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Parson Russell Terrier Grooming and Breed Care

Parson Russell Terrier Temperament

The Parson Russell Terrier, until 2003, was known as the Jack Russell Terrier. This is an active and determined breed with plenty of spirit. The Parson Russell Terrier is enthusiastic about everything that he does, and has bags of stamina and courage. He is fearless and will take on a dog five times his size if he feels like it. These dogs are playful, love to be part of family activities, and are very affectionate. They also have a strong independent streak. The Parson Russell Terrier does need plenty of exercise and activity, but due to his inquisitive nature he needs to be kept in a safe and secured area whenever he is not on a leash. This is not the dog for those with little time for their pets, as he can get easily bored without interaction and stimulation, and this can result in destructive behavior. These dogs love to dig, and his tendency to bark makes the Parson Russell Terrier an effective watchdog.


The Parson Russell Terrier is an intelligent dog and a quick learner, but his stubborn and assertive personality can make him a handful when it comes to training. The breed is therefore best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. With praise and reward based training methods the Parson Russell Terrier can do very well in obedience, however you will need a lot of patience and consistency with this breed while training. He will get along well with children that are gentle and considerate, and will usually get along fine with strangers. However, the Parson Russell Terrier can be aggressive with other dogs, and his high prey drive means that he may chase smaller animals and move in for the kill. He will terrorize the cat and make lunch of the pet rabbit. They should never be left unsupervised with another Parson Russell Terrier, as this could result in tragic consequences.

Parson Russell Terrier Appearance

The Parson Russell Terrier is a small but sturdy dog. He has a compact yet athletic build and an alert expression. The coat of the Parson Russell Terrier can vary, as there are two varieties of this breed - the broken coat and the smooth. The broken coat has a rough texture, and the smooth coat has a close fitting, sleek coat. The coloring of the Parson Russell Terrier is white with markings that can be brown, tan, black, or tri-colored. The Parson Russell Terrier weighs in at 12-17 pounds and the height of these dogs is around 13-15 inches.

Parson Russell Terrier Grooming

The grooming requirements for the Parson Russell Terrier can vary depending on whether he has a broken coat or a smooth coat. For the broken coat brushing is required once weekly, and his coat may need to be clipped every few months. The dead coat will need to be stripped every few months for show dogs. The smooth coated variety is more low maintenance, and his coat simply needs to be brushed occasionally to keep it looking good. These dogs are medium shedders, and do shed all year round.

Parson Russell Terrier Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the Parson Russell Terrier is around 13-16 years, and although generally a hardy and health breed there are a few health problems to look out for. This includes luxating patella, Legg-Perthes, deafness, eye problems, ataxia, thyroid problems, and vWD. The parents of the Parson Russell Terrier puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates, and the puppy should have a BAER certificate to ensure normal hearing.

Parson Russell Terrier History

The Parson Russell Terrier originates from Great Britain, and until 2003 was known as the Jack Russell Terrier. Bred to hunt with foxhounds, the breed was originally developed by a student named Jack Russell.

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