Header image
    Home  |  JRT and PJRT  |  Our dogs   |  Puppies  | Contacts

Short-legged JRT - Gang-staff Flower Power

Original type PJRT - Donald Van Geysterweld

People are often surprised, that these dogs look so different. Parson Jack Russell terriers are in fact more a terrier group than a single breed. These terriers were divided into two groups according to body height - 24-31 cm (recognized only by JRTCGB) and 31-38 cm (JRTCGB acknowledged, FCI, AKC, UKC). Although height of the two groups of dogs is different, both of them shall to be as close as possible to square proportions. According to the type of coat is acknowledged smooth, rough and the most frequent - broken coat type, which is considered intermediate between the first types. The most desirable is a rough, short coat, which protects the dog from the environmental hazards and cleans itself. White coat is typical, location of desirable spots - on the head and tail. Of course, there are some more spotted dogs, but as the ideal is defined a whiter dog with good pigmentation. Spots can be tan, black or of both colours - "tricolor".

Why are they so different? Again, because of their versatility - one of these terriers have been used for hunting in marshy areas where the coarse hair offered better protection against cold, moisture and dirt. Some others have used for hunting in caves, where large, tough dogs have been required to banish wild animals from caves and follow in the footprints inside narrow caves, so they were breed to be small, flexible, have small chest and able to climb into the most remote corners.

Despite the objections of many club members, in the 1990 one breeders group broke away and asked the Kennel Club and the International Kennel Federation for recognition of Jack Russell terrier breed. Soon, they were given to the variety "Parson Jack Russell Terrier" name (later shortened as "Parson Russell Terrier"), new breed was included into the FCI group III (Nr.339). Its standard was written on the basis of default JRTCGB Terrier Jack Russell breed standard, only a reduced height and a narrower range of desired exterior were defined . By 2003, single varietal name did not existed - a different Cynological organizations called it their own way, and they are also adjusting the standard up to date. Currently, balanced body composition terriers (height - 30-39 cm) are being called Parson Russell terriers ,although even now many dogs of this type could be found under the old "Jack Russell terrier" name.

Short-legged JRT - Gang-staff Future King

Some breeders of Jack Russell terriers attempted to mate them with Silliham, West Highland white, Kern Terriers, Welsh Corgi Pembroke, resulting in short legged "Jack Russels", whose were usually defined as "faulty". These puppies did not meet the standard, but the they had excellent character and small stature and many people were happy to keep them at home or on farms. Later they became fashionable, especially when starring in several trendy Hollywood movies. For example, after the movie "The Mask" there started a massive JRT "boom". In fact, it damaged the breed, because unscrupulous breeders quickly smelled easy money and they have sold "not quite pure" but cheaper puppies, whose initially were unable to participate in dog shows, and from other side - people often chooses this breed not even knowing about its real properties, so after discovering that owner is unable to handle the dog many JRT ended up its life in shelters or on the street.
In Australia breeding of short-legged Jack Russell Terrier was different. First arrived puppies had no pedigrees, their further breeding was completely a business of the local clubs, sometimes without any register of newborn puppies and parents. Nevertheless, Australians have soon established an Australian Jack Russell Terrier Club, approved the breed standard and defined the distinction between long-legged and short-legged dogs. Subsequently, the Australian short-legged dogs were sold back to Europe and some enthusiasts started breeding of this variety in the Netherlands and Ireland. For some time short-legged variety was not recognized by FCI, nor UKC or JRTCGB, which have even abolished the club's branches in those countries, as a reason using "a care for breed authenticity". Finally two varieties broke up on 2001 October 21, when two separate standards of recognized breeds - Parson Russell Terrier (up to 36 cm tall, stand-by FCI. No. 339) and Jack Russell Terriers (up to 30 cm tall, stand-by FCI. No. 345) have came into effect.
FCI granted for the short legged dogs the original (generic) Jack Russell terrier name, the name under which for 150 years were known dogs of compact proportions with relatively long legs. The name of same breed "Parson Russell Terrier" name appeared only in 1990, so even now those names are confusing. People do not see the difference, and the sources of information are not renewed. There was an intent to grant to the short-legged dogs a name of "Australian Jack Russell Terrier".
When choosing a "short-legged" puppy a huge attention shall be paid to the origin of pedigree (preferably three generations). You need to check whether there are deviations from the FCI standard, which is very common failure in short-legged dogs. Besides, short-legged puppy must retain an export pedigree, issued by the FCI or UKC, AKC, KC , because otherwise there WILL BE problems to register such dog in local dog club and participate in dog shows. In Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium and Ireland one may find a lot of JRT clubs, each of those issues its own pedigrees but unfortunately most of them are null and void as a proof of dogs origin. Now short- legged and long-legged dogs are defined different not only by height standard, but also different head, limb length and body proportions. Unfortunately, all the points corresponding to the standard short-legged dog is really difficult to obtain, even when it is already one of the most popular dog breeds. Best JRT studs for this day is located in Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Finland.


© Ultra 2006