Parson Russell Terrier

  • Group 3: Terrier
  • Section 1 Large and medium sized Terriers
  • With optional working trial

Great Britain

Male: 34-38 cm Female: 31-35 cm

The Parson Russell Terrier is a recognized by the FCI, predominantly white and leggy, British breed (FCI Group 3, Section 1, Standard No. 339 ). By the year 1999, these were Jack Russell Terrier called a Jack Russell Terrier or Parson Terrier, and among these terms, the short legged terriers of this type were performed. In 1999, the English Kennel Club has the leggy Terrier this type finally recognized as a breed and approved a name change to Parson Russell Terrier. This change of name was also adopted by the FCI with the final also recognition of the breed in 2001. Breed clubs who refuse recognition of this breed by the Kennel Club or FCI and conduct their own breed registry, such as the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Great Britain ( JRTCGB ) or the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America ( JRTCA ), refer to the present day, the leggy Terrier of this type as a Jack Russell Terrier.

Origin and History

John (nickname Jack ) Russell was an English clergyman (English title: Parson ), who died in 1883 at the age of 87 years. He was an avid horseman, hunter and dog breeder. For his passion, he spared neither effort nor censure by his ecclesiastical superiors. Despite high costs he kept a pack of foxhounds. He bred Fox Terriers, which he used on the fox hunt on horseback. The Terrier from his kennel acquired an excellent reputation, especially as their hunting services were concerned. Fox Terrier, who came from his kennel or fell on the lines of which were therefore called Jack Russell Terrier. Carlisle Tack (b. 1884) was a Fox Terrier, whose ancestors go back to the Terrier by John Russell., Making it one of the earliest ancestors of today's Parson Russell Terriers.

Although John Russell member of the British Kennel Club was founded already in 1873, he showed his dogs rarely on dog shows. Shortly after the death of John Russell 1883, a splitting apparent, between the old-fashioned Fox Terriers for hunting and the elegant Fox Terriers as they have been shown at exhibitions. The biographer of John Russell, Dan Russell ( b. 1906 ), feared in an interview from 1990, a repetition of the same development for the Jack Russell Terrier, if this would be popular exhibition dogs.

There are English dog experts who describe the influence of Dogs by John Russell on the present Parson Russell Terrier as rather low and suggest that rather the name Jack Russell Terrier prevailed as the name for white working terrier with dubious parentage.

The origin of the Parson Russell Terriers and Fox Terriers is suspected in the now extinct breeds Old English Black and Tan Terrier and Old English White Terrier.


The length of the body is slightly greater than the height from the withers to the base. The chest is not to come below the elbow and can be encompassed behind the shoulders by average size hands. This so-called Spannbarkeit has the anatomy of the fox to the background. Each fox can span in the manner described. Since the hunting guided Parson Russell Terrier must follow the fox under construction everywhere, too much of a chest is an obstacle. The hair is rough or smooth -haired. Between the hair Description broken coated ( short-haired ) is located. Good skin is characterized by a dense undercoat, which is broken by the hard and straight, water-resistant outer coat. The hair color is completely white or predominantly white with tan, lemon or black markings, or any combination of these colors.

Smooth -haired and Tricolor

Stock Hairy (Broken coated) and Tricolor

Rauhaarig and Tricolor

Smooth -haired and white-brown

Stock Hairy (Broken coated) and white-brown

Rauhaarig and white-brown

Smooth -haired and white-black

Stock Hairy (Broken coated) and white-black

Rauhaarig and white-black

Rauhaarig and white-black (freshly trimmed ) » Trimming ( dogs)


The Parson Russell Terrier is considered to be intelligent, fearless, friendly and eager to work. These properties derive from its origin from a hunting dog. Undaunted and intelligent he must be for work at the Burrow. He goes there never overly aggressive before, but brings through his barking the fox to leave the building. But he also had to be friendly to humans, horses and other dogs in order to make the flow of fox hunting as smoothly as possible. A Parson Russell Terrier must be requested physically and mentally, otherwise it can be disobedient and destructive.


The breeding performance of the Parson Russell Terrier is closely related to the different historical and national standards. One example of this are the specifications for the withers:

In all standards, the importance of Spannbarkeit is highlighted. There are countries like Germany, where the Spannbarkeit is rarely measured with the hands, but mostly with the measuring tape. This allows the dog in the breeding license a unique value to be assigned. However, there is no value, which was determined as the upper limit for breeding suitability. The ideal is for experienced Baujäger in the range of 35 to 40 cm. 45 to 48 cm is regarded as the upper limit.


Due to its origin the Parson Russell Terrier is a hunting dog that needs to be given appropriate support. His main field of work is the hunt under the ground on fox and badger. It is his goal, the fox to move unharmed to leave the building ( blow up ). When in England formerly used fox hunting, it was desired to bring the fox out of the building, so that hunting with horses and foxhounds could go on.

In Germany and other continental European countries, the Parson Russell Terrier is used versatile than in the country of England. After the hunt under the ground, he is most commonly used for driven hunts on ungulates. It 's his job to track down wild boar, deer or other game species and bring them into the proximity of the stands of the hunters. Because of its good nose of the Parson Russell Terrier can also be used for seeking international of injured wildlife. It can also be formed to secure Apporteur of ducks through its water and bring joy.

Due to their great joy in work, intelligence, agility, speed and endurance of Parson Russell Terrier for many dog sports such as agility, obedience, dog sports tournament are, etc.


Not least because of its origin as a working dog, much of which power was demanded, the Parson Russell Terrier is a very vital dog with relatively little breed-specific diseases.

  • Cataract or cataract is a clouding of the eye usually hereditary lenses and the most common eye disease in the Parson Russell Terrier. A surgical treatment is possible at each stage. By means of so-called phacoemulsification is analogous to human medicine a microscopically guided destruction of the lens with use of an artificial lens.
  • The lens luxation the eye lens is no longer held in the center of the eye, but is partially or completely displaced. The cause is the Jack Russel Terrier hereditary and can be attributed to a genetic defect. A lens luxation must i.d.R. surgery, otherwise glaucoma ( glaucoma) occurs. Glaucoma treat is considerably more complex.
  • Patellar luxation is a congenital displacement of the patella from its guide ( trochlea ). The dog holds the barrel up and running temporarily with only three legs. This defect can be corrected surgically.
  • The ataxia and myelopathy of the Terrier ( Hereditary ataxia) comes at Fox Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell before. Here occurs a reduction of the white matter in the cervical and thoracic region of the spinal cord. It develops at age 2-6 months and is associated with wide overhanging movements ( hypermetric ) of the front legs, muscle tremors and breitbeiniger position of the hind legs. The animals tend to fall over and can not stand up alone. There may be damage to the auditory nerve with increasing deafness. This disease is very rare but can not be treated and has a poor prognosis.
  • A unilateral or bilateral deafness occurs when Parson Russell Terrier, as well as in other predominantly white dogs with the piebald ( pinto ) gene, such as the Dalmatian, Beagle or at the Bulldog. It is currently assumed that the mode of inheritance is polygenic. A unilateral deafness can only be determined by an audiometric examination that should be performed at least at each dog used for breeding.

Parson Russell Terriers, who are affected by one of these diseases will be excluded in most breeding clubs from breeding.

Art, Film and Television

Parson Russell Terriers are popular actors in movies, TV series and commercials.


  • Wishbone, U.S. live show
  • My Dog Skip, American movie
  • Here Comes Kalle, German television series

Sources and Links