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Meet Britain's Surprising New Pedigree Dog Breed - The Jack Russell Terrier

19 October 2015

UK - The Kennel Club recognises the Jack Russell Terrier which, despite being a popular pet, has never been officially recognised as a pedigree breed in the UK.

To protect the heritage of this popular dog, and to help prospective dog owners who are choosing which dog is most suited to their lifestyle, the Kennel Club will begin recording Jack Russell births through its voluntary registration system from next year. It will also draft a Breed Standard for the breed, which describes the various characteristics of a breed and how they are likely to be in terms of their size, exercise, temperament and grooming needs.

This will help promote the responsible breeding of Jack Russells and ensure that the level of predictability seen in other recognised dog breeds is duplicated in registered Jack Russell Terriers.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Many people think that the Jack Russell Terrier is already a recognised breed, because they have seen one in their local park or doing the school run with parents, but there are so many varieties of Jack Russell that until now it has not been officially recognised by the Kennel Club.

“By recognising the Jack Russell as an official breed, we can help cement its heritage and protect its future as a much-loved traditional working dog and popular pet. By encouraging the bulk of the population of these dogs to fit a Breed Standard we can help to ensure that puppy buyers get a dog with predictable characteristics that is suitable for their lifestyle and that they are bred to be healthy, with good temperament and are fit for function.

“We have such a diverse and interesting range of dog breeds in this country that there is truly ‘something for everyone’ – people can meet around 200 different breeds at our Eukanuba Discover Dogs event taking place this weekend at ExCeL London.”

Joining other well-known breeds such as the West Highland White Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Jack Russell will be the 27th breed in the Terrier group of pedigree dogs. The Terrier group includes breeds that were originally bred and used for hunting vermin; bred to be brave and tough, and to pursue vermin above and below ground. Many of these breeds are still used for working today, including the Jack Russell, and still have many of the characteristics of a traditional hunting dog, ensuring that they are fit for the purpose they were originally bred for.

When the first ever Kennel Club stud book was produced in 1874, just 43 breeds were listed. As breeds were developed for different functions and purposes, the number of pedigree dog breeds in the UK increased which has seen today’s breed list reach 216 different breeds of dog, each with their own individual traits and characteristics.

For more information on Eukanuba Discover Dogs, where visitors can meet around 200 breeds and find out which one might be right for their lifestyle, visit

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