Parson Russell Terrier
AKC Group: Terrier
Height: 13 inches (Male)
Weight: 13 inches (Male)
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge
This terrier was developed in southern England in the 1800s to assist in foxhunting. He is named after the man who did the most to develop his type, Parson John "Jack" Russell, himself an avid foxhunter who used his terriers to both help pursue the fox and bring it out from its den so that the hunt could be continued. The breed is most likely a cross between the Old English White Terrier (now extinct) and a black-and-tan terrier similar in type to the Manchester Terrier. What Parson Jack most desired was a terrier who could keep up with the Foxhounds (his legs needed to be long enough), who had a compact chest so that he could get into the fox's den, who was strong enough to keep a fox at bay, and whose temperament was fiery and intelligent. When his terriers began proving themselves, they became increasingly popular.
They came to the United States in the early 1900s and were called "Jack Russell Terriers", after the man who had developed them. During the 1980s, breeders of these terriers differed over size and structure and whether to apply for American Kennel Club (AKC) recognition. The pro-AKC group eventually got their terriers recognized in 1997 under the name "Jack Russell Terrier," but the name was later changed to "Parson Russell Terrier," and that is now the official name of the AKC-recognized breed. Jack Russell Terriers are registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC); the club recognizes a wider height range than the AKC does for the Parson and also accepts a rough coat.
The father of the Parson Russell Terrier breed, Parson Jack Russell, was a founding member of the Kennel Club (KC), established in England in 1873.