Jack Russell Terriers were first bred by the Reverend John Russell, a parson and hunting enthusiast born in Devonshire, England, in 1795. Parson John Russell, Vicar of Swimbridge, in Devon, attended University in Oxford. While attending his last year at the University, he bought a small tan and white terrier bitch from a milk man, in the village of Marston in Oxfordshire.
She was called Trump, and became known as the famous terrier which has been
associated with Russell's name at home and abroad. It is noted that Trump was
white bodied, with just a patch of dark tan over each eye and ear, and a small dot,
not larger than a penny, at the base of her tail. Her coat was harsh, very dense, and a trifle wiry. Her legs were straight as arrows, the feet perfect; the loins and conformation are indicative of a terrier with extreme endurance. She measured 14 inches at the shoulder, her size and height may be compared to that of a full-grown vixen fox.
Trump was the basis for Russell's breeding program. He strived to develop a terrier with high stamina for the hunt as well as the courage and formation to chase out foxes that had gone to ground. The line of terriers developed by John Russell was well respected for these qualities and, when he died in 1883 his dogs were taken on by other hunt enthusiasts.