Russell Terrier History
The Russell Terrier originated in England, however, Australia has been designated as the country of development for the breed. The Russell Terrier was developed for use in the sport of foxhunting, using parallel breeding strains from Reverend John Russell's original fox working terriers in the early nineteenth century. The Russell Terrier is utilized today as a working terrier. Two distinct breeds evolved with similar standards except for height and proportion, the Russell being shorter in height with a distinctly rectangular shape and the Parson being taller with a more square in silhouette.

The small size of the Russell breed, 10" to 12", made them an ideal size to be carried on horseback in terrier bags, a requisite for certain terrain. The nose to locate and the voice to bolt the fox was far more important than speed. The Russell Terrier’s handy size, small flexible chest, short legs, nose, strong voice and fearless nature made them excellent workers below ground bolting fox. Russell Terriers, derived from Reverend Russell’s fox working strains, share many characteristics with the Parson Russell Terrier. However, it must be noted, the two breeds are distinctly different in height, body proportions and length of leg, each having been maintained separate breeds in the US and Europe for many decades.

The American Russell Terrier Registry has maintained the breed since 1995, with full registration at one year of age, requiring a health certificate, evaluated breeding status plus verification of pedigree purity. Breeding lines have been maintained with the
specific intent to exclude infusions of Parson Russell Terrier blood lines as well as other “foreign” terrier blood.

Copyright Robert Savannah