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Parson Russell Terrier

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Physical Characteristics

Breed Group:



Parson Russell Terriers weigh around 6-8 kg (14-18 lbs)


Approximately 30-35cm (12-14 inches).


Mostly white in combination with several other colors including reddish brown, black, tan, and brown.


Their coat can be described as broken with a section of rough and smooth. They have long body hair and a smooth head.



Without proper training, these can be aggressive, high-strung dogs. They are perky, loyal, and fearless. They can be stubborn but their aggression is usually focused at other dogs. They are very keen explorers and enjoy chasing bugs and small vermin as they have a very strong hunting instinct. They also tend to bark a lot and enjoy digging.

Country of Origin:

The United Kingdom


Parson Russell Terriers are descended from white-bodied fox hunters.


Originally called the Jack Russell Terrier, their name was changed to the Parson Russell Terrier in 2003 at the request of the Jack Russell Terrier Association of America.


Parson Russell Terriers thrive in an environment that is well-structured with a daily routine. They do enjoy independence though, and constraint can cause them a fair amount of stress. They do not adjust well to being left home alone so leaving them with a playmate helps to reduce problem behaviour. In the absence of a pet or human companion, it is beneficial to leave the radio or TV going when you’re away. Though they are a social breed, they do suffer from some anxiety problems like refusing to eat or drink and barking excessively. Though they have some tendency toward aggression, they are not actively mean and usually behave in an aggressive manner only when they are under stress.



Early training is important to ensure that they are well adjusted socially. Interaction with other humans and pets will help them be more comfortable and less stressed when they are approached by unfamiliar animals.


They are energetic dogs but also highly adaptable and will exercise themselves in a small yard. However, they thrive when they have a large yard to run around, explore, and hunt.


Parson Russell Terriers make excellent pets given they are treated well and undergo some basic training. Because they are small and sometimes prone to aggression, they do not make the best pets for families with small children. Generally, if they’ve received some solid training, they will be gentle towards children but should be supervised.


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