Parson Russell Terrier


Named for the Reverend John Russell, an English huntsman of the 1800s, the Parson Russell Terrier was first bred to hunt fox. Subsequent crossings led breeders to change the name to the more commonly recognized Jack Russell Terrier, but the AKC reinstated the original name in 2003. The breed’s weatherproof coat can be wire-haired or smooth. Although the breed has experienced a jump in popularity (as “Eddie” on the sitcom Frazier), it is not a breed for everyone.


Small; 12 to 14 inches, 13 to 17 pounds.


White; white with black or tan markings, or a combination of these; tricolor.


Outgoing, friendly, energetic, adventurous. A true hunter. Good with strangers and older children; may have issues with other dogs. Thrives on exercise and activity. An escape artist.

Energy level:


Best owner:

Active owner with training experience.


Daily mental and physical exercise, leash, fenced yard, training. Weekly brushing for the smooth type; the broken coat also needs occasional hand stripping.

Life expectancy:

13 to 15 years.