The Parson terrier is a dog which was a close relative of the Jack Russell terrier and was for long referred to as the Jack Russell Terrier. This dog in many ways resembles the Jack Russell terrier and as such, it can be seen the reason as to why there was a lot of confusion as pertains the breed. This dog has a strong, rectangular muzzle that is strong and rectangular in shape. The stop of the muzzle is prominent and it ends at the nose. The nose of the Parson Russell is always black.
This dog has dark almond shaped eyes, with slight variations of black and brown being seen depending on the coat of the dog. The V shaped ears of the dog always fold in a forward direction. The dentition of the Parson Terrier is complete, with the dog having its teeth meet in a scissor bite.
The chest is narrow and of moderate length and this makes the dog stand out. The tail is always set high above the top line of the dog which is level. The feet are all equal in length.
This dog has a harsh looking double coat. The undercoat of the dog is comprised of a soft coat that has most of the hair being dense and lying close to the skin while the outer coat is tough and wire haired.. The chest of the dog is well built and has a lot of muscles to help the dog in running. The feet of this dog are round and similar to those of a cat. Common coat colors are white and black or a multi color. Average height is 12 – 14 inches while average weight is 14 – 18 pounds.
The Parson Terrier is a cheerful, merry and loving dog that is very devoted to their owners. They are spirited and obedient and they are also very fearless. This dog is quite careful and amusing at play. He dogs are generally very friendly to humans, more so children. Children must be taught to relate well with the dog as rough play may agitate the dog to be vicious.
As the dog is quite intelligent, it is eager t learn new things and it does very well in training. This dog can also do very well in advanced training as can it perform tricks. It is always important that as an owner, you offer the best possible leadership to the dog. As with any other intelligent dog, Lack of leadership should result in the dog taking up the role of pack leader, and this may be the start of a very poorly trained dog.
This is a generally healthy breed and the only problem noted is that they dislocate bones very easily. A disease of the hip joint is also common.
This dog has low mortality levels in early life and leads a very productive adult life, with most mortality cases being seen in the last quarter of their lives. Average lifespan is 15 years.
Regular combing of the hair coat is advised to avoid matting and keep the hair coat looking good.
This breed became a popular hunting dog in the 1800’s and their working ability makes them very popular. It was recognized by the AKC in 2003.