Parson Russell Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier by Julia Bettendorf
The Parson Russell Terrier is a small, yet courageous and fearless dog. This breed was created by famous huntsmen Rev. John Russell (“The Sporting Parson”) in England in the 1800s for the purpose bolting fox. They were originally known as Jack Russell, however, the name was changed in 2003 to Parson Russell Terrier. After Rev. Russell’s death, many terriers were referred to as Jack Russells, when in fact many were not a true Parson-type terrier.

In 1997, The Parson Russell Terrier was officially recognized by the AKC (under the name Jack Russell) in the Miscellaneous Class and in 2000 the breed was classified in the Terrier Group.

Height: According to the AKC breed standard, the ideal height for a Parson Russell Terrier is 13 to 14 inches (33 – 35.6cm) tall at the shoulder

Weight: The ideal weight for a Parson Russell Terrier according to the AKC breed standard is 13-17 pounds (5.9 – 7.7kg).

Coat Type: The Parson Russell Terrier can have either a smooth or broken coat – both which are dense, straight and harsh. Basic grooming of the smooth coat is relatively easy – just regular brushing with a hard brush when needed. A broken coat should be brushed weekly. Average shedder. The Parson Russell Terrier should be shown in his natural coat.

Color: White, white with black or tan markings, or a combination of these, tri-color. AKC breed standard.

Temperament: The Parson Russell Terrier is intelligent, friendly, enthusiastic, affectionate and loves to be part of the family. These dogs are are independent and can be stubborn at times. This is a breed for an experienced dog owner who understands that training must be consistent, firm and done in a positive manner and with patience. If the Parson Russell Terrier does not view his owner as his pack leader, behavior problems are likely to arise. The Parson Russell Terrier is playful and good with children – as long as he is not teased or provoked. Socialization is extremely important or else the Parson Russell Terrier – known to be fearless – may show aggression toward other dogs. In addition, this breed typically shows aggression toward the same sex. Also, note that while training and socialization should be consistent – both should also be carried on through a Parson Russell Terrier’s lifetime. As a working breed and natural hunter, do not leave small animals unsupervised with your Parson Russell Terrier. These dogs are energetic and should be exercised daily. If not in a confined area, be sure to keep your Parson Russell Terrier on a leash as he may take off. Also note that fencing should be adequate since these dogs can be escape artists – they’re known to dig and jump very high.

Health Concerns: Health issues which can affect the Parson Russell Terrier include Legg-Perthes (disease of the hip joints which is usually seen in small dog breeds), thyroid & eye problems and congenital deafness. The average life span of a Parson Russell Terrier is between 13 – 16 years.

Special Interest:
• The Parson Russell Terrier was originally known as Jack Russell Terrier. The name was changed in 2003 to Parson Russell Terrier so that this particular type was separated from the other type terriers which were commonly referred to as ‘Jack Russell’.
• The Parson Russell Terrier was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1997 in the Miscellaneous Class. In 2000, the breed was accepted into the AKC Terrier Group.
• Eddie from the sitcom Frasier was a Parson Russell Terrier.

AKC: Terrier Group
ANKC: Terrier Group
CKC: Group 3 Terriers
FCI: Group 3 Section 1 Large and medium-sized Terriers
KC: Terrier
NZKC: Terrier
UKC: Terrier RecommendsGuide to Parson Russell TerrierParson and Jack Russell Terriers