Meet Spud our dog. He is small and black and white, as he is constantly moulting any dark flooring is covered in white hairs and light coloured floor in white hairs, and the vacuum cleaner is full of grey fluff.
He can wrap us round his little paw, ever since my wife saw him at the Rescue Centre, where he put his head on her lap and looked up at her with big brown eyes. He is clever and loves bread. This has caused us to alter our behaviour in the kitchen, always push the chairs under the table. If not he will be on it, he is too small to jump on the table but can use a chair as a step to get on the table. And if there is bread or toast on the table, its gone. He also likes tea and patches of sun in which he will lie, careful rolling across the floor as the sun moves.
In other words he is a character, and therefore a classic example of a Jack Russell Terrier.
Spud in a Spud sized sun patch
But, how can a rescue dog, of no clearly identified parentage, be a classic example of one of the best known breeds of small dogs. Simple, there is no such breed as the Jack Russell Terrier!
About 150 years ago a group of Victorian gentlemen, formed an organisation called the Kennel Club and began to classify the known breeds of dogs. Before that time dogs were known for the jobs they did, a foxhound chased foxes, a bull dog baited bulls etc. But now they were to be defined as breeds, size, shape and colour was to be listed so a dog could be judged on how closely it matched the ideal. But not the Jack Russell Terrier, and this was very strange as a founder of the Kennel Club was a Devonshire clergyman called John (or Jack) Russell, he helped write the description of many breeds. However he refused to describe the breed he had created and since then the Kennel Club has respected his wishes and never created a breed description for the Jack Russell Terrier.
Why, simply a breed description can list size, shape and colour, but not intelligence and character. Parson Jack held that these were more important than anything else in the dogs he bred, so Spud is intelligent, a great character, and definitely a Jack Russell Terrier.