The Hunt Terrier was developed in the British Isles as a working terrier. It’s history goes back to the 1600’s where this little terrier was a part of the terrier team used to help flush fox that the horses, hounds and huntsmen had chased underground or as vermin control around the family farm. The color of the Hunt Terrier was predominately solid and it has been known as the Old English Black and Tan Terrier, Irish Black and Tan Terrier, Black and Tan Jacks, Golden Jack Russell Terriers or simply Hunt Terrier. This being said, the usual colors of the Hunt Terrier range from a fawn to red or solid black to black with tan points. Most recently, a group has started calling this little terrier the Euro Russell and renamed The Hunt Terrier Club of America to The Euro Russell Club of America.
These dogs were originally bred by men who selected stock based on hunting abilities. In the field when riding to the hounds where the object was to chase the fox, the small terriers would be carried on horseback in pouches. If the hounds chased the fox underground, the terrier men would release the terriers to help flush the fox out so that the hunt could continue. Occasionally the solid colored terriers would be confused by the huntsmen as the fox. This brought about more selection to breed white into their terrier team to make it easier to distinguish the Hunt Terrier from the fox; leading to what is known in Europe and Australia as the Jack Russell Terrier, and in the U.S. as the Russell Terrier or the larger, longer legged Jack Russell and Parson Russell Terrier. This, coupled with the general decline in the demand for sporting terriers has caused the numbers of Hunt Terriers to decline and to be considered rare. Fortunately, good dogs continued to be bred by dedicated terrier enthusiasts. Unfortunately little documentation such as pedigrees or breed history was kept on these dogs. They are not recognized by a kennel club and did not enjoy the popularity some terriers saw in the 20th century. However, a few dogs remained on the farms of England and Ireland and started to be imported more frequently in the 1970’s. In the mid 1990’s a few American breed enthusiasts bred these dogs and crossed some of them with the Russell Terrier to increase their limited gene pool and this is still considered an acceptable cross today for the Hunt Terrier, although only the offspring that are predominately solid colored are considered as Hunt Terriers. Their dispositions are charming and full of fun, making them an excellent family dog today. Please visit our Facebook page to see if we have any puppies currently available.
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