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                                                   History of the Breed

The English Jack Russell Terrier is a type of a working terrier that goes into the earth after quarry. They
are described as a small, sturdy, balanced terrier that is slightly longer than the length of their legs.
They have been bred for hunting anything from rats to badgers since the early 1800's. The English
Jack Russell Terrier has survived because of the dedication of the people who own them. Breeders
took up the challenge to create a short terrier, with the purpose to be able to go in the ground and bolt
the varmints out of their dens. Sometimes you have to dig down to them, because the varmint won't
bolt and the terrier will not leave the side of the quarry.
The scene in England in the 1800's was very civilized, dominated by an intelligent, wealthy and bored
upper class...very much inclined to any kind of sport. While still a very "rural" society by modern
standards, the science of selective breeding is well advanced (more milk, more meat, and more
kernels on the cob and grains on the shaft). Meanwhile, across the country, foxes are eating chickens,
eggs, and rabbits by the score. And rats are decimating the stores of grain and corn meant for
wealth-producing livestock (not to mention the more personal damage to the cook's stocks of cheese
and bread).

On a partridge hunt, m'Lord notices one of his dogs drive a vixen to ground and then, too big to follow
the quarry into the hole, frantically attempts to dig up the world to find where she's gone. A stag hunt
produces similar observations. Another notices one of his dogs patiently staring at a rat's favorite
entrance to the grain bins and, perhaps, witnesses the quick kills that ensue. The idea catches on that
certain dogs are both: 1) of great utility in solving a rash of current problems and, 2) the source of a
great new sport!

                                                    
Enter the terrier!

Like mad scientists in the laboratory, terrier men across England began to mix "a little of this" with "a
little of that" to create the working dog they needed. Probably starting with the old Fox Terrier, then
adding Beagle, Hound, Bedlington Terrier, Border Terrier, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Dachshund,
Lakeland Terrier, pre war, old style Sealyham Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and who knows
what else, they experimented and refined, always with the firm focus on performance in the hunt.
The English Jack Russell Terriers have appeared in literature and prints dating back hundreds of
years. Their size has made them superior earth dogs. They were not only used to go to ground, but
also to keep the rodent population down on farms and to help eradicate the Bubonic Plague in
England.

Every effort has been made to keep the English Jack Russell Terrier from their rightful place in the
Dog World. They are movie stars, seen on television, models in magazines, used to advertise
anything from dog food to automobiles. The public has fallen in love with them and they have brought
smiles to thousands of faces over the years. Owning an English Jack Russell Terrier is better than
watching the TV or movies. On your worst day they can make you smile. English Jack Russell Terriers
are a challenge, they own you, you do not own them. If we can learn one thing from them it is to live life
to the fullest.

The English Jack Russell Terrier is very intelligent. They learn what buttons to push, and push they will.
They make great pets but they also need discipline and plenty of exercise. Owning an English Jack is
like having a big dog in a small body, or a two-year-old child even in their old age. They prefer to be
with you 24/7. They love to sleep with you, hunt with you, ride in the truck with you, work with you, laugh
with you and cry with you because they seem to have so much intelligence they know when you are
down and want to be by your side.

The Quorn is the largest hunt in England. Prince Charles hunts his terriers at the Quorn where the
terrier man as they are called, sets on his horse. When the fox is located the terrier is put down the
hole to bring fox up, so the ride can began.

The English Jack Russell Terrier Club Alliance, Inc. or better known as the EJRTCA provides a
membership and registry that is dedicated to preserving the English Jack Russell Terrier. We are
dedicated to setting the type of terrier that was used in the early 1800's.
You can read about the picture above on page 232 in the  
To buy a copy of the book click here
Ultimate Jack Russell Terrier by Mary Strom
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