Russell Terrier

Terrier Group

Three Russell Terriers standing in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

10-12 in

Weight

9-15 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-14 yrs

History

The Russell Terrier originated in Australia in the 1900's, although its ancestor, the "Jack Russell Terrier", originated in the 1800s in England. The existence of the Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier is thanks to Reverend John "Jack" Russell, an avid foxhunter from England who bred the small tan and white hunting dogs. The Reverend started his breeding program with a female white and tan terrier that he purchased from his milkman. In the breeding process, he selected for independent thinking in his dogs so that they could problem solve quickly while in the field. During the 1900's, Jack Russell Terrier clubs began emerging across the world in countries including Australia. The Australian Kennel Club recognized the shorter legged version of the "Jack Russell Terrier" as the Russell Terrier in 1990. Other kennel clubs in different countries followed suit in acknowledging the Russell as a separate breed about a decade later. In the United States, there is no official "Jack Russell Terrier", but rather the shorter-legged Russell Terrier and the longer-legged Parson Russell Terrier.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Russell Terriers will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★☆

★★★☆☆

★★☆☆☆

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★★★☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★☆


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★☆☆


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★☆☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity

★★★☆☆


Noise Level


Prey Drive


Shedding

Common Traits

Friendly, playful, lively, and clever

Strong-willed, mischievous, and known to push boundaries and take advantage of gaps in training

Curious escape artists that are knowns to wander

Have a "big dog personality" and might act a bit too tough around bigger dogs

High intelligence and energy levels mean they can think of creative and potentially destructive ways of entertaining themselves if they're bored