Parson Russell Terrier

Breed History

Parson Russell Terrier is a small energetic dog that was bred for dog shows. High energy levels and excitement is two ways to describe this dog’s temperament and behavior.

Coming from England in the 19th century they had a different job in the past than they have today. Hunting was the job of choice for owners of these Terriers when they were first made.

Foxhunting was popular and due to the speed and ability to hide you would need a dog that was fast and can run them out of hiding spots.

Person responsible for this breed was John “Jack” Russel. Influential with the breed standard and naming of the Russel Terrier who would create a Kennel Club in England and became a judge for Fox Terriers.

Big fan of the smooth coat while the wired coat would be something that was popular in the 19th century but would go away. That assumption was proven wrong over time but at the time that was their thinking about those coats.

Whenever hunting foxes, they would need the dog to not fight or try to kill the fox. Although farming and the cost to continue foxhunting has made it les attainable for the common citizen in their region.

Registration would be in the mix of Jack Russel and they would never get their own name until more than a century later. After 2003 they would get their own recognition as their own breed from the Jack Russel.

Both will always have a connection to each other, and their bloodlines run within each other as well. Strong emphasis are put on the dog only being 12-14 inches due to cross breeding and allowing too much wiggle room.


In 1997, they would receive recognition from the American Kennel Club and were already seen as a breed with registration from the England Kennel Club as well as the United Kennel Club.

Top 110 in popularity they have a lot of room for improvement but with less than two decades in the kennel club they have plenty of time.

Terrier Group is the group every major kennel club would put them in. Here are the breed standards and kennel clubs that show registration for the Parson Russell Terrier.


Male Height: 14 inches

Female Height: 13 inches

Male Weight: 13-15 pounds

Female Weight: 15-17 pounds

Litter Size

6 puppies are the average litter size for the Parson Russell Terrier. Breeders should be aware of how many dog to expect. Best practice is to keep the puppies until at least eight weeks of age before selling them to a responsible owner.


  • White
  • Markings – black, brown, cream, tan, and tri


$1,000 is the average price you will pay for a Parson Russell Terrier. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand and other factors that can change cost.

Registration will make the dog cost more due to the strict adherence to the breed standard. Quality of puppy is always higher when you buy from an owner who has both dogs with a kennel club.

Whenever a puppy’s parent, or parents, aren’t showing registration they will not be able to give papers to the puppy. Crossbreeding is most likely the reason why this will be the case.


Take the dog on a long run or walk before you start a grooming session or take them to a professional groomer. Get your dog in the right state of mind before you start doing any activity and this is one of those activities.

  1. Brushing
  2. Bathing
  3. Ears
  4. Nails
  5. Professional Help

Brush the coat at least once per week for the best results. Having a smooth single coat makes them very easy to groom for do it yourself groomers.

Bathe the dog after a long run or walk and use a leash to get full compliance.

Cleaning the ears once per week will result in less ear infections. Whenever you see the dog scratching, shaking their heads excessively, and developing an odor than the dog has an infection.

Trimming the nails should happen during daily exercise, which we recommend. If you don’t exercise the dog daily, which we don’t recommend, cut their nails with clippers or hire a professional.

Professional help is not a recommendation with this breed.

Life Span

12-15 years is the lifespan for a Parson Russell Terrier. That’s a long time to live and owners should be aware of the time commitment before they purchase a puppy. Great dog to adopt due to how long they live.

Health Issues

BAER Testing – hearing of the Parson Russell Terrier can give out and their kennel club has an official health statement where they address their hearing problems. Understanding the level of hearing the dog has is important information.

Hip Dysplasia – issues with the hip socket and leg bone can cause any owner to see their dog limping, favoring, or discontinuing exercise in long stretches. Seeing this behavior should prompt you to take them to the vet right away for an x-ray.

Eye Examination – cherry eye, cataracts, and glaucoma are all eye problems that will affect your dog at some stage. Examinations are 24 months and annually after that, under your vet’s guidance, will be the best way to stay on top of new developing conditions. After seven years old these exams are less intense.

Breed Group

Proud members of the Terrier Group. These dogs are big in England, Europe and some Islands that depend on agriculture to survive. Rodents feast at these places due to the abundance of food there.

Terriers were great because they were hunters but small giving them agility, speed, and the ability to kill hundreds of rats in hours. Decreasing the rodent population significantly.

Here are some of the most popular Terriers in the world

Exercise Needs

Parson Russell Terrier need a lot of exercise to calm down and act normal. Most owners have a hard time figuring out how much exercise is enough, and we are going to tell you how to find out the truth.

Dogs are the best teachers as to them needing a lot of exercise. Begging for exercise for years is what most owners are liable to experience. First, lets look at some of the hurdles you need to get over.

Taking them to the bathroom, putting them in the backyard, and walking to the mailbox is not exercising your dog. AT ALL! Watching the dog jumping from overexcitement and jumping out of their skin is a dog that isn’t getting exercise.

Next, whenever the dog is biting, whining, nipping, chewing up items and a lot of behaviors around the house that are destructive you are dealing with a bored dog not a bad dog.

Channeling this energy into something positive is the only thing you can do. Afternoon and morning sessions every day will do the trick every time.

Here is a basic recommendation we would give a client

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dogs need a lot of exercise and they need a lot of training. Running them more often is ideal here and multiple session days where you add some treadmill or a walk in the evening is the best.

Adult dogs, around three or older, will show a decline in energy levels. Training efforts should be on autopilot at this point and dividends for earlier training will show tremendously here.

Senior dogs have little to no energy and need only a walk around the block every other day.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every training program should be built on a solid foundation and no foundation is more solid than daily exercise. Doesn’t matter if you choose to run, walk, or use the treadmill the dog should be getting out every day and twice a day is possible. Changing the dog from exercising themselves through bad behavior to receiving an outlet every day. Going from no exercise to 365 hours of exercise in one year is going to make a huge difference over time. Throwing in an additional session at night can reach over 730 hours in exercise and the dog will calm down under these conditions.

Commands training is important for building a bond with the dog verbally. Repetition will teach the dog the tricks and other methods will keep them motivated. Treats, toys, and life rewards are methods you can use to keep them engaged all the time.

Socializing the dog after a long run or walk is a strong recommendation. Before vet visits, car rides, dog parks, parks, and other places exercise the dog for at least an hour beforehand.

Correct the dog verbally, on, and off leash are something you need to master. Mastering that can only happen with the right timing and the follow through. Preventing the entire behavior right before the dog is about to do something is the right timing. After you time correctly make the dog sit or lay afterwards. Together you will be able to control the dog on and off leash.

Additional Resources