Dogs - Parson Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier originated in Devonshire in the south of England in the late 1800's. They are named after the man who bred them, Jack (or John) Russell, born 1795. Of course, the history of dogs goes back much farther than that.
Most Jack Russell breeders in South Africa are in Gauteng, especially Pretoria and Johannesburg. But there are breeders in other provinces. Delivery of puppies can be arranged.
Jack Russell's family often went fox-hunting with dogs, and Jack enjoyed the excitement of the outings. He became an impassioned dog-lover. Farmers were glad to be rid of foxes, which attacked their chickens and were a menace.
While a teenager at boarding school, Jack and another boy secretly kept a pack of nine small hunting dogs. When they were found out, Jack got a hiding and his friend was expelled.
Jack's father was a parson. A Parson is a minister - a person who tries to help people by showing them that God loves them. No doubt Jack saw first-hand the joy and fulfillment his father had in serving God full-time. Jack decided to go to Oxford University and study for the ministry.
One day when Jack was in Oxford studying for his Bachelor's and Master's degrees, he saw a little dog riding on a horse-drawn milk cart. He impulsively bought her from the milkman and took her home. The dog's name was Trump. According to Davies, Russell's biographer, Trump was, "a Terrier of excellent type and approximately the size of a female fox. She was completely white with a patch of dark tan over each eye and ear, with a similar penny-size dot at the root of her tail."
By mating Trump to small Fox Terrier-type dogs, Trump became the mother of the Jack Russell Breed. Jack liked white dogs so to this day the breed is predominantly white with black or brown markings.
Jack Russell married Penelope Bury, who was of course a dog-lover! She accompanied Jack and the dogs on many hunts.
Jack exhibited his terriers in the first English dog show at Bath in 1862. One of them won first prize. Jack became a judge of terriers. When the Kennel Club was formed in 1873, Parson Jack was one of the founder members of the organisation.
Jack liked to work his dogs and became known as "The "Sporting Parson." He remained a parson and a dog-enthusiast until his death in 1883.
Parson Jack and his wife are buried in the Swimbridge village churchyard, where Parson Jack worked for most of his life. His gravestone can be seen today.
A terrier is a dog who likes to dig, from the Latin word "terra" meaning "earth." He was bred to go deep into burrows to hunt for fox and other animals which live in holes and underground. Some Jack Russell Clubs today arrange tunneling competitions: the dogs must burrow their way through the tunnel. Dog races are also popular, with the dogs chasing a mechanical lure. Jack Russells can run fast! They are lively, energetic dogs and like to be taken out for runs.
They are self-assured and brave.
The height of a Parson dog is not more than 35 cm and a bitch 33 cm at the shoulder. The length of the Parson Jack Russell's back should be equal to his height Different Clubs allow slight differences in the height They refer to the dogs being "over" or "under" the average height. They don't call them "short-legged." The shape of the dog must be balanced.
The breed has been very popular in Australia and USA and is now known worldwide.