Parson Russell Terrier

What’s the first breed that comes to mind when you think of watchdogs? Most people would recommend a Rottweiler or a Doberman. Well, not just big dogs can protect their owner’s home against those who may want to prey on them. Small breeds like the Parson Russell Terrier can also do a great job, and at the same time offer unconditional love to your family. Also formerly known as the Jack Russell Terrier, this breed was born to dig and is driven in such a way that it is highly likely it will get what it wants.

Parson Russell Terrier Breed Information

The Parson Russell Terrier was created in Southern England by the one who gave the breed its name, Parson John Russell. Russell’s intention was to create a terrier that could work alongside hounds in their hunt of foxes, bolting the foxes out of their dens so that the hounds could proceed towards hunting them. The result of his experiment was a dog that was bold and athletic and won the hearts of people through its determination, intelligence, quickness and his incredible desire to hunt. The Parson Russell Terrier became very appreciated because of its working ability, being the favorite of many sportsmen, especially of those who practiced horseback hunting.
The Parson Russell Terries is always a merry kind of dog, always energetic and cheerful. It’s a devoted, loving and obedient dog, and it is also spirited and knows no fear. It will also play around all day long if it is given the chance. Being bred to be a hunting dog, it has a lot of energy to keep it going on his hunts, and it will always be eager to play games or with its toys. Children should learn not to tease them, because as Parson Russell Terriers may not want to harm them, they can easily take things a bit too far if they are left unattended. It is a willful and determined breed. So, if you want a dog that can protect your home, play fetch with you until you run out of energy and be the best friend that you can have, the terrier is for you. Mind the place where you live, though, its way of constant barking might make it difficult to keep in an apartment. This breed is best suited to live in a larger place, where it can run, dig and bark to its heart’s content.
  • Activity level: 5/5 (very energetic and always ready for action)
  • Intelligence level:4/5 (typically intelligent and obedient, but can easily get bored)
  • Curiosity:4/5 (highly curious and expresses a desire to investigate)
  • Friendliness: 4/5 (generally friendly, but will always be alert around strangers)
  • Vocal: 4/5 (will bark like crazy once the doorbell goes off)
  • Fur: The Parson Russell Terrier’s coat can be both wirehaired and smooth, with a color that is usually white with markings which are either black, grizzle or tan colors. They can also come in tricolor combinations.
  • Eyes: Dark, moderately sized eyes in the shape of almonds, with dark or pink rims.
  • Body structure: Small with a well-proportioned body, but solidly built. It can be from 10 inches to 1 foot and 3 inches tall at the shoulder. Its tail is docked and set high so that it’s on the same level with its head.
  • Facial features: Strong muzzle, with a stop that is not prominent but is well defined. It has a black nose and V-shaped ears that fold forward.
  • Weight: The average Parson Russell Terrier weighs around 13 to 17 pounds.
Health and Care
Parson Russell Terriers are usually healthy, but can be prone to health conditions such as kneecap dislocations, eye diseases which were inherited from their predecessors, deafness or a disease of the hip joints found in smaller dogs called Legg-Perthes.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely. Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at
Parson Russell Terrier Breeders: