Russell Terrier

July 31, 2020 // 7 minute read

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Russell Terriers are small dogs with compact and rectangular bodies covered in a white coat with markings of tan or black. Their coats come in three types: smooth, broken, and rough. The Russell Terrier only stands at a height of 12 inches, but they can surely carry their bodies with confidence.

Russel Terriers are said to be dogs that will win your heart because of his intelligence, devotion, and energy. These dogs will make you laugh. Of course, you would need to repay them with lots of love and attention. They will not be a good fit for first-time dog owners, but they are excellent companions for those with experience.

Russel Terrier Dog

Russell Terrier Breed Statistics

Dog Breed GroupTerrier
Breed SizeSmall
Height10-12 inches
Weight9-15 pounds
Lifespan12-14 years

Russell Terrier Breed Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Russell Terrier History

Russell Terriers are believed to have originated from Southern England in the mid-1800s. These dogs are developed mainly for hunting purposes – flushing out the fox with his barking but never kill the prey.

The name “Russell” came from Rev. John Russell, one of the breeders who bred the most excellent working fox terriers in England. Russell’s goal was to create a working terrier that will hunt hounds, and the result was the Russell Terriers.

During these times, the breed came out to have varying standards, especially with the leg length. This has always been a cause of disagreement that the breed was finally separated. The dogs with longer legs were named Parson Russell Terriers, while the dogs with shorter legs retained their Russell Terrier name.

It was in the 1930s when the Russell Terrier dogs became known in the US. However, they weren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club until the year 2000. Now, it ranks 83rd as the most popular dog breed in the US.

Russell Terrier Temperament

Russel Terriers are generally alert, curious, and lively dogs. They are known to have very high energies and big personalities. You can’t expect them to enjoy a quiet lifestyle as these dogs enjoy lots of activities.

If you don’t entertain the Russel Terrier enough, he might get bored and cause a lot of trouble. It’s best to note that they are not apartment dogs and must not be left alone inside the house for long periods.

This dog breed loves people, and they love spending time with their families. They are also known to be happy-go-lucky dogs that are friendly with strangers. They may also be excellent playmates for your kids; however, strict supervision is needed.

The breed comes with a dominant trait so he can be aggressive to other dogs, especially those that did not grow up with him. They also don’t like being left alone with another Russell Terrier (if you have two in your house).

Training might come easy as these dogs are fast learners. However, the hard part is convincing him to follow what you want. It’s best to be consistent in the kind of leadership you give, so he’ll become manageable.

Socialization at an early age is also essential to make your Russell Terrier a well-rounded dog. This will also keep some bad attitudes at bay.

Russel Terrier Breed

Russell Terrier Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Russell Terriers are highly energetic dogs, so it’s only right to make sure that they get the right amount of food they need daily. One thing you need to remember is always to provide high quality and well-balanced diet. Calorie intake is also something that you should consider. Around 450-650 calories a day is what an active adult Russell Terrier needs. But puppies may require more. Any type of diet is okay for this breed. But if you’re serving him home-cooked meals, make sure that you only get high-quality ingredients. Proteins can be derived from animal meat such as poultry, beef, or fish. You can get fats from fish or chicken oils, carbohydrates from brown rice, and fiber from fruits and vegetables. If you’re serving dog food, make sure only to buy the premium quality ones. These don’t contain fillers and additives that may be harmful to your dog’s digestion.
  • Grooming: The Russel Terrier’s coat comes in three types: smooth, broken, and rough. But, regardless of the nature of the coat they have, they are all straightforward to maintain. These coats shed occasionally, so weekly brushing is all you need. If your dog has a smooth coat, a rub down with a brush once a week will make your dog’s coat look good. For dogs that have a rough or broken coat, you might need to brush more often in a week. If shedding season comes, daily brushing is highly recommended to remove a lot of loose hair that your dog may have. Baths can be given occasionally or when needed. But ears should be cleaned regularly to prevent an ear infection from occurring. Nails should be checked and trimmed regularly as well to ensure that it doesn’t become too long.
  • Exercise: Russel Terriers are highly energetic dogs that require lots of activities to exercise their mind and body. They are not dogs for people who love lying on the couch. Instead, they’re a perfect fit for those who love outdoor activities – hiking, biking, running, or long walks. Try to create some activities that you and your Russell Terrier can do together. It’s best if these activities are mind-stimulating too. If you want him to run around, make sure that the area is fenced and secured. The more tired a Russel Terrier is, the better his temperament is inside the house. As an owner, it’s also best that you are in tip-top shape, so you get to keep up with his activities.
  • Health: Russell Terriers are generally healthy dogs. With excellent care, these dogs can last long. However, it’s still best to watch out for these diseases they are prone to. The first thing you need to note is that Russell Terriers are prone to some bone diseases such as Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease and Patellar Luxation. They are also likely to have eye conditions like glaucoma and lens luxation. Deafness is very common too. Monitor your dog’s daily behavior and note down any changes in particular. If you think there is, take them immediately to the vet for a check-up. You can also have your dog take some screening tests to rule out any diseases at an early stage.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Russel Terriers is 12-14 years.

Famous Russell Terriers

  • Trump: The first-ever Russell Terrier owned by Rev. John Russell himself
  • Uggie: A canine star; Hollywood’s most famous Russell Terrier who appeared in “Water for Elephant” and “The Artist”
  • Beth and Bluebell: Royal Russel Terriers owned by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall
  • Bothy: The first dog that reached both the North and South Poles

Russel Terrier

Fun Facts about Russell Terriers

  • Russel Terriers originated from 19th century England.
  • They were originally bred for fox hunting.
  • They are escape artists – can jump 5 feet in the air and even dig their way out.
  • Their coats come in three variations: smooth, rough, and broken.
  • They all came from one dog – Trump.
  • They are very sensitive to heat. Make sure to put some sunscreen on them when the weather is too hot.

Check Out Other Terrier Dog Breeds:
Airedale Terrier, American Hairless Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Border Terrier, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Cesky Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier

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