What’s The Difference Between Jack Russell & Parson Russell Terriers?

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

While their names are almost the same, Jack Russell Terriers and Parson Russell Terriers are two separate classifications of dogs. So what are the differences between the two?


Before there were any classifications, any type of terrier used for hunting was called a “fox terrier.” In the 1800s, Reverend John “Jack” Russell was a parson living in Devonshire, England. He was also an avid fox hunter and was fond of fox hunting dogs and bred them. Trump, his first terrier, was considered the start of his working dogs.


The Parson terrier was first intended to be a hunting dog and has a high energy level, while the Jack Russell was bred more as a companion dog with a lower energy level. Since the Parson was bred more for hunting, it does stand taller than the Jack. Both breeds, however, are still hunters at heart and share the same intensity. While there are a few differences between the two breeds, but they are still very similar in many ways.

Jack Russell

Parson Russell

  • Companion dog
  • Mellow
  • Strong prey drive
  • Square and balanced body
  • Average height: 10-12 inches
  • Hunting Dog
  • High energy
  • Strong prey drive
  • Square and balanced body
  • Average height: 12-15 inches

Recent Posts