Jack Russell Terrier - Canine Companion or Demon Dog (Chapter 5, page 2 of 12)


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Chapter 5

Conformation or "showing" events are judged similar to any other dog pageant. The dog that wins is usually the contestant that most closely matches the official breed standard as it is recognized. Jack's entered into conformation events are judged on appearance, body movement, and temperament. In the case of the Jack Russell conformation is judged on the best mix of appearance and working characteristics. It's inevitable that working characteristics will play a role in conformation judging due to so much of the breed standard is based on what appear to be aesthetic appearances, but actually have a historical purpose in the use of hunting. Judges selected for Jack Russell conformation events are often required to meet specific standards. Selected judges for these events often have an intimate knowledge of the breed and have a pack of working Jack Russell's and the accompanying experience in field work with the animals. A judge must be aware of the work that the Jack Russell was bred to do.

Conformation showing of Jack Russell's has become increasingly popular in the U.S. This has been very effective in promoting the breeding of Jack Russell's that meet the conformation standard. In some ways this has helped to improve the genetics and breeding stock of the Jack Russell. It is however a delicate balance and breeders must be cautious to not spoil their line by getting caught up in breeding for appearance over function. Showing has been beneficial to the breed in the way of generating more public interest in the skills trial events as well, something that the JRTCA have strived to keep in the forefront as an example of where a Jack Russell's value truly lies.

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