The Parson Russell Terrier

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The Parson Russell Terrier is definitely the wild child of the canine world; however they generally get along with other dogs and tolerate children well.

Parson Russells can often be found hanging around stables – they make great barn dogs and are strong enough to run behind a horse. Parsons are cheerful characters who know how to have a good time.

They have a weatherproof coat that is smooth or wired; it is white, white with black or tan markings or tri-colored. They do shed and and are not hypoallergenic.


The Parson Russell Terrier was developed in southern England in the 1800’s, by Rev. John Russell to be a true working foxhunter. Traditionally, the Parson followed the fox underground to flush him out for the hunter. So he needed to have legs long enough to follow a horse, yet be small enough to slide into a fox-hole.

Parson Russell Terriers By the Numbers

Size: They should be 13 - 14 inches at the shoulder.
Coat Care: 1:
very low; needs an occasional bath.
Trainability: 6: Parson Russell Terriers are smart but easily distracted.
Energy level: 10: Parsons are energetic; they need exercise and a job.
Good with Children: 7 -- They easy going around children, though they can have difficulty with the rough handling of toddlers.
Noise level: Medium – 6: They bark to inform -- but can inform about the birds flying over or the grass moving.
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: 5 Parson Russell Terriers do shed.

If you are looking for a puppy start with reading What is a Responsible Breeder? Then look for a breeder at the American Kennel Club.

Parson Russell Terriers do well with children.

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People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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