These small, energetic terriers, developed in 19th century England for hunting small game, are now some of the best agility dogs around.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
About this Breed
In 19th century England, Rev. John Russell developed small, energetic, predominantly white working terriers for hunting foxes and small game. Today’s descendants of these dogs are the Jack Russell Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, and Russell Terrier. They differ slightly in size and coat, but all retain the quickness, fearlessness and drive to work found in Rev. Russell’s dogs. Parson Russell Terriers are taller than Jack Russells, useful for hunting in hilly areas, while Russell Terriers are the smallest and most adapted to working underground. All three excel in agility competitions.
Russell Terriers are high energy, prone to digging, and need lots of training and exercise from a young age to avoid developing destructive behaviors. Their strong prey drive means they often don’t take kindly to cats, but kids are fine (as long as they don’t handle them roughly!). They are a healthy breed and fiercely loyal and intelligent, making them not only great working dogs, but also a great pet for an active household.
Russell-type Terriers on Embark
Explore some Embark dogs that share Russell-type Terrier ancestry.