THE RUSSELL TERRIER CHARACTER by PAM SIMMONS ABOUT THE AUTHOR
T he Russell Terrier character is described in the opening paragraph of the breed stan- dard. “He is full of life and moved with confidence that matches his keen expression”. Regarding his temperament: “He is an alert lively keen Terrier with a very intelligent expres- sion. The sporting character of the Rus- sell Terrier is that of a spirited and game hunter. Their intensity for life is one of their most endearing traits. They are playful, curious, loyal and affectionate.” The above descriptions of the Rus- sell are never more accurate. Anyone who does or has owned the Russell knows full well of his indomitable spirit and athleticism. It must be remembered the Russell’s original purpose was as a vermin controller as well as to service the local fox hunt to bolt the fox out or to stay until one does. His purpose, character and conformation are essen- tial elements of his being. Puppies are adorable as well as mis- chievous, ever manipulative and con- niving. Most chose to ignore training or discipline until totally convinced of the owners’ convictions, depending heavily on his ever present cuteness. With training and maturity,
His heritage is born of a history of ser- vice to his master and his function is to rid the farm side of vermin and pests. Agility is a natural endeavor as the Russell’s conformation is suited for the necessary twists, turns and speed nec- essary for success on the agility course. He is lithe, smooth of muscle, compact yet flexible. He is as game as they come. The only thing holding him back is sheer stubbornness. Terrier, isn’t it? Racing is most entertaining for a Russell. He’s always up for competition and ever ready to give chase even for a fuzzy piece of cloth. Always ready! The enjoyment for owners is most reward- ing, seeing the intensity and enthusiasm coupled with sheer abandonment of the dog is quite exciting. Earthdog ® is also a viable option for this Terrier and much easier on the owners. Owner and dog stroll through the countryside to dis- cover the den, the dog enters the tunnel to discover his quarry, baying in mock work (never actually touching quarry) is indeed satisfaction for both owner and dog. For the most part Russells are ami- able with other breeds, even other Terriers. On occasion jealousy can get in the way of playful fun but for the most part the
Pam Simmons is a longtime owner, breeder and hunter of both the Russell and the Parson Terriers. She chairs the Judges Education committee for the ARTC, Parent Club of the Russell Ter- rier. She believes form follows func- tion not only for her breeds but for all breeds.
owners are ever amazed with the Russell’s enthusiasm for sport and his innate instinct and creativity for same. Game as they come, he has the natu- ral instinct for chase.
breed is mal- leable but does require super v i s ion. The Russell is ever ready and requires an outlet for his energy. He
In the hunt field, he is a natural, requiring little in the realm of training, except an exercise in reservation. He will rush head- long to danger without regard to safety. So caution is required herein.
is not a dog for everyone, but his affection and ener- gy is reward enough for those who truly understand his nature, spirit and courage.
242 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2017
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