Are You a Parson Russell Person?

Find out if this hunting breed is for you.

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Parson Russell Terriers are hunting dogs, and new owners cannot ignore or forget this basic element of the breeds being. As terriers, they like to dig, can have an aggressive nature and can be prone to bark more than other dogs. Like many small, assertive dogs, PRTs have no concept of their size and act as if they weigh at least 100 pounds. In attitude, PRTs can take on anything that is foolish enough to cross their paths. They can be aggressive with other pets, such as cats or rabbits, which to a PRT are game animals. Overt aggression to people, livestock or other dogs is a major fault, and responsible breeders are keenly aware of this. In addition, they enjoy good lifespans of up to 15 years, and throughout that time they can remain physically active and challenging.

If you want to have a PRT as a pet, you must be aware of these qualities, which make this breed the unique and wonderful dog it is. Having said this, there is no reason that a well-bred PRT, when owned by a responsible owner who can sensibly train his dog and let the dog know who the boss is, cannot be a simply delightful companion for all of his years.

Before purchasing your PRT, you must give serious thought to the personality and characteristics of this breed to determine if the PRT is right for you. This is not a dog for the laid-back owner who will not give the dog the training and attention that he deserves. In addition, this is likely not a good choice for the first-time dog owner. This is a dog for the individual who has studied up on the breed, understands its characteristics and is willing to train the dog and give him the time and activity that he requires.

You should answer the following questions before beinning your search for a PRT:

  1. Do you have the time to give to a dog? He will need care, companionship, training and grooming. This is almost like having a child, except the dog remains a child and will always require your care. Fortunately, most PRTs do not go off to college, so that's one bill you won't have to worry about!
  2. Do you have a fenced yard for your PRT? This is not a breed that you can trust off-lead. He is a runner, and the scent or sight of squirrel or cat will send him flying furiously in the direction of the offending foe. The PRT must have a secure (escape-proof) area in which to run and exercise.
  3. Have you owned a dog previously and did that dog live a long and happy life with you and your family?
  4. Do you have small children and are you willing to instruct and supervise them so that they will not mistreat this small but feisty dog?
  5. Are you willing and able to have a dog that tends to be a bit noisy? Will your neighbors tolerate this?
  6. Even if the PRT requires a minimum of grooming, he will require some coat care. Do you have the time and interest to keep your dog looking like a handsome member of his breed?

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