Thursday 8 October 2015

Jack Shit

It is a very sad day for dogs today in the UK.

Breeder and judge Geoff Corish announced on his Facebook page this morning that the Kennel Club has agreed to accept the Jack Russell Terrier as a Kennel Club breed.

This is the man who campaigned THIS dog to top French Bulldog of 2013.

For Corish, it is a day of celebration. One comment on his Facebook page referred to to the announcement as "historical".

Sure - as in the sinking of the Titanic.

And such bitter irony. The Reverend John ("Jack") Russell himself was fiercely opposed to conformation dog shows - and the Jack Russell Club of Great Britain has campaigned against KC registration of the breed. It's constitution even states:

  • History has shown Kennel Club recognition to be detrimental to the physical structure and working capabilities of a variety of working breeds. Therefore this club is opposed to Kennel Club recognition of the Jack Russell Terrier.
One wonders if they were even consulted.

I have been struck by an uncommon melancholy all day - which I would normally articulate, but actually, I couldn't do it better than "Terrierman"Patrick Burns - on blistering form on his blog today.

He writes:
Here is a simple truth: you cannot protect and preserve working dogs without working them.
You cannot breed quality retrievers or pointers when your own dogs have never heard a shotgun.
You cannot gauge the sheep-sense and holding power of a good Border Collie by tossing a Frisbee.
You cannot judge the true grit of a Jack Russell Terrier with a rubber ball.
A one-hour cart pull around a farm does not a sled dog make.
People who think otherwise are kidding themselves. They are the reason every working dog breed dragged into the Kennel Club has been ruined there.
These people sincerely believe that if they breed a dog that looks the part, it can do the part. But this misguided belief underscores their ignorance. What makes working breeds special is not what is on their outside, but what is on their inside.
"But why do we need that today," says the matronly show dog breeder. "No one works dogs today."
Really? Well, maybe not in their suburban world of shake shops and one-minute rice. It is true that in their world, there are no hunters, cowboys, Eskimos, or gamekeepers. In their world there are no rats, fox, bear, sheep, cattle, duck, geese, or pheasant.
But these creatures exist outside the suburbs, and these people exist there as well.
In America, Australia, and parts of mainland Europe, dogs are still used to bust, hold and drive wild cattle and hogs.
Retrievers and Pointers are used as bird dogs the world over.
Terriers are still used for pest control, not only in the U.K., but also in America, Canada, South Africa and mainland Europe.
Dogs are still used for transportation in the Arctic, and rabbits are still brought to hand by running dogs the world over.
Is this work being done with Kennel Club dogs?
No. Not usually. And no wonder; form is not function.
No matter how attractive a man in a dress might be, no one who has a clue is going to take that "girl" to the prom.
And yet Kennel Club breeders will tell you, straight faced, that they are sincere in wanting to protect their breed.
And who are they trying to protect it from? Why unscrupulous people who are not show-ring breeders, of course!
And what do they intend to protect the dog with? A scrap of paper!
It is all laughable nonsense. And it becomes nonsense on stilts when people begin to talk about "the standard" as if it were a sacred text delivered to Moses on the Mount.
Check out the rest of it here


  1. "no one who has a clue is going to take that "girl" to the prom."

    Ack, transphobia out of nowhere? That is a really inappropriate and unnecessary example. I know those aren't your words, but perhaps consider cutting that bit out out of the quote?

    1. Dog writers do need to be more careful with their language.

      It's not just the ones who write racialist or racist nonsense without realizing it either.

    2. I think the whole thrust of old terrierpersons argument is somewhat, predictably even charateristicaly sexist......and apparently transphobic. I think some kind of hallmark of American rural isolationism maybe?!

      I did detect though in a response below a softening (inconsistency perhaps?) in the stance on the single hunting JRT type.

      Maybe he's at last realised his vermin holes aren't the only ones in the entire world and that terriers aren't only used to go to ground despite what the archaic name might suggest to the overly literal?

    3. Nice bit of stereotyping there River P, I suspect you don't know very much about the terrierman, so what you don't know you have assumed.
      Looks like the PC bullies are on patrol.
      It is called freedom of speech, I'm used to people assuming I'm thick because of my 'rural isolationism' as you put it. Don't worry me, I even play to it, to make people like you feel intellectually superior, because you need that feeling more than me.
      Sam Routledge, some people are just looking for phobias in anything someone says these days. I ran what is said above to someone I know who is transgender (Yep, we get them here in old 'rural isolation'), they were not offended.
      Onward gallop the PC brigade crushing anyone or anything that does not fit their vision of PC.

    4. I think you might be rather surprised to find out who Terrierman (Patrick Burns) actually is. Not that old. Lives in Washington DC.

    5. Sam Routledge, he refers to 'a man in a dress' meaning exactly that, a man in a dress, not someone who is transgender in a dress. A man in drag is not the same as a transgender person in a dress. You have tried to put what he has said into a totally different context. What is said is not an example of someone being trans-phobic.

    6. I am in fact surprised! I've been reading his blog for years.

      I was in fact also being ageist all be it with a heavy dollop of sarcasm.

      Of course I meant what I said in a kind and caring sort of way?!

      10October2015@10:18 again I was also being just a little sarcastic, I know its not always easy to tell.
      I myself come from one of the most isolated areas in the world in fact off an escarpment in Africa. I always thought it gave me the edge...

      Just maybe, maybe that's why I'm the type who would take a man in a dress to the proms (especially a pretty one). Here's my Finger to anyone who says otherwise or that Im not in my right mind for wanting to do so.

      Anyway, proms!

      Here's to Obama for having sorted that one out for good.

      I could be mistaken but I do know what he is trying to say of course but it came out sexist in my opinion.

      A dysfunctional dog is as useless as a girl...come on!!?? Whats up with all those pretty girl wigs on dogs?

      Anyway many inbred show dogs are fucked up dogs yes, they don't even look like they can do the job. In fact both form and function have been obliterated.

      If that German Shepherd (even in a dress) could only wrangle her hocks painfully from side to side I just might think twice before taking her to the proms, yes. Just depends on how much she really wanted it. );

    7. River P, he is not saying a dysfunctional dog is as useless as a girl. The analogy is as far as I can see is, if you want something for a specific job , you want the tool to do it. So if you want to take a girl to the prom, you want a girl, not a man in a dress. So when getting a dog for a specific job, having show ribbon, does not mean it is a working dog. Do you comprehend it now, it has nothing to do with transgender or girls being useless.

      You were being sarcastic. Please you are just trying to make excuses for jumping on the bandwagon of the PC brigade. Reading is good, but understanding what you read, as you have proved don't often go hand in hand.

    8. Did you just say that River P "Just depends on how much she really wanted it." That certainly is the kettle calling the pot black.

    9. Ha ha ha, no its not its your f**8###y little mind, guffaw! I was alluding to the very sad fact of how stoic so many breeds (I know you aren't believing this at all.... the upturned smily with tear?) are and will despite the terrible things human have done to them, their breeding. Soldier on to the very end, enduring pain and hardship without letting on etc. See how confusing these strange analogies can be?

      Yes maybe his whole dysfunctional pedigree dogs with blonde female human hair stuck on them approach could have been a bit confusing. Then again....who knows I saw it as blundering, weird, wild, sexist misogyny. A man in a dress is an analogy for a dysfunctional pedigree dog. I can see how Sam got the "wrong" end of the stick as well.

      Far from jumping on the PC brigades band wagon, I happen to know from reading some of their exchanges that Retrieverman has a long standing gripe with the man and for some pretty understandable reasons most of it not of the PC kind. A lot of people do. He doesn't exactly often exchange ideas but rather express an opinion and one he is more than happy to take to the grave with him, fact or fiction.

      Leaving it at that, its not so important to me at least. I apologise if I offended you.

      I do sometimes enjoy reading his blog when it comes up in searches on a topic that interests me. I reckon he does have the best interests of dogs at heart, mostly anyway.

    10. River P, a man asking a woman in a dress to the prom instead of a man in a dress is analogy for a dog that is supposedly bred to do a job because it wins ribbons to a breed standard and history that gives the premise of this, that can't do the job it has won ribbons on the premise it can do. So although it looks a lot like a dog who does do the job, it can't, very much like a man in a dress could look very much like a woman in a dress, but can't do the job of having babies. A man wearing a dress does not make you able to have babies. I may of offended some there, but the truth is of yet, men cannot physically carry and give birth to have baby. I suspect a heterosexual male when asking a girl to a prom, might be looking at the bigger picture of at some time procreating in their life, if you keep dating men in a dress that is going to be a lot harder to do. No, but you are making the man in a dress transgender and the men asking homophobic. If only being transgender was as simple as a man wearing a dress. That idea of a dress on a man thus making them transgender is very stereotyping of transgender people and it is not like they get enough of that, is it?

      You really think saying that someone is sexist, transphobic, also suffering from the hallmark of American rural isolationism maybe?! and then stereotype all people who work terriers is exchanging ideas, no it is you expressing an opinion, so yet you are again the kettle calling the pot black.

      Yes, I know retrieverman has a long standing gripe with the terrierman or is it vice versa and reading both of their blogs it is obvious why they don't get on, because they are one of the same thing. Of course they will not agree on that, which would ironically makes the point stronger. I read them and agree with some of what they say and some I don't, that's life, but that does not make what terrierman said above sexiest, because two grown men have fallen out with each other in the past.

      Really saying, 'Just depends on how much she really wanted it." with a upturned smily with tear (You really think that makes it okay then), when you know by saying 'Ha ha ha, no its not its your f**8###y little mind' fully well what its connotation is, indicates that it was not said in the innocence that you are trying to imply and the analogy did not need that to be put on the end of it to make the point. You thought you were being witty. Do you know what River P, I was not offended, takes a lot to offend me from little old 'rural isolationism 'but I know a lot who would be with someone using such phrasing. It was just giving you a taste of the medicine you are giving the terrierman. Don't taste so good does it? I believe in freedom of speech, even if it offends me.

      Looking at the amount of comments you have made on here, you are someone who likes expressing their own opinion a lot and by the amount of replies you give when someone does not agree with your opinion, you seem a person unlike terrierman who is more than happy to take their opinions to the grave with themselves, fact or fiction. Sorry, I forgot you don't do expressing an opinion, you just exchange ideas. LOL
      I'm now going to do what I know best and often gets better results than exchanging ideas. I'm going into that old dark room and bang my head against that old wall, here in old 'rural isolationism'

    11. Whoa.

      As a transgender person who loves dogs and reading dog blogs, it makes me especially sad to see such transphobic stuff on a post by a blogger who I admire so much.

      I'll point out that the whole "man in a dress" thing is indeed transphobic. Many a friend of mine has been turned down at dates for being seen as men in dresses. They're not. They're trans girls. Same goes for trans guys. Being rejected, often violently or cruelly, often leads to depression and suicide. Everyone has, of course, the right to like or love whoever they want, but there is absolutely no need for such hurtful words. Especially when it's not even about humans in the first place.

      As for breeding and birthing children, I am perfectly able to give birth, yet I am no woman. Even if I were, if some man would take me to a ball with the sole intention of breeding, I would much more likely just punch him in the dick.

      As bad as the decision of bringing the Jack Russell into the KC was, Terrierman's choice of words was just as poorly planned and is just as potentially hurtful to beings who did nothing to deserve it. I expected a little better.

    12. ...Even if I were, if some man would take me to a ball with the sole intention of breeding, I would punch him in the.....

      Exactly. Surely the proms isn't the place to breed? Come centre man!

    13. Terrierman definitely has a thing against men in dresses. Here capitalised for easy viewing.

      "The end result is what we see in the Kennel Club show ring today -- TRANSVESTITE TERRIERS. These dogs may LOOK like they can do the part (and they are so eager!), but when push comes to shove, most of them lack the essential equipment to do the job, whether that is chest size, nose, voice, brain, or a game and gritty character."

      Maybe he should spend a little more time looking up transvestites skirts and less looking up his own hole. No doubt he would be beaten up for his troubles but if he did he would know they are fully capable of "doing the job" and not only that but enjoy doing it to.

    14. kumiho, if you were a trans girl, being assigned the sex male from birth from external genitalia, you will not be able to conceive a baby. A man in a dress people think is a reference a trans girl, not a trans boy, which I think you might be, by a comment you made. So a trans boy could conceive and give birth, so no one was commenting on whether you could give birth.

      If you go out with someone, don't you ask that person with the hope it might lead to a long term relationship. If you want children in the future it will be something you are taking into consideration, maybe not even realising it, but believe me it will be happening subconsciously. That is the nature of nature and survival of mammal species. No one said anything about them getting down to the breeding bit the night of the prom.

      I am not a stereotypical looking woman, petite but androgynous in looks. Believe me I totally can confuse men, it's got boobs, but look how strong it is. Someone asked me if I was a he/she thing once and I was told I was gay, I agreed with them, I'm a total homosexual, can't get enough willy, me.I have a husband of nearly twenty years and children together. Maybe I should also be offended because I'm a woman who never wears a dress, so is terrierman also saying, "You are not a woman unless you wear a dress."

      Woman get rejected cruelly and violently, beaten and raped every day and some end up killing themselves, kimiho, for a whole load of reason, more often than not for just being a woman.

      This has reminded me of a scene from 'The Life of Brian' that is rather appropriate for this no doubt it will offend you all.

      kumiho, I don't think a man in a dress was meant in the context everyone is trying to put it. I think it was meant, as a man in drag, not tran-girl but maybe I'm wrong or maybe you are wrong, maybe we are both wrong and it is really about a girl not being a girl unless she wears a dress. We can all be offended then.

      Whether you are offended or not by what terrierman said. It does not give the right for someone to ask for something to be censored, as Sam did.

      I want to keep the right to be offended, don't you kumiho?

    15. RIver P you are a gas. The fact is a trans girl can not reproduce, they are not a female. I have no problem with them being a trans girl or trans boy, but feeling like something, and being something are not the same. I feel like I can fly, I even dream I can, but as a child I proved I cannot, by jumping off the garage roof and breaking my ankle.

      And even more sexual innuendo, by implying that a trans 'not only that but enjoy doing it to', as what a none trans who does not enjoy doing it. You put 'to ' on the end of that, yet again trying to be witty, but totally unneeded and made it thus offensive. Kettle calling the pot black again River P. You got a big old case of you can not say this, but I can say anything I like.
      You certainly are not exchanging ides now River P. You obviously have a bone to grind with the terrierman.

    16. River P, just asking to make sure you do know that a transvestite is? It is not the same as being transgender. YOU probably do know that, but just wanted to be sure.

    17. I now have an image of you (River P) furiously scouring through terriermans blog to find anything remotely offensive. I suspect his page view stats are going of the chart.

    18. Yes. Perhaps we could get back to the dogs.

    19. Yes back to the dogs.

      My parting comment on this one to AnonyMouse in two sentences.

      Yes, yes, no (titter) I wasn't sure about the exact definition of a transvestite. I looked it up and without much exaggeration almost number three in the search was none other than terriermans blog....."go figure".

      Of course I took a look, that's what the internet's for.

      Anyway back to the dogs, hopefully without any potentially confusing or offending analogies.

      My gripe with many pedigree dogs and the KCs is not that the dogs wont happily destroy an entire run of ducks for you in your own backyard or that they wont fit easily down a fox bolt even if it belongs to a rabbit, but that they are such miserable doers and live such miserable often short lives. Health, vigour, longevity, joie de vivre these are as important in a pet as gameness is to any terrierman, surely. Yes to some terriemen maybe the latter ,longevity, does appear to be something of a ready compromise sadly true but I like to think they are a minority.

      I just dont think there should be quite as much hysteria that working dogs will be ruined by the pet equivalents or even "showing" equivalents and certainly not if the showing model can be tweaked a bit. A breed might go extinct true but then it isn't valued as a pet or working dog either, by anyone, despite what they would have us believe the KCs and KC included.

      I do think pet dog breed types should be performance tested at the very least and not subject to closed registers, that awarding merit based on nothing else but fixed standards, looks, is not the right way to go. The whole present showing model is redundant in my books as it produces sad redundant dogs. Dogs that are judged in part as opposed to the whole happy healthy smiling dog that should be before them.

      The JRT is a lovely example. The KC in this case long ago decided the JRT was too variable for registration, in their eyes no more than a mongrel. Indeed as we understand it as genetically sound as the fox is itself!

      When a variant of the JRT type was bred that was uniform had a standard and some BCs they eventually allowed it in. A group of JRT enthusiasts decided what a JRT should look like based on a single picture from the 1830s, it didn't matter if it couldn't hunt, they decided to recreate it, close its register and be done with it claiming to breed the only true JRT. This they campaigned most vigourously for, until the KC accepted them. A long legged terrier that BTW ended up looking nothing like the picture of "Trump" the little spotty terrier that so appealed to John Russell back in the day. The KC much to their credit wouldn't accept the name JRT and so the Parsons was born. Kiss kiss all around, the JRT war won. Or so they thought. (see S.K.Y's posts in this thread)

      Of course JRTs are and were still running around out there by the zillions unclaimed by any KCs. Now of course they have claimed the actual name JRT in another single and hugely popular type, the shorter and now mostly fluffier version of the JRT ....

      Neither of these show dogs are particularly working dogs, who cares but it is yes yet another KC breed with the same potential to be ruined as any other of their accepted breeds, yes absolutely. Start line breeding for winning traits within closed registries and we know where that leads to. With the Show JRT its well on its way in some respects. Broader muzzle, cobbier, shoulder set, even the ears are drifting down the sides o their heads, I ask you???! Soon a Show JRT will have to sport a measuring tape to be authenticated.

      I must say though even here there are still a lot, a lot more who seem to understand the dangers in the present showing JRT lot than most showing breeders ever have. Definitely something of a positive sign (no matter how small) of the times. Performance competitions and even working trials themselves are not unknown.

    20. In all fairness to terrierman, my search was "transvestite dog". I was curious if anyone seemed to think there might actualy be something like this out there. Seems TM is the only one who had it covered (:

    21. Right? And the slag on "matronly" show dog breeders, as if being women is part of what's wrong with them. Terrierman has some smart things to say about dog breeding, but as far as humans and human politics are concerned, he's a grade-A jerk.

    22. Yes I wondered if anyone would pick up on that one.

      There is in my experience, though quite a few matronly men and woman out there who seem to breed small ex-working breeds but particularly woman. This might have something to do with the fact that most terrier"people" are men and those who prefer the less game versions tend to be (not exclusively) woman who also it seems stay in their breed a lot longer than your average showing enthusiast. They become those "grande dame" types with 80 Sealyhams in the backyard (she died already BTW).

      "Terriermen" isn't that sexist in itself?

    23. Terrierman can be far from likeable. He tends to be hotheaded, not like the brisk and knowledgeable manner of Retrieverman. Perhaps a connection to their dog names:) He also seems to have given into the media hatred of pit bulls. But he is fiery and raises some great points! Just not on pits.

  2. I feel very sad about this decision too. JRT's have so much variety that will undoubtedly be lost now over the coming generations. Prices will ultimately inflate now you can stick KC papers to them and I don't see how or why recognizing them now has any benefit to a breed that has survived and functioned perfectly well up to now. Not excited at all.

    1. no one has to register their Jacks with any club at all.. no one is stopping you from breeding what ever dogs you like to breed. cross mixes, designer, pure bred, have at it ( except of course in the UK you cannot breed American Staffordshires and many other wonderful dogs that the country has seen fit to BAN) funny I never see this author write about breed bans.. perhaps she too is a "dog racist " and thinks a breed actually determines the actions of a dog.

    2. Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the "many other wonderful dog(breeds)" -the Pit Bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro that are banned in the UK are all large Molosser type dogs that are killed by the million in US shelters every year and are responsible for most attacks on human (link may be upsetting)

      I know the current Dangerous Dogs Act is hugely flawed, and all of the above breeds can make good pets in the right home- but most homes aren't remotely suitable for dogs with this level of energy, prey drive and guarding instinct and UK shelters need more bully type/molossers in the system like then need a hole in the head.

      Anyone who feels deprived by not having one of the above breeds should take on a rescued staffy cross, plenty of them to go about!


    3. Anyway bestuvall IMO outside of the show ring at least the UK has the far superior, smaller game Staffordshire terrier. The American version is a large dog with practically no purpose except to enhance egos and win ribbons. Its not even useful for crossing with anything. Im not sure how healthy it is as a breed but it might make quite a nice pet of course.

  3. "You cannot breed quality retrievers or pointers when your own dogs have never heard a shotgun.
    You cannot gauge the sheep-sense and holding power of a good Border Collie by tossing a Frisbee." ... etc.
    Excuse me. I am quite happy with a Labrador retriever who serves as a guide dog or a drug detection dog . . . even if it doesn't have 'original use' traits such as love of water or retrieving skill. Dock diving is great. Frisbee fetch is a fine dog challenge. Agility is great for testing brain and physical skill, and selecting for dogs that can be trained. Breeds function can and should evolve. If they don't, all breeds whose function originates in long gone lifestyles are in deep trouble.
    I agree, the KC is likely to make a mess of the JRT.
    But I cannot accept the notion that function doesn't and shouldn't change. If you're a stickler for original function, the Labrador should be retrieving cod that have slipped of a barbless hook in the cold waters of the Bay of Fundy.
    In the days I ran a boarding kennel I saw many sweet/ferocious little Jackies who served well as house pets in homes that wanted a healthy, low maintanence, spirited small dog, but didn't need a vermin killer. In fact, in Australia, maniacal vermin killer terriers stand a very good chance of dying of snakebite if they are given any freedom to roam.

    1. Jennifer, the KC breeds we are told are bred for function and they get a tape measure and produce a standard to be bred to and then botch up a fairy tale history of their origin and what their function is or was and then they sell the public the premise that show dogs bred to the standard they require in the show ring can fulfill the function they were originally bred for. I think that is the point that is being made, not that those dogs cannot do other jobs and make good pet dogs.

    2. Yes good point Jennifer. In fact labs are selected and bred for exactly that, being guide dogs. They excel at being guide dogs.

      And its true like it or not most JRTs in this world are not going to be shredded by a fox or even ripped apart by a badger (intentionally or by mistake) but spend their days being delightful energetic family pets that are in fact kept from going into dark strange holes if they even exist in their part of the world.

      As I learnt in fact from from Christopher Landauers blog over at Border Wars, (in fact this subject defines border Wars) there can be room for a dog/breed to be anything. Just because there are no sheep doesn't mean working and breeding Border Collies in this example as agility dogs is going to harm the breed. Nor does it mean these need to be sheep tested. Breeds do evolve so do needs.

      This of course doesn't of course mean they should be shoved into a closed registry and ruined. I think these JRT dogs involved, that population, the show JRT sadly will be. Its inevitable but the breed the JRT as a whole Im not so sure thats entirely possible. Fingers crossed.

      Unfortunately for a good while at least the show JRT will be able to sell itself as one of the healthiest least messed up breeds around. That won't last though, they already are a dopey lot, lost the eye.

      Its those closed registries, inbreeding and line breeding to form alone, exaggerations, illness, genetic poverty is what destroys breeds. I hope the vast JRT gene pool isn't going to be so affected.

      My hope is that its a bit late in the day anyway as hopefully more and more people, if not the general public already are seeing the folly in buying a pet dog from a show breeder. A thing mostly only working dog owners seem to have long known.

      With blogs like these and others it cant be long surely. However when you see a ring full of crippled Neopolitan Mastiffs it does still make you wonder if a good number of the dog owning public is in fact going to remain completely immune.

  4. I'm an American who showed my JRT in the UK years ago, so I'm a bit confused by this article saying they've only now been accepted for registry.

    In 1995, I bought a dual-registered Jack Russell Terrier puppy in the USA. He was a long-legged hunt terrier, and was registered with the UKC (all-breed registry) and JRTCA (working terrier registry). At that point, the short-legged dwarf version of the breed was not registerable anywhere in America. The long-legged hunting terriers were the only ones that could be registered.

    In JRTCA, I competed in hunting, earthdog, racing and conformation--my dog was on the cover of the JRTCA magazine hunting in the field. In the UKC, I competed in obedience, agility and weight pull. We also did tracking, pet therapy visits, tricks (on TV and stage), and cart pulling.

    The JRTCA immediately disbarred us for competing in a "conformation" all-breed registry, even though I was only competing in sports (not conformation), and even though they themselves held huge conformation shows with dozens of classes at every trial. At that point, I figured: "what the heck"... and started showing in UKC conformation. My dog was #1 in the USA in the late 90's, and also won Terrier Group 1 at the then-largest UKC show in history.

    He had more titles in more sports than any other JRT/PRT in the world at that time, and starred in many Purina magazine ads/calendars/billboards. He was massively into hunting anything, killing over 200 animals that came into our fenced yard--from mice to snakes to raccoons. Outside the yard, he'd go to ground at the drop of a hat and stay there 8+ hours. I had to use a locator collar and digging equipment any time I took him outside my property.

    We moved to the UK from 1999-2001. I wanted to compete in obedience and working trials, so I got him registered with the UK KC. This took some work, because in the U.S., he was named a "Jack Russell Terrier," and the name for the IDENTICAL dog in the UK was a "Parson Russell Terrier." (In America, JRTs were later renamed PRTs to match the UK). Anyway, he got registered in the UK too, and went on to become the first JRT/PRT to qualify (and place) in Working Trials. He was also the #2 out of 130 PRTs in the only conformation show we entered. The dog that beat him was the current UK #1 PRT.

    I neutered my dog without ever breeding him--I didn't want any more to do with wildlife- and cat-killing bloodlines. When I returned to the U.S., the PRT had been in the AKC for a couple of generations, and the dogs were almost unrecognizable compared to working dogs. Chalked, fluffy, usually pure white, and groomed to look like fox or Irish terriers.

    I'm now a big PDE supporter and am generally anti-conformation showing. I might still show in it for the "handling" sport of it at some future date, but would never dream of using conformation ribbons (or lack thereof) as a reason to breed or not to breed a particular dog. I do believe we should be choosing dogs who can actually DO work at the top levels, not just LOOK like he could do work.

    Anyway... can somebody please explain how Jack Russells are only now suddenly a Kennel Club breed when they were in conformation shows all the time during my stint in the UK 15 years ago? Thanks!

  5. another homophobic comment from a man who appears to be worried about "men in dresses" .. hey Patrick what about kilts? or don't they count? and why cut that part out the man said it.. or wrote it.. I would never accuse Jemima of "editing" LOL

    1. Bestuvall, obviously your comment is from someone who does not know the difference between someone in drag, someone who is a homosexual or someone who is transgender and someone who easily misses the point of what is being expressed unless it has been spelled out for them.
      To assume a man wearing a dress is a homosexual, sounds more like you might be the homophobic in the room.

  6. It is a tragedy the Jack Russel terrier is now going to be a pure breed, just as it was not so long ago when the border collie, cattle dog, and Australian shepherd were made formal breeds, despite similar protests from their aficionados at the time. Pure, closed gene pool breeding may make for nice prizes (judged by arbitrary standards), but it eventually ruins all animals, not just dogs.

    Right now, some of the fastest, strongest, healthiest, smartest, and most agile dogs are doing what they've been doing for thousands of years without pure breeding, and mainstream dog fancy is oblivious to them. They still provide protection, herding, hunting, and companionship in millions of houses, homesteads, and huts all over the world, and they don't belong to any particular pure breed. They are just dogs, perhaps of a certain type, and they are Man's Best Friend. The sooner people stop fretting over breed standards and awards, the better off we'll all be.

  7. again no one is forcing you to register your breed or non breed .. you are free to breed any dogs you care to put together... and what business is it of ours what people fret over?

    1. People's fretting may not necessarily be our business, but animal welfare is our business. It's not right that people keep screwing up animals just so they can parade them around a ring. These are sentient beings we're talking about, not mere objects. I hope that in time, the mainstream dog fancy will wake up to the fact that dogs, like all animals, must be able to outcross if they are to remain healthy and survive in perpetuity.

  8. PLL is a disease that Jacks are prone to. Mini bulls also.. Mini bulls have all but wiped out this devastating disease in the USA through DNA testing I wonder how many Jacks that are "farm bred' have been tested for PLL.. you know dogs cannot work if they cannot see. Perhaps this move will benefit the Jack/Parson by educating new owners through the KC. .." With a frequency of 27%, the breeder of Jack Russell Terrier has a strong chance of mating unknowingly two carriers and as a consequence, of producing affected puppies. The breeder wouldn’t even notice it because affected puppies do not usually develop the disease before the age of 3 years old. Affected dogs may also be matted before the onset of symptoms and thus transmit the mutation to 100% of their offspring."
    Everything is not gloom and doom

    1. PLL is found in over 40 breeds, and the genetic marker for PLL was found in Jack Russell Terriers in 2009, after about a decade of research support from the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America.

      I do not have current stats, but last I checked no breed had more tested dogs than the Jack Russell community.

      Being a PLL carrier is NOT the same as having the gene, and pruning dogs out of the breeding pool is actually BAD for the breed's overall genetic health if it is a small and deeply inbred gene pool.

      Jack Russells, of course, are a massive and very diverse gene pool – as genetically diverse a feral street dogs according to the research.

      PLL in the Bull Terrier presents a very different problem than it does for Jack Russells, as the Bull Terrier is one of the most inbred of Kennel Club breeds (Marsha Eggleston, 2000 :: ) having first entered the Club with relatively few individual members and having, since then, been split into two color phases (colored and white) and two sizes (miniature and standard).

      The Jack Russell and the Border Terrier are among the longest-lived dogs due to their size and their genetic diversity ( with a lifespan of about 14 years, while the Bull terrier goes to about 10. Some of this longevity difference is due to a difference in size, but part of it is also a difference in genetic diversity as well. (Most genetically diverse versus least).

    2. Patrick Bull Terriers are not split into two color phases. The Bull Terrier in the USA is shown in separate classes. ONLY IN THE USA no where else.. in every other part of the world the colored dogs and white dogs are shown together. In Mini Bulls they are shown together everywhere , including the USA. Colored dogs and white dogs are interchangeably bred to each other. Bull Terriers are not afflicted with PLL. Minis are afflicted with the gene due to the crossbreeding to .. yes Jacks.. and some other dogs. I am aware that affecteds need to be taken out of the gene pool and carriers bred judiciously in order to eliminate PLL as much as possible and that is exactly what USA mini breeders are doing. I am glad to hear the Jack Russell community is stepping up to the plate to test their dogs. I am sure that when the dogs are registered with the KC ( and the AKC) that education regarding testing will be in more available and that is good for all dogs. It is not all gloom and doom.

  9. My understanding is that the KC turned the Jack Russell first into the Fox Terrier and then into the Parson Russell and now they're going to have the 'Jack Russell' which within 50 years will look nothing like the working strain.

    Like a PP, I have no problem with the function of a breed changing, but I do have a problem with inbreeding, and with breeding away from traits required for a dog to work and still claiming it's the same breed: the difference between the show line and the working labrador, anyone? Show line labs are fine family pets, but they are very different from the workers. I can see the same thing happening with the JR: there will be a cute, sweet, slightly dim but playful terrier called the Jack Russell - and an an ambitious, active, intelligent, demanding terrier - also a Jack Russell.

    1. This is right the Parson style JRT is a show invention.

  10. But I still don't get what the difference is between the JRTs now being inducted into the KC-presumably long-legged hunt terriers...

    ... and the PRTs that have been in the KC for at least 15 years, also a long-legged hunt terrier.

    As mentioned in my long-winded comment above, my dog was born from hunting/working lines and was eventually registered with three registries in the USA/UK as a JRT and a PRT. He became the #1 JRT in America in conformation, and was #2 in conformation at a huge UK PRT specialty event.

    I know in America, there are various sub-groups of JRTs with short legs / dwarfism that have managed to get recognition in various (conformation) registries. So at first I thought this might be what is getting registered in the UK. However, these dogs are unsuitable for hunting. It seems to me that the hunting time is ALREADY in the UK Kennel Club, and has been for decades.

    So what is the difference between the long-term PRT that has been in the KC for ages, and the new JRT? Different leg lengths? And if so, isn't the PRT (the one already in the club) the more proper hunting terrier? In the U.S., only the long-legged "sports car" models are used for hunting, not the dwarf, heavy-set dogs with the twisted legs.

    1. Its all a bit confusing. Not that it bothers me. Everyone seems to have a slightly different definition of what is or isn't a Jack Russell Terrier and that's maybe not a bad thing in itself.

      Im assuming the KC definition, the dog they so graciously now deem "acceptable" for registration and closed stud books is Prince Charles's dog of choice, the now heavily Australian influenced type, the short legged JRT. As also recognised by the ANKC and FCI.

      It's longer than tall (short, rectangular) and held distinct from the showing PRT- Parsons etc.

      This showing JRT is not a working dog but is popular as a showing number and more docile pet in many countries especially the Benelux, Nordic Countries, Italy, Australia of course even Poland. In many of these countries its quite difficult to find unbroken smooth short haired coats as a whiskered slightly square headed (generic weedier Sealyham look) seems to be ever popular.

      Many countries have JRT clubs that issue their own pedigrees and adhere to various standards Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, South Africa, even America I think....... the only thing it seems they all gladly and often fervently have in common is The Reverend "Jack" Russell, the colour and that the dogs chest should be easily spannable by two hands.

      That latter point has stuck for some reason I think mostly due to some delusional idea they are breeding a specialised working dog fit to go down a fox hole and do nothing else. So for the moment its less cobby, slightly narrow, short. Its also has a low prey drive, as most breeders (often little old ladies) will happily and for some odd reason say "more suitable for the show bench than the field".

      What this dog will eventually turn into is any ones guess. But with a closed register under the KC it wont be much of a JRT, it already isn't much of JRT.


    2. Some of the nicest JRT's I've seen (besides my own of course) have have been in places like South Africa. Opinions vary, again a good thing and it depends on what the dog is to used for. The ones I particularly liked are very well built i.e. very muscular, low to the ground, high prey drive, influenced by very small feisty Staffies the kind not often seen elsewhere. These are working dogs that make excellent general purpose farm dogs quite able to take on anything that might steal a chicken, young lamb or even attempt robbing their owners. Yet other types, more the PRT working type there are used as gun dogs to flush even hold wild boar and the like. Very few JRT's are used to go to ground in South Africa it way to dangerous.

      Im not sure what to make of this KC move, I suppose it was inevitable. Besides reputation based or not based on some kind of a pedigree it certainly will clear the wheat from the chaff when one might be looking for a suitable pup, that's for sure.

      My reservations are far stronger for other breeds which perhaps at this time are far less genetically robust breeds which are also much needed working dogs that are still luckily able to freely evolve outside off closed stud books. Registration with National kennel clubs would be sealing their fate forever which I don't think is quite so dramatic as the photo caption on this blog entry suggests for the JRT even in the UK.

      Having said that I was still alarmed when I was looking for suitable JRTs to import at the rapid rise in influence of the Australian showing JRT in many countries lines. Countries that formerly had extremely good JRT's with lots of variety, and working variety to select from, again like South Africa for example. The use of the words "pedigree and Australian" are the warning bells and which sounded far too often for my liking.

      I must add that in Australia itself there are still working JRTs most definitely but they aren't the ones recognised by the ANKC.

      I dont know if KC registration will be detrimental to the entire JRT population of the world. Lets hope not, they are extremely healthy genetically speaking and quite a few are still prized solely for their working ability and in quite a few countries.

      In the UK the PRT is already registered as you say and still some extremely game working long legged (relatively) JRTs are to be found despite the ban on hunting with hounds. Its true many of these are bred and come from Ireland. I think where ever there is a demand legal or not they will continue to exist.

    3. Ps the situation in America is completely different, they also call their dogs by different names which adds somewhat to the confusion. We leave the "sports car" model to them, obviously no one else in their right minds would use a sports car for hunting, a jeep maybe or a quad bike perhaps. (:

  11. The Kennel Club has no tolerance for diversity, but the Jack Russell is meant to be a diverse dog -- one that can hunt fox, badger, tanuki, groundhog, raccoon, possum, and more.

    Different earths and different creatures dig different sized holes and require different levels of "balance" in how a dog works. A dog that deals with a badger like it deals with a possum will be dead; a dog that can kill a fox underground can do no harm to a groundhog.

    In the field, the diversity of the Jack Russell is used like a spanner wrench. Aa true working terrierman will have several dogs of several sizes and temperaments to fit different "nuts" inside the hole. I myself prefer a small vocal dog, but there is a place for tougher and bigger, and I do not deny it. My bigger dog by weight is shorter so he has the same chest size as the dog that weighs only 2/3 as much.

    The Kennel Club "Parson Russell" terrier has a breed description that was cocked up someone who did not dig on fox at all, but only on badger, which is an animal it has been illegal to hunt in the UK for about 25 years. This is not a breed description ever intended for real work - it's a fantasy dog for the British fantasy set.

    A very old badger set (they can be hundreds of years old) is often large enough in the bore that a thin man can get down it for a ways. A fox sette is generally much tighter and a dog with a chest of 16" inches is going to have trouble where a fox will not (fox chests are 11-14 inches). Are badgers still dug in the UK (illegal or not). Yes, but I know no one using a KC Parson Russell terrier or a KC dog of any kind. Real diggers are not going to the KC for a dog any more than the Innuit are looking there for a sled dog.

    In the end, there are only two kinds of Jack Russell-type dogs: Those that work and those that do not. People in the terrier world have a lot of theory about work that is unbridled by experience. Folks who have driven 20,000 miles to attend dog shows have never driven 10 miles to a fox sette, much less spanned a still warm (or still netted and kicking) vixen. Theory is a very poor replacement for experience.

    I suspect the "new" JRT will be a description cobbed off of the FCI standard. Here the dogs are longer in back that tall -- as if that matters! I assure you such stuff is complete bullshit. Chest measurement alone is the only important part of a working terrier's morphology. The rest is grit and nose, brains and desire.

    1. I would add one more to the list and one quite important one because along with working types it also continually seems to bring in new blood to the general JRT type. Making that in fact three JRT type dogs out there. Show JRTs, working JRTS and unregistered pet JRTs by the millions that are mixes or not of both types but definitely everything in between and often find themselves very valued working JRTs too.

  12. I agree that chest size and hunting ability are the only important traits for a JRT/PRT. In the UKC and JRTCA, when I showed in conformation, judges were all trained on how to span terriers, and both clubs regularly held workshops on this. My 14" dog had a 14" chest and went down fox holes without difficulty. Too big for groundhog, but he went down every other hole around and would have happily dug to groundhog... I only went to one AKC show and watched PRTs, and the judges didn't span a single dog.

    Regarding names, this is just getting so confusing!

    In Australia, PRT = the long-legged working hunter type. JRT = heavy, short-legged "dwarf" dog typically used only in conformation showing and as pets.

    In the USA, PRT = long-legged working hunter type (current name in UKC and AKC). JRT = long-legged working hunter type (name in JRTCA and former name in UKC). "Russell Terrier" = newly accepted breed in AKC/UKC; short-legged "rare" breed that I assume are probably imported, short-legged dwarf "Australian JRTs."

    In the UK, PRT = long-legged working hunter types registerable with the KC. JRT = until this week or so, unregisterable. I still don't know what this is--maybe similar to the Australian dwarf version?

    1. No the Australian/European etc show JRT is not a dwarf. It's shorter than a Parsons and not as square but has normal straight legs and proportionate head. Its technically as much of a "dwarf" as a Parsons, in that it's a small terrier down sized through selection for smallness. It doesn't have a large "wild type" selected from for the genetic disease of Micromelic Achondroplasia, as for example the Basset Hound has, its "wildtype" being the Fox Hound.

      As terrierman said length of leg is not an issue for a working JRT if its game its game end of story. Most game working JRT's in Australia are indeed shorter than the working "Parson" types found in Europe and elsewhere. They also dont have too many foxes or earth their dogs so chest size is a redundant concept. However the Australian showing JRT they still used the two hand test to measure the chest, purely cosmetic. Dont think anyone uses them to ride with hounds as such, they usually travel in a box on a quad bike if they do and this is illegal in the UK at least.

      In Australia the UK (now) and most of the rest of the showing world except America, the show "JRT" = the short legged rectangular JRT.

      Random examples of British, Australian, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch and Hungarian etc kennels. To get an even better idea of the international nature and popularity of the show JRT.......

      They can be and are registered with various national kennels including Ireland and now the UK.

      Can't be sure anyone in America even breeds these at all, and if they do they call them something else, maybe thats why you are confused.

      In Australia the UK and the rest of the showing world including America the "PRT" = the taller version.

      However most outside of the showing world call all of them JRT's and don't make these distinctions. They can be fine tuned with whippet, Staffies or any other usually small dogs including terriers of course, mostly it ends up a spotty feisty terrier that we can generaly recognise as a JRT. If they have a very particular mind as to what they want to do with the dog then they might have a stronger preference and breed or select accordingly.

    2. I take that sentence back. Australia does have loads of foxes! I've only visited areas were there are none at all or very few but other areas there are indeed so I've now been told, many many, depending on the number of Dingoes and other factors. So I can see why the chest measurement then could be important for their working dogs at least.

      However in Australia many many more foxes are shot than hunted with hounds of any type. 650 annually in Victoria hunted with dogs, over a similar period 90 000 were shot without the need of any dogs at all. So generally shooting appears to be way way more effective at controlling them in Australia. In Australia they are a real introduced pest species that cause mayhem for local wildlife.

  13. When the breed standard is released it is an opportunity to raise all the questions about why certain traits have been highlighted and others excluded. Dear KC, how exactly do you come up with these numbers?

    1. The standard has already been written, originally it came from Australia then adopted by the FCI. The Australian kennel club were the first to recognise the JRT as a dog worthy of registration into its national kennel club in 1990 followed by New Zealand's Kennel club. Its been snowballing across the globe ever since, the KC is a little late on the take.

      Im assuming this is the one the KC will use as its already in use internationally.

      Confusing issues is Wikipedia's take on the matter but then that's expected as its one extremely contentious and passionate issue. The good old JRT and what is and what isn't, ironically perhaps according to the Americans especially.

  14. So . . . why not just ignore the KC and breed working terriers (and other breeds) as they were meant to be bred? Surely, in this age of computers, someone can do a better job of tracking pedigrees and associating them with attributes (health, working performance) than the KC.

  15. Jennifer is right - ignore them.
    The KCs have to address the issues that Jemima keeps raising - extreme conformation, popular sire, founder effects and closed stud books. However given that KCs the world over are only producing pretty pets, they also need to consider the temperament of the animals they breed.
    It’s time they started selecting among their dogs for appropriate pet temperament. No hunting or herding drive, low dominance aggression, low activity level, food driven …… not a complete list but a start - soft natured gentle dogs like Cavalier KCS.
    They could breed JRT shaped pet dogs, Mastiff shaped pet dogs, GSP shaped pet dogs, Kelpie shaped pet dogs…
    Then you people who care about using dogs for their original function can just forget about these pretty but effectively useless working dogs and can keep going about your business breeding working dogs (not a problem because you aren’t going to use bench bred dogs anyway) - and the naïve and unsuspecting pet owning families of the world will at least have a chance of having acquiring animal which is appropriate to share their home.

    1. If showing dogs were any good at being pets I reckon no one would bat an eye lid. However they're not, being racked with disease for all the above reasons you give.

      So the pet buying public is forced to look elsewhere. There are plenty enough dogs from working breeders who dont have the apptitude, they make perfect companions and pets as do many F1 crosses of showing stock, even if not from the healthiest stock. Shelters too of course are full of dogs. So one could question the need to be breeding more just for specific looks alone.

      I think pet owners also enjoy the various characteristics dog breeds are bred for and choose accordingly, so I dont see that they need to be completely dumbed down versions at all. But sure if its a Fox Hound you must have in suburbia there is one in the show ring today that has been selected for looking the part. As long as its healthy longed lived and sane I guess no one minds at all unless they are against pedigree dogs full stop. With closed stud books in KCs its difficult not to be, though.

  16. Yea they do some, the best working ones far as I know anyway come from Ireland where it's a more informal affair. These dogs are tremendously keen, game dogs and are a danger to themselves and everything around them unless expertly managed. One look and you see its a hunting type, no question, the eyes say it all.

    All the JRT clubs etc do much the same job as each other except some issue pedigrees. Many however seem to have very strict agendas promoting a single phenotype which is a bit of a waste of time. Any health testing and performance testing of course is not.

    Certainly the show Parsons hasn't diminished the true working type Parsons out there so Im quite confident the show JRT wont do the same to the game little all purpose working JRT we all love and admire. We can only prey it wont.

  17. I meant there working JRT "Parsons type".

  18. That terrierman dude is a massive sexist. He quoted this in one of his articles, and he supports. it. Because categorizing animal rights supporters as "white middle class women with bad childhoods/divorces" is not bloody misogynistic at all.

    "In his book "In Defense of Hunting," James A. Swan notes that the Animal Rights crowd is dominated by people that are "white, urban, predominantly female, nicely dressed" and that many of them are "people who have gone through painful divorces or have had traumatic childhoods or have otherwise been hurt by the norms of society."