Parson Russell Terrier


Brief History
The Reverend John Russell lived in Devon in the 1800s and was a keen and passionate sportsman with a particular interest in fox hunting. He was a regular exhibitor and judge of Fox Terriers and Hounds at West Country Shows. Although he used Kennel Club registered Fox Terriers in his breeding on occasions, in May 1819, he bought from a milkman a white bitch "Trump" who from then on came to be the model of his future breeding program.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. The average life span is 10 to 15 years.

The Parson Russell is bold and friendly, with no sign of nervousness or cowardice. He is never aggressive as his original purpose was to run with the hounds and go to ground to chase out the fox. He is a great hunter of vermin and will be down a hole or across a road, chasing after perceived prey without consideration for his own safety. Care must be taken.

General Breed Description
The Parson is workmanlike, active, agile and built for speed and endurance. He is an unexaggerated, relatively light terrier. A little longer in body than high and narrow enough that his body can be spanned by a man’s hands. His jaw is strong rather than long and his ears fold forward and flat to his head. He carries his tail up when moving but it can be down at rest. Parsons have two types of coat, rough and smooth. Predominantly white, their tan, lemon or black markings are generally on their head or near the tail.

Coat and Care Requirements
The Parson comes in two coat types. The smooth coat is just that, flat and short and will shed. Rough coats are a little longer and the dog will have whiskers, eyebrows and sometimes a small beard. Roughs that are stripped or clipped a couple of times a year will not shed. Regular brushing and bathing will keep both types of coat in good condition. A secure yard with good fencing will be needed, keeping in mind his hunting background. A bored Parson can be destructive. This is an active breed and thrive on plenty of exercise in the form of a walk, games and social contact.

Height; Males 36cms (14ins), Females 33cms (13ins).

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed health and what health testing the breeder does.

Any person or family who would like a bold, friendly, active member of the family that enjoys walks with a dog on lead and plenty of human interaction would suit this breed.  A well trained Parson can be great for older families. The Parson will find other small pets irresistible and these will need to be securely fenced.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to Dogs Australia Breed Standard: 


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