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Parson Russell Terriers are lively, tenacious hunters who were bred to pursue underground vermin. Bold and confident, strong and enduring, these dogs meet the world with their tails held high. Their senses of humor and mischief make Parson Russell Terriers beloved canine companions.
Originally from England, this medium-sized and high-energy breed can grow to between 13-17 pounds and lives an average of 13-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Terrier group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Breed Group: Terrier
Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Bark Factor: Moderate
Energy level A marathoner
Exercise needs An hour or more a day
Playfullness and Games All day, every day
Attachment to People Give me some love when you get home, maybe we'll snuggle later
Behavior with Other Dogs Shy. I may prefer to be the only dog.
Behavior with Other Small Pets I'll probably want to chase or will be shy
Behavior Toward Strangers I may be shy at first
Trainability It's fun, but I may lose focus
Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time
Protection ability I'm not very protective
Grooming needs Regular brushing, probably professional grooming
Cold tolerance I'll probably need a jacket in the cold
Heat tolerance A warm day can be fun, but not too hot please.
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A PARSON RUSSELL TERRIER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Parson Russell Terriers are playful, friendly, and fun-loving. They get along well with other dogs, and play best with supervised children. They don't go looking for trouble, exactly, but this dog's nose for adventure can sometimes get it into sticky situations.
WHAT IS PARSON RUSSELL TERRIER BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Parson Russell Terriers are an athletic and very active breed. These little dogs need lots of exercise every day to be their happiest and healthiest selves. They make tenacious workers and affectionate, alert housedogs. Some also tend to bark, so be sure to discourage nuisance barking early and often. Like many earthdogs, Parson Russell Terriers also love to dig; don't leave them unsupervised in your backyard unless you're a fan of the canine landscaping arts.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A PARSON RUSSELL TERRIER?
This clever breed responds well to training, and will appreciate both the physical activity and the mental stimulation. The Parson Russell is a terrier, though — which means it loves to explore and chase more than anything in the world. These instincts make your Parson Russell Terrier not the best candidate for off-leash play outside a well-fenced area.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO PARSON RUSSELL TERRIERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Parson Russell Terriers are seasonal shedders who require only occasional grooming and bathing. Plan for regular brushing, but most won't need more than that. Their weatherproof coats are harsh and can be either broken or smooth. Families with broken coated Parson Russell Terriers might consider hand stripping.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO PARSON RUSSELL TERRIERS HAVE?
These are generally healthy dogs. Some Parson Russell Terriers are prone to deafness, eye disease, and slipping kneecaps. They may also have issues with compulsive behaviors.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE PARSON RUSSELL TERRIERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Parson Russell Terriers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as a Parson Russell Terrier! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.
WHAT IS A PARSON RUSSELL TERRIER'S BEST DAY?
Parson Russell Terriers are true earthdogs: if you can find a forest far away from traffic, let this girl go on a long, long leash — she'll spend the whole day running, sniffing, and chasing every furry creature who crosses her path.
SHOULD I ADOPT A PARSON RUSSELL TERRIER?
Parson Russell Terriers are the right size for an apartment or urban living, but their energy levels make those environments a bit challenging. They're not particular about the weather — this breed is equally comfortable in warm and cold temperatures. If you're a high energy person who wants a fun-loving companion to keep you company on the trail, we just know you'll dig this earthdog.
Have you decided that a Parson Russell Terrier is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.