Russell Terrier

Russell Terrier Overview

Russell Terriers share an origin with the Jack (Parson) Russell Terrier. They were used to help in foxhunting, and are from the same strain of dog that John (Jack) Russell produced. The breed was then brought to Australia, where it was developed into a smaller dog than its Jack Russell cousins.

Russell Terrier Characteristics

Like the Jack (Parson) Russell, the Russell Terrier features both a smooth and rough coated variety. They are much smaller in size, topping out at 11 pounds. This makes them ideal for hunting small vermin and burrowing into foxholes with ease. The breed also features slightly shorter legs than their larger cousins.

Russell Terrier Temperament

The Russell is a typical terrier and enjoys hunting the most. They are alert and eager workers, combining their size with a bold and fearless nature. They also enjoy playtime, and are great with older children. The Russell can be aggressive toward other dogs, and is not recommended around other pets due to their instinct to chase and kill prey.

Russell Terrier Care

Average lifespan is 12 to 16 years, just slightly above average compared to other small breed dogs. Health concerns include Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, cerebellar ataxia, luxating patellas, myasthenia gravis, lens luxation, cataracts, allergies, congenital deafness, and Von Willebrand’s disease. Careful breeding can help reduce the incidence of some of these health issues.

Russell Terrier Coat

Both coat styles are easy to care for and require occasional brushing. The wire coat may also need brushing with a slicker brush to help detangle and remove the loose hairs. A firm bristle brush will also help keep both coats sleek and shiny.

Russell Terrier Training

Like most terriers, the Russell can be stubborn and independent. Reward-based training sessions that are kept short and focused will help keep him attentive during training sessions. It is also a good idea to keep the Russell Terrier thinking he is in charge of what he gets to learn during training.

Russell Terrier Activity

Despite their small size, the Russell Terrier is extremely active and energetic. They require activities that keep them active in both mind and body, such as hunting vermin or chasing objects. Failure to keep them occupied can result in a bored dog that can become destructive. Daily walks and exploration will help to calm some of their excessive energy.