theParson Russell Terrier

Clever, Friendly, Athletic
Terrier Group Terrier Group

meet theParson Russell Terrier

Did you know?

Arthur Heinemann, who founded the Parson Jack Russell Terrier Club in 1914, drafted the first Jack Russell breed standard in 1904.


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at aGlance

Energy & Size

high ENERGY &
medium size

AKC Dog Ranking

111th
Most Popular Dog Breed

Personality

  • Check Athletic
  • Check Clever
  • Check Friendly
Bold, friendly, athletic, and clever.

theBreed Standard

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Download the complete breed standard or club flier PDFs.

  • General Appearance

    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. 

  • Head

    Head is 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. 

  • Neck, Body, Topline

    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.

  • Forequarters

    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.

  • Hindquarters

    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.

  • Coat

    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.

  • 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.

A Parson Russell Terrier
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theParson Russell Terrier Association of America

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