Meet the Parson Russell Terrier, A LIttle Dog with a Big Personality Why This Breed is So Beloved

Parson Russell Terriers photo
Small Breed Hip Dysplasia Patella Luxation Deafness Parson Russell Terrier

IS THE Parson Russell Terrier RIGHT FOR YOU?

  • 1 Parson Russell Terriers are known for their feisty, energetic, and at times, aggressive nature.
  • 2 They are okay with children, but do not tolerate rough housing.
  • 3 Parson Russell Terriers can be playful with other dogs and larger animals like horses.


The show dog cousin to the working Jack Russell Terrier, the Parson Russell Terrier was officially recognized by the AKC in 2001. They are a breed descended from fox terriers, bred for specific characteristics by Rev. John Russell, the namesake of the breed. Mainly used to hunt foxes, like their predecessor, the Parson was quite capable of rooting out foxes by digging them out of their den.

Quick Facts

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    14 - 15 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    13 - 14 inches (33 - 36 cm)

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    Male Weight

    13 - 17 pounds

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    Female Height

    13 - 14 inches (33 - 36 cm)

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    Female Weight

    13 - 17 pounds

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    Litter Size

    4 - 8 puppies, average 6 puppies


The Parson Russell Terrier is a playful, loyal breed that has a fearless nature not expected from a dog this size. They are smart, but willfully so, making training a bit of a challenge. They can also be aggressive toward other dogs, and because of their hunting background, should not be left alone with smaller pets. In order to properly train a PRT, they should be trained with a firm, confident demeanor -- they need to know that you are the boss. They also require ample exercise and can get destructive if not given a healthy outlet. However, with enough exercise and patience, this breed can be a devoted member of the family. .


The Parson Russell Terrier is usually a tri-color pattern of (mostly) white, black, and tan, but can also be white with another color, like orange, yellow, or other variations on brown.

Health Concerns

Commonly seen health issues in Parson Russell Terriers are:

  • eye problems
  • deafness
  • diseases of the legs
  • hip dysplasia
  • patella luxation

A tiny, athletic dog, the Parson Russell Terrier has a compact, muscular, square frame, with a strong, angular head. Their v-shaped ears are set back on their head and hang down beside their almond-shaped eyes. They have a strong, sharp muzzle and a medium length tail, although occasionally the tail will be docked.

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