By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 26th October 2022

Parson Russell Terrier


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 26th October 2022

The Parson Russell Terrier is a small-sized white Terrier breed originating in southern England during the 18th century. Characterized by a strong head, rectangular muzzle, dark nose, almond-shaped eyes with dark rims, V-shaped ears, long legs and a high set tail, this breed has a lively and energetic nature that makes it increasingly popular.

Parson Russell Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesParson, Parson Jack Russell Terrier
CoatDouble coat that is smooth or even wirehaired
ColorWhite with black, tricolor or white markings
Lifespan/ Life Expectancy13 to 15 years
Height10 to 15 inches
Weight13 to 18 pounds
Litter sizeApproximately 6 puppies
TemperamentEnergetic, confident, cheerful, playful
Good with ChildrenYes unless they handle it roughly
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationACA, AKC, ACR, CKC, APRI, NKC, DRA, NAPR

Parson Russell 7 Week Old Puppies Video


  • The man behind their creation is Revered John Russell, after whom the breed got its name.
  • Russell purchased Trump, a small-sized female terrier of white and tan color that formed the basis of the breeding schedule.
  • Recognized as a kind of fox terrier, their breeding standards were created in 1894 by the Devon and Somerset Badger Club.
  • Their main aim was to promote these dogs in badger digging rather than fox hunting that they were adept in.
  • Though this breed was initially recognized as Jack Russell Terrier by various kennel clubs, after a series of petitions and meetings, it was recognized as Parson Jack Russell Terrier by FCI (June, 2001), AKC (April, 2003) and UKC (April 2008).
  • However, the three kennel clubs to separately recognize the Jack Russell and Parson Russell Terriers separately are the Newzealand Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel Council and the United Kennel Club.
  • ANKC had just 18 Parsons registered in 2009, in comparison to the 1073 Jack Russells.


Parsons are an energetic, active breed with a lively disposition. With its amicable and outgoing personality, they are firm and determined at work but affectionate and playful while in the vicinity of its near and ones.

They get along well with children, however being Terriers, they may not tolerate rough handling.

The Parsons mostly mingle well with strangers, though some might display aggressive behavior that may be rectified with proper socialization.

Though this breed may share a healthy equation with dogs of the family, they tend to get yappy when encountering unknown canines.

Owing to their hunting and chasing instincts they have a tendency to go after cats or smaller animals, but do well with horses.

These spirited and fearless dogs are flexible enough, popular for their high jump antics, also qualifying in sports like agility and Flyball.

They have an affinity to bark and dig, since they were majorly used to pull out the game of its den.



These energetic dogs need a high amount of exercise to prevent them from getting bored and resorting to destructive habits out of boredom. More than apartment living, they would do well in homes with a big yard or garden so that they may run about freely. You can also take them out on a long walk twice a day, leashed.


Dogs of both the smooth and wire haired varieties can be groomed easily. Brushing them using a proper bristle brush once a week would help in maintaining their coat well. Bathe it when needed and follow other grooming measures including cleaning its ears to prevent wax built up, brushing its teeth as well as trimming its nails.

If presenting your Parson for shows then stripping its coat is essential. Moreover, broken coated dogs would need their coat to be stripped two times in a year for maintaining its texture.

Health Problems

Some of the common health problems the Parson Russell Terrier may suffer from include eye conditions like primary lens luxation, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and corneal dystrophy. Other conditions include patellar luxation, deafness and a condition named Legg Parthes where the joints are affected.


These strong-willed and intelligent dogs would take training well if the master is firm and patient enough, understanding his dog’s psyche well.

  • To help it develop a good rapport with people and other pets, socialize the Parson Russell Terrier puppies well, by taking them out to dog parks or places where you frequent.
  • To lessen its digging habit, keep your pet engaged with a lot of interesting and creative activities to divert its mind.
  • To overcome its chasing instinct firstly try removing the triggers that results in such a behavior and then make him adept at command following so that he stops right away on hearing your voice.

Parson Russell Terrier Vs Jack Russell Terrier

Though there is not much difference between the two, a few of them are:

  • The Jack Russell Terrier is shorter than the PRT.
  • Jack Russells have a square body while the Parson’s are rectangular-shaped.
  • Parson Russell Terriers possess a longer head and larger chest than the Jack Russell.
  • The Parsons have longer legs than the Jack Russell Terrier.


Feed it half to one cup dry dog food on a daily basis alongside a balanced diet with proper nutrients.

Interesting Facts

  • This is the 145th breed of AKC.

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