"Where There Is Smoke!" Arthur Wardle

News Flash! There are two different DNA tests for a degenerative neurological disease called Ataxia in the JRTCA Jack Russell and the AKC Parson Russell Terrier. University of Missouri developed a DNA test for Spinocerebellar Ataxia which can be ordered from OFFA.org. The Animal Health Trust in England offers the DNA test for Late Onset Ataxia. Make no mistake--both JRTCA Jack Russell Terriers and kennel club Parson Russells are producing both types of ataxia. Make sure the breeder you buy from is testing for both types of ataxia. The tests have just recently become available (in late 2012) and so by the end of 2013, we believe every breeder will have all of their breeding stock tested for both SCA and LOA. If a breeder tells you that one type of ataxia is not in his or her bloodlines, make sure you ask for the proof which is the DNA certificate that states the dog/bitch has two normal genes. If a terrier has one copy of the gene then that dog/bitch will not develop the disease. If both parents are carriers of the same type of ataxia, make sure the pup you buy has been tested clear/normal.

There is now a DNA test for Primary Lens Luxation available through OFA (website: www.offa.org) and the Animal Health Trust (website http://www.aht.org.uk/genetics_tests.html) in the UK. This test became available the end of 2009. A terrier can test normal/clear (has 2 normal genes), or be a carrier (has one normal gene and one mutated gene) or can test affected (have two mutated genes and will develop the disease at sometime in the future. A terrier that has two clear parents is clear by parentage and does not need to be tested.

The purpose of this Falling Branch website is a tribute to a long standing, earthworking breed that we adore. The Parson Russell Terrier has changed our lives forever and for the better. We are proud of our terriers, who they are in personality and what they represent in quality. They are the living embodiment of our passion and long standing dedication to this wonderful breed. These individuals are part of our heart and soul.

Falling Branch Parson Russell Terriers resemble the Parson's terriers so closley that you'd think that the 1800 Arthur Wardle painting above was commissioned using our Falling Branch David and The Hollow Natasha as the models. The resemblance is uncanny from the conformation right down to the markings.

The terrier that we show, work, breed and live with is the original "fox working" terrier of long ago. He is structured both physically and mentally to work fox in the earth as his heritage dictates. He is a joy in the house as a family member draped over a chair or curled up on the sofa, and he is a demon in the ground as he pursues the wiley red fox in his den. For wherever the fox shall go, so goeth the Parson Russell Terrier.

Falling Branch is a small kennel nestled in the mountains of southwest Virginia. We strive to breed a balanced AKC and UKC registered terrier from proven English and American working bloodlines, always placing emphasis on temperament, conformation and hunting ability.

We wholeheartedly believe in maintaining this unique terrier as the earth working terrier it has been for generations. Because we subscribe to the motto, preserve, protect and work the Parson Russell Terrier , all of our terriers are proven in the field before they are bred. Ten of them have earned Bronze Medallions. Others hold one or more Natural Hunting Certificates, and our stud dogs have produced progeny which also hold Bronze Medallions. Our terriers come from proven working stock and produce proven working stock, generation after generation.

Falling Branch breeding stock has been BAER hearing tested normal for generations and all are CERF tested clear annually. We demand the same high standards when we breed to outside dogs. We go the extra mile to have all of our stud dog's hips and patellas certified by Board Certified canine orthopedists and have thyroid panels done on all of our terriers once a year. As additional genetic problems crop up in this breed, we are dedicated to meet the challenge of increased genetic testing and breeding only from those individuals which are 100% sound. Genetic soundness is important to us.

We conscientiously work our terriers and live with them as part of our family. All of our puppies are born and raised in the house, guaranteeing that they are well-socialized as family members. Because we live with our terriers constantly under foot, on-the-sofa and in-the-bedroom intelligence, personality and soundness are of utmost importance.

Although we have terriers registered with the AKC, the UKC and the JRTCA, we support ONLY the AKC and UKC registries in the United States. We made the decision not to support or register with the JRTCA because we believe that owners should be able to register and show their own dogs wherever they choose without the fear of losing the ability to register dogs and because we believe many of the JRTCA's actions and treatment of its members were unethical. We also cannot and will not support a registry that encourages the outcrossing to other breeds of dogs and considers this breed a mixed breed. Bloodlines and pedigrees ARE important and a cross bred dog a mongrel. We do not support breeding mongrels. Animal shelters and pounds are full of unwanted mixed breed dogs. There is no legitimate reason to add to those numbers of mixed breeds throughout the U.S.

Please note, we are NOT commercial breeders. We do NOT breed to sell dogs. We breed only to keep when we have the room to do so.