Behind the Breed: Parson (Jack) Russell Terrier

In this series we will profile breeds registered with the American Kennel Club to give dog owners some ideas of what to expect of their dog. At Denver Dog Works we work with a network of breeders and with 20 years experience and training thousands of dogs we can help the new dog owner choose a breed that is right for you, your family and lifestyle.

Behind the Breed: Parson Russell Terrier

Parson Russell Terrier

Trainers Note: Known for years as the Jack Russell Terrier (and still called that by many) is a breed that was made famous in the TV show Fraiser. Eddie was such a lovable little dog in that show and unfortunately it did not showcase the breed as they are in “real” like. The Parson Russell Terrier is just that, a terrier, meaning high energy and high and some will say high maintenance. These little dogs will require a lot of exercise and a lot of training.

The Parson Russell Terrier is a true working fox hunter, possessing a ready attitude, alertness, confidence, and great strength and endurance. Today, many Parsons are also found working in stables and exhibiting at agility and obedience trials. The breed’s weatherproof coat can be broken (wire-haired) or smooth and is white, white with black or tan markings or tri-color.

A Look Back
Named for the respected huntsman Rev. John Russell, the Parson Russell Terrier was first bred in the south of England in the mid-1800s to hunt red fox. Traditionally, the Parson followed the fox underground to flush him out for the hunter. Authorities claim that after Rev. Russell’s death some of his bloodlines were crossed with the Welsh Corgi and other terrier breeds, creating a different type dog, the “Jack Russell Terrier.” The parent club for the breed requested a name change from Jack Russell to Parson Russell Terrier.

Right Breed for You?
Outgoing and friendly, the Parson is tenacious in the field and affectionate in the home. No matter the venue, the breed is filled with energy, so he requires regular exercise and attention. Although good with children, he does not tolerate rough handling from toddlers. The Parson is a clean breed and does not need frequent bathing, but the broken coat may need to be hand stripped.

If you are considering purchasing a Parson Russell Terrier puppy, learn more here.

  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 1997.
  • Ideal size 13 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder and 13-17 pounds.
  • Fox hunter.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc.

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works


Dr. Robert Forto the owner of Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works, is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows


One Response to Behind the Breed: Parson (Jack) Russell Terrier

  1. Dedi Wood says:

    I love my Parson (JRT) she is a great addition to our family..she is my little Princess…she brings so much joy to us..we are so lucky that we got to rescue her…

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