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Frequently Asked Questions

What does DBF stand for?


The original Dog Branch Farm

DBF is Dog Branch Farm, but that name has nothing to do with the fact that we now breed dogs. Instead, it was the name of the Thoroughbred breeding farm we developed near Unison, Virginia. A creek, called Dog Branch Creek, ran through the bottom of our 40 acres, and so we named our horse farm, Dog Branch Farm.

Later, when we began to breed some Jack Russell Terriers, we decided to use D.B.F. Russell Terriers as our kennel name.

We lived on Dog Branch Farm for 15 years before retiring from horse breeding/training and downsizing to a smaller property near Middletown, VA, but we retained the name D.B.F. Russell Terriers for our kennel.

What is the difference between a Jack Russell Terrier, Russell Terrier, and a Parson Russell Terrier?


Russell Terrier

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 Parson Russell Terrier

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Shorty Jack

Every Russell Terrier is a Jack Russell Terrier (JRT), but not every JRT is a Russell Terrier. When the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the JRT as a pure breed in the US, it was renamed the Russell Terrier to differentiate it from JRTs registered with the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA). This was needed because the latter club did not consider JRTs a BREED, but rather a type of fox-working terrier, and so the JRTCA 'Jacks' combined Parson Russell Terriers with the shorter ones and even some white Lakeland type of terriers. So, the AKC required a breed standard and breed name that fully separated the 'Parsons' from the 'Russells'. 


Parsons are taller (>12” to 15”), and have a more square silhouette than do Russells. Parsons also tend to be higher energy and are more independent and less tractable, in general, than Russell Terriers.  Both the Parson Russell Terrier and the Russell Terrier are recognized by the AKC. Both breeds also are recognized by kennel clubs internationally with the exception that the Russells are called JRTs in Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. Parsons have the same breed name throughout the world.


One other type of JRT can be found, which is not recognized by any kennel club at this time. In the USA, we call them shorty Jacks or Puddins. These are usually 8 to 11 inches tall with shorter legs and longer and heavier bodies. They are often found as companions in horse stables and make good ratters. One day, they may become a breed of their own.


DBF Russell Terriers began with the Shorty Jacks in 2002 but slowly switched to the Russell Terriers to help the breed become recognized by the AKC.

Why a purebred dog instead of a mixed- or designer-breed?

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Adding a new canine to your family is an important decision. Choosing the right type of dog to fit your lifestyle is the first important step. Personality, energy level, space and exercise requirements, grooming considerations, and above all, the health of the dog, are all essential questions to evaluate before you select a particular breed for your family. Responsible purebred breeders plan their matings carefully to produce consistent, high quality puppies, with sound temperaments. Breeders know the ancestry of their particular lines of dogs and are able to predict and advise potential new owners on whether particular dogs will blend well with their families. They also have a long-term perspective on the health of the puppies that they breed and are committed to producing the healthiest puppies with the fewest genetic problems. Mixed-breeds (including so called “designer” breeds) bring many unnecessary complications into the calculation of whether an animal will thrive with your family. Expected size, temperament, and propensity for various health issues are unknowns when adopting a mixed-breed puppy. Raising a puppy or integrating any dog into your family is a large physical, financial, and emotional commitment, but it does not need to be a total gamble. Choose carefully, and you will be overwhelmingly rewarded by your new best friend.

What is the difference between a show pup and a pet pup?

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Which coat sheds the least?

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Light broken
Heavy broken
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Rough, groomed
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Full Rough,

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What size will they be?

The breed standard states 10 to 12 inches for the Russell Terrier, and so that is what we aim for, but because this is a relatively new breed, a good amount of variation exists. We have had some as small as 8.5 inches and as large as 13.5 inches. Most, however, mature at about 11 inches in height at the top of the withers and weigh 11 to 16 lbs, depending on amount of bone (stockiness) and musculature. Some Russells tend to have a more athletic build and others are cobbier. Pups can vary a lot even within the same litter. We will try to give you an idea of the future size of your chosen pup if that is important to you, but we can not make guarantees on adult size and weight.

At what age can a pup go to its new home?

Usually pups leave at about 12 weeks of age. By then, they have had at least the first two parvo/distemper/hepatitis vaccinations. Pups are not fully immunized and fully protected against a disease such as parvo virus until they are 16- to 20-weeks old, and so you should NOT be taking young ones out for walks in the neighborhood or to parks until older in any case. Also, it is best if pups have progressed beyond the fear development period, which occurs at about 8 to 9 weeks of age. During the fear development period, pups should be with their littermates in familiar surroundings. This breed will bond to its owners at any age and so there is no reason to think that you need them real young to establish a close connection.


We watch most litters for awhile to choose one or two as potential show pups, and we may not make that decision until pups are 3 to 5 months of age.  An older pup is much easier to housebreak and you will have fewer veterinary visits for booster vaccinations by taking an older pup home.

Are there health guarantees?

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Where are you located?

Middletown, Virginia USA

Since 2018, we have been located outside Middletown, Virginia, USA on 6.5 acres close to I-81 south of Winchester. Although we miss the Piedmont Hunt Country of our former horse farm, we needed to downsize. We are about an 75-minute drive from Washington Dulles airport and 90 minutes from Washington Reagon National. We are close to both West Virginia and Maryland. If you are visiting from a distance, the closest hotel is the no-frills EconoLodge, Middletown, VA. Or, you may prefer a stay at the historic Wayside Inn in Middletown. More options are available within a 15-minute drive in Winchester.

How much do they cost?

Pups as pets/companions or for performance are US $2000 on AKC Limited registration, which means that the pup can not be shown in conformation nor can it be used for breeding. Price is the same regardless of sex, coat type, or age. If you are lucky enough to get an older pup, it may have finished all of its core vaccinations, saving you $$ in multiple veterinary visits for vaccine boosters initially. An older pup is usually one that we have held back to watch it develop more before deciding whether to keep for show. Few buyers will be able to tell the difference between our pet pups and those we designate for show/breeding. It can be something as simple as round eyes, which can make a pup look cuter but are actually a minor fault for our breed in the show ring. 

If you might want to show or breed, contact us to discuss.  We are critical in what we consider show potential and they are usually ones that we will keep for ourselves. 

Are there personality differences between the sexes?

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Do you dock the tails?

Under Construction

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