The Parson Russell Terrier is a breed of small white terrier that was the original Fox Terriers of the 18th century. The breed is named after the person credited with the creation of this type of dog, the Reverend John 'Jack' Russell. It is the recognised conformation show variety of the Jack Russell Terrier and was first recognised in 1990 in the United Kingdom as the Parson Jack Russell Terrier. In America, it was first recognised as the Jack Russell Terrier in 1997. The name was changed to its current form in 1999 in the UK and by 2008 all international kennel clubs recognised it under the new name.
A mostly white breed with either a smooth, rough or broken coat, it conforms to a narrower range of sizes than the Jack Russell. It is a feisty, energetic terrier, suited to sports and able to get along with children and other animals. It has a range of breed related health issues, mainly relating to eye disorders.
The Parson Russell Terrier is bred to conform to a conformation show standard. Unlike its close relative, the Jack Russell Terrier, Parson Russell Terriers have noticeably longer legs that are about as tall as the length of the Terrier's body. It is a predominantly white breed with black, tan or tricolour markings and an easy to groom coat which is either smooth or broken (similar to a smooth coat, but with some longer hair on the head, face, legs or body). The breed standard does not recognise a Parson Russell with a curly or rough coat. There is a clear outline with only a hint of eyebrows and beard should the dog be broken coated. They possess moderately thick small 'V' shaped drop ears with the tip pointed towards the eyes. The nose of the dog should be black. The normal range of sizes is between 13–14 inches (33–36 cm) tall at the withers, with a weight around 13–17 pounds (5.9–7.7 kg).
The Parson Russell has a relatively square outline, with a body about as long as the dog is tall. Compared to the Jack Russell Terrier, the Parson Russell has a longer head and a larger chest along with overall a slightly larger body size. The Parson retains the flat skull but not the elongated shape of the Fox Terrier, and with lower set ears. In addition, the Jack Russell Terrier has a greater variation in size, ranging between 10–15 inches (25–38 cm) in height at the withers.
Two hands should be able to span the chest of the dog behind its elbows, with the thumbs at the withers. This is required in show judging, with the judge lifting the dog's front legs gently off the ground in this motion in order to measure the size of the chest. The judges fingers should meet under the chest and the thumbs on top of the spine. The American Kennel Club describes this as a 'significant factor and a critical part of the judging process.' It is not done to measure the size of the chest, but rather to feel for the correct shape.
Under the show standard, there are several physical points which would be treated as faults in the show ring. These are for the height of the dog at the withers to be outside of the standard range, or for the dog to possess either pricked up ears, a liver or brown coloured nose, an overshot or undershot jawline or to have brindle markings.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parson_Russell_Terrier
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