Parson Russell Terrier Breed Information

Parson Russell Terriers are a member of the ‘Terrier’ breed group. Dogs in the Terrier group were originally bred for hunting vermin. They are hardy, brave dogs bred to pursue the likes of foxes, badgers and rats (to name a few) above and below ground.

Parson Russell Terriers are lively, intelligent dogs who love to be a part of family life. They will need to be socialised at a young age with any other family pets, but will get on well with children and will make an excellent family pet.

Parson Russell Terriers need grooming once a week to keep their short coats in top condition.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Parson Russell Terriers are prone to include:

  • Luxating patellas - the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place.
  • Lens luxation – dislocation of the lens of the eye.
  • Cataracts – opacity of the lens of the eye – giving a ‘cloudy’ appearance.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.

Exercise requirements:

Parson Russell Terriers are full of energy and require plenty of exercise – ideally 1-2 hours per day. They have a strong instinct to hunt and explore so bear this in mind when training, as even basic training – and especially recall – will not always be easy. To learn more about reward-based training for your dog, visit our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other.

Estimated lifetime cost:

The likely lifetime costs for a Parson Russell Terrier are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your Parson Russell Terrier with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Parson Russell Terriers that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your Parson Russell Terrier with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train
 
How much exercise
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 12-15 years
Size Small
Coat length Short
Possible health problems Luxating patellas (the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place), Lens luxation
Average price £300-£500
Estimated cost over lifetime £21,200-£25,400
Average weight 6kg-8kg
Breed group 6kg-8kg
Minimum garden size Medium

Not sure if the Parson Russell Terrier is the right pet for you?