Windermere Kennel started in 1975 with the purchase of an eight-week-old bitch puppy from Ailsa Crawford of Far Hills, New Jersey. Named "Hamilton Sprite", she quickly taught me what the Jack Russell Terrier was all about. She really was a "big dog in a small package". Although Sprite had far from correct conformation, she did everything with true Jack Russell spirit and determination! No thing or person ever intimidated that little ball of energy! I was attending Cornell University at the time, and Sprite went everywhere with me on campus. She was famous for paying better attention in class than most of the students and she could tell exactly what time it was. She would start to get antsy moments before the bell sounded in anticipation of going outside to chase the squirrels off the quad. We spent many wonderful hours roaming the countryside around Ithaca and it was there that the Jack Russell Terrier became the only dog for me. Sprite instilled in me a life-long passion for the breed.
From that beginning, Windermere has grown steadily over the years. I stayed in close contact with Ailsa and became one of the 16 charter members of the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA) when Ailsa founded it in 1976. From its humble beginnings, the Club too has grown. The popularity of the Jack Russell Terrier has grown exponentially. It is rare to turn on the television or read a magazine today without seeing one. That kind of popularity is not always a good thing for the Jack Russell. Many people have become involved with JRTs to "cash in" on that popularity. They breed dogs without any consideration for conformation, temperament, working ability and genetic health. Others have seen fit to register their dogs with the AKC. They condone judges who will never understand that the importance of a Jack Russell's conformation relates only to WORKING.
I have always strived to keep the emphasis on quality. In our breeding program, I aim to produce terriers with exceptionally good conformation, which includes small, flexible chests, hard, tight coats, and good bone. These characteristics will allow the terrier to perform its most import function…to work underground! I am indeed fortunate to live in the hunt country of Northern Virginia where my terriers are worked seasonally to a variety of quarry. Windermere-bred terriers have excelled in the show ring over the years, accounting for many National Championships and Reserves. I don't attend as many shows as I used to, preferring to show only occasionally as an excuse to see my friends, have a good time and see the young entry. While competing at trials has its good points, I believe that the emphasis should be on keeping the Jack Russell Terrier a working dog rather than a show dog. (Having said that, there isn't any reason why a good working JRT cannot be good to look at).
Finally, I try very hard to keep one other aspect in the forefront of my breeding program; TEMPERAMENT. Perhaps that is what Windermere is best known for. The reality of living with a Jack Russell Terrier in your home with your children and/or other dogs or pets is that they have to be carefully bred for intelligence and good dispositions in order for them to make a wonderful pet and companion. It has taken me 30 years to develop the kind of temperament I want in a Jack Russell Terrier …the kind I know you would want also. A sweet, loving and affectionate dog…one that has a great intelligence and is a member of the family, not just an outsider looking in. Also, a terrier that can also live up to the lines of the JRTCA Breed Standard, one that "presents a lively, active and alert appearance. It should impress with its fearless and happy disposition".
All of my terriers are registered with the JRTCA, and I am signatory to their Breeders Code of Ethics. All of my Windermere terriers are BAER (hearing) tested and all of my breeding stock is CERF (eyes) and PLL tested.
Windermere Jack Russell Terriers
Linda J. Cowasjee
9376 Briar Lane
Delaplane, Virginia 20144
Telephone: (540) 364-3833
Mobile: (540) 270-7225