DBF Russell Terriers

Home of the Small Jacks!

Candace Lundin, DVM, MS


Candace Lundin
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DBF Russell Terriers

  DBF Russell Terriers


"Come here little fishy fishy..."

Dog Branch Farm in Round Hill, Virginia is home to a small “family” of short Jack Russell Terriers (JRTs), sometimes called “Puddins” or “Shorties”; others are FCI type Russell Terriers. Most are registered with the English Jack Russell Terrier Club Alliance (EJRTCA) as "Jack Russell Terriers", and some with the Foundation Stock Service of the American Kennel Club (AKC-FSS) as "Russell Terriers".  Some also belong to the United Kennel Club (UKC).


The Parson Russell Terrier(DBF does not breed the long-legged variety)

My little dogs (8.5”- 10.5” tall) have the intelligence, loyalty, love, and humor of the Russell Terriers, but they are being bred to be companions rather than working hunt or performance terriers. I focus on temperament as the primary consideration, and prefer the the shorty jacks with a little more bone and muscling than what the FCI describes as ideal for show. However, we do breed a few for show, but try to stick to the small end of the "standard". We have imported some from Europe to add to the American bloodlines.


The long-legged variety of Jack Russell Terriers is referred to as Parson Russell Terriers by the AKC. We do not breed the Parsons.


Josie and Lola

Dr. Candace Lundin, veterinarian, and her husband, Frank Zureick, owners of Dog Branch Farm, always swore to themselves that they would never own a Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) because the terriers that they had come across had strong alpha personalities and a reputation for stubbornness and aggressiveness toward other dogs, cats, and some people. Some demonstrated the irritating habits of incessant barking and jumping---the canine version of “hyperactivity disorder”!


BUT, Candace and Frank changed their minds when they learned that some small breeders had been successfully directing their efforts at producing JRTs with calm, sensible temperaments---small dogs that would serve as companions and nice family pets. Thus, DBF Russell Terriers was born.


A young Josie snuggles in the down comforter

We are not a kennel, and breeding dogs is not our “business”. Our dogs live in our home, sit on our sofa, and sleep in our bed. They go to the beach on vacation with us and attend pony shows and steeplechase races. Our “real” business is the breeding and training of Thoroughbred horses (see www.dogbranchfarm.com). The JRTs are just part of our family (8 to 10 of them)  —along with an Italian Greyhound, 5 cats, 4 ponies, and lots of koi (pond fish).  In order to have a large gene pool for our breeding program, while avoiding having so many dogs living here that they would need to be kennel dogs, we also co-own 10-15 dogs at any point in time. Co-owned dogs live with our friends & family as their own family pets, but DBF Russell Terriers manages their breeding, whelping, and health. Co-owned females are retired from breeding at a young age and have built-in "forever" homes with their own families. This is the way that we are able to have enough dogs for broad genetic diversity in our program, without any dog living as a "kennel dog".  Every one of them is a cherished member of a family.




Italian Greyhound, Mia, at 9 mos

Young Japanese koi in our water garden



Lola’s sandcastle on the Outer Banks

of North Carolina

Our goal is to improve the reputation of the Jack Russell Terrier by producing healthy, jolly little dogs that are easily socialized and that will respect and love their owners AND their owners’ friends and family! We are not the breeder for you if you are looking for the “tough” little dog that stands its ground against anything and everything, or if you are looking for a working terrier. Terriers can be known for their tenaciousness, but we are breeding for family pets. All terriers, not just Jack Russells, can be a bit feisty and competitive at times---that is part of what makes them terriers, but we do not want to strongly emphasize those traits in our breeding for pets.


"Come down and play with us"

We are striving to breed terriers without the uncontrollable urge to chase cats. We don’t want terriers that will take off across our farm to blindly chase anything that moves, such as a squirrel or fox. We don’t want terriers that “lose their minds” when the local hunt (Piedmont Hunt) comes through our property with their hounds chasing a fox. Instead, our little Jacks hunt crickets and field mice—WITH the cats! It's quite amazing to see 2 cats and 2 dogs all stalking one poor little field mouse together.








"What's down there?"

We want good-natured, playful, charming, and intelligent little dogs that become part of our family and yours. Though a lot of this “good” behavior comes from proper socialization as puppies and as young dogs, it is also in the breeding. Bloodlines can play a role in the tendency of a dog to be aggressive toward other animals (and children!). This is why a docile temperament will be our NUMBER ONE priority in considering whether to breed a dog or not.  

Josie loves to run and roll down the hill with her toys


Some “traditional” Jack lovers will disagree with this attempt to discourage the hunting/chasing/fighting instincts of the Jack Russell Terrier. Let me say that we have no issue with those who want to breed hunt/performance terriers or those who want to compete in field events that demonstrate the original natural instincts of the hunting terriers. We admire and appreciate the abilities of those dogs. But, there is a place both for working terriers and for “family pet” terriers. Dog Branch Farm is focusing on the latter.


We take the placement of our puppies seriously. We want you and the puppy to be happy---for a long time. We want to match the right puppy to the “right family”. Many people do not realize that the personalities of puppies begin to show at just a few weeks of age. Thus, we get to know which ones are more shy, which ones are the first to try new things, which ones have the most patience, which ones tend to dominate their littermates, and which ones are the most active. So, even though you may have your heart set on a puppy with a particular color or markings, the specific pup that you inquire about may not be the one most suitable for your particular home/family.


Chondrodysplastic forelimbs—a sign of dwarfism

Conformation IS taken into consideration in our breeding program, especially in terms of a desire to avoid dwarfism characteristics, such as chondrodysplasia, resulting in excessively curved limbs. We also want skull size and chest width to be in proportion with the dog’s size---in other words, we don’t want our “shorty Jacks” to simply be “big-bodied dogs with cut-off limbs”.  However, we are not breeding for show. Our dogs are smaller than the FCI show standard. I just happen to prefer small terriers. You may want something different.




Jack Russells, Parson Russells, Russell Terriers, Shorty Jacks, Puddins...


Confused by these various "breeds" and clubs? You can read numerous books and search the web until your heart is content and you will still be confused! The history of the "Jack Russell Terrier" is marred in confusion, misinformation, politics, gossip, and the unknown. The bottom line is that these dogs never were a "breed" per se, but rather a terrier type. That is why they can vary so much in size and look. Note the variety of "jacks" in this old print: smooth coats, a rough coat, a black and tan and a red (Hunt terriers), a prick-eared terrier...


As clubs try to claim their stake in this arena, things are written and said in a dogmatic (no pun intended) fashion, with no true legitimacy. Some write that the "Shorty Jack" is an American invention---if so, then congratulations to the good old USA!  However, I highly suspect this is untrue since Prince Charles (see Celebrity Jacks below) would be kicked out of the United Kingdom if he favored (and imported) "American" terriers! As a veterinarian and scientific medical editor, I read everything on the web with a big grain of salt---I hope you will too!  Some breeders attempt to disparage other breeders on their web sites; I won't do that.


Most people who find this web site are looking for a pet and life-long companion. That is my goal in breeding these wonderful little dogs. I happen to like them on the small and (sometimes) stockier side. My dogs most closely fit the standard described by the EJRTCA (see below).  I also have dogs registered with the Foundation Stock Service of the AKC to try and help keep that gene pool diversified and not end up with just a very few bloodlines of show dogs from Australia. Nothing ruins a breed faster than tight registry restrictions leading to breedings that lead back to the same few "Champions".  There IS a place for line breeding (not inbreeding), but the entire breed should not end up closely line-bred to just 4 dogs as currently exists with the FCI Australian line. So, I will do my part to try and keep diversification in the Russell Terrier breed of the AKC, and try to prevent the health issues that cropped up in some of the Parson Russell Terriers when their registry was closed too soon.


For more information on the conformation standards that Dog Branch Farm strives to meet, please see the Standard from the English Jack Russell Terrier Club Alliance (EJRTCA) listed below. This is the standard that most DBF Russell Terriers conform to.




EJRTCA Conformation Standard


The height of the terrier shall be between 8 and 12 inches as measured at the withers with the dog standing fully erect, with 10 to 12 being ideal.


Sturdy, balanced terrier. Body length slightly longer than length of leg. Length should not exceed function. Straight back with high tail set carried erect. Chest should be spanned by two hands behind the shoulder blades. The rear should be well put together with strong muscle and good angulation. Well laid back shoulder.


Well laid into shoulder.


Strong boned with powerful jaws and strong cheek muscles. Dark almond-shaped eyes, pigmented eye rims, dark black pigment on nose. Small, v-shaped ears carried close to the head. Prick, semi-prick and rose ears are acceptable.


The points of the upper incisors slightly overlapping the lower.


Straight as is consistent with the short legs for which we aim.


“Hound-Like, “Fox-Like” and “Hare-Like” are all acceptable. All three are considered sound working feet for a Jack Russell.


Free, lively, well-coordinated.


Smooth, rough or broken without coat being wooly. Smooth should not be sparse. Belly and underside coated.


Predominantly white with tan, black or brown markings. Ticked or mottled acceptable. Brindle not acceptable.


Nervousness, cowardice, over-aggressiveness, weak bite, unsound movement, minor physical deformities.


Extreme viciousness, shyness or major physical deformities (these are considered such serious traits that dogs having them are not to be used for breeding.) Undershot or overshot bites, rye mouth.





English Jack Russell Terrier Club Alliance (EJRTCA)
American Kennel Club
American Hunt Terrier Club Association (AHTCA)
Foxfield Terriers
Spotswood Jacks





Celebrities and their Shorty Jacks

Paul McCartney                  Prince Charles                    Camilla (Dutchess of Cornwall)

Prince Charles


Jacks in Art



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Candace Lundin, DVM, MS & Frank Zureick

159 Larrick Lane, Middletown, Virginia 22645

Phone: 540-869-1238 / 540-270-5157

Candace@DBFRussellTerriers.com or FZureick@earthlink.net

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