Jack Russell Terrier Vs. Parson Russell Terriers [What is the Difference?]


Fun fact, Jack Russell Terriers have some remarkably close relatives. Knowing the difference between these breeds of terriers may help you decide which dog is best for you. Today, I want to point out all the differences and similarities between the Jack Russell Terrier and The Parson Russell Terrier.

To make matters even worse, many mixes and breeds of terriers are not even officially recognized, which can make life tough when trying to find reliable information or even a reputable breeder near you.

As mentioned, a moment ago, instead of focusing on several breeds of terriers at the same time, I only want to focus on the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier.

These dogs are incredibly similar in many ways. Still, they do have some common differences to keep in mind if you are on the fence about which to adopt or if you are browsing these dog breeds for fun.



Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier Comparison Overview

As stated, a minute ago, Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers are strikingly similar dog breeds in many ways but do have some key differences.

Differences that may even make you consider one dog or the other before adoption.

Look at some of the side by side breakdowns.


Side by Side Comparison of The Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier

Characteristics and PersonalityJack Russell TerrierParson Russell Terrier
Lifespan10-16 Years13-15 Years
TrainabilityTrainable (Needs Consistency)Trainable (Needs Consistency)
SocializationVery Social (Needs To Begin At Young Ages)Very Social (Needs To Begin At Young Ages)
GroomingBrush Once Per WeekBrush Once Per Week
Cost to Adopt$1000.00 Or More For Full-Bred Through Reputable Breeder$1000.00 Or More For Full-Bred Through Reputable Breeder
Exercise Needs1 Hour Per Day1 Hour Per Day
Height10-15 Inches (Female Vs. Male13-14 Inches
Weight11-17 Pounds13-17 Pounds

Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier Behavior Differences

Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers are relatively similar because they were both bred initially and dialed in nicely for hunting.

In a nutshell, this makes both dogs relatively energetic and desperate to please their owners and seek their owner’s approvals.

The Jack Russell Terrier is known to be more energetic and slightly more trainable than the Parson Russell Terrier, but both dogs require training to begin at young ages and to remain consistent for training to stick and to be effective.

When it comes to primary behavior traits you can expect from the Parson Russell Terrier and Jack Russell Terriers, you can expect the following:

Of course, the behavior of all dogs usually is a case by case basis, so depending on your specific dog, you may notice your Jack Russell or Parson Russell displaying some or all these behaviors.


Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier Health Differences

The health of the Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier is exceptionally similar.

While the Parson Russell is known to have a slightly longer lifespan, both terrier breeds experience the same common health concerns in most circumstances.

This can include patellar luxation, eye conditions, and the probability of going deaf in the later years of life.

Again, every Jack Russell and Parson Russell Terrier will be different when it comes to their health based on their environments, amount of exercise, and even the diets they are provided by their owners.

However, for common documented illness and health concerns with these two dogs, they are virtually one and the same.


Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier Grooming Differences

Grooming and shedding concerns with the Jack Russell and Parson Russell is going to be remarkably similar.

Both breeds are going to be offered in smooth coats and rough coats.

The only difference between the two breeds is that the Jack Russell is also bred in broken coats.

When it comes to the work you will need to put in on your end, it will be the same.

Ensure proper diets and brush your Jack Russell and Parson Russell Terrier a minimum of once per day to remove any additional debris and oils from the fur.

Outside of this, both dogs will be the same when it comes to grooming needs.


Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier Cost of Adoption Differences

Both the Parson Russell Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier are similar when it comes to the overall cost of the adoption.

Both dogs, when adopted from a reputable breeder, can range anywhere from $1,000.00 dollars or more.

In fact, that is close to what I paid for my Jack Russell Terrier.

However, both the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier can become much more expensive than $1,000.00 depending on the pedigree of the dog and if they are a top bloodline.

It may also be possible to find both a Parson Russell Terrier and Jack Russell for cheaper by using local rescues and adoption centers.

Overall, the cost will not be dramatically different between the two dog breeds.


Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier Socialization Differences

When it comes to socializing a Jack Russell Terrier, you will not have any key differences or recommendations that need to be pointed out with a Parson Russell Terrier.

Both dogs need socialization to begin right when they arrive home.

It is important that both the Jack Russell and Parson Russell both get different forms of socialization, such as being around children, being around adults, and being around other dog breeds.

It is also essential that both dogs get other forms of socialization, such as being taken on walks frequently or visiting a local dog park.

Both the Jack Russell and Parson Russell need to be exposed to plenty of scenarios, people, and other pets to be socialized and well-disciplined dogs in the future.

Just remember, regardless of which dog you choose to adopt, get started with the process in addition to training right out of the gates.


Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier Trainability Differences

When it comes to the trainability and discipline of a Parson Russell or Jack Russell, it will be the same.

Both dogs are brilliant, but they need consistency and positive reinforcement for training to work correctly.

This includes everything from potty training to learning basic commands or even learning to hunt in the future.

Start the training quickly after arriving home and remain consistent with both dog breeds to have success with training either one of them.


Do Not Forget About the Plain Old Russell Terrier, A Third Terrier Dog Breed

While we will not dive into all the details in this post, it is important to know that you have one other extremely close relative of the Jack Russell Terrier and The Parson Russell Terrier.

That is the plain old Russell Terrier.

That is right, a third terrier in the mix.

When it comes to similarities and differences between the Parson, Jack Russell, or Russell Terrier, they will all be similar.

I have another post you can view about the Russell Terrier here.


Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier’s Both Make Excellent Dogs for The Family

No matter which dog you choose, both the Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier will make excellent family pets.

With training, discipline, and consistency, both dogs can make for loving additions to the family.

I do know that you probably have one last question which I wanted to touch on and then have you on your way.


Would I Personally Choose the Jack Russell Terrier or The Parson Russell Terrier?

Look, I think the Parson Russell Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier are almost too alike to choose and will, for the most part, be the same dog.

However, I am personally a bigger fan of the Jack Russell Terrier. I think they are a clean-cut and beautiful dog.

I have owned a Jack Russell now for several years and have no regrets. Still, I can 100% guarantee that a Parson Russell Terrier would also make for a great addition to the family.

Ultimately, that choice is yours.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with whichever dog breed you ultimately choose to adopt and appreciate you being a part of the Terrier Owner Community.


Share Your Thoughts on The Jack Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier

Which dog takes home the crown, in your opinion? The Jack Russell or Parson Russell?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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