Know Your Terriers
We asked the AKC for the low-down on the differences between these two popular terriers.
Outgoing and friendly, the Parson is tenacious in the field and affectionate in the home. No matter the venue, the breed is filled with energy, so he requires regular exercise and attention. Although good with children, he does not tolerate rough handling from toddlers.
The Parson Russell Terrier is generally 13 - 17 pounds. The breed’s weatherproof coat can be broken (wire-haired) or smooth. The Parson is a clean breed and does not need frequent bathing, but the broken coat may need to be hand stripped.
Heritage: Fox hunter
The Parson was first breed in England in the mid-1800s to hunt fox. It was originally registered with the AKC as the Jack Russell Terrier, but in 1997 the parent club requested a name change, claiming that some of the bloodlines were crossed with the Welsh Corgi and other terrier breeds, creating a shorter-legged dog than originally intended; as a result of litigation, the name was changed to Parson Russell Terrier to reflect the “true” taller, more square breed. (The Russell Terrier, a similar breed but shorter and with a more rectangular shape, is also recognized by the AKC; the Jack Russell is not AKC recognized.)