Country of Origin
This breed shares a common history with the Jack Russell Terrier until the early 1980s.This type of small white terrier dates back to the work of the Reverend John Russell, born in 1795. In 1819 he purchased a small white and tan female terrier named Trump from a milkman in the hamlet of Elmsford. She formed the basis for his breeding program, and by the 1850s the dogs were recognised as a distinct type of Fox Terrier.
In 1894, the Devon and Somerset Badger Club was founded by Arthur Blake Heinemann who created the first breed standard for this type of terrier. The club was formed with the aim of promoting badger digging, rather than fox hunting. By the turn of the 20th century, the name of John Russell had become associated with this type of terrier. The Devon and Somerset Badger Club would go on to be renamed the Parson Jack Russell Terrier Club and continued until just before World War II when the club folded.
They possess moderately thick small "V" shaped drop ears with the tip pointed towards the eyes. The nose of the dog should be black. The normal range of sizes is between 13–14 inches (33–36 cm) tall at the withers, with a weight around 13–17 pounds (5.9–7.7 kg).
Coat and Color
The Parson Russell Terrier is bred to conform to a conformation show standard. It is a predominantly white breed with black, tan or tricolour markings and an easy to groom coat which is either smooth or broken (similar to a smooth coat, but with some longer hair on the head, face, legs or body). The breed standard does not recognise a Parson Russell with a curly or rough coat.
The Parson is a feisty and energetic type of Terrier. They can excel in dog sports such as flyball or agility and require vigorous exercise in order to prevent them from becoming bored and potentially destructive in the home. They can be suited to live with children but as they have a typical Terrier temperament, they will not tolerate rough handling. The AKC describes them as being single minded, tenacious and courageous when at work, while at home they can be exuberant, playful and affectionate. However, it is unusual for dogs of this breed to be involved in work, such as fox hunting, typical of a small white terrier, as they are more adapted to the show bench.