Jack Russell Terrier Club of America Preserve, Protect and Work the Jack Russell Terrier

Working Certificates for Jack Russell Terriers

The JRTCA gives out three types of Certificates for working: The Natural Hunting Certificate Below Ground in the Field, the Sporting Certificate, and the Trial Certificate.

Red Fox

The JRTCA Natural Hunting Certificate Below Ground in the Field is the highest certificate awarded by the JRTCA. It is awarded for natural earthwork by the terrier and owner, judged by a sanctioned working judge, and is issued to only JRTCA registered or recorded dogs. The terrier and its owner must work together in combination to be awarded this certificate. The certificate can be awarded several times to the same dog, as long as each time it is earned, it is for a different quarry worked.

The following criteria must be met before a certificate will be issued:

  • The terrier must enter a natural earth, rock den, etc. and locate the quarry on its own. The dog should disappear from sight into the earth. It must mark the quarry and either bolt it, draw it, or stay with it until it can be dug to; or if undiggable, you must be absolutely sure that it is right up to its quarry.
  • The quarry must be visually identified by the working judge.
  • The terrier must have worked in such a manner that if it were the only dog there that day, the hunt would have been successful.
  • A certificate may not be issued to terriers just working the end of a dig; i.e., allowing a small dog to locate the quarry, then dig down, take the dog out and let other dogs have a go. This is not acceptable work for earning a Natural Hunting Certificate Below Ground; a farm dog or collie can do this.
  • A certificate should not be earned by a terrier that is sent into a rock den to another baying terrier.
  • A list of acceptable quarry for a NHC includes Red Fox, Grey Fox, Woodchuck, Raccoon, and Badger. The quarry must be of suitable size and disposition to warrant gameness in the terrier; in other words, it must be formidable. Opossum is an acceptable quarry only when, in the opinion of the Working Judge certifying the hunt, the quarry proved to be formidable and posted a challenge for the terrier. Skunk is NOT an acceptable quarry.

Grey FoxThe JRTCA also gives special honor to those Jack Russells and their owners who have earned three (or more) Natural Hunting Certificates Below Ground to different quarry. These top terriers and their owners are honored in the club newsletter, True Grit, and also are awarded the JRTCA Bronze Working Terrier Medallion for Special Merit in the Field.

The JRTCA's Sporting Certificate is awarded to Jack Russells who have worked successfully to non-formidable or above-ground quarry, such as squirrels, rats, etc.

The Trial Certificate is awarded to Jack Russells which achieve a 100 percent score in the Open Class of the Go-to-Ground Division at a JRTCA sanctioned trial.