Species group: Terrier Group dogs
Other name(s): Parson, PRT
The Parson Russell Terrier is a high-energy dog developed to dig right down into a fox den to corner its prey without killling it-- a task that demands intelligence, energy, and a will to dig. If you think you've seen this dog before under a different name, maybe you have. In 2003, the AKC changed its name from Jack Russell Terrier to Parson Russell Terrier, but the new name only applies to the longer-legged dogs that meet the exacting Parson Russell breed standards.
By any name, this dog demands an active owner who loves to get out and exercise with a canine companion. A bored Parson Russell Terrier will put its energy into finding trouble and digging holes where you need them least.
Appearance / health:
The PRT is the long-legged version of the breed formerly known as the Jack Russell Terrier. He is a small dog with an approximately square, muscular, sturdy body; color is principally white, with patches of brown and black, frequently covering part of the face. The head should be nicely balanced, proportionate to the body; the skull is flat; moderate width at the ears and narrowing to the eyes; the stop should be defined but not abrupt; muzzle length from the nose to the stop is to be slightly shorter than from the stop to the occiput; the nose is black. The jaw is powerful, well-boned and the cheeks strongly muscled. Eyes are dark, almond-shaped, and intelligent; ears are dropped, small "V" shaped carried forward and close to the head; the mouth has strong teeth with the top slightly overlapping the bottom; both level and scissor bites are acceptable, though scissor is preferred. The tail is set high, but not carried over the back, and is typically cropped to about 4” long to provide for a good hand-hold. The Parson Russell Terrier has a flexible and the most critical physical characteristic of the PRT is that the chest should be fairly small and easily spanned by the hand of the average man.
The Parson Russell has a very easy-care coat, regardless of coat variety, requiring nothing more than regular brushing. He is a consistent, year-round shedder.
The Parson Russell Terrier is a enjoyable companion when he has been properly exercised; however if he doesn’t get enough exercise, he may well become a nuisance. He needs to be taken on a long, daily, brisk walk. Additionally, he will be magnificent with space to hunt, run and play.
The PRT is a long-lived breed that has managed to avoid most health problems because of a wide and strong gene pool which creates no need for excessive line breeding or inbreeding. That being said, their recent popularity increase has caused some lines to have some genetic health issues crop up. Those issues include:
A test can be performed on puppies that are over the age of five (5) weeks to check for congenital deafness: the BAER (“Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response”) test. Check with your breeder to determine if your potential puppy has had this test performed.
Behavior / temperament:
This playful, energetic breed makes an exceptional companion for an equally playful, energetic family. The PRT is a lively, happy, loyal, and loving dog; he is brave to the point of absolute fearlessness. He is amusing, enjoys games and toys and is so very intelligent that if you let him take an inch, he will easily become willful and single-minded in his quest to take the entire mile. It is vital that you are his pack leader. If you are not smarter than he is, he will take over. He must to be given rules and limitations as to what he is and is not allowed to do, else he fall into “Small Dog Syndrome,” and develop the belief that he is pack leader to all humans. Allowing him to fall into “Small Dog Syndrome” will bring on a myriad of degrees of behavior problems which can include separation anxiety, obsessive parking, guarding, and even snappishness.
Be vigilant in not allowing him off the lead unless they are very well-trained as he loves to chase and will chase anything that moves with a single-mindedness that excludes him paying any attention to his own safety. The PRT has a significant tendency to become destructive, including digging, if not kept occupied and exercised. Be aware that PRT’s are very adept at climbing and jumping! He can climb over nearly any fence if bored or believes he has a good reason to climb over, and he can easily jump over five feet high. With an alpha and understanding pack leader, the PRT can really excel; however, if you do not understand what it truly means to be a ‘pack leader,’ the PRT is not recommended for you. While the breed has multiple wonderful characteristics, the Parson Russell Terrier is not a good breed choice for the inexperienced dog owner.
The PRT is rated high in learning rate, high in problem solving and low in obedience. They are very trainable with a firm trainer with experience in handling a willful-minded dog. Without a trainer who can show authority, the PRT can be very difficult to train.
Parson Russells like to bark.
strong energetic body, long walks, real family dog, clever dog, children friendly dog
big fenced yard, genetic epilepsy, barks, highenergy dogs, traditionally yappy breed
natural curiosity, gentle mouth, little stumpy legs, smooth short coat
Sweet dog, but they change a lot as they get older
Tiki is a wonderful dog, and she came from a breeder (we've been getting cats from rescue centers for years, so I hope that kind of leaves me karma neutral...) so I guess she's a pretty good representation of the breed. When she was young, say her first five or six years, she was as active as anything. She needed walking everyday, and luckily we live near some pretty big fields, where she ran until she could barely walk. I'm not sure parson's need this, but she certainly seemed to be far happier with the daily walks than without. She's a clever dog, and learnt hand signals for sit, paw and lie-down pretty quickly - maybe a few months of irregular training? We took her to puppy clubs too, basically so she'd meet other dogs, and we picked up loads of help for training there too. Since she's gotten older, she's slowed down quite a bit, she's got arthritis in her back legs, and the long walks are now five or ten minute affairs, but she's still pretty insistent on going for them. She's also gotten a bit more territorial about the house. I'm not sure if its our fault for not training her properly, or just how she is, but she has started to start snapping at people if they touch her (even a stroke or a pat) while she's sitting on the sofa in our front room. She also has big problems with going to the vet, and has to wear a muzzle and be constantly held by someone she won't bite, which she didn't used to be like, I think this might just be part of her growth into a grumpy old woman...
She like nothing more than sitting and looking out the windows in our house, watching people walk by. This is why I think she might be an alright watch dog, because she gives a little bark when she sees someone go by close to the house (not on the other side of the road or anything), but she'd be awful as a guard dog, because as soon as they're in the house she melts like butter.
She's an awesome dog, and even though we probably should have tried to ward her out of certain habits as she's gotten older, she's really a big softy. She's happy to sit and watch TV with the whole family, and goes to get people when everyone else is hanging out together.
I'd recommend her as sort of a middle ground between something like a retriever or a lab (she's really friendly, and quick to train), and a Jack Russell (she can just about be a lapdog when she wants to, and predictably she enjoys the same things as a Jack). She's pretty low maintenance, even now she's gotten older, but we have had to change her diet, as I think digestion becomes a problem the older they get..
From tinbee Jan 14 2014 12:00PM
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A dog takes thousands of steps a day, so for every every pound it is that times thousands of strain per day on the joints. It's huge what this will do for your dog, and there are no negative side effects to managed weight loss. In my experience using metabolic diets is the best way to get the job done. Consult your veterinarian, just cutting calories using regular food often doesn't work..
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