Russell Terrier Dog Breed

Russell Terrier
10 to 12 inches
9 to 15 pounds
Smooth – Short; Broken – Medium; Rough – Medium
White with tan and/or black markings
Conformation, Agility, Obedience, Rally, Hunting, Tracking, Search and Rescue, Lure Coursing, Earthdog Trials

Bred to go to ground to hunt vermin, the Russell Terrier is an adorable, eager and delightful companion dog who is also a tireless worker. 


The Russell Terrier is curious and playful and jovial. His compact body is a never-ending source of energy, which makes him a good match for active families.

Keen and intelligent, he thrives on being outdoors, and needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.


This Terrier group breed is a small dog with the confidence of a giant. The Russell Terrier moves freely and without hesitation, always ready to dive into an adventure.

His active ears add expression to his bright, alert face. This breed has three coat varieties: Smooth, Broken and Rough.


12 to 14 years


Russell Terriers have white coats, with markings in black, brown, cream, tan or tri-color. 


The Russell Terrier is a seasonal shedding breed with an easy-care weatherproof coat. Smooth-coated Russells need only a weekly rubdown with a soft brush or hound glove. Russells with rough or broken coats require weekly brushing or combing.


Most Russell Terriers are as healthy as they are happy. Responsible breeding helps avoid health conditions such as patellar luxation (loose kneecaps), deafness and eye disease.

Best Dog Food for Russell Terrier Dogs & Puppies

Like other small breeds, Russell Terriers may benefit from a small breed dog food. For Russell Terriers who need help with weight management, consider a healthy weight formula.

Russell Terrier puppies should eat small breed puppy food for their first year of life to aid in their growth and development.


Both the Russell Terrier and Parson Russell Terrier breeds began in England in the mid-1800s, in the kennels of Rev. John “The Sporting Parson” Russell, who bred fox-working dogs. The dogs were bred to be fast enough to run with fox hounds, and tough but compact enough to dive into holes when hunting vermin.

In the following years the lines of the two terriers separated. Today the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes both breeds.


  • The Russell Terrier originated in England but was developed in Australia, where it is still called the Jack Russell Terrier.