THE RUSSELL TERRIER
Russell Terriers, which include the slightly larger Parson Russell Terrier, date back to the 1800’s. Energetic and lively, they were introduced to be fox working dogs by British Rev. John Russell, where their name derives.
The Russell Terrier is, instinctively, a hunting dog, which was bred to compete with hounds. Its small versatile build, sprightly nature and small chest make it not only perfect for hunting, but also for underground work too.
It wasn’t until the Russell Terrier was introduced to Australia, that it became officially recognized by the Kennel Club, and eventually the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.
This is also a very intelligent dog that is both inquisitive and headstrong. They are fast learners, that benefit from training and socialization from a young age. Occasionally they may appear snappy and are prone to loud barking if not trained.
While they are not great with small animals or cats, they do enjoy the company of larger animals, including other dogs and horses.
Being a naturally curious dog, they can often dig up gardens and escape from homes. As such, you will need to safeguard their environment and keep a close eye on them!
This is very much an outdoor dog, which is not suited to apartment living. They require plenty of attention and exercise, particularly running around.
Good news for those who like doggy fashion; in the colder months they may need an extra layer to help keep them warm!
Possible Health Concerns
This breed may also suffer from ‘lens displacement’ an inherited eye problem, sometimes caused by trauma, glaucoma and degenerative changes.
Finally, congenital deafness can be a concern, although a BAER test is the best way to rule it out.
It is always advisable to buy your puppy from a professional approved breeder, who can share their family history with you.
This is one breed that bodes well as a running, jogging or biking companion, with its boundless reserves of energy.
Specifically during the puppy stage (six months and under), Russell Terriers should have special exercise programs to help prevent hip dysplasia and other injuries related to sports and exercise.
If you opt for commercial food, this should be the highest-quality diet, rich in all the necessary nutrients. Crucially, these should be appropriate for their age, health and activity level, since some Terriers are prone to gaining weight.
But, since this dog is fond of running around in the dirt, you may need to bath it regularly to keep it clean and free from fungus and hot spots. Canine shampoos and conditioners should be used.
Nails need to be trimmed as and when needed, and ears should be cleaned frequently. Your Russell Terrier’s teeth should be brushed every day, with twice yearly visits to professional dentists.
With the right owner and plenty of stimulation, it will be the best version of its self; but if left alone for long periods or not given enough attention or exercise, this breed is prone to barking and causing havoc in the house!
Nonetheless, this is a curious and confident dog that will thrive in the right home.