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Russell Terriers

Tell us about YOUR dog! See below for details.

Russell Terriers look familiar -- almost. They look like Parson Russells, but have shorter legs. Maybe they the same as the United Kennel Club's Jack Russell? Sort of....but not really.

To start with, check out several photos below; these were taken at the December 2012 Eukanuba show.

This young dog is patiently waiting for his turn in the ring.

Looks to me like this dog thinks he's going to get a goodie.

This dog loves nothing better than to hang out in his owners' arms.

Russell Terriers, like their cousins, the Parson and the Jack Russell, like other dogs and get along in groups. They are one of the few terrier breeds that can do well at a dog park.

The Russell Terrier is indeed a close cousin of the Parson Russell Terrier, but was developed in Australia. He is a white (usually with tan or black patches) working terrier, with a small flexible chest, sensitive nose and a voice that matches his happy personality. He is a very friendly but is also a very hardy and active dog; he has about the same length of back but is shorter of leg than his Parson cousins. The Jack Russell, a breed only recognized by the United Kennel Club, is the same height but distinctly longer in back.

The breed's weatherproof coat comes in short hair, rough hair or wire hair. The wire variety is somewhat more hypoallergenic than the rough and smooth. All coat varieties require minimal upkeep.

The breed is fine with lively children able keep up with them, and will actively seek out playmates; they have a well developed sense of humor. They do best with a family that share their high energy level and love of adventure.

The breed will be eligible to compete in the AKC Terrier Group June 27, 2012.


They originated in England but developed in Australia, where their small size made them ideal for the terrier bags hunters carried slung over their horses' withers when working rough terrain. They came from the same stock as the Parson Russell Terrier, but are a distinctly separate breed and have long been maintained as so in the US and Europe. Very unusual for terriers, they do well in packs and have long been prized as "barn dogs" or barn mascots, hanging out with the horses and other dogs in the stables.

By the Numbers

Size: 10" - 12" at the shoulder.
Coat Care: 2 – very low. The smooth and rough varieties require almost no coat care beyond a thorough bath when an adventure has left them stinky. The wire coat can be stripped or clippered to maintain a neat appearance.
Trainability: 8 – medium to high. They are surprisingly easy to train for a terrier, but require exercises with lots of variety to keep up their interest.
Energy level: 10. Like their cousins the Parson, they are the original bounce off the wall dogs; they are happiest with a lively family looking for a buddy always ready for the next game.
Good with Children: 9 – high.They are fond of children and actively seek out young partners in mischief.
Noise level: high – 8: They believe that world needs to know their opinion. On everything. All the time.
Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: Smooth and rough, 5 - medium. Wires are low - 3.

To get more information or to find a puppy, contact the American Russell Terrier Club Inc.

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

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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