The Jack Russell Terrier / Parson Russell Terrier was first bred by Reverend John Russell, a parson and hunting enthusiast. During his final year at Oxford University he purchased a puppy named Trump from the local milkman. He liked the look of the small white and tan terrier, and she soon became the basis for a new kind of hunting terrier. This breed was to have high stamina as well as courage to bolt foxes that had gone to ground. Ending a fox hunt with physical violence was considered unsporting, so an important attribute for this breed was also a tempered aggressiveness. This line of dogs was well-regarded in the hunting community, and they soon became very popular.
The confusion and controversy surrounding the naming of this breed stems from a disagreement between the American Kennel Club and the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America. The latter maintained the rights to the Jack Russell name and did not want the AKC to use it. The resulting compromise led to the use of the Parson Russell Terrier name within kennel clubs.