Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How to Breed Small & Avoid the Show Ring Trap

Terrierman Eddie Chapman writes in The Real Jack Russell Terrier (1993):

"Breeding good small Jack Russells, and I do mean real good ones, that are a genuine strain of 10" to 12" type, is the biggest and most satisfying challenge of all in Jack Russell breeding circles, not only from a show point, but a working one as well, for there is nothing a South Country hunt terrier man admires more than a real good small one....

"People have asked me for years just how I always seem to be able to breed Jack Russells that are of a very handy size, and the answer is quite simple .... I first of all need the smallest of workers and here lies my secret, for I have always had a policy that whenever possible I have always put a stud dog on a bitch that was smaller than the bitch, which the majority of show-only breeders will realize is the complete opposite of they way they breed. Having my small line enables me to do just that with my larger bitches, so I am forever breeding down hill as it were."

"If you are a worker of Jack Russell terriers you will find over the years that you will always be plagued with the problem of keeping to a handy size, and particularly so if you are a keen competitor in the show ring. This you will discover, is because the vast majority of the top show class study dogs are themselves in the bigger height range, and so to breed good lookers as well as good workers you find yourself compelled to use stud dogs in the higher range of the breed standard. It is, if one wants to look at it that way, one of the traps of the show ring."


YesBiscuit! said...

I've always felt size to be more determined by the bitch than the dog. In any case, I'm all for encouraging people to consider more aspects of quality dogs than colored ribbons.

mereworth said...

The idea of using small dogs on large bitches to produce small offspring is well known in Toy breed circles. To produce small specimens you do NOT use the tiny show bitches as it is too dangerous for them to be bred. Instead you use their larger sisters, put them to small dogs with small size behind them, rinse and repeat. Show the small females, keep the big ones as broods, use the small dogs for studs and sell the large dogs as pets or show dogs if good enough for someone else to bother with.