Russell Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

CORRECT RUSSELL TERRIER BREED TYPE By Pam Simmons S ince admission into the AKC Foundation Stock Service registry breed fanciers have been inundated with ques- tions regarding the correct breed type. First let me say “The Russell is a fox hunting terrier utilized in the hunt fields of England for above and below ground work. The character of the Russell Terrier is that of a spirited and game hunter. HE IS KEEN OF EXPRESSION AND FULL OF LIFE.”

what the breed isn’t. It is not a short-legged or bench legged dog nor is it excessively long or thick bodied. It is not the Puddlin or Stable dog that most people remember, nor is it a mini-Parson. It is a breed in its own right developed to be carried on horseback in terrier bags. Hopefully this writing will assist judges and breed fanci- ers in capturing the essence of breed type for this little earthdog. Th e Russell is a form follows function breed, he is first and foremost a hunting earth working terrier, not a mere pet or fancy show dog. Th e Russell Terrier originated in England for vermin control and hunt service, flushing fox from dens. It does share similar breeding lines with today’s Parson with both breeds going directly back to lines, developed by Rev. John Russell, the hunting Parson, in the mid 1800s. Th e Rev. Russell’s fox working terrier was the basis for both the Parson Russell Terrier and the Russell Terrier. Quickly the breeds separated and were developed using entirely di ff erent blends of working terriers built specifically for di ff erent geographic demands and hunt service demands. Th e Russell Terrier hails from crosses of the Sealyham and Smooth Fox Terriers, producing a dog shorter in

height and longer in body than either of its Parson or Fox Terrier cousins. Th ere several points essential to correct breed type for the Russell Terrier. Th ese characteristics define him as a distinct and unique breed. Th e Russell is a fox hunting terrier utilized in the hunt fields of Eng- land for above and below ground work. Th e character of the Russell Terrier is that of a spirited and game hunter. He is keen of expression and full of life. Size considerations define him. His 10"- 12" size with height disqualifications both top and bottom set, separate him from the Parson. Th is having been said, it is cru- cial and essential that judges not hesitate to measure a dog in the show ring. Less than 10" encroaches upon dwarfism and over 12" infringes upon the Parson Rus- sell Terrier. Since height is crucial to breed type, judges have an obligation to wicket the Russell, for without the use of the

wicket the Russell becomes another breed. Th e dog must remain within the height requirements in order to maintain correct breed type. Please use the wicket; your eye is a woefully insu ffi cient tool when gaug- ing height. DQ: under 10" - over 12". Th e size (14"-15" or smaller), shape (oval) and compressibility of the chest are the hallmark of the breed. Th e chest must never hang below the elbow. Th e size, shape and compressibility of the chest can only be determined by learning how to properly span the chest. Spanning is a required breed specific exam necessary to maintain correct breed type. Th e chest is one of the dogs’ working tools, without it he is unable to do his job e ff ectively or e ffi ciently. Any exhibitor should be able to assist you with the exam. Diagrams have been provided. A computer cd is 15" in circumfer- ence. Although a cd is not the correct



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