view

Knuckled over Out at elbow

Toes out

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Bench or Cabriole legs

Down in pasterns

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Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 7

! CHEST
Chest deep rather than wide, with good clearance and the brisket located at the height midway between the ground and the withers. The body should be proportioned marginally longer than tall, measuring slightly longer from the withers to the root of the tail than from the withers to the ground. Back level. Ribs should be well sprung from the spine, flattening on the sides so that the girth behind the elbows can be spanned by two hands — about 40 cms to 43 cms. The loins should be short, strong and deeply muscled.

Special attention should be paid to the wording ‘chest deep rather than wide’ and ‘so that the girth behind the elbows can be spanned by two hands — about 40 cms to 43 cms’.

Familiarise yourself with your own span and remember the 40 cms – 43 cms guide. (151⁄2 – 17 ins.)

Remember spanning is a hallmark of this breed enshrined in the Standard as is a balanced 50% leg length to 50% of chest.

Many Jack Russells are too wide in chest. Watching a Jack Russell work in a confined space, the dog will turn on its side to enter a gap. A wide chested dog would become stuck.

Remember ‘marginally longer than tall’ and ‘short in loin’. For marginally, read slightly, as in the next sentence. These words are open to interpretation. However, the Jack Russell Terrier is NOT a square dog as is the Parson Jack Russell, neither is it a long dog like a Skye Terrier or Dachshund.

Measure or gauge the distance from withers to root of tail and keep in mind that the leg length is half the overall height. In other words the legs are equal in length to the depth of the body. Therefore the front legs are NOT short, they are in proportion to the size of the dog.

The Australian Terrier is a ‘low set dog’ and may well be described as short legged. Cairns are described as having a moderate length of leg. Fox Terriers are ‘neither too leggy nor too short’ which implies 50:50 proportions. The Cesky, Dandie Dinmont, Glen of Imaal, Norfolk, Norwich, Sealyham, Scottish, Skye and West Highland White Terriers all have forelegs described in their Standards as being short, but NOT the Jack Russell.

Nor is a Jack Russell Terrier simply a Parson Jack Russell with shorter legs. The Parson is a square dog (height equals withers to root of tail), the Jack Russell is just marginally longer. Although it is not written into the Parson Standard, it is generally accepted that its proportions of leg length to body depth are 50:50 the same as a Jack Russell. Legs are only described as short when the proportions are about 60:40.

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small, well balanced dog but it is not a short legged dog.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 8

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This dog is NOT correct:

Fig. 6

!HINDQUARTERS
Strong and muscular, balanced in proportion to the shoulder, hind legs parallel when viewed from behind while in free standing position. Stifles well angulated and hocks low set.

Hindquarters should show good drive with NO skipping or hopping.

! FEET
Round, hard, padded, not large, toes moderately arched, turned neither in nor out.

Note ‘round’, meaning cat-like with thick pads.

! TAIL
Docked: The tip of the tail should be on the same level as ears. May droop at

rest. When moving should be erect.
Undocked: May droop at rest. When moving should be erect.

The tail is an important feature. Judges must remember that the tail may droop at rest and this should not be penalised. This feature is not usually associated with terrier temperament, however, quite a few do drop their tails whilst standing yet still exhibit terrier temperament.

Attention is drawn to ‘and if docked the tip should be on the same level as ears’. Being a working terrier, the tail is used to hold the dog; if it is docked too short, there is no hand grip. The Standard states ‘if docked’ – meaning a long, undocked tail is permitted. Remember, when the dog moves, his tail must be erect, docked or undocked, and not curled over the back.

!GAIT/MOVEMENTTrue, free and springy.

Many do not have a true, free and springy gait, often because of short upper arms and upright shoulders. They must have good reach and drive with a springy, bouyant, cocky movement. Try to see them move on a loose lead. Many are close behind. The rear pasterns should be parallel in movement. Watch for unsound movement – hopping, patella problems, hackney action.

Long backed, deep chested, short legged, incorrect front, heavy shouldered.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 9

Fig. 7

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Black nose and eye rims, lightly marked, but correct Tri – black, tan and white

Classic or ideal Acceptable, but more markings undesirable

White no longer predominates - against the Standard The beginnings of a brown dog – Blanket marking

! COAT
May be smooth, broken or rough. Must be weatherproof, perferably unaltered.

There are three types of coat. Each may be interbred and all are exhibited together. Whatever the coat, the conformation underneath is the same and no preference should be given to any particular coat type.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 10

Smooth Rough Broken

A good dense smooth coat.
Just that! Rough, hard and dense, not woolly or silky.

Smoothish but with whiskers, eyebrows and sometimes a beard. It is not an out of condition rough coat.

All coats to be weatherproof for protection from weather, brambles etc. when working.

‘Preferably unaltered’ particularly relates to rough coats. This means the rough coat should not be stripped out to try to make it look like a broken coat. When this practice is carried out, the body coat is usually found to be sparse and the skin of the dog is visible; it is then not weatherproof.

!COLOUR
White MUST predominate with black, tan or brown markings. The tan markings can be from the lightest tan to the richest tan (chestnut).

Note the emphasis on ‘MUST’. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘predominate’ as ‘to be the stronger or main element’, others say ‘to be more noticeable or imposing than something else’ or ‘to predominate or prevail over’. Whichever definition you select, the result remains that white must definitely be the main colour.

Tri-colour is accepted, i.e., white with a combination of any of the accepted colours. Brown can vary from lemon to mahogany.

! SIZE

Ideal height: 25 cms (10 ins) to 30 cms (12 ins).

The weight in kgs being equivalent of 1 kg to each 5 cms in height, i.e., a 25 cm high dog should weigh approximately 5 kg and a 30 cm high dog should weigh 6 kg.

The Standard states 25 cms – 30 cms (10 ins – 12 ins). In Australia the metric system is now law, however, the Jack Russell Standard was originally drawn up using imperial measurements and remain the traditionally accurate measurement with metric, as a conversion, being approximate. A more accurate conversion would be 25.5–30.5cms.

‘Ideal’ – The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘perfect type; actual thing as standard for imitation’. Another dictionary definition is ‘a standard of perfection’.

Comparison of size with other members of the Terrier Group are as follows:

Jack Russell Parson Jack (male)

Parson Jack (female)

Norfolk & Norwich Australian Terrier (male) Scottish Terrier
Cairn Terrier

ideal min ideal min ideal ideal approx

approx

25.5 – 30.5 cms 33 cms
35 cms
30 cms

33 cms
25-26 cms
25 cms
25.4 – 28 cms 28–31cms

(10-12 ins) (13 ins) (14 ins) (12 ins) (13 ins) (10 ins) (10 ins) (10-11 ins) (11-12 ins)

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 11

Sealyham
Skye Terrier
Fox Terrier (Wire)

not exceeding 31 cms not exceeding 31 cms not exceeding 39 cms

(12 ins) (12 ins) (15.5 ins)

If a Jack Russell exceeds 12 ins, he is encroaching on the height standard of the Parson Jack Russell Terrier. If under 10 ins it is likely that he will not be balanced or may have a cabriole front.

The height to weight ratio indicates a lightly built dog. Most males today would be at the upper end of the scale. If a dog is too lightly or too heavily built it may not be balanced.

!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.

However, the following weaknesses should be particularly penalised:

  1. (a)  Lack of true terrier characteristics

  2. (b)  Lack of balance, i.e., over exaggeration of any points

  3. (c)  Sluggish or unsound movement

  4. (d)  Faulty mouth.

Please note the words above — ‘The following weaknesses should be particularly penalised’.

! NOTE
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into

the scrotum.

REFERENCES

Extracts taken from feature by Di Gatehouse, Dog Showbiz, March 1995.

Ear and coat marking sketches by Mrs R Frances-Little.

Other sketches from a handbook by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America.

Photos submitted by the Jack Russell Clubs of NSW, Queensland and W.A. and members, S & M Cunado, Y Ryan, M Franceschi, R Francis-Little & J Revie.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 12

A selection of Smooth Coated Jack Russell Terriers in Australia

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Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 13

A selection of Rough & Broken Coated Jack Russell Terriers in Australia

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Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 14

A selection of head studies

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Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 15

More Jack Russell Terriers in Australia

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Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 16

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AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL KENNEL COUNCIL

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Extended Breed Standard of

THE JACK RUSSELL TERRIER

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Produced by

Mrs Ann Mitchell
ANKC Breed Standard Coordinator with material supplied by
The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Queensland The Jack Russell Terrier Club of NSW Inc The Jack Russell Terrier Club of WA
in conjunction with
The Australian National Kennel Council

ANKC Standard adopted 1990
Breed Standard Extension adopted by the ANKC 1999

Copyright Australian National Kennel Council 1999 Country of development ~ Australia

Extended Standards are compiled purely for the purpose of training Australian judges and students of the breed.

In order to comply with copyright requirements of authors, artists and photographers of material used, the contents must not be copied for commercial use or any other purpose. Under no circumstances may the Standard or Extended Standard be placed on the Internet without written permission of the ANKC.

HISTORY OF THE BREED

Jack Russell Terriers have been around for over a hundred years but the breed has only been officially recognised recently when Australia recognised the breed in 1991.

The breed takes its name from one of England’s hunting parsons, the Reverend John (or Jack, as he was known locally) Russell from Devon, who established the breed in the early 19th century.

The Reverend, being a keen fox hunter, needed an agile dog with plenty of spirit that could keep up with hounds and have the courage to face up to its quarry underground. When not pursuing foxes, Jack Russells were used as exterminators of vermin, such as badgers and rats.

Jack Russell racing has become very popular with owners and the public and most State Jack Russell Terrier Clubs hold race days. Another sport, “Earthdog Tests”, first introduced in Queensland and now approved as a recognised activity by the ANKC for all breeds bred to go to ground, has become very popular and at most meets Jack Russells are at the fore.

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia (Inc.) was founded in 1972. A small group of breeders instigated the setting up of the first stud book and register of Jack Russells in Australia and set about establishing type here. Although there were terrier of Jack Russell type in Australia, the first known import of a Jack Russell was in 1965. Further imports during the early 1970’s were known to be from the ‘right side of the track’, for they came from the Duke of Beaufort, Duchess of Bedford, the Eastleigh and the Cowdray Hunts. Some did not have pedigrees but it was known they were the genuine article.

Members of the Jack Russell Club already had an expanding pool of dogs of similar type which were carefully documented and registered. The end result being that today Australia can boast of playing a leading role in the development of the Jack Russell as a genetically pure breed.

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia was entirely responsible for the development of the breed up until 1991, when the Jack Russell was officially recognised by the ANKC as a pure breed. State breed clubs have since been formed in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 2

!GENERAL APPEARANCE
A strong, active, lithe working terrier of great character with flexible body of medium length. His smart movement matches his keen expression. Tail docking is optional and the coat may be smooth, rough or broken.

The Standard calls for ‘a strong, active lithe working terrier’. The key word here is ‘lithe’, and there are several interpretations of what is meant. The Concise Oxford Dictionary says: Flexible, supple’. It is meant to mean slimly built. (Queensland). Bending, readily pliant, limber, supple. (NSW).

The dog should not be too deep or wide in the chest, otherwise the measurement of 40-43 cms cannot be spanned, especially when the height is relative to the weight. I.e., a 25 cm (ten inch) high dog weighs approximately 5 kgs (11 lbs) and a 30.5 cm (12 inch) high dog weighs 6 kgs (13 lbs).

Remember, the Jack Russell is a small dog that is required to enter a fox hole and must be built with the ability to turn around.

!CHARACTERISTICS
A lively, alert and active terrier with a keen, intelligent expression.

Key points: Great character, smart movement, keen expression.

! TEMPERAMENT
Bold and fearless, friendly but quietly confident.

‘Bold and fearless’ – this does not mean aggressive. They should be ‘friendly but quietly confident’, a dog that looks to be enjoying himself. It should be neither aggressive, nervous or shy.

Sound temperament and character have always been essential ingredients of the breed. They have a great personality and are remarkably brave for their size. They enjoy hunting just as much as a good romp in the garden with the children.

!HEAD AND SKULL
The skull should be flat and of moderate width gradually decreasing in width to the eyes and tapering to a wide muzzle with very strong jaws. There should be a well defined stop but not over pronounced. The length from the stop to the nose should be slightly shorter than from the stop to the occiput with the cheek muscles well developed. The nose should be black.

The skull should be flat and of moderate width, not domed or apple-headed. The muzzle should be wide with no tendency towards snipeyness. The stop should be neither over pronounced nor too slight. The planes of the skull and foreface should be parallel.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 3

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Fig. 1

General Appearance: A sturdy, tough terrier, very much on its toes, measuring between 25.5 – 30.5 cms (10 – 12 ins) at the withers. The body length must be in proportion to the height and it should present a compact, balanced image, always being in solid, hard condition.

Examples of typical faults:

Fig. 2 Too long in back Too short in back

Chest too deep Roached back

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 4

! EYES
Small dark and with keen expression. MUST not be prominent and eyelids should fit closely. The eyelid rims should be pigmented black. Almond shape.

Light eyes are a fault as are large, round eyes which spoil the expression. The pigment on white-faced, young dogs may sometimes be slow coming through, while this may be recognised, it cannot be taken into consideration whilst judging as there is no way of knowing at the time whether it will correct itself or not. White faced dogs who have black, well pigmented eye rims and nose should not be penalised.

! EARS
Button or dropped of good texture and great mobility.

‘Of good texture’ means the leather is to be soft and fine to the touch, not coarse and heavy. No preference should be given to either button or dropped ears, both are equally correct, although the dropped ears should not be too large, hound-like, or low set. A hound type drop ear is lower set and heavier than is that of the Jack Russell.

The ears must never stand erect (neither one nor both). A dog working underground needs ear cover.

The definitions of the two correct type ears as per the ANKC Glossary of Terms are:

Button ear — The ear flap folding forward, the tip lying close to the skull so as to cover the orifice and pointing toward the eye.

Dropped ear — Ear hanging down from its ‘set-on’.

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Fig. 3

Button ear – Correct

Drop ear – Correct

Semi pricked – Fault Hound ear – Fault

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 5

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Fig. 4

!MOUTH
Deep wide and powerful jaws with tight-fitting pigmented lips and strong teeth closing to a scissor bite.

Being a hunting terrier, a full set of teeth is highly desirable with a correct scissor bite. Any other variation is a serious fault and no other bite is acceptable. See Faults. However, as a working terrier may incur damage to teeth, broken or missing teeth, clearly due to accident, and provided that the bite is correct, should not be penalised.

! NECK
Strong and clean allowing head to be carried with poise.

The strong, clean neck gradually widens towards the shoulders. A strong neck is required for working in confined spaces.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 6

Three views of the same head

!FOREQUARTERS
Shoulders well sloped back and not heavily loaded with muscle. Forelegs straight in bone from the shoulder to the toes whether viewed from the front or the side and with sufficient length of upper arm to ensure elbows are set under the body with sternum clearly in front of shoulder blades.

The shoulders MUST be well laid back. Legs must be straight.

‘Forelegs straight in bone from the shoulder to the toes whether viewed from the front or side’ does not mean that the shoulder and upper arm should be upright. It is important that well angulated shoulders and upper arms are maintained. The upper arm should also be of sufficient length to ensure that the elbows are well under the body and the sternum is clearly visible in front of the shoulder blades. The Jack Russell front is not a ‘Terrier Front’ as defined in the ANKC Glossary of Terms.

Check for:

Straight shoulders, the movement will be affected (hackney gait). Sufficient length of upper arm.
‘Cabriole’ legs.

Take particular care when going over rough coats as some faults may not be so easily visible.

page7image1795104

Fig. 5

Straight front – Correct

Correct front – side view

Knuckled over Out at elbow

Toes out

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Bench or Cabriole legs

Down in pasterns

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Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 7

! CHEST
Chest deep rather than wide, with good clearance and the brisket located at the height midway between the ground and the withers. The body should be proportioned marginally longer than tall, measuring slightly longer from the withers to the root of the tail than from the withers to the ground. Back level. Ribs should be well sprung from the spine, flattening on the sides so that the girth behind the elbows can be spanned by two hands — about 40 cms to 43 cms. The loins should be short, strong and deeply muscled.

Special attention should be paid to the wording ‘chest deep rather than wide’ and ‘so that the girth behind the elbows can be spanned by two hands — about 40 cms to 43 cms’.

Familiarise yourself with your own span and remember the 40 cms – 43 cms guide. (151⁄2 – 17 ins.)

Remember spanning is a hallmark of this breed enshrined in the Standard as is a balanced 50% leg length to 50% of chest.

Many Jack Russells are too wide in chest. Watching a Jack Russell work in a confined space, the dog will turn on its side to enter a gap. A wide chested dog would become stuck.

Remember ‘marginally longer than tall’ and ‘short in loin’. For marginally, read slightly, as in the next sentence. These words are open to interpretation. However, the Jack Russell Terrier is NOT a square dog as is the Parson Jack Russell, neither is it a long dog like a Skye Terrier or Dachshund.

Measure or gauge the distance from withers to root of tail and keep in mind that the leg length is half the overall height. In other words the legs are equal in length to the depth of the body. Therefore the front legs are NOT short, they are in proportion to the size of the dog.

The Australian Terrier is a ‘low set dog’ and may well be described as short legged. Cairns are described as having a moderate length of leg. Fox Terriers are ‘neither too leggy nor too short’ which implies 50:50 proportions. The Cesky, Dandie Dinmont, Glen of Imaal, Norfolk, Norwich, Sealyham, Scottish, Skye and West Highland White Terriers all have forelegs described in their Standards as being short, but NOT the Jack Russell.

Nor is a Jack Russell Terrier simply a Parson Jack Russell with shorter legs. The Parson is a square dog (height equals withers to root of tail), the Jack Russell is just marginally longer. Although it is not written into the Parson Standard, it is generally accepted that its proportions of leg length to body depth are 50:50 the same as a Jack Russell. Legs are only described as short when the proportions are about 60:40.

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small, well balanced dog but it is not a short legged dog.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 8

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This dog is NOT correct:

Fig. 6

!HINDQUARTERS
Strong and muscular, balanced in proportion to the shoulder, hind legs parallel when viewed from behind while in free standing position. Stifles well angulated and hocks low set.

Hindquarters should show good drive with NO skipping or hopping.

! FEET
Round, hard, padded, not large, toes moderately arched, turned neither in nor out.

Note ‘round’, meaning cat-like with thick pads.

! TAIL
Docked: The tip of the tail should be on the same level as ears. May droop at

rest. When moving should be erect.
Undocked: May droop at rest. When moving should be erect.

The tail is an important feature. Judges must remember that the tail may droop at rest and this should not be penalised. This feature is not usually associated with terrier temperament, however, quite a few do drop their tails whilst standing yet still exhibit terrier temperament.

Attention is drawn to ‘and if docked the tip should be on the same level as ears’. Being a working terrier, the tail is used to hold the dog; if it is docked too short, there is no hand grip. The Standard states ‘if docked’ – meaning a long, undocked tail is permitted. Remember, when the dog moves, his tail must be erect, docked or undocked, and not curled over the back.

!GAIT/MOVEMENTTrue, free and springy.

Many do not have a true, free and springy gait, often because of short upper arms and upright shoulders. They must have good reach and drive with a springy, bouyant, cocky movement. Try to see them move on a loose lead. Many are close behind. The rear pasterns should be parallel in movement. Watch for unsound movement – hopping, patella problems, hackney action.

Long backed, deep chested, short legged, incorrect front, heavy shouldered.

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Fig. 7

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Black nose and eye rims, lightly marked, but correct Tri – black, tan and white

Classic or ideal Acceptable, but more markings undesirable

White no longer predominates - against the Standard The beginnings of a brown dog – Blanket marking

! COAT
May be smooth, broken or rough. Must be weatherproof, perferably unaltered.

There are three types of coat. Each may be interbred and all are exhibited together. Whatever the coat, the conformation underneath is the same and no preference should be given to any particular coat type.

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Smooth Rough Broken

A good dense smooth coat.
Just that! Rough, hard and dense, not woolly or silky.

Smoothish but with whiskers, eyebrows and sometimes a beard. It is not an out of condition rough coat.

All coats to be weatherproof for protection from weather, brambles etc. when working.

‘Preferably unaltered’ particularly relates to rough coats. This means the rough coat should not be stripped out to try to make it look like a broken coat. When this practice is carried out, the body coat is usually found to be sparse and the skin of the dog is visible; it is then not weatherproof.

!COLOUR
White MUST predominate with black, tan or brown markings. The tan markings can be from the lightest tan to the richest tan (chestnut).

Note the emphasis on ‘MUST’. The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘predominate’ as ‘to be the stronger or main element’, others say ‘to be more noticeable or imposing than something else’ or ‘to predominate or prevail over’. Whichever definition you select, the result remains that white must definitely be the main colour.

Tri-colour is accepted, i.e., white with a combination of any of the accepted colours. Brown can vary from lemon to mahogany.

! SIZE

Ideal height: 25 cms (10 ins) to 30 cms (12 ins).

The weight in kgs being equivalent of 1 kg to each 5 cms in height, i.e., a 25 cm high dog should weigh approximately 5 kg and a 30 cm high dog should weigh 6 kg.

The Standard states 25 cms – 30 cms (10 ins – 12 ins). In Australia the metric system is now law, however, the Jack Russell Standard was originally drawn up using imperial measurements and remain the traditionally accurate measurement with metric, as a conversion, being approximate. A more accurate conversion would be 25.5–30.5cms.

‘Ideal’ – The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines it as ‘perfect type; actual thing as standard for imitation’. Another dictionary definition is ‘a standard of perfection’.

Comparison of size with other members of the Terrier Group are as follows:

Jack Russell Parson Jack (male)

Parson Jack (female)

Norfolk & Norwich Australian Terrier (male) Scottish Terrier
Cairn Terrier

ideal min ideal min ideal ideal approx

approx

25.5 – 30.5 cms 33 cms
35 cms
30 cms

33 cms
25-26 cms
25 cms
25.4 – 28 cms 28–31cms

(10-12 ins) (13 ins) (14 ins) (12 ins) (13 ins) (10 ins) (10 ins) (10-11 ins) (11-12 ins)

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Sealyham
Skye Terrier
Fox Terrier (Wire)

not exceeding 31 cms not exceeding 31 cms not exceeding 39 cms

(12 ins) (12 ins) (15.5 ins)

If a Jack Russell exceeds 12 ins, he is encroaching on the height standard of the Parson Jack Russell Terrier. If under 10 ins it is likely that he will not be balanced or may have a cabriole front.

The height to weight ratio indicates a lightly built dog. Most males today would be at the upper end of the scale. If a dog is too lightly or too heavily built it may not be balanced.

!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.

However, the following weaknesses should be particularly penalised:

  1. (a)  Lack of true terrier characteristics

  2. (b)  Lack of balance, i.e., over exaggeration of any points

  3. (c)  Sluggish or unsound movement

  4. (d)  Faulty mouth.

Please note the words above — ‘The following weaknesses should be particularly penalised’.

! NOTE
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into

the scrotum.

REFERENCES

Extracts taken from feature by Di Gatehouse, Dog Showbiz, March 1995.

Ear and coat marking sketches by Mrs R Frances-Little.

Other sketches from a handbook by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America.

Photos submitted by the Jack Russell Clubs of NSW, Queensland and W.A. and members, S & M Cunado, Y Ryan, M Franceschi, R Francis-Little & J Revie.

Extended Breed Standard of the Jack Russell Terrier - Page 12

A selection of Smooth Coated Jack Russell Terriers in Australia

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A selection of Rough & Broken Coated Jack Russell Terriers in Australia

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A selection of head studies

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More Jack Russell Terriers in Australia

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Contact Details

Dr Rolf and Kelly Sokolinski

Riverina NSW

riverlandskennels@gmail.com