Parson Russel Terrier Association of America

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The Club Information Page

History of the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America

The Parson Russell Terrier Association of America was founded in 1985 as the Jack Russell Terrier Breeders Association (JRTBA), and was later changed to Jack Russell Terrier Association of America. The breeders who gathered to form the club had one terrier in mind, a balanced dog of distinctive type and weatherproof jacket, measuring between 12" and 14" in height with a chest circumference allowing the terrier to go underground with ease. The terrier's sole purpose was to follow the hunt in pursuit of the European red fox, and to bolt him from the earth when he went to ground. The Parson Russell Terrier has a long and well-documented history in the evolution of hunting terriers in England. The Parson is the terrier that was bred by Britain’s Rev. John Russell in 1880, and that terrier remains the blueprint for the breed today.

In the decade from 1987 to 1997, a small group of dedicated JRTBA members worked ceaselessly to achieve AKC recognition for the breed. The AKC unanimously accepted the Jack Russell Terrier into its registry in November 1, 1997. In January 1998, the breed became eligible for competition in all AKC events, including conformation participation in the Miscellaneous Class at all-breed shows. The breed entered the AKC Terrier Group on April 1, 2000, and in October of 2000, the club held its National Specialty at the prestigious Montgomery County Kennel Club show.

On April 1, 2003 the name of the breed was changed from Jack Russell Terrier to Parson Russell Terrier. This change was undertaken to separate the AKC Parson from the “Jack”, a short-legged terrier longer in body than tall, and to be consistent with the breed name in England (the Parson's country of origin), Europe and Australia. Consequently, the club name was changed to the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America (PRTAA). The Breed Standard was last revised effective September 29, 2004.

The PRTAA is the Parent Club for the Parson Russell Terrier in America. Members of the club maintain the breed standard and in doing so protect the future of their terrier. Membership in the Association is open to those who support its goals and its ideal for the breed, and who honor the important height disqualifications incorporated in the Breed Standard to preserve the working abilities of the Parson. The PRTAA operates in full acknowledgment of the original purpose of the traditional Parson Russell Terrier as it was in Rev. Russell's day: to hunt red fox above and below ground; and to promote the distinctive type terrier bred by Rev. Russell.

Board of Directors

Jay Caulk President 503-249-7657
Nancy Dougherty Vice President 610-255-4366
Lance Nobriga Secretary 808-652-7877
Michelle Hess Treasurer
Patty Burmeister Corresponding Secretary 314-965-2169
Rita Ford Director 931-258-3933
Kathleen Owsley Director
Beth Snedegar Director 517-726-1326
Tricia Stanczyk Director


The PRTAA hosts Specialty Shows, Trials, Fun Matches and informational gatherings for the traditional Parson Russell Terrier and it's enthusiasts. Our members and breeders are available to anyone caring to learn more about this fine old breed of terrier. Our members frequently assemble to hunt their terriers and are more than happy to help educate newcomers to the hunting, showing, or obedience aspects of the Parson Russell Terrier World.

Newsletter memberships are available to anyone 18 years of age and older.  Printable membership and newsletter forms are available from the FORMS page.

Foreign memberships are available to all parties outside the US.
This membership is comparable to Newsletter Membership in that members will receive all club mailings but are not eligible to vote. Forms are available from the FORMS page.

General membership requires you to be sponsored by two current members in good standing in the PRTAA for the last three years. Your name will be published in our newsletter to give our members a chance to comment. Once your application is cleared your membership is voted into the club at the next Board meeting. A printable membership form is available from the FORMS page.

If you don't know two PRTAA members, do not be discouraged. General Membership is not a requirement to participate in PRTAA events. You can still be a Newsletter Member, work on PRTAA committees, and participate in Regional Clubs until you do have two sponsors. This process is not designed to refuse memberships, rather to assure that members are committed to the breed and the purposes of the club. Our membership controls the club through the voting process. We therefore want to be assured of new members' understanding of, and commitment to support, the policies and goals of the PRTAA.

Remember it is not necessary to be a member to fully participate in either PRTAA or AKC activities. Use the time before you have sponsors to get to know us, what we stand for, and to enjoy the wide range of activities now available for you and your dog.

PRTAA Membership Application