Parson Russell Terrier

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    History & Overview

    The name Parson Russel Terrier was given to one type of Jack Russel Terrier, to distinguish it from all other varieties of this variable breed. This variety was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1989. The Parson Jack Russel differs from the more popular, but defiantly variable, Jack Russel terrier, in that the former, the ‘official Kennel Club breed,’ has longer legs and is considered to be much closer to the original, preferred form of terrier, one that could keep up with the hounds, but was small enough to go to earth.


    The Parson Russell Terrier’s main task was to accompany the hunt and to go to earth to bolt foxes, and today he remains primarily a working dog.


    The Parson Jack Russel is bold, friendly, tenacious, courageous, playful, exuberant, affectionate, and an excellent housedog and children’s pet. Smaller indoor pets are often seen as prey to this dog. Therefore, the Parson Russell Terrier’s aggressive behavior should be understood and handled accordingly. To help with this, visit the Parson Russell Terrier Club of America and complete their “Online Profiler” to see if you would be compatible with this feisty little fellow.


    Coat types include the smooth that is short and lies close to the body, rough that is longer and harsher and broken that is a very short wire coat. Coat colors include all white, white with black or tan markings, or tri-color which includes white with both black and tan markings.

    At A Glance

    Country of Origin:

    Great Britain


    Robust, tenacious working terrier


    FCI Classification: Group 3 Terriers; Section 1 Large and medium sized Terriers (with working trial)
    AKC Classification: Terrier Group


    Small (13 – 14 inches at shoulders)


    Entirely white or predominantly white with tan, lemon or black markings, or any combination of these colours, preferably confined to head and/or root of tail.

    Litter Size:


    Life Span:

    9 – 15 years

    Grooming Requirements:

    Brush weekly




    Essentially, a working terrier with ability and conformation to go to ground and run with hounds. Bold and friendly.

    Social skills:

    They have to be socialized from an early age, especially with cats and any other household pets.

    Suitability for Children:

    In general the Parson is a friendly, devoted and affectionate dog. They get on well with children and make good pets for the active family.

    Exercise Needs:

    60 – 80 minutes a day

    Train Ability:

    The Parson is an intelligent little dog but can be a bit stubborn like most terriers. Training is relatively easy, but owners must be consistent and firm.

    Health & Behavioral Issues:

    There are a few hereditary eye problems, so it is advisable to get a puppy from eye-tested stock.

    Video Credits: Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show


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