Parson Russell Terrier - History

History

This breed shares a common history with the Jack Russell Terrier until the early 1980s.

This type of small white terrier dates back to the work of the Reverend John Russell, born in 1795. In 1819 he purchased a small white and tan female terrier named Trump from a milkman in the hamlet of Elmsford. She formed the basis for his breeding program, and by the 1850s the dogs were recognised as a distinct type of Fox Terrier.

In 1894, the Devon and Somerset Badger Club was founded by Arthur Blake Heinemann who created the first breed standard for this type of terrier. The club was formed with the aim of promoting badger digging, rather than fox hunting. By the turn of the 20th century, the name of John Russell had become associated with this type of terrier. The Devon and Somerset Badger Club would go on to be renamed the Parson Jack Russell Terrier Club and continued until just before World War II when the club folded.

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain was established in 1974 as the parent club for the Jack Russell Terrier in the UK. The club has actively opposed recognition of the Jack Russell Terrier by Kennel Club (UK). In 1983, the Parson Jack Russell Terrier Club (PJRTC) was reformed with the aim of seeking Kennel Club recognition for the breed. The initial application was turned down, but after several further rejections, the Parson Jack Russell Terrier was recognised on 9 January 1990 as a variant of the Fox Terrier, with the United Kennel Club following suit in 1991. The American Kennel Club recognised the breed as the Jack Russell Terrier effective 1 November 1997.

On 1 August 1999, the PJRTC successfully petitioned the Kennel Club (UK) to change the name of the breed to the Parson Russell Terrier, with the name of the breed club following suit. The international kennel association, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, recognised the Parson Russell Terrier on 4 June 2001. The American Kennel Club updated the name of the recognised breed from Jack Russell Terrier on 1 April 2003. The United Kennel Club adopted the new name on 23 April 2008.

The Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) and New Zealand Kennel Club are the only two major kennel clubs to recognise both the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier separately. In 2009, there were 18 Parsons registered with the ANKC compared to 1073 Jack Russells.

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