At Home - The greater part of a dog’s life is spent at home and, although the Parson Russell Terrier is always eager to work or play, he is adaptable and when there is nothing in particular to do he will relax and do nothing.
Reverend Russell is said to have enjoyed their company so much that many, if not all, his terriers lived in the house. Most Parson Russell Terrier's will settle happily into a family situation and will more than earn their keep by the loyal companionship they offer.
Agility-The breed standard for a Parson Russell Terrier states that they should be ‘active & agile’ and these characteristics lend themselves well to agility training. See pictures at bottom of this page!
They compete in mini agility which provides a course for dogs up to 15 inches at the withers. There are many local training clubs for agility who will be willing to help you find a club with mini facilities.
Obedience & Training- Obedience work with a Parson Russell Terrier can be challenging as history has required them to work independently below ground. They are easily bored by repetition and training needs to be inventive to retain their interest but they can, and do, succeed at obedience trials.
If you are new to obedience training a good starting point could be the KC’s ‘Good Citizen’ Basic Training Scheme. This provides a programme of ‘good manners’ training to ensure your Parson Russell Terrier behaves acceptably while out and about and at home
PAT Dogs- Pets As Therapy is a charitable organisation which provides visiting dogs, accompanied by their owner, to patients in hospital, residential care or anywhere a visit from a dog is considered to be a benefit.
Your dog must be approved as suitable to undertake this work and the owner should also be aware that visits take time and require reliable commitment.
Showing -The Parson Russell Terrier is proving as popular in the Kennel Club showring as it is as a pet with entry figures regularly among the highest in the terrier group. There are various levels of showing, the lowest being Companion and Fun Shows which are enter on the day, open to non-KC registered dogs and are a really fun, laid back introduction to showing. Open Shows are the next level and require KC registration on the breed register and pre-entry (usually a couple of weeks before). Open shows can be single breed (i.e.Parson Russell Terrier Club purely for Parson Russell Terrier's), Group Open Shows (i.e. Terrier Group) or General (Open to all breeds). Open shows are more serious than Companion shows and often have strong competition and are a super training ground for dogs, handlers and judges alike.
The highest level of showing is Championship; Crufts being the most famous. These shows are always pre-entry (often a month or more in advance) and the competition can be very strong, both numerically and in quality. It would be a very daunting prospect to attend a Champ Show as your first show! They are also run as either single breed (i.e. the PRTC hold our Championship show in November each year), as Group Champ Shows (i.e. National Terrier Club) or General Championship Shows for all breeds. Crufts is a General Championship Show but differs from the other General Champ Shows in that it requires qualification as well as pre-entry.
If you fancy having a go at the popular sport of dog showing, it is a very good idea to find a local Ringcraft Club (dog training for show dogs) that often run weekly sessions to learn the ropes and better prepare you for showing. It can be incredibly rewarding and fun if you have a competative spirit.
Rough and broken coated Parson Russell Terrier's do require some coat preparation for the show ring which can be learned yourself with the help of your dog's breeder and people willing to help. Good books will also help but ultimately, it is something you have to learn through experience, talking to and watching others.
If you are under the age of 24 and interested in Obedience, Agility, Showing or Flyball with your Parson Russell Terrier, the Kennel Club has a sister organisation, the Young Kennel Club that help and encourage youngsters in the world of dogs.