Knotteliten Jack Russell Terriers
Interview with Mrs. Inger-Lise Teigland & Mrs. Marit Charlotte Hopkins • Interviewed by Jovana Danilovic
Published in Best in Show Summer 2014
BIS: When and how did you first come across Jack Russells?
Knøtteliten: The whole Jack Russell Terrier circus started in 2003 when I got one for my daughter Ida as a present. The breed was new in Norway and we just fell in love with this amazing Terrier. At that time we were active in the world of horses and this small robust dog suited our lifestyle perfectly.
Marit: I was introduced to the breed through friends in Houston, Texas, in 2007, and I was imediately taken by theese small athletic terriers who were running around by the lake catching snakes and having fun!
BIS: What makes the Jack Russells so special for you?
Knøtteliten: We love that the Jack Russell Terriers are so sporty, easy going and always ready for action! They are friendly and totally devoted to their family. Beeing around JRTs is like a pill of happiness! We do many different activities with our dogs and the fact that they are very intelligent makes them highly trainable and versatile. But one of the best thing about the breed is the size.. you can have four of them cuddling up on the sofa with you without any problems!
BIS: Which dog do you consider the foundation of your breeding program?
Knøtteliten: Multi ch.Kanix Speed Wagon, Speedy. Bred and owned by Ulf Bråthen / Kanix in Denmark. Speedy is a fantastic reproducer and has been an important part of our breeding program.
BIS: What do you consider your greatest achievement as a breeder?
Knøtteliten: Knøtteliten’s focus is to breed healthy JRTs who has the structure true to the standard, temperament of a beloved pet and the instinct of a working dog. We have bred numerous champions and great showdogs, but also loving family dogs throughout the years, and it is a great achivement to us when people recognice our dogs and they say «that just typifies Knøtteliten».
BIS: Did you have mentor when you first started out, who was that and in which way did that person help you?
Inger-Lise: Ulf Bråthen and his wife Charlotte Staunskær (Kanix / Gillegaard) has been and still are breeders who has meant a lot to us over the years. Sadly Ulf passed away in February and it has been a huge loss for us and everyone who knew him. He will be a hard act to follow and we will greatly miss his support. Ulf and Charlotte always took their time to share their knowledge of dogs, breeding and grooming with us, and their door were always open. They have introduced us to other experienced dog people all over Europe and willingly given us advice and support whenever needed.
BIS: Are there any other people who have been instrumental in your career as a breeder that you have looked up to and admired?
Inger: Alberto Valsco, Chelines (Spain), Helge Kvivesen, Shylock Kennel (Norway). has been breeding outstanding Kerry Blue Terriers for more than two decades.
Marit: My fathers late aunt and uncle, Pauline and Peter Gibbs, founded the famous Montravia Kennel (UK) who have bred outstanding Poodles, Afgahns and Bichons (amongst others) since the late fifties. Montravia were the first Kennel to win BIS at Crufts with two different breeds – Standard Poodle and Afghan Hound. It will probably never occur again.
BIS: How did the Jack Russells change over time since you first got involved with the breed? Answer:
Knøtteliten: A lot has happened with the JRTs since our adventure started; the breed has been FCI recognized all over Europe and also by the ACK as the Russell Terrier, and popularity of the breed has gone thru the roof in terms of registration numbers, entries at dogshow and number of breeders.
We are glad to see that in a short amount of time the JRT have become more homogeneous due to passionate breeders who have good breeding programs. Fortunately the old stable-Jacks who were chunky little dogs with a fierce temper are not very common seen now.
BIS: Is there something which you would like to change/improve in the breed?
Knøtteliten: There is always something you can improve in a breed, there is no such thing as the perfect dog or breed.
BIS: Every breed has some common problems. Which is the most common problem in your variety seen from a breeder’s point of view?
Knøtteliten: We must always remember that the JRT was originally developed as an earth working terrier, and try to aspire to maintain the funcionality of that standard. Some of the dogs seen in show rings have unwanted features like round chest, snipy muzzle, weak jaw or are light boned. The proportions should be balanced, giving an athletic, rather than heavily chested appearance.
BIS: Please mention 2 to 3 Jack Russell which are not owned, bred or shown by yourself, that you particularly admired, and tell us what you most admired about each.
Knøtteliten: Multi ch Kanix Speed Wagon (Speedy), Bred by Ulf Bråthen, Kanix, Denmark
No one above, no one beside – in our opinion Ulf has typed the true JRT with this dog! The first Jrt to compete in groups and bis finals all over Europe almost 10 years ago when the breed was young and needed a type to bring in mind. Speedy has been a great reproducer and has given numerous champion offspring all over the world. No other JRT will ever have the influence on the breed as Speedy has had.
Multi CH Goldsand’s Columbus (Bosse), bred by Madeleine Sandell–Bark, Goldsand’s, Sweden.
Bosse is also one of the best JRT we have ever seen. He is a fabolous show dog and he has made an trumendous difference for the breed all around the world. A living legend!
BIS: What is the most important point of which you would like a judge of your breed to be aware?
Knøtteliten: Many JRT are becoming too heavy, too large and too deep chested, not spannable, without terrier temperament. A JRT wheighing in at 9-10kg is too big! Akso they should be on their toes of expectation, enter a new situation saying «hi world here I am – bring it on»!
BIS: What are the most important characteristics to keep in mind for anyone wanting to become a good Jack Russell judge?
Knøtteliten: Knowing the history of the working JRT and also the standard is important when judging the breed. JRTs should be built for the job they were supposed to do and have the tough mentality to work. The coat should be natural harsh and waterproof.
BIS: If you were in charge of everything regarding dog shows what change would you make first?Answer:
Knøtteliten: We would organize fewer dog shows and try to have breed specialists judge more shows. There are very many dog shows in most countries and in our opinion this has bad influence on the breed because many promoters only offers all-round judges who doesn’t know our breed well enough. We would much rather have quality in stead of quantity dogshows!
BIS: What would be the most important single piece of advice you would give to all serious young breeders?
Knøtteliten: Things doesn’t come easy! Remember hard work and long perspectives of the work you are doing, and think generations ahead. Understand the history of the breed. Go to dogshows, see other dogs, talk to other breeders.