The Jack Russell Terrier - To Show Or Not To Show?
The Jack Russell has always been an animal that was out of place when it came to shows of appearance and strict manners. Most breeders of fine hunting Terriers and hunting enthusiasts themselves had no interest in the standard dog show and no inclination toward parading their Jack Russell around a ring in order to be judged on appearance and style alone.
On the other hand a new generation of Jack Russell owners who were now used to the breed being embraced in the home had no desire to bring their pets out into the field; however they were very enthusiastic about showcasing their little darling for the public as a part the new national phenomenon. The one thing that the two sides could agree on was that a Jack Russell was not a dog you could judge on appearance and manners, but one that could only be proven by tests of skill and endurance.
Although most Jack Russell breeders and owners were not interested in shows, and therefore had nothing to do with them, the few Jack Russell's that were entered into dog shows became a popular feature and continue to be to this day. In the instances when Jack Russell's do appear in dog shows and skill trials; rarely are they judged on appearance and form, and more on their ability to jump, race, retrieve, crawl in tunnels and overcome obstacles.
It should be noted however that there is indeed a specified appearance standard for the Jack Russell in place with the Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, and most other dog shows and organizations. Jack Russell Terriers who do not meet these requirements are often still allowed to compete in skills events, but are barred from participating in any dog showing events. The new heyday that the Jack Russell was enjoying would soon fall down around its ears.