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Russell Terrier

Personality:Alert, lively, inquisitive, and friendly

Coat & Grooming:Coats are either smooth, broken, or rough; broken and roughs need occasional clipping

Energy Level:Very Active; Eager, tireless terriers, Russells need plenty of playtime and exercise

Originally: England

Nicknames: Russell

Size: Small

Meet the Russell Terrier

​These jaunty little fellows pack lots of personality into a compact, rectangular body standing 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder. Their dark, almond-shaped eyes and mobile V-shaped ears bring out the keenly intelligent expression—an endearing hallmark of the breed. All three coat types are mostly white with markings that are tan or black, or both. Russells move with a free, effortless gait that announces the breed’s innate confidence.

What's Their Story?

​The Russell and Parson Russell terriers share a common heritage as fox-working dogs from the kennels of Rev. John “The Sporting Parson” Russell of the mid-1800s. Since the parson’s day, the lines of the two terriers have diverged and are now recognized as two distinctly separate breeds. Russells were bred to be swift enough to run with the hounds and tough but compact enough to go to ground and bolt prey.

What are they Like?

​These feisty plush toys come to life can be a handful. Russell devotees remind us that “first and foremost they are working earth terriers used for vermin control.” As such, Russells have tremendous prey drive (bad news for neighborhood squirrels) and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy. When not making the world safe from rodents, Russells are playful, loving, comical companions. Training these bright but independent terriers takes firmness and patience. Not a lazy man’s breed, Russells do best with active, outdoorsy families.

See more Russell Terrier photos here

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