Breeding/Litter Planning

The term “Breeder,” for purposes of this document, is defined as any JRTCA member who plans and produces one or more litters of puppies. As the breeder, you are solely responsible for everything associated with the breeding and any resulting offspring.

  1. Both sire and dam must be registered with the JRTCA prior to breeding.
  2. Conscientiously plan each litter. It is recommended that you carefully select stud dog and bitch to be mated based on pedigrees, the parents’ conformation (according to the JRTCA Breed Standard), working ability, soundness, and temperament. It is strongly recommended that both sire and dam have
    a normal BAER test, a clear CERF test within one year of breeding, and a negative brucellosis test within 10 days to six months of breeding.
  3. It is recommended that only dogs and bitches that are free from known inheritable defects be used for breeding in order to avoid the further introduction of detrimental factors. Any new defects encountered should be reported to the JRTCA Breeders Committee.
  4. BAER and annual CERF (CAER) testing of all breeding stock, as well as PLL, SCA, and DM testing are recommended.
  5. In the event a dog or bitch of your breeding, or which you own, is found to have or carry a serious
    genetic defect, it is your ethical responsibility to notify those who have bred to such terrier, or have
    offspring or relatives of such terrier. It is recommended that breeders openly and honestly discuss the genetic and physical problems that they have encountered with prospective buyers. Breeders should do everything possible to minimize the spread of defects to the breed as a whole.
  6. Breeders must adhere to the JRTCA’s current policy on inbreeding. A terrier will be rejected for registration if the inbreeding coefficient is more than 16% (rounded to the nearest whole number). If you are planning a line breeding and are unsure of the inbreeding coefficient, send a copy of the
    proposed pedigree to the club office for review.
  7. Breed only healthy, mature bitches. It is recommended that bitches not be bred before the second heat. It is also recommended that bitches over the age of eight (8) years not be bred without prior examination, consultation and approval by an attending veterinarian.
  8. Do not breed any bitch to more than one stud dog during a single heat period. Should a second breeding to an additional stud dog occur unintentionally, the resulting litter must be sold as pets only with a spay/neuter contract and no pedigree provided, unless DNA testing is conducted to determine correct parentage. The owner of the bitch must provide the results of DNA testing to the JRTCA before any offspring can be registered.

Stud Services

For purposes of this section, stud services refers to the use of your stud dog to outside bitches (i.e., bitches that you do not own). As the owner of the stud dog, you are responsible for everything associated with your stud dog. When breeding to outside bitches, you are not considered the breeder, and you are therefore not responsible for planning the litter, or for the resulting offspring. However, you do have a responsibility to the breed to help ensure that the prospective litter will meet JRTCA health and conformation standards.

  1. All stud dogs must be registered in the JRTCA registry prior to use for breeding.
  2. Breed stud dogs only to those outside adult bitches who are JRTCA registered or meet the standards for registration to the best of your knowledge. Any bitch which is not JRTCA registered should generally meet the breed standard conformationally, should have a completed JRTCA veterinarian exam, be free of genetic defects of any kind, have a minimum of three generations of pedigree, and not be registered with any all-breed kennel club.
  3. It is recommended that a current (within six months) brucellosis test be required on all bitches prior to mating, and same be provided for the stud dog to the owner of the bitch.
  4. Disclose to the owner of the bitch any information about genetic conditions previously produced by the sire, or known genetic conditions in the terrier’s ancestry.
  5. A signed and dated JRTCA Stud Certificate must be provided to the bitch owner. It is recommended that an original copy be provided for each puppy in the litter at the time of whelping. A stud service contract, outlining the conditions and guarantees of the stud service, is also strongly recommended.

Health and General Care

  1. Maintain all terriers in clean and sanitary conditions and free from infectious diseases.
  2. Provide housing and run areas of adequate size with safety features specific to the character and exercise requirements of Jack Russell Terriers. May not kennel Jack Russell Terriers on wire flooring.
  3. Provide maximum health protection through regular inoculations, worming, and periodic veterinarian exams. BAER, CERF, PLL, SCA, and DM tests are strongly recommended. Following the JRTRF testing guidelines, as well submitting results to the JRT Health Registry, is also strongly recommended.
  4. Maintain mental health and well-being through human contact and exercise on a regular basis.


  1. All potential buyers must be carefully screened, educating them on all aspects of the unique nature of the Jack Russell Terrier. Sell only to proper homes, i.e., individuals that will give adequate evidence that they have a satisfactory environment, and will give the terrier the proper care, attention, and exercise required for a Jack Russell Terrier.
  2. The breeder must accurately represent the qualities of their terriers to the purchaser; do not knowingly use misleading statements in selling or advertising. Do not knowingly falsify a pedigree. Disclose to prospective buyers any information about genetic conditions previously produced by the sire or dam or known genetic conditions in the terrier’s ancestry.
  3. Puppies must be at least eight (8) weeks of age prior to leaving the breeder’s possession; this includes shipping, or any other type of delivery, or buyer pickup, under any circumstances.
  4. Clear and concise written contracts or agreements, signed and dated, must be used to document the sale or transfer of ownership of all terriers and must be provided prior to, or at, the exchange of the dog. Contracts must include policy(s) regarding terriers found to be unregisterable or displaced. All contracts must include a clause that any time the owner cannot keep the dog, the dog is to be returned to the breeder or placed or sold with the breeder’s approval of the new owner. Contract must also include a statement that this terrier will never be registered with any kennel club, domestic or foreign. Contracts must require spay/neuter where appropriate.
  5. The paperwork required for JRTCA registration must be provided with all puppies at the time of transaction, unless a sales contract is provided stating otherwise. Registration requirements include a minimum four-generation pedigree and a signed stud certificate. The pedigree should include as much information as possible, such as height, coat, color, registration numbers, and any other information known in the lineage. The pedigree should also include (1) the name, description, and birth date of the terrier; (2) the name, address, and phone number of the breeder; and (3) the signature of the breeder. The stud certificate must be completed and signed by the owner of the sire.
  6. If a puppy is considered non-registerable or non-breeding quality, the breeder must provide a written, signed and dated contract or agreement stating same to the buyer in lieu of the paperwork necessary for registration. It is recommended that the contract/agreement require a spay/neuter, and that no registerable pedigree or stud certificate be provided until proof of spay/neuter is received.
  7. Buyers must be provided with written health and general care information at the time of the sale, including but not limited to a veterinarian health certificate, and a record of worming and inoculations. A several day’s supply of the puppy’s current food, along with general feed and care instructions, are recommended.
  8. Buyers should be provided with a JRTCA Puppy Packet. (Note: Puppy packets are available free of charge by contacting the JRTCA office.)
  9. Spay or neuter any mature dog/bitch with a known genetic defect prior to selling or placing for adoption.
  10. Be responsible for terriers sold for their lifetime. If a purchaser cannot keep a terrier you have sold, make every effort to assist them in finding an appropriate home. If the owners are unable to place the terrier for whatever reason, or a displaced terrier which you have bred is located in a shelter or through Russell Rescue, be prepared to take the terrier back and/or make arrangements for its foster care and be responsible for placing it in an appropriate home. Breeders found to be in violation of this requirement will be prohibited from advertising in any JRTCA publication and may be subject to further penalty.
  11. Do not knowingly sell or consign puppies or adults to pet shops, brokers, or puppy mills, nor supply terriers for raffles, prizes, or similar projects. Furthermore, JRTCA puppies shall not be sold at trial or show sites. Co-ownerships. Be aware of, and adhere to, the JRTCA’s policy on co-ownerships and be sure that the
    proper contracts are in place accordingly:

    1. Leasing is not recognized by the JRTCA.
    2. If a terrier is co-owned, it must be registered to both owners; the registration application is to be completed and submitted by the person who has physical possession of the terrier.
    3. The pedigree and stud certificate must be provided to the buyer at the time of sale unless specifically noted and agreed upon in the sales contract.
    4. A co-ownership agreement must be on file with the JRTCA office for all co-owned terriers; if there is no such agreement, the offspring of the co-owned bitch will carry no prefix. The agreement should be signed and dated at the time of the sale and should clearly outline all requirements of the agreed co-ownership.
    5. Co-ownership agreements must reflect a single kennel name to be used on any resulting litter. If changes are made to this agreement, a new co-ownership agreement must be filed with the JRTCA office prior to the breeding. If no prefix is used, either owner may sign the pedigree or stud certificate. If a prefix is designated, the owner of the prefix is considered the breeder and must sign the pedigree.
    6. The co-ownership agreement should reflect what constitutes the end of the co-ownership; when all requirements have been met, the registration certificate must be signed over to the owner who will be keeping the terrier

JRTCA Code of Ethics - March 2023