A JACK RUSSELL’S EYE VIEW OF HISTORY
(By Erica Wilkens through the eyes of Malung Mulga.)
Ruff! Ruff! Yip! Yip!
"What a great day it’s been. I haven’t had such fun in ages. But come on fellas, time to head home. Some of our humans look whacked, they’re not so fit as we are. Doesn’t it amaze you how carefully they select our breeding and feeding programmes compared to their own? Did you ever see such tacky tucker as they ate for lunch?"
A bouncing band of JACK RUSSELL TERRIERS left the burrows and followed their leader, shaking and rolling their coats as they ran. Malung Mulga had that air and presence which stamped him a natural leader amongst terriers. That courage needed to bolt a fox from its den, to remain unflinching at the roar of the gun; those friendly intelligent eyes, ever aware of danger to his companions from vehicles, or to his human’s children from intruders; that practical, hard hair coat and square digging paws, cacked in mud and the spoils of the kill right now, but quick as a flash to drip-dry for show or laptop cleanliness… these are the requirements of this breed.
For Mulga's parents, Max and Muffin, both proudly display the greatest name of them all – Johnnie 500 – just three generations back in their Australian pedigrees.
"Tell us the tale of Johnnie 500" was the most frequently requested bed-time story from the puppies. For particularly through the line of Johnnie 500, their lovable Jack Russell Personality Register had established itself in this wonderful vermin infested land. Yes, they displayed themselves and their humans at Shows. But also, these same humans could dress sensibly in coats and gum boots to treck through the creeks and over the hills with them, seeking out the foxes, rabbits, rats and pests which afflict the farmers.
"Once upon a time, from far across the water, sailed two Jack Russell Terriers, with their humans. Bubble had a rough coat and Squeak a smooth and they lived with their family, the Adams, at Ocean Grove. About this time, a new Governor, Major-General Sir Rohan Delacombe, came to rule Victoria and brought with his family their two Jack Russells and a Labrador, whose photographs were in all the newspapers. A wise farmer with fox problem saw these photos and said "That’s what we need in Australia!" So he sought out George Adams and purchased a dog pup from his first litter. Unfortunately, other farmers were not so wise and the brothers and sisters were distributed as pets. But Noel Wettenhall, the pioneer farmer from Learmonth, began KOONDA KENNELS with his pup, whom he named JOHNNIE and he registered with the number 500.
Now, down in the West of Victoria, there were some horse riding farmers who were aware of the value of Jack Russells for hunting out the foxes and rabbits which terrorised their stock. For they had seen them in action with the English Fox Hunting Clubs, working in partnership with the Hounds, who were too big to fit down the dens to bolt the foxes.
So the Roycrofts accepted some gifts from the Duke of Beaufort’s and the Duchess of Bedford’s Hunt bloodlines and Hardy, Kiss Me Kate, Judy and Shandy soon sailed across the oceans to the Great Brown Land. The Dennis family brought Peter Piper, used extensively.
Meanwhile, in New South Wales, an unhappy couple Beckett were returning to England, dissatisfied with the vermin provided by Australia for their Jack Russells. However, Johnnie 500 probably tipped off his wise human to inspect them closely in their quarantine quarters and purchase two puppies from their own litter available to his land. Noel Wettenhall’s Jill and Johnnie 500 alone produced six litters, so soon the population of Jack Russells was booming across Australia. Noel next imported Bim in 1976, to continue the Koonda line, twice judged Best in Jack Russell Shows. Bim was bred by Mr and Mrs Hastings of Chesire, who were particular to keep to the 11 ½ inches size.
Pandora, Jeremy, IBM Cosmo, twice Best in Jack Russell Shows, Skipper Saville, all great names in the Australian Jack Russell story.
Julie Edwards has bred some excellent stock, contributing to successful lines to this day.
Bradford Johnnie sired some excellent working dogs.
The Bill Harris sire, Malung Max, has been a Show winner and excellent working dog.
The Haven Park line of Shirley Foster and her dad, Bert Donehue, has been successful in Shows and working in the fields.
Wypanda produced several stud dogs for Ian Grigg.
The breeding expertise of Bev Dubber, who favoured very typy smooth Show dogs, will be sadly missed to the Dubbsville line.
Jim Reeves has contributed greatly through Millbrook Bomber and his interest in top working dogs.
Also Gary Harding, another breeder of good working stock.
Whereas Peter and Liz Downey, with the versatile Sam and Ralph, can be fox hunting one day, high jumping and showing next.
And of course, Snowy, of Bill Harris, would without doubt be one of the best den and working dogs I have ever had the pleasure to know.
"While right here, my sleepy heads, our own family of Erica Wilken’s at Malung, is not resting on the success of the first Australian Jack Russell Champion, Malung Jim Beam. You are some very promising youngsters yourselves."
And Mulga padded silently away, the puppies dreaming of exciting days to come.
Not just a good stud but an excellent worker!
What does the "/jr" ending on some breeders prefix mean?
For a breed to be recognised it has to have recorded at least generations of similar type. The enormous job that the Jack Russell Club of Australia did made the it possible for the Jack Russell Terrier to become a recognised and registered breed with the Australian National Canine Council (ANKC). When registering the prefixes "/jr" was added to the end of the prefix. The breeders could then keep their prefix the same as they had with the Jack Russell Club of