Parson Russell Terrier
The Parson Russell is a working Terrier which has three coat types: rough, broken coated and smooth. He is typically a robust, lively and intelligent little dog. He adores human company and loves to be involved with family activities. He will bark loudly if strangers call or if he gets excited chasing prey. Ideally he would prefer a country lifestyle with plenty of opportunity to run free. He would also benefit from activities such as agility to challenge his mental and physical energies.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 10.0% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPSTBC
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- Eye disease: Primary lens luxation (PLL) (annual testing or DNA test – see below).
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)
- Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA)
- Late Onset Ataxia (LOA)
- Hyperuricosuria (HUU)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
- Patella test
- Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) test for deafness
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Patellar luxation (slipping kneecap)
- Cancer: histiocytoma
- Deafness (sensorial deafness related to pigment migration into the inner ear)
- Urate urolithiasis (stone formation in the urinary system causing pain and difficulty urinating)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: