Parson Russell Terrier Breed Information and Buying advice

Parson Russell Terrier

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Parson Russell Terrier?

Quick Parson Russell Terrier Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Terrier (4/8)
No (2/2)

Why Parson Russell Terriers are great

Parson Russell Terrier puppies and adult dogs are hugely loving and loyal. They are also playful housemates that can be great fun to have around the home. These little canines also have lots of energy, so they are the ideal companion for people who have an active lifestyle. When it comes to intelligence, Parson Russell Terriers have plenty, so they love to get a lot of mental stimulation. Some highlights:
  1. Lively and energetic companions that bring fun and vitality to the lives of their humans. Parson Russell Terriers relish the opportunity to get plenty of exercise.
  2. These friendly dogs love to be around people. They like nothing better than long walks with the humans they know and love.
  3. Parson Russell Terriers are amongst the most loyal dogs around. They build very close relationships with members of the family that they share a home with.

Things to consider when looking at Parson Russell Terriers for Sale

Some downsides to the Parson Russell Terrier:
  1. For anyone who is not a lover of an active lifestyle, Parson Russell Terrier puppies may not be the ideal choice. This is because they need a lot of exercise and love to be active as often as possible.
  2. Parson Russell Terriers do not deal well with boredom. If they start to feel bored, they may be destructive around the home. This can lead to a significant amount of damage.
  3. It's not just inside the home that Parson Russell Terrier puppies and adult dogs can cause damage. They also love to dig, so they can easily make holes appear around a garden.

History of Parson Russell Terrier

The Parson Russell Terrier breed was developed by the Reverend John Russell. His aim was to develop a terrier that could help with hunting without killing prey. After the death of the Reverend, a club called the Devon and Somerset Badger Club was formed. The name of the club was later changed to the Parson Jack Russell Terrier Club. The club was popular until the start of World War II when it closed. After the war, the popularity of this terrier again began to grow. In 1990, the Parson Jack Russell Terrier was first recognised by the Kennel Club. The name of the breed was changed to Parson Russell Terrier in 1997. Today, Parson Russell Terriers are popular as working dogs and household companions.  


How big is the Parson Russell Terrier?

Parson Russell Terriers are not large dogs. Males normally measure around 36 cm at the withers whereas females measure around 33 cm.  

How heavy is a Parson Russell Terrier? 

Parson Russell Terriers are not very heavy in weight. Males and females of the breed usually weigh between 5 and 8 kg.  

What Colour is the Parson Russell Terrier? 

There are many different coat colours for Parson Russell Terriers that are recognised by the Kennel Club. These colours are:
  • Black and white
  • Lemon and white.
  • Lemon, tan and white.
  • Tan and white.
  • White and tan.
  • White, tan and black.


Do Parson Russell Terriers make good guard dogs?

Parson Russell Terriers are better watchdogs than they are guard dogs. They are very alert and let their humans know about the presence of strangers very quickly. However, they are not aggressive so are unlikely to physically ward off intruders.  

Do Parson Russell Terriers bark a lot?

Some Parson Russell Terriers love to bark a lot, so they need to be gently coaxed out of the habit when they are young. In most cases, these alert dogs bark only when they spot strangers or a rodent that they want to chase.  

Are Parson Russell Terriers easy to train?

Parson Russell Terrier puppies are clever, so they can be trained, with a little patience. The most important thing is to make sure that training is fun. This stops a Parson Russell Terrier from becoming bored and means they are more likely to pay attention. It's important to train these dogs using a combination of praise and positivity.  

Are Parson Russell Terriers good with children?

Parson Russell Terriers love to be around children, especially if the children and the terrier have been raised alongside each other. However, play time between these are energetic companions and young children should be supervised. These dogs can be a little boisterous and children can be hurt or frightened by accident.  

Can I leave a Parson Russell Terrier Alone?

Parson Russell Terriers love to be around people. This means that they do not take too well to being left on their own. They are best welcomed into a home where there is someone about during the day. Otherwise, they can quickly become bored and destructive.  


How long do Parson Russell Terriers live?

Parson Russell terrier puppies grow up to spend between 9 and 15 years living with their humans. Making sure that a Parson Russell Terrier is well exercised, and provided with a healthy diet, helps them to live as long as possible.  

How much exercise does a Parson Russell Terrier need? 

Parson Russell Terriers are not dogs that are content to simply lie around. They are energetic bundles of fun that love to be active all the time. They enjoy nothing more than long walks with their humans. However, they should always be kept on a lead, so that their prey instinct does not take over and cause them to run off.  

What are Parson Russell Terrier Common health issues?

There are some health issues which can be hereditary in Parson Russell Terriers and for which DNA tests are available. These issues include.
  • Hereditary deafness which affects the hearing of a dog.
  • Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) which can cause the lens of the eye to be dislocated.
  • Late onset ataxia (LOA) which is a neurological disease. This can lead to a loss of balance in a Parson Russell Terrier by the time they are 6-12 months old. It usually means that the dog needs to be euthanized by the age of 2.
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). This is another neurological disease that starts to present itself when a Parson Russell Terrier is 2-6 months old.


How much space do I need for a Parson Russell Terrier?

Parson Russell Terriers are highly active dogs. They love long walks and also like to be able to run around in a garden. If one of these boisterous and intelligent dogs is allowed to run free in a garden, the area should be securely fenced as these terriers are good escape artists. It's also worth remembering that Parson Russell Terrier puppies and adult dogs love to dig holes wherever they can.  

How much grooming do Parson Russell Terriers need? 

There are two types of coat that a Parson Russell Terrier can have; smooth and broken (rough). Both types of coat need to be brushed regularly, using a thick brush. Rough coats also need to be picked and clipped regularly. Bathing is required once a month unless the Parson Russell Terrier decides to take a diversion into some mud.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Parson Russell Terrier?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £650  for a well-bred Parson Russell Terrier puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £70 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Parson Russell Terrier Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Parson Russell Terrier puppy buying advice:
  1. There are DNA tests for genetic illnesses that can be present in Parson Russell Terriers. It's important to check if these tests have been carried out. This helps to identify whether a Parson Russell Terrier puppy will remain healthy or not.
  2. Parson Russell Terriers need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. This means that anyone who is going to welcome one of these dogs into their home needs to have a lot of energy and time to devote to entertaining their companion.

Other reading, Adopting Parson Russell Terrier Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: