The Jack Russell has finally been recognised by the Kennel Club

The Jack Russell terrier, irrepressible, shorter-legged relation of the Parson Russell, is at last, to be recognized as a pedigree breed by the Kennel Club (KC). From January 1 2016, the KC will record Jack Russell births and will draft a Breed Standard to promote responsible breeding and ‘ensure a level of predictability’ – although many current owners will wonder exactly what that means.

Although Jack Russells originated as sporting little dogs short enough to fit down a fox’s earth and were predominantly coloured white with brown patches, the term can be loosely applied – many ‘Jack Russells’ are in fact, cross-bred with borders, Patterdales, Norfolks, fox terriers, Yorkies and even chihuahuas and shih tzus.

The Jack Russell will become KC’s 216th recognized breed and the 27th member of the terrier group. The KC’s recent additions have been minority breeds, such as the Portuguese pointer and the Hungarian pumi; this is the first new breed for a long time to have such established popularity and it will be interesting to see how long it takes to become ‘top dog.’