Difference between Parson, Jack Russell and Russell Terrier

July 3, 2013

By Linda Cole

The Parson, Jack Russell, and Russell terriers are actually three different breeds, even though they’re related and look much alike. The Russell Terrier was introduced at the National Dog Show in 2012 as a new breed recognized by the AKC. The Jack Russell is not a recognized breed, despite the dog’s popularity in this country. There is a good explanation as to why, but it can be a bit confusing.

The Parson, Jack Russell and Russell terrier breeds were all named after the Reverend John “Jack” Russell (1795 – 1883), a parson who lived in Devonshire, England during the 1800s. He was an avid fox hunter, when he wasn’t attending to his duties at his church. The Reverend was also quite fond of fox hunting dogs, and bred them. His first terrier, a female named Trump, was likely the foundation for Russell’s working dogs.

Reverend Russell, also known as “The Sporting Parson,” wanted a working dog that was feisty, strong and confident ,to hunt fox and go to ground to flush out fox or other prey from a hole. The Reverend lived in the southern part of England where the terrain wasn’t as hilly, and a short legged dog met his needs. The small dog ran with hunters on horseback, and hounds following a fox. When the hounds chased the fox underground, it was the terrier’s job to follow and flush the fox out of the hole so the hunt could resume.

It was after Reverend Russell’s death when the JRT breed began to evolve into the Parson Terrier. Hunters living in areas where the land was more uneven and hillier wanted dogs with longer legs that allowed them to better navigate rougher terrain so they could keep up with the hounds and horses. They were also more interested in hunting other prey, primarily badger. If a pup was born with shorter legs, they were kept at home as companion pets, to roam around the barn and home catching vermin, and as watchdogs.

Eventually, it was discovered that the dogs with shorter legs could be useful on a hunt. The dogs were easy to carry over rougher landscape in terrier sacks slung over the hunter’s shoulder or across their saddle. And because of their smaller size, it was easier for them to get into smaller dens underground. This is when the Parson and Jack Russell terriers began to split off into two separate breeds.

The traditional Jack Russell terrier was created in England, and developed in Australia into the breed we know today. Both the Jack Russell and Parson terriers were bred as working breeds. However, it’s the Parson terrier that was bred as a hunting dog with a higher energy level. The Jack Russell terrier was bred more as a companion dog. Although both breeds share the same intensity in prey drive, the JRT understands when it’s time to chill out, and they are mellower than their cousin, the Parson terrier.

There are not a lot of differences between the Parson, Jack Russell, and Russell terrier, but all three are considered different breeds, and this is where it can get confusing. The Russell terrier is actually a shorter version of the Jack Russell terrier. Australia and other FCI (an international federation of kennel clubs) countries call the Russell terrier a Jack Russell terrier, which is the traditional old style JRT. In the US, the Russell terrier is the same size as the Australian Jack Russell terrier. Both the Russell and Parson terrier are recognized by the AKC, but the Jack Russell terrier isn’t.

The standard height for the Parson is 12 ½ -15 inches, the Jack Russell Terrier is 10-12 inches, and the Russell – also known as the “Shorty JRT” – is 8 -12 inches tall. The Parson is known as the dog with the square body, and both the Russell and JRT have rectangular bodies.

Why isn’t the JRT recognized by the AKC? This, too, is a little complicated. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA) wanted to make sure the breed kept its working dog status. When AKC was considering adding the Jack Russell terrier to their list of recognized dogs in the early 1990s, the JRTCA opposed it, fearing the working ability would be bred out of the breed, with an emphasis placed on conformation over hunting ability. In 2001, the issue was brought up again when the Jack Russell Terrier Breeders Association filed a petition requesting the Jack Russell be recognized as a legitimate breed.

Because there’s a variation in the JRT in size and appearance, all Jack Russell terriers that met a specific standard were renamed as Parson terrier. The newly recognized Russell terrier is the same breed as the Jack Russell terrier recognized in Australia and other FCI countries, and the JRT is still not a recognized breed. This seems to have made everyone involved happy, for the time being.

Top photo by Vidar Hoel
Middle and bottom photos by Chris Martin

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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Comments

  1. Jennifer Darois says:

    This is incorrect. The height standard for an AKC Russell Terriers is 10 to 12 inches. Anything under 10 inches is a disqualification.

  2. JOHN W. SIEREN says:

    I HAVE HAD BOTH JACK RUSSELL AND A PARSON BOTH ARE LOVABLE, BUT THE PArSON, CAN GET TESTY AND WHEN YOUR NOT HOME, THEY CAN TEAR UP STUFF. I GUESS,THEY SHOW, YOU SHOW YOU SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME. BUT CUTE AS HELL.

  3. Bonnie says:

    I have a a white and tan ,dog that has the look of a JackRussell terrier
    And very active,and has own mind.
    We’re not sure what she is,she came from a liter of nine puppy’s and she was the last one ,and is the runt
    We thought she was poodle mix

  4. Christine Flammang says:

    Had a handsome male Parsons Jack come to my back door in 2011 – intact, no collar, no chip, no one looking for him – so smart he learned to ring the bells hung on the door to go out in 2 days – my yorkie/poodle mix and beagle/chihuahua mix would go to him to ring for them if they had to go out!!

  5. Shelly M Loebs says:

    I have a Parson Russel she the the best dog we ever had. She loves ever one, she get alone with other dog, cats, kids. I found she at our local dog pond in Rochester NY. The dog is so smart, she love doing tricks. she the best companion anyone could have. I no longer want any other breed. Wish I could find a breeder Near Rochester. Her is tail mush short the one in the pictures, I wonder if it was cut.

  6. Thank you for the thorough clarification. I was unaware that there is a difference!

  7. David says:

    i have a jack russell Terrier with long hair and people keep telling me she is overweight, but we dont over feed her, so is there a difference in the weight? of a JRT and a parson Terrier?

  8. Alphonso NeSmith says:

    The 1st Jack Russell was bread from a fox terrier hint long legs not short. Another man crossed the Jack Russell with a!!!! to get the shorter legs I had theses type of dogs for over 40 years

  9. The first 10 weeks of a Jack Russell Puppy’s life determines their attitude! Never teach the puppy to play rough! Show & reward kindness! I have seen the results of the difference in adult life of a Jack Russell! Kindness pays off!

  10. Julie says:

    I just love my two Jackie’s. One is shaggy and the other is smooth short coat (both have short legs) Are they both considered Russell terriers or “Jack” Russell terriers?

  11. John Howell says:

    We have a Parson’s and he has to be the best dog we have ever had. He is great with kids and very affectionate. Not too good with other dogs though; one sign of aggression from another dog and he shoots first and asks questions after.

    1. Laura says:

      We have a 14 year old and that is exactly his personality he literally had to be separated from our mixed breed Newf after 7-9 months together. Our Jrt decided all toys and food were his and he snapped and she said NO !!! So it’s a separate quarters life ever since!! He rules at 18 lb versus her 150 lbs.crazy but they agree to disagree separately❤lovely jrt❤❤Mountain lions have been treed by this braveheart JRT ❤❤

  12. Glenn says:

    I had a beautiful long legs Parsons Jack Russell and I want to get another one love these dogs

  13. Glenn says:

    Looking for a puppy

    1. Eunice says:

      There is a breeder of parson russel terrors in Clearwater FL. Their name is Heart of Songs. We got our PRS two years ago and we love her.

  14. Rexford Murphy says:

    Linda, this was a great article! I really miss my Parson Russell Terrier. I have pics of Comet in a tree and presenting dead Squirrels at my feet! They are superb dogs, but require lots of attention and love to run and roam. I will get another one when I can find one at a reasonable price. TX Rex

  15. Sharon Kae says:

    My JRT passed the other day at age 17.
    Her hearing and sight was not very sharp however her affection and fondness for me did not fail!I have her offspring and their offspring as a Reminder of her loving fondness!!!

    1. Joan M. Glans says:

      MY Jack Jessie passed a month or so ago and just the same her love for me was there. Heartbroken to lose her. Need another JRt fir syre

  16. Denielle Gorman says:

    Am totally confused.We have acquired a ‘Jack Russell’ from my Mother when we located her to an apartment. Issy is an absolute beauty,well trained and way too intelligent and close to 10tyr old is exceptionally active(runs like a grey hound).A does not go by when we get comment about her tolerant,intelligent manner and asked as to her breed. My mother assures me Issy was purchased as a pure breed ‘Jack Russell’ but others think she is crossed with a whippet or even a Staffy. Issy is short haired,malts like crazy,has a jack face(pretty) but is tall and long legged, weighing 10kg,lean build and stands appx 38cms plus(hence the whippet comments. Can any one enlighten me as to which of the 3 Jack breeds Issy is.Cheers, Denielle Gorman

    1. Annette Dillon says:

      We got our second JRT parsons 3 years ago, both our dogs are rescues. They are about 8 years apart in age. Our first one is deferentially a JRT Parsons, but the second one Cyrus looked like a parsons when we got him at 3 months, but as he grew there were somethings that didn’t look right. Sometimes his extra long ears looked like a hound dogs and his ears didn’t sit up on top of his head like a JRT. His head was round on top not flat and his body looked like a greyhound, sleek and slender at the waist. His bark is irritating and he howls, and growls if you try to move him from his spot he claims is his. The rescue told us he was a JRT mix, so we knew he was mixed with something. I started watching videos of Italian Greyhound, Whippet, Beagle and saw a lot of seminaries. So we thought he was mixed with an Italian Greyhound, or Whippet. Then after a few years had passed I saw a Rat Terrier on facebook and it was a dead ringer for our dog Cyrus. Same mannerisms, runs as fast as a greyhound, and Cyrus has only killed a rat and we have had plenty of rodents he could have killed. So I started watching more videos about Rat Terriers on the internet and they have the same irritating high pitch uncontrollable bark. The Rat Terrier breed was made from the following breeds, Italian Greyhound, Whippet, Beagle, Miniature Pinscher and Manchester Terrier. All those breeds we saw in Cyrus and it finally made sense as to his character. I feel we got taken and mislead that he was a JRT mixed breed. This was suppose to be a JRT rescue only and I now see on their internet site that they take anything that looks close enough to a JRT. There are plenty of dogs that they sell that look like Cyrus, and I wonder if they are not breading these dogs and passing them off as JRT mixes. So don’t be surprised if your mother got hoodwinked and told your dog was a JRT. Now I feel stuck with a dog for the next 15 years, I don’t really like and he wants to take over my house and push my female JRT out of her top dog position. Next time I am going to a respectable breeder. Rescues are fine and I got out 1st JRT through one but our second one has been a real let down. He’s 3 years old and wont tell you when he needs to go out to do his business, and sneaks off and pees and poops on the carpet. He can do the tricks my JRT does as long as she does them first. If I ask him to do it first he looks at me with blank eyes staring at the treat with no clue to what I ask him to do. JRT’s have intense eyes and study your every more, and he is absolutely clueless.

  17. Ric Rupnik says:

    I’m Terrierman™ on facebook. Mozart, my first, came to me in Sept. 2000. He was tall within the Parson Russell standard. His spouse was shorter, within the Russell Terrier standard. Like others, I feel the overlapping requirements in the standards makes things a bit confusing. I found that if I advertised pups as “Parson Russell Terriers” I did not get any calls. Subsequent ads for “Jack Russell Terriers” (the same pups) DID get responses. The public knows what a JRT is, despite the haggling by various associations. Attitude-wise, I found the shorter dogs to be more assertive and at times combatative, and the taller ones to be a bit more mellow. The smallest doggy is the only one who ever but me……I was groaning with a serious bout of the flu when I went to pick her up and she did not have a good bedside manner. Each doggy (I’ve known about 32 of them) had funny personality quirks, but all were fiercely loyal, loving, and determined. I’ve found the doggies have expectations and tolerate things according to what they experienced as pups. Some, who had belly rubs as pups, jump onto my lap as adults and bowl me over seeking rubs. Some who decided as pups they were not into rubs persist that sentiment as adults. Different doggies show their own particular loving sentiment in persistent, predictable ways. My first would lick my cheek like an ice cream cone for an hour if I’d let him; his spouse always licked my left wrist. Others do their own particular thing. They’ve all had the ability to brighten the day with their antics in a way that I’d never considered any other breed (s)(s)(s). 🙂

  18. Fred says:

    I now have my 3rd JRT. My first was short leg long rough coat but papered 4 generations, I got him in 94 when he was 2. (This preceeds all this) hmm. On paper he is a jack Russell terrier. My second, medium leg, short hair, smooth coat, she is with JRTCA. Born 2007 to a one time breeder, who did not register them. My third, poppy, what a dream girl. She is a rescue, they from 8wks kept her locked in a laundry room 24/7. And food water came every 3 to 4 days, I say rescue as I paid 300 for her to get her safe when I couldn’t afford it. My heart wouldn’t allow it. She is just about 10mo old, 12in, 13lbs. Broken coat. Half rough half smooth. Okay my history is I have owned each type, a Jack is a Jack.. they are all excited dogs and can be the worst dog in the world if you don’t know what your doing. Every one of mine were lap dogs, no barking, walked with me NEVER run off even without a leash and out in public. In two months I now have poppy loose walking a leash, at home off leash she won’t leave past 20yds, loves dad. In home only sits with me,. I have mastered the breed and offer any advise. Have been with Jack’s 33yrs, going to open a training camp in summer for JRT owners, bring your dog, your tent supplies, for a month I teach you how to make your dog yours, he or she will only respect you and stay by your side, he or she will be a quiet lap dog when you need it. 20 quiet acres in Montana. Just for fun, what’s your JRT’S fetish? My 1st. Diving under water to collect rocks. My 2nd. Water, spray hose, sprinkler, loved chasing it. My 3rd. Poppy…uhg.. REFLECTIONS, any shadow movement, any light reflection she goes ADHD, OCD, .list yours, this will be fun reading.

    1. Bobbi says:

      My Jack is a 12 year old male. I believe he is a Parsons Terrier aka Jack. He will hunt, lick you for hours on end, is ocd over any reflection on the wall. He is crazy over water hoses and has me going to court because he thinks the Amazon driver tasted like chicken. Hmm he left 3 tiny bruises protecting his owner. Voice commanded to sit and it was over. He is spoiled and a rescue from someone who had no clue what they were getting into.

    2. carl bridges says:

      hi Fred!
      Im desperately wanting a Jack Russell Terrier and have been reading up on the different types. I have horses. Im looking for a riding companion out on the trail and also a indoor dog and thought this would be a good breed for me. i am home most of the time and can take the dog everywhere with me. I also have a large fenced in back yard . I have a wonderful german shorthaired pointer that will be 2 years in March. I also have 3 small older chihuahuas. So what are your thoughts on this ? I really enjoyed reading your comments and think out of everything i have read you have a clear grasp on this breed. thank you so much for your time
      sincerely, cathy bridges

    3. Ms D says:

      Damn… Where are you located…because i have a jrt thats out of control….dont like nobody but me barly…i need Help..mhe dont even like dogs…help ge got a tude…help

  19. I rescued a Jack Russell that’s 4 years old and was abused. She’s extremely intelligent and easy to train but she’s bitten me a few times and I tried correcting her by a forceful
    “No, no bites” I’d never hit my dogs or spray them. The last time she bit me was when I came behind her with a rawhide and didn’t realise she already had one.
    Is there a better way to stop biting?

    1. Fred says:

      Simple, play tug of war constantly, constantly praise her, almost talk like a child. Biting not from fear, it is just aggression that didn’t get corrected. To reverse that, you need to not give an opportunity too. Just for 1mo. 24/7 be glued to him, play every moment, praise every time he deserves it. Like if you tell him no and he stops, praise him loudly but in a childish voice. Goes potty, praise. Just FYI, hope it helps.

    2. John says:

      Older Jack’s who have rough start almost never trust anyone there so loyal to a owner just like me kick me one time and I won’t trust you good luck st

  20. Dr. Mark Tims says:

    We apparently have had both Parson’s and Russells. Many mom and pop breeders do not differentiate. Our original “Jack” was short legged and powerfully built, 14-16 Lbs. Our second “Jack” is 12-13 inches & long legged. Both had delightful, energetic personalities and were often too smart for their own good. We have a new little fellow who will be likely a “Russell”. It does seem a shame that professionals and the AKC forced a subjective standard on a breed that ought instead to have a wide range within standard. Why, because all of us who have had or have “Jacks” in our life know that “stature doth not make a JR”, his/her heart and personality do.

  21. Sheree says:

    Too bad they had to divide the gene pool and destroy the diversity within the original type. All for getting to claim you have something unique and “purebred”! What’s wrong with just having a type that varies and let people breed what they like within that type? And maintain all the delightful diversity to breed from?

  22. Teri Paris says:

    Yes Please read the History of the Jack Russel Terrier or any books by Eddie Chapman and correct your information . The Hunting Parson bred the long legged JRT 12-15 inches . Read the Heineman standard which was written to define the Parson’s terriers. There are not three different breeds just two. The Parson Russell adheres to the Heineman standard 12-15 inches. The JRT’s standard is 10-15 inches which includes the shorter legged dogs. The reason they believe the dog cannot be bred true ,which was their main argument for not going AKC, is the disparity in height . If you look at most JRTCA registered dogs today they will look exactly like the Parsons , you rarely see a “shorty or a Pud in their show rings. So in short if you want a pure bred Parson go to the breed club that adheres strictly to the Parson’s standard of the breed and that is the PRTAA.org the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America.

    1. John says:

      Your comment is exact, I have a long leg from england ancestor breed and said he was too tall ha , like saying to andre lguodala you are too tall to play basketballgreat comm.

  23. my name says:

    i has jack russell and he is very intelligent. he can open a car window by himself. but he stood in front of the px waiting for us

  24. Lora says:

    I have a rescuedog and I would like to know what kind of terrier he is hope you can helpi would like to send you a photo of him

  25. RN says:

    We are an active and thoughtful family of four and have just added a Parson Russell Terrier to our pack. Sasha is the PERFECT dog for us – at 5 months she has shown herself to be incredibly trainable and energetic and intelligent, a perfect match for us. She can easily morph between family lap dog during TV time and high speed bullet train for play time. This is our first (and probably only) dog and I am thrilled about what the Parson Russell Terrier has added to our family. We are older parents and Sasha joined us when our children are 17 and 19 years old and the fit is perfect. I would not recommend a Parson’s for families with younger children or low activity lifestyles. You must be disciplined about training and have a family energy that matches the Parson’s expectations. If you fit the bill the joy will be immeasurable – but my guess is that if you don’t fit the bill you and your Parson’s will be very unhappy with each other.

    1. DL says:

      Hello RN,

      It sounds like you do have the PERFECT dog. We’re looking for the same in a Parson. Do you mind mentioning the name of the breeder where you got your dog from? Thanks in advance!

  26. eric hamblin says:

    I owned a Jack Russell terrier for many years. Sadly, Dena was killed in an accident. Three weeks ago I purchased a ten week old
    “English Jack Russell” bitch. She is quite unlike my original Dena in that she has short legs supporting a solid, bulky torso. At the breeder’s I met the pup’s dam and sire plus a noisy gaggle of other JRT’s, all with the same short, foursquare legs and tough-guy bodies. Mine (I’m also calling her Dena) cost me more in dollars than I have ever before paid for an animal; but I believe that if I amortize the price over the number of years of love and affection we hopefully will share, it will prove to have been a bargain.

  27. Peter says:

    It would have helped if the photos you used identified which breed is which.

  28. Phyllis Siegel says:

    I am the proud owner of a Parson Terrier. She is adorable and a mellow 10 year old pet. She loves people, riding in the car and eating dog treats.PHYLLIS

  29. Francis says:

    I had a shorty jrt for nearly 17 years that was the love of my life. It seems so hard to find the shorties locally. I’ve seen ”
    Russell Breeders” in Fla, CO, Maine, but nothing local. Any advice?

    1. Linda says:

      There is a Breeder right over the Ohio boarder into Kentucky who only breeds shorties.
      It’s Shortie Jacks by Dyas Farms

  30. M Harris says:

    My wife and i have a Jack Russell that is pure breed But she is 24in tall and has a average weight of 30 lb. we have her checked by differnt vets and they all say that she is pure breed.

    1. C.A.P. says:

      Did you read the standards? There is no way a 24″ dog is any part of PRT, JRT or RT. Perhaps she is a fox terrier? Have you looked at those standards?

      1. Rhonda L Magee says:

        Maybe she was spayed, very young?

    2. Billy Taylor says:

      My pup hit 30 lbs and 24 inches before she was spayed at just over a year old . My vet says she is pure breed and came from a litter of 5 others. We got her as a rescue from a family that decided the novelty of owning a dog wore off just after Christmas

      1. Billy Taylor says:

        PS all the other pups were normal sized Jacks

    3. Irwin Lazo says:

      Sorry but you do not have a JRT. To find out what you have get a dna test. That is what I did. A vet cant tell you what your dog is, he or she can give a suggestion but they are no export on that. They can treat your dog but they cant tell you what it is exactly. Please dont be ignorant a JRT cant be taller than 12″.

      1. Russ Burghorn says:

        Our JRT is UKC registered, I have ancestry on him, He just turned 15. He is 15″ at top of shoulder and 20#’s and still very muscular. Am I ignorant as well?

    4. Jeanne Cauldwell says:

      have her tested. I used Embark, but there are others. That will give you a definate answer

  31. Darlene griffin says:

    I live in South Carolina and I am interested in finding a breeder for a Parson Russell Terrier. Can you help me? Is there any in SC or NC? Thank you

  32. Brad B. says:

    we rescued a Parsons and have had him over five years, what a clown but smart and can be moody, a trait I find in very smart dogs. If you are thinking of this breed, great choice but be sure you have time to spend, they hate being left alone and want to know you consider them an important family member. I retired and needed a companion, I got a great one!

  33. Andrea says:

    I think it’s silly to have them all separated..makes no sense at all. I have raised many terriers in my life, one being a shorty Jack and one being tall or Parsons Style. They are all versions of the same dog! Allow them all in both registries with different distinctions if you must. Test dog DNA for the Ultimate answers. I love the shorties as one of my best dogs and longest living. I also have a Wire Haired Fox Terrier by far the smartest dog ever in my Clan with my shorty Jack male in close second!

  34. T says:

    OMG. Are you serious. Had Jacks all my life, why are you all making it so technical. Best breed ever. Don’t take it so serious just enjoy them… Jackson and Tyson make me laugh every day!!!. Everyone deserves a Jack in their life..Best stress relievers!..

    1. T says:

      Sorry in addendum, long legs, short legs, smooth coat, rough coat, any coat…who cares. Best besties ever!!?

  35. Gail Dickinson says:

    You’ve got it wrong. The reason AKC jumps through hoops trying to find a name for their terriers is that the JRTCA owns the name Jack Russell. Jack Russell Terriers are a real breed, just not recognized by AKC because they don’t want to be. A dog has to prove it’s athleticism and be free of genetic defects to be eegistered with the JRTCA, Yeh ALC let’s you breed and register the pups from anything that had parents of that breed, regardless of hunting ability, comfort,action or genetic defects. If you want a real,Jack Russell,get a JRTCA dog. I am. not a breeder, just love the breed and own my second JRT.

  36. Dennis Becker says:

    Thank You

  37. Pauline May says:

    You’ve got it completely wrong! Parson John Russell bred the longer legged dog to be able to run with horses – what is commonly known as the Jack Russell, the short legged dog had nothing to do with him. After he died one of his kennel hands bred some dogs with shorter legged dogs with more aggression, like the bull terrier to create the small Jack Russell. The Parsons dogs were not bred to kill but to find the foxes! If you read the books by Eddie Chapman you will discover the true origins, nobody knows more than this guy who has spent over 50 years as a “terrier man” and breeder and Eddie and his dogs are world renowned.

    1. Stephanie Cassidy says:

      So , I was told by a breeder that the Russel Terrier is more mellow than the other two…Is this true or merely opinion?

  38. lucy kessler says:

    I am looking for a Russell Terrier, male with a broken coat with markings (not all white) live in the Balto-Washington area

    1. Kate says:

      I live in the same general area. The Russell Terriers we have, we got from Foxfield Russell Terriers on Long Island in NY. The breeder, Sue Sobel, is one of the best breeders in the US. Her pups have wonderful reputations globally!
      My girls are lovely pets..I do not show them. Look them up. You won’t be sorry!

      1. Depends on what version of the jack you have. I have a long leg Parsons that can be as sweet and very gentile until she see’s a bird or rabbit & she will go nuts. I did read a book from UK that said their is another version of JRT that is way more mello and people wanted these dogs without the issues that JRT have. I doubt this but never did any research—-just saying!

  39. Skyler says:

    I have now had three of them (Russells and a Jack Russell) and they are without a doubt my FAVORITE breed of dogs. After having other breeds over the years. I will never go to another breed. They bring so much joy with their love they show, tremendous intellect, funny antics, attitude and incredible energy level. There is nothing out there like these terriers and we have had more than 8 different breeds of dogs over the years! My choice will always be to own a Russell, Parson, or Jack Russell.
    As an example, my 12 lb “shorty” terrier dominates my 72 lb English bulldog and holds his own! They are fearless! LOL

    1. Rickie Shaffett says:

      I’m looking for a parson, please contact me of knowing of a good bloodline breeder, thanks, Rickie

  40. Gary Smith says:

    Does the parson have course hair that doesn’t shed as much as the jack russell ?

    1. Mary says:

      I have a PRT, they come in smooth coat, broken coat, rough coat. My smooth coat sheds a lot all the time (I am bad about not brushing him). I was told the other coats don’t shed as much, I think because the hairs stick in the longer coats.

  41. Dana Bundy says:

    Politics is all that divides these breeds. Sad day

  42. Lisa Smith says:

    I am getting a short legged JRT from a prison program. So he is actually a Russell Terrier? I am so confused. Do they all have the option of the broken coat?

  43. Chuck says:

    Had one like you see on all of the commercials adopt me years ago , he was a great companion and he went missing after about 10 years and I haven’t been able to find another one to replace him , I believe he was the 10 to 12 inch course hair don’t care about any papers just want a dog .

  44. Tammy says:

    I personally think the Jack Russell Terrier is still not getting the appropriate recognition it deserves. I can not believe it’s ok to change the name of the breed of a dog, just so it fits the standards for the AKC. This is very troubling to me.

  45. I always thought that only 2 kind of breeds did exist. Well it’s never too late to learn ;-}

  46. Lynn says:

    In Orlando fl. I’m looking for an Australian short jack Russell puppy.
    Thanks!

  47. James R says:

    I got 2 Jack Russell Terriers (brother and sister) when I was 5 years old. The male lived to be just about 17y/o – (1999-2015). And the female is still alive and well at almost 18y/o – (1999-Present)

    1. My Jack with short legs is a male and born in July 1999.
      He came into my life the end of August of 1999 and is still living. He is not barking any longer nor going for walks, just little ones in the yard. I have purchased a dog stroller to wheel him about as he loves the car and though this would be a good substitute. I sincerely love this breed of dog, so loving, smart, and much energy. I feel blessed he is still with me.

      1. Chuck says:

        I had a Long Leg smooth coat JRT for almost 17 years. She was my world and I loved her beyond words! She went to Hawaii, South Korea, California with me and drove across the US to SC when we left Ca. Had to put her down a year ago; still cry when I think about the-love-of-my-life. Want another one, but at 68 Y. O. another one may be too active for me. Can’t beat a JRT….PERIOD!!!

        1. Timothy Jones says:

          I am 62 years old and retired and disabled I am getting a hunt Russell and I wonder if that will be too much of a dog for me since I cannot walk that well but I am going to try it I have a lot of room for it to run about to acres so I hope we will get along fine and things will work out I do have a lot of time on my hands to train and work with him but I hear the puppies can be very active.

          1. Grub says:

            Like all terriers, they have two speeds: extra high and off. They are fearless, they will pick a fight with a Rottweiler, and they will obey you if they are in the mood. Their eyes are their windows to the soul and like all terriers their soul says, “I’m about to go do something real bad unless you play with me.”

        2. Elizabeth Quigley says:

          I was 69 when I got my Jack Russell. I really worried that he would be too much for me, But he’s curled up here on my lap right now. He is just like me, sleeps late, stays up late! I have a Golden retriever and they play and run so he gets plenty of exercise, plus I have a large yard that’s at least 100 feet long and fenced. He is short haired, about 12 lbs and very long legs. We walk in the yard or around the block but not fast, and I am disabled!! So if you can walk, he’s probably not too much of a dog for you. We got him from a breeder, we think she sells for a puppy mill. There were no other dogs around when we went look at him. He nurses in his sleep and he is 8 months old, I think he misses his mother as I have never had a dog do that.

        3. eric hamblin says:

          Sorry to be a bit late with my reply, Chuck, but wanted you to know that I recently bought a 10 week-old Jack Russell. Lively? You bet! But I figure it’s what I need to rejuvenate me. So my advice is; go ahead; do it!

          Oh did I mention? I’m 91.

        4. Loretta T Simpson & Charlie says:

          Me & my wife of 9 years have purchased a Parson JRT from a rescue. I am 72 & my wife is 65. We lost our JRT of 18 yrs. We could not last without our new PJRT. Go for it !! Go look for your forever dog. HE or she is waiting for you!!

  48. Dee Phillips says:

    I have two brother’s duke who ous white an tab an bleu who it’s white with tan ears theses are my baby’s

  49. Burton Gotshall says:

    It was my understanding, when I bought my JRT in 2002 that that the JRTA did not want to associate with the AKC and I can relate to that!
    I raised Silky Terriers for 10 years and The AKC recognized them without question. I could have been crossbreeding most anything and they would have never known.
    As I see it the JRT of the JRTA is a TRUE jack and is as good as its trainer!!! Given the chance, they will train you!!!

    1. ellen says:

      So true…and mine has!

  50. Ellen says:

    I bought a JRT but by this article I most likely have the Parson. He is the tall one, but no matter what this guy is not bouncing off the walls and very well mannered. I think I was lucky because he just knew knew how Ii wanted him to act. He just had his 16th birthday

  51. I have just adopted the most beautiful Jack Russel Chiwawa. With a beautiful patch in her eyes. I want to learn as much possible of her breed more of the Jack Russel portion. I have been enjoying everything I have read here. She is a year and a half my chow chow died I have one chow chow left at home whom is 9 years of age. So now I have the Jackchi and the chow chow.

  52. Michelle Clark says:

    Thank you Linda C for correcting the errors in the article! 🙂

  53. Susan says:

    There are actually 4 different Jack Russell types as follows:

    8-12″ English Jack Russell Terrier -EJRTCA Slightly longer than tall
    10-12″ Russell Terrier – AKC – Slightly longer than tall
    10-15″ Jack Russell Terrier – JRTCA – Length/height proportionate
    12-15″ Parson Russell Terrier – AKC – Length/height proportionate

    The English Jack’s are also called ‘shorties’. I’ve had Jacks in each size range and found the English Jacks to be the calmest ones and my favorites. The taller ones acted like my Smooth Fox Terrier who bounced off the walls until the day he passed away. His motto was Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! Loved them all!!

    1. Jody says:

      Amen ! I breed English Jacks and I love them dearly. I’m glad they aren’t widely recognized. Shortys are the best !

      1. Cindy Lou Rockhill says:

        Do you have any now?? After a year of being without my beloved girl. a broken coat shortie, after a beautiful 13 years, I am lost..

    2. Allan says:

      I have a female Parsons Jack
      Russel; she is now 11 yrs old and slowed down a little in that she just likes afternoon walks now.
      While she has mellowed with age she still has plenty of spark and enjoys games.
      They are fiesty breed and will take on much bigger dogs if the don’t like them.
      Mine is well socialised so take her for runs on the beach were we meet other dogs and their owners there.
      She does not bark much only if excited or wants to come inside …she loves human contact yet other times she just likes to chill in the same room or on the verandah in the sun.
      She does not have traffic sense so on the road take her on the lead.
      They have an “extreme hunting instinct “always on the lookout for smaller animals.
      She tries to be a bit bossy at times and if her barks are too demanding I will ignore her till she does it more quietly.
      She will play games with me like pretending she does not want to go out when she really does…her wagging tail gives her away.
      She is the best dog I have had but be aware they do need exercise especially during their younger years till about age 8.
      She has broken hair on her back and the hair closest to her body is softer while the outer hair is much coarser.
      She understands words and phrases and their breed temperament is a little like a ” chilled out “Boarder Collie.
      ….downside she drops lots of hair so needs brushing at least once a week and wash once a month or when necessary.
      If you buy this breed your life “will never be the same again”

  54. Chanel M says:

    To Renea Grimes. I couldn’t outright reply to you but here is my reply to your request for info on getting a dog.

    If you are looking for a dog to be simply your companion DON’T get a Jack Russell. I have raised a few and they all need a high amount of attention and exercise. If they are not mentally stimulated enough and given enough physical exercise they will destroy your home and develop bed behaviors. I love Jack Russells but I don’t recommend them to people with limited time and energy. You have cancer and that might be a challenge because Jack’s never seem to stop. They are of course loving and loyal companions, but if energy and patience are thin you won’t enjoy them very much. Training them requires a confident and consistent owner who isn’t afraid to show the dog who is boss. They are very dominant dogs despite their small and cute stature. If a jack has an owner who can’t be the pack leader at all times you risk having an out of control jack. They are not afraid to be the boss. Also they can be a bit temperamental around children who don’t fully understand dogs. But this can be an easy fix if you socialize them. On the upside a relationship with a well-trained JRT can be very rewarding and fulfilling. They love to please their owners (if you are in charge that is) and will want to be with you 24/7. Make sure if you do get one that you have energy for this dog. I tell people all the time it’s like having a baby some days. Also remember YOU are the pack leader and you need to be able to command your dog or he will run you and your home. They are loving and super affectionate, and don’t care to be left alone…..that’s when stuff gets chewed up. They are extremely fast and attentive, they are sometimes smarter than their owners. Nothing gets by them. They are hunting dogs so if you have a cat or other small pets beware they could be in danger of being prey. Socialize them with other dogs as they can be territorial. So to sum it up they need time, energy from you because they have enough already, consistence, exercise, a confident leader, socialization with children and other dogs, and most importantly lots of love.

  55. novii says:

    This is for me a very interesting article. I live in Serbia, and here is very popular breeds only Jack Russell terrier, two other breeds do not exist in trace amounts in our country. Jack Russell has taken place in the hearts of many hunters due to the great courage they was presentation during the hunting of small game.

  56. rENAE GRIMES says:

    I am looking for a medium size dog that has a fairly good temperament. We have 3 small great grandchildren. I have cancer and live in a condo. Want companionship with a rescue dog. My sister will take dog if something happens to me. I do not have a lot of money to spend on a dog with all the of my medical costs. I would like to find a pup or young dog that is house broke. If anyone can help me out, please email. Union KY area.

    1. Robyn Reed says:

      Please, please do NOT get a Jack Russell. THis is NOT the dog for you!
      Take your request ot the local Shelter and look for a youngish, smallish mutt. A hound or lap dog type, and BE SURE you make sure the dog is good with children!! If you want to rescue, google small dog rescues in your area.

      1. Sally says:

        I would personally recommend Dachshunds! Mine are couch potatoes, and don’t require a huge home, though I live on a ranch, and have a large home, they would be just as content in an apartment. My dogs are inside dogs, they all sleep in my bed. They are highly intelligent, extremely humorous, and make fantastic companions. I will always have doxies! I do have other breeds as well, but doxies are one of my favorite all time breeds.

    2. Grub says:

      Get a pug and let children around it all the time as it grows. All they want to do is go on a leash walk, then be comfortable indoors with you as your lap dog. They are not hard to toilet train if as pups you take them out every 20 minutes and put them near places where other dogs have gone, then pick them up and really brag on them. Also take them outdoors to the bathroom area every single time they wake up from a nap because as pups they take a lot of naps and the first thing they do is urinate. They grow into sweet, lazy, loving dogs who don’t want anything except to be loved and sleeping comfortably, probably on your bed. You have to be careful to watch their diet. They love to play but in short bursts, then they just want to snuggle, so they don’t get that much exercise therefore don’t burn many calories.

  57. vicki says:

    The photo of the dog with the ball in its mouth, with the longer, wirey hair….which is that? I like that one. Good article…but confusingly crazy! Good for the writer to explain.

    So, If I was looking for a dog with the shorter legs, wire hair, longer hair….what should I be searching for? The JRT or Russell Terrier?

  58. There is one major error in this writeup. The JRT breed mentioned in America, or the Jack Russell Terrier as recognized by the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, must be a square terrier, not rectangular. The JRTCA breed standard allows a size range of 10″ to 15″ at the whithers, but specifically requires that the terrier be the same height at the whithers as the length from the whithers to the base of the tail – a square terrier. The shorter terriers in the JRTCA Breed Standard (from 10″ to 12 1/2″) are still required to be proportional in height to length, without the shorter legs of the Russell Terrier. The broad size range allows for an assortment of sizes to be chosen from to accommodate a wide range of quarry in the hunt field.
    Jerry Waelterman, Missouri State Rep., JRTCA

  59. The Jack Russell Terrier is a strain of working terrier developed by the Rev. John “Jack” Russell. John Russell maintained his strain of fox terriers bred strictly for working, and the terrier we know of today as the Jack Russell is much the same as the pre-1900 fox terrier. The Jack Russell has survived the changes that have occurred in the modern-day Fox Terrier because it has been preserved and protected by working terrier enthusiasts and has survived on its merits as a worker. The Jack Russell Terrier has a very broad breed standard in order to allow a range of types to work different quarry in a variety of situations, from shallow earths to deep rock crags. The permitted height range is 10”-15”, not 10-12” as stated in Linda Cole’s article. The chest size is considered paramount in evaluating a Jack Russell Terrier. It must be small and flexible enough to allow the terrier to get up to his quarry. This is described in the standard as being “spannable” by average size hands and that equates to the chest size of an average size fox.
    The “Parson” Russell Terrier originated when a small group of Jack Russell Breeders wanted to obtain Kennel Club recognition. Their Jack Russell Terriers became show dogs only and the emphasis on working was discarded. The Kennel Club wanted a narrower breed standard and the height requirement was tightened to 13” as an ideal for bitches, 14” as ideal for a dog. Anything under 12” or over 15” is a disqualification. There is no specifications given in their standard for chest size, other than being “flexible”. Since this breed is a subset of the Jack Russell Terrier and was only recently recognized by the Kennel Club, many might retain the desire to work underground. But the deep and unspannable chests on many of today’s Parson Russells make them unable to do the earthwork as John Russell intended.
    The “Russell” Terrier is a type of terrier that was developed in Australia from stock originally from England. They have a height limitation of 10”-12”, anything else is an immediate disqualification Although their breed standard calls for a small, flexible and “spannable” chest, their breeders emphasis is on showing only and being a family pet. Not keeping the emphasis on “working” has resulted in a terrier with a different temperament than the Jack Russell Terrier. They certainly are cute and easier to live with but the majority have no interest in pursuing quarry underground even though the physically could do so.

    1. Kate P says:

      Linda Cowasjee..
      I have 2 Russell females. They are total huntresses! They might have come from parents who showed but the urge to sniff out and hunt was definitely not bred out of them! They are from the same parents but not the same litter. I learned the hard way never to try to get whatever prey they caught away from them. I tried it once and I got bit! This wonderful, easygoing and excellently tempered little girl was like Jeckyl and Hyde so, if they get something we wait until they’re done with their catch!

  60. sandy weinstein says:

    the new russell terriers are just adorable. so much personality, not as hyper as the old jr.

    1. Kate P says:

      We sure love our 2 Russell girls! I’ll never have any other dog!