Parson Russell Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier


Group: Terrier Group

Origin: Great Britain

Height: 12 to 15 inches. The ideal height of a mature dog is 14 inches at the highest point of the shoulder blade, and females are ideally 13 inches.

Weight: About 14 lbs.

Parson Russell Terrier
BISS BPISS Am Ch. Bowery Cirque du Soleil “Ale”
Photo credit: Dobaella Perm.Reg.

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Breed Profile

The Parson Russell Terrier was developed in the early 1800’s in England by Reverand John Russell who’s goal was to breed the ideal foxing terrier. One who could track the fox, follow it underground, and bolt it from its den.

He is a unique, versatile working Terrier — Intelligent, loyal, affectionate, keen, alert and always ready to go. He is also a match for any cat in his ability to catch mice.

The Parson Russell is adaptable, however, he was bred to be a hunting dog and, as such, does require plenty of outdoor activity and exercise. His unique personality makes him desirable to many, but city or apartment living or a sedate lifestyle does not meet the dog’s needs. It should also be noted that Parson Russells can be aggressive toward other dogs and small animals including cats, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. The breed is fearless and known to take on an adversary twice or more his size.

His coat may be smooth or rough, white, white with black or tan markings, or white with a combination of these colours.

The Parson Russell is a happy, bold, energetic dog with a suprisingly gentle and kind nature.

Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Parson Russell Terrier, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information.)

Additional Health Resources:

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Breed Listing


*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit: www.caninehealthinfo.org


*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.