Fun Parson Russell Terrier Facts For Kids

Arpitha Rajendra
May 16, 2023 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Amusing Parson Russell Terrier facts.

The original Fox Terrier of the 18th century was the Parson Russell Terrier. The Parson Russell Terrier dog is a small white terrier breed.

In the year 1992 was first recognized as a Parson Jack Russell terrier by the United Kingdom. The Jack Russell terrier was recognized in 1997 by America.

This breed was created by Reverend John Russell. John Russell bought a small tan and white terrier female dog from a milkman, and she was the basis of all breedings.

As per the Parson Russell Terrier history, this breed was primarily bred for fox hunting. In the 1850s, the Parson Jack Russell terrier was recognized as a definite type of fox terrier. The Parson Russell terrier is mostly white with a broken or smooth coat.

This Parson Russell terrier temperament is high-energy and feisty and does very well in sports. Only three major kennel clubs, the Australian National Kennel Council, Newzealand Kennel Club, and the United Kingdom, recognize the Parson Russell terrier and its relative Jack Russell terrier as two distinct terrier breeds.

Even today, this breed is used as a working dog on stables farms and for hunting. The Parson Russell terrier is a dog that does very well with proper training.

There are also average watchdogs. Read on to discover more about this dog breed.

If you found the facts about Parson Russell Terrier interesting, you may also read Cairn terrier and bull terrier facts.

Parson Russell Terrier Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Parson Russell Terrier?

The Parson Russell terrier is a small terrier dog breed originating from England. They were primarily bred for fox hunting. The prey drive intensity of this dog is high. This breed is independent but sometimes stubborn and dominating.

The Parson Russell terrier, if given a chance, will dig, chase rodents and cats, or wander. They are loyal, active, strong, and affectionate, and make good family dogs. They do very well with horses. The Parson Russell Terrier dogs are bred to coordinate in a breed show called Conformation Show.

What class of animal does a Parson Russell Terrier belong to?

The Parson Russell Terrier belongs to the class of mammals of animals.

How many Parson Russell Terriers are there in the world?

There are many Parson Jack Russell Terrier dogs in the world. The exact number is unavailable.

Where does a Parson Russell Terrier live?

They are mainly found in family homes as companion dogs. They are soft and gentle, so do well with children in a house.

What is a Parson Russell Terrier's habitat?

The Parson Russel Terrier adapts well to any environment they live in as long as it is with the same owner. However, they prefer average cold temperatures. Some of these dogs also adapt well to mountainous regions too.

Who does Parson Russell Terriers live with?

Parson Russell Terrier dogs live with people. They are not apartment dogs. They need plenty of exercise and walking.

How long does a Parson Russell Terrier live?

The life expectancy of this terrier group dog breed is early to mid-teens. So, the average life expectancy is 13-15 years. Well-bred Parson Russell terriers live longer. The maximum Parson Russell Terrier lifespan is between 15-18 years.

How do they reproduce?

The Parson Russell Terrier pregnancy period lasts up to 60-64 days. The female goes through four stages of the reproductive cycle. The duration between each mating season is about six months. The first stage is called Proestrus, which lasts for nine days.

In this stage, the females attract the males. The signs are the swelling vulva and bloody discharge. The second stage which lasts for 3-11 days is called Estrus, and the female is now receptive to a male spitz.

During this stage, the discharge reduces and lightens in color. The third stage starts on day 14, and the female will not permit mating after this stage. The discharge stops. The last stage is called Anestrus.

What is their conservation status?

The Parson Russell terriers do not face any threats except health problems. Some issues are lens luxation, cataract, and corneal dystrophy.

Parson Russell Terrier Fun Facts

What does Parson Russell Terriers look like?

Unlike their relative Jack Russell terrier, the Parson Rusell Terrier has longer legs, which are as tall as the terrier's body length. The head is well-proportioned. The Parson Russell Terrier dog has medium-sized almond-shaped dark eyes.

If the coat around the eye is white, the rim is pink. They have V-shaped ears. They have a powerful, rectangular muzzle and dark nose.

The skull between the ears is broad, and it narrows down to the eyes. The large teeth form a scissor bite. The Parson Russells have laid back long shoulders.

The body coat is mostly white with tricolor, tan, or black markings. The smooth or broken coat makes it easier for the grooming process. As per breed standards, they do not have a curly or rough coat.

This dog breed has a larger chest, longer head, and overall larger body size than Jack Russell terriers. The forequarters are strong with well-developed bine. The feet are cat-like and compact, and the toes are arched forward.

The hindquarters are strong and muscular. There are a few faults in the chest, feet, tail, and coat, according to the breed standard. The weight and length vary as per gender.

How cute are they?

Many people think the square-outlined Parson Russell terriers are very cute.

How do they communicate?

This white Parson Russell terrier is a highly vocal dog. They howl and bark loudly. Some reasons for barking are fear, anxiety, alerting the owner, boredom, and greeting. They also shake excessively to release their energy. Some other reasons can be fear, medical, or stress. If the shaking becomes uncontrollable, then it is necessary to consult a vet.

How big is a Parson Russell Terrier?

The average height of a female Parson Russell Terrier is 13 in (33 cm). The average height of a male Parson Russell terrier is 14 in (35.5 cm).

How fast can a Parson Russell Terrier run?

They are moderate runners. The exact speed is unknown.

How much does a Parson Russell Terrier weigh?

The average weight of a female Parson Russell Terrier is 15 lb (6.8 kg). The average weight of a male Parson Russell Terrier is 17 lb (7.7 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name given to female and male Parson Russell Terriers.

What would you call a baby Parson Russell Terrier?

A baby Parson Russell Terrier is called a Parson Russell Terrier puppy.

What do they eat?

The Parson Russell Terrier needs to be fed high-quality food with the veterinarian's recommendation they can eat home-cooked food. They have to be fed dry food of about 1.25-1.7 cups twice a day is adequate for your pet.

The overall amount of food needs to be reduced when they are given treats for good behavior. With occasional meat, they can maintain their metabolism. Try to feed them to the limit as obesity in small dogs can be dangerous.

Are they slobbery?

No. The Parson Russell Terriers have a low drooling tendency. If the Parson Russell terriers start drooling, it can be a sign of underlying health problems.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes. The Parson Russell Terrier dog is a good pet. This dog breed prefers athletic and active owners. They are always up for an adventure like hiking, bike rides, or running.

With good training, these high-energy level dogs are obedient both indoors and outdoors. Grooming is necessary, and they have easy groom coat with minimal effort. This dog also does very well with children. It is always important that children play with this dog under an adult's supervision.

Did you know...

The Parson Russell Terrier breed was used for rat baiting. A bet was made around whose dog would kill most rats.

An animal actor, Uggie was a well-trained Parson Russell terrier. He appeared in various commercials and movies.

In 2011, he was cast in 'The Artist' and 'Water for Elephants.' There was also an attempt made to gain an Academy Awards nomination for this dog in the same year. The electronics and video game company Nintendo named Uggie as the first-ever spokesdog in 2012.

Another animal actor named Sykes was a British Parson Russell Terrier, who appeared in British commercials and movies. He appeared in five seasons of the British television series called 'Midsomer Murders.' He also worked in Hollywood movies, series, and miniseries.

The Jack Russell terrier is a non-recognized relative of the Parson Russell terrier relative. The Jack Russell terrier is a smaller breed than the Parson breed but larger than the Russell Terrier.

The Jack dog breed can get sunburned as they have white coats. Their skin needs protection before heading out in the sun.

This breed can jump five times higher than its height.

These dogs not only hunt on the ground, but they can dig burrows in search fr their prey.

Russell terriers are usually good therapy and service dogs.

A few similar dog breeds like the Parson breed are the Jack Russell, American Foxhound, and Rat terrier. The American Foxhound is bigger than the Parson, whereas the Rat Terrier is smaller than the Parson dog. The Russell terrier dogs are slightly longer than Jack and Parson dog breeds.

Getting your own Parson Russell Terrier

The purebred Parson Russell terrier puppy costs around $600-$1000. It can also cost you more as this dog is used mostly for dog shows from a good breeder. With proper training and regular exercise, this high-energy dog breed becomes a good family dog.

Start training your pet early. With positive associations and interactions, your pet will learn to behave. Also, teach the dogs to socialize with other dogs from an early age.

Grooming of this dog breed is easy. A dog with a smooth or rough coat texture needs to be brushed regularly. If the dog has a broken coat texture, then the coat will need to be stripped twice a year.

This terrier dog is not considered hypoallergenic. Clean the ears and eyes regularly to avoid infections. The teeth need to be cleaned two to three times a week.

They are low-maintenance dogs. It is better to play with them in a well-fenced yard as they jump very high.

They can also climb, dig, and chase anything that runs. This breed is not well-suited for first-time owners. Owners with experience know how to be in control and can easily establish themselves as the pack leader.

A major health threat to the Parson Russell terriers is Ataxia. It is a disease caused when the spinal cord constricts or inner ear imbalances cause nerve damage.

This disease disrupts the coordination of the dog's four limbs and disarrays fluid movement. This dog breed is prone to an eye condition called lens luxation. It is a condition when the zonular fibers become abnormal and break down.

With the disintegration of this fiber, the lens dislocates within the eye. This displacement can also lead to blindness if the lens falls in the anterior chamber of the eyeball.

The slippage of the kneecap condition called patella luxation is also common in these dogs. The dislocation of the kneecap is very painful. To put the kneecap into its place, sometimes it has to be forced back.

These dogs are prone to deafness. The causes of this condition include infestations or infections, or it occurs as they grow older.

The puppy Parson Russell terrier is prone to cataracts which decrease the vision of the dog. Other eye conditions that Parson Russell Terrier is prone to are progressive retinal atrophy (bilateral degeneration of the retina), corneal dystrophy (affects cornea), and posterior vitreous detachment (retina and vitreous membrane detachment).

Other health problems are Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and Von Willebrand's disease. They are also prone to heart attacks and obesity.

While adopting or buying this dog, make sure to ask for the necessary certificates from the breeder. If possible, meet the puppy in person before getting them home.

It will draw a picture of the type of environment they are growing in, and you can look elsewhere if they seem aggressive. Make sure to ask for information about the direct bloodline. It is necessary to find out if the pup has any genetic disorders from their parents.

Professional breeders always conduct medical exams and vaccinate puppies. So, check the medical reports for any illness.

Parson Russell Terrier vs Jack Russell

It took a long time to recognize the Parson Russell terrier and Jack Russell terrier breeds as two different types of terrier breed. The weight of the Jack Russell breed is 11-13 lb (4.9-5.8 kg), and its height is 10-16 in (25.4-40.6 cm).

The lifespan of Jack is 10-16 years. Both Jack Russells and Parson Russell terriers have similar health conditions and problems. The Parson Russell terrier has a slightly longer lifespan than the Jack Russell terrier.

The training, grooming, socialization, and need for exercise are similar for the Parson Russell terrier and Jack Russell terrier breeds. The Jack Russell breed is slightly more active and trainable. However, both breeds require early training, and you need to be consistent with training.

Both dog breeds have the same personality with the ability to hunt, explore, and dig. These active breeds make excellent family dogs.

Both these dog breeds have smooth coats or rough coats. However, the Jack Russell breed is bred with a broken coat. The average height and weight of a Parson Russell breed are slightly more than the Jack breed.

The overall cost of both Jack Russell terriers and Parson Russell terriers is the same.

There have been no reports of the Parson dog breed biting a human. However, the Jack dog breed has attacked once every seven years. They are usually not considered aggressive and can be prevented with daily exercise and personality training.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including American pit bull terriers or border terriers.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Parson Russell terrier coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You


See All

Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti Chaudhary picture

Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

Read full bio >