AKC Jack Russell Terriers: Dog Discrimination?

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Why under the AKC Jack Russell Terriers don’t appear as a listed breed, even though they are one of the most common dogs throughout the world.

The AKC Jack Russell Terrier Dilemma

Many people throughout the United States are often shocked to find out that the Jack Russell Terrier –one of the most recognizable dogs in the world – does not appear on the official list of dogs that the American Kennel Club keeps. This is not a deliberate snub by the AKC though and there are some good reasons why they don’t allow the Jack Russell Terrier to be listed under their breeder lists – lists that almost guarantee respectability to any dog breeder.

So what is all the confusion about the AKC Jack Russell Terrier stance and why is the breed actually listed, even though most people are unaware of this fact…?

The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America

Okay, so I know that this article is about the AKC Jack Russell Terrier stance, but the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA) plays an important role in the story. This is a club formed in 1976 to promote the Jack Russell Terrier breed and to ensure that its status as a working dog was kept intact. This meant that the specific qualities that a Jack Russell Terrier should exhibit were kept vague, therefore meaning that more emphasis was placed on the dog’s working ability than on its aesthetics.

At the time of the formation of the JRTCA, the breed was not recognized in any way by the AKC. This meant that the JRTCA became the foremost organization when it came to anything regarding the breeding of Jack Russell Terriers.

The American Kennel Club

In the early 1990s, the AKC explored the possibility of include the Jack Russell Terrier in its list of recognized dogs – a move that was opposed by the JRTCA. The opposition sprung from the fact that the JRTCA was concerned that having the Jack Russell listed by the AKC would lead to the dog losing its status as a working dog, due to the strict guidelines that the AKC would place on the breed. The JRTCA succeeded with their remonstrations and the AKC dropped all of its plans.

It wasn’t until 2001 that the issue of the AKC Jack Russell Terrier stance was brought up again, this time due to a petition from the Jack Russell Terrier Breeders Association, who wanted the dog to be recognized as a legitimate breed. This time the AKC went ahead with their plans and introduced the dog to their list of breeds.

You are probably asking where the breed is now though within the AKC, as there is no mention of a Jack Russell Terrier anywhere on their listings. Well, due to the large variations that the Jack Russell Terrier exhibited in size and looks, it was decided that all qualifying Jack Russells would be renamed Parson Russell Terriers – something that made sure that the breed was standardized. So, next time you are looking for Jack Russell Terriers on the AKC site, check out Parson Russell Terriers instead!

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