If planning to adopt a Russell Terrier, you might be wondering whether to choose a Jack Russell Terrier or a Parson Russell Terrier breed variation. The following Jack Russell Terrier vs Parson Russell Terrier comparison will help you determine which dog meets your size and temperament expectations.
- Jack Russell Terrier vs Parson Russell Terrier
- Comparing Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier
- Major Distinguishing Factor
- When to Adopt Jack Russell Terriers
- When to Adopt Parson Russell Terriers
- Which Dog Is Better?
Jack Russell Terrier vs Parson Russell Terrier
Although Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers are distinct dogs, they share a common ancestry, making them have similarities. Before deciding which dog to adopt, let’s dive into the Jack Russell Terrier vs Parson Russell Terrier comparison and see which dog is suitable for your environment and circumstances.
Jack Russell Terrier Overview
The Jack Russell Terriers were originally bred for hunting foxes in England. They are fairly small dogs with rough, broken and short white-colored coats with black or brown patches. They have a compact body structure with a low center of gravity that makes them seem balanced and sturdy.
Parson Russell Terrier Overview
Parson Russell Terriers are athletic and confident dogs initially bred for hunting foxes in the 1800s. They are energetic dogs with high exercise requirements and will go looking for adventure if you don’t engage them in intense exercises. They are alert and curious dogs that can participate in dog sports such as agility.
Comparing Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier
Since both the Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers were initially bred for hunting foxes, they have certain instincts and personality traits in common. However, the different gene combinations in these dogs make them distinct in some aspects.
Although Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers may have some different personalities, they are both fairly small and energetic dogs. The common ancestry makes these dogs have the following physical appearance and behavioral similarities.
- Since both dogs were originally bred for hunting, they have strong prey drives and love chasing small prey.
- The strong hunting instincts make these dogs demonstrate high instinctive intelligence in how they chase prey and interact with toys.
- They are energetic dogs and require intense exercises such as at least one hour of daily walks or 30 to 45 minutes of hiking or jogging.
- Both dogs tend to suffer from the same health conditions such as eye problems, patellar luxation, and deafness during their old age.
- Both dogs tend to shed heavily during the shedding seasons. In most cases, this will be two times a year, around autumn and spring.
- Although the dogs have different shedding levels depending on the coat type, they both need regular brushing. Typically, you should consider brushing your dog daily or at least three times a week
- Both dogs are loyal and affectionate to their owners and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Some of the signs of separation anxiety include loss of appetite and destructive behaviors.
- Although these dogs are athletic and playful, both of them are prone to leg and hip issues.
Although both Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers are fairly small and share some exercise and grooming requirements, the following appearance and temperament differences make them distinct.
Jack Russell Terriers can have three coat types: smooth coat, rough coat, or broken coat. The hair in a smooth coat is short and lies in one direction. The hair in a rough coat is usually more than 1 inch long and grows in different directions, giving the dog a wiry appearance.
The broken coat generally combines the attributes of the rough coat and the smooth coat. On the other hand, Parson Russell Terriers only have a broken coat or smooth coat. That means you can’t find a Parson Russell Terrier with a wiry appearance.
Like the coats, Jack Russell Terriers can have three different color combinations. In most cases, Jack Russell Terriers will have a predominantly white color with markings of tan and black or predominantly white color with markings of tan and brown.
On the other hand, Parson Russell Terriers have a combination of two colors. In most cases, this will be a predominantly white color with black markings or predominantly white color with tan markings. Typically, a Jack Russell Terrier might be the best option if you want a lap dog with varying color combinations.
Although both Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers are friendly and loyal to their owners, Jack Russell Terriers are more aggressive than Parson Russell Terriers when provoked. Keep in mind that Jack Russell Terriers can be aggressive against strangers, other pets such as cats, and children even without provoking.
On the other hand, Parson Russell Terriers are more friendly towards strangers and children. That means you can introduce a new dog and socialize it with a Parson Russell Terrier without issues. However, they still have dominant personalities and can get aggressive when mishandled or provoked.
Jack Russell Terriers have strong protective and territorial instincts that make them bark a lot as they try to defend their owners’ homes and territories. They also tend to yap a lot when they feel bored, excited, or need attention.
On the other hand, Parson Russell Terriers are calmer and won’t bark unless they see an intruder approaching their environment. In most cases, Parson Russell Terriers don’t bark at other pets as they don’t feel threatened. However, they can make loud and high-pitched barks due to separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
Jack Russell Terriers have a balanced, compact, and square-shaped body structure. The skull looks flat, with the head looking smaller than that of Parson Russell Terriers. Typically, this makes the head appear more proportional to its body.
On the other hand, Parson Russell Terriers have rectangular muzzles and a rectangular body shape. The eyes are almond-shaped with dark rims. The head is larger than that of the Jack Russell Terrier and seems a bit non-proportional to its body.
The lifespan of a dog will primarily depend on the health condition, diet, level of exercise, genetics, and overall lifestyle. However, under the same conditions, Jack Russell Terriers have a lifespan of 13 to 16 years, and Parson Russell Terriers have an average lifespan of 14 to 15 years.
Major Distinguishing Factor
The major distinguishing factor between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Parson Russell Terrier is the size. Jack Russell Terriers are smaller and have shorter legs than Parson Russell Terriers. The withers of Jack Russell Terriers measure 10 to 15 inches, while the withers of Parson Russell Terriers measure 12 to 15 inches.
Additionally, Parson Russell Terriers are heavier than Jack Russell Terriers. For instance, an adult Parson Russell Terrier weighs around 14 to 18 pounds while an adult Jack Russell Terrier weighs 13 to 17 pounds. However, the size and weight might vary depending on the sex, age, health condition, and genetics.
When to Adopt Jack Russell Terriers
The aggressiveness of Jack Russell Terriers makes them a good choice if you are looking for a protective and territorial watchdog. It barks a lot and will let you know whenever a stranger enters your compound.
Also, Jack Russell Terriers with rough coats are light shedders, making them a good choice for people who have dog allergies.
When to Adopt Parson Russell Terriers
The friendliness of Parson Russell Terriers towards strangers and children makes them a good choice if you have small children or frequent visitors in your home. They are also less vocal than Jack Russell Terriers, making them a good option if you live in an apartment where excessive barking can be an issue.
Which Dog Is Better?
In most cases, Jack Russell Terriers are a better option as their small sizes can make them good lap dogs, with their protective instinct and good vocals making them good watchdogs at the same time.
Jack Russell Terriers with rough coats are also the best option for people with dog allergies. You should, however, consider going for a Parson Russell Terrier if you have small children or other pets in your home.
Both Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers are small-sized dogs, making them a good option for home pets. However, they have distinct character traits that make each a better choice under certain situations. Jack Russell Terriers are smaller and more aggressive than Parson Russell Terriers.