Parson Russell Terrier

Other Names : Parson

Country of Origin : Great Britain

Dog Group : Terrier


The Parson Russell was developed and established in the 18th Century in Devon by the Reverend John Russell. John Russell was born into a fox hunting family in 1795, where his love of hunting was nurtured. He wanted a dog that could keep up with the horses, run with the foxhounds and was small enough to flush the foxes from their dens. While studying at Oxford he saw, and bought, the perfect dog for his purposes, belonging to the milkman. It is thought that this was this was the first dog to be known as a Jack Russell. During his time as a clergyman, John Russell devoted himself to both the church and breeding terriers suitable for fox hunting.


The Parson is a relatively small active and lively mainly white coloured terrier. As they were originally used with foxhounds to go to ground after foxes they are built accordingly. They have long legs, which were ideal for keeping up with the horses; but their body is shaped to allow them to be able to get into small spaces.

Feeding & Ownership

As a breed the Parson Russell Terrier is easy to please, they are not fussy eaters.


In general the Parson is a friendly, devoted and affectionate dog with lots of personality. They get on well with children and make good pets for the active family. They have to be socialised from an early age especially with cats and any other household pets. Gardeners will soon discover that this dog digs up the garden indiscriminately as digging is one of their favourite pastimes.


The Parson Russell can be rough or smooth coated; both have a dense double coat. The rough coated Parson requires to be hand stripped. This will be necessary at least twice a year. The smooth coated Parson is much easier to groom, a rubber-grooming mitt will remove the dead and shedding hairs. Both types of coat should be brushed weekly.


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