Russell Terrier

Dog Breed Profile

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Russell Terrier History

The Russell Terrier is a medium-size terrier that originated in the British Isles. Today the Russell Terrier is most popular in the United States and Canada, but it is also fairly common in the United Kingdom. The history of the Russell Terrier is closely associated with that of the Foxhound. The ancestor of the modern Foxhound was probably the generic term “Ruff”, which was used to refer to foxhounds during the 12th and 13th centuries. The modern Foxhound is a scent hound that was originally developed in the 15th and 16th centuries. The ancestors of the modern English Foxhound were most likely originally developed by crossing the Greyhound with Bloodhounds. The ancestors of the Russell Terrier were probably also originally developed by the English during the 16th and 17th centuries. It was during this period that the English developed the Harrier, which is a scent hound that was bred to hunt hare. The ancestors of the modern English Harrier probably originated in England during the 16th century. The Harrier was crossed with Beagles and Setters in the 17th century. These crosses produced the modern English Pointer, and these Pointers were in turn crossed with early working type Setters for many generations. These Setter-crosses eventually developed into what are known as “Shelties”, and these Shelties were crossed with Irish Setters and Black and Tan Setters. The descendants of these black and tan setters went on to form the foundation of many modern terrier breeds, including the Norwich Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, and Airedale Terrier.

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Russell Terrier Physical Characteristics

The Russell Terrier is a small, short-haired, low-slung breed of terrier that is typically between 9 and 11 inches tall at the shoulders and about 15 to 20 lbs in weight. They have a sturdy, muscular, athletic, and compact build. They have a thick, long, and flat muzzle, deep-set eyes, and a straight, hard tail that is carried low. The hair on their body is coarse and straight, while their muzzle and ears are covered with a soft, dense undercoat. Their coloring is white with colored markings on the face, legs, feet, and tail.

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Height Range

Male Height Range: 9 – 15 inches

Female Height Range: 8 – 14 inches

Weight Range

Male Weight Range: 13 – 18 lbs

Female Weight Range: 11 – 17 lbs

Russell Terrier Health

Description of breed health.


13-15 yrs

Russell Terrier Health Concerns

Patellar Luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Deafness, Lens Luxation, Mast Cell Tumors

Russell Terrier Temperament and Behaviour

The Russell Terrier is an intelligent and curious dog that is eager to learn and please. They are easily trained and excel at learning new tricks. They are brave, determined, and full of energy. They are friendly with most people and animals and can be protective of their family.

Russell Terrier Activity Requirements

The Russell Terrier is a small, short-legged terrier that is known for its intelligence, courage, and determination. They are great little dogs who do well in homes with other animals. The Russell Terrier is a relatively low-energy dog, and they do well with a moderate amount of exercise. A short walk, a few games of fetch, or a daily romp in the yard are all good ways to keep your Russell healthy and happy.

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Kennel Club Recognition

American Kennel Club

Recognized by the American Kennel Club

Russell Terrier is part of the Terrier group.

Visit the American Kennel Club website.

The Kennel Club

Not Recognized

Russell Terrier is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Kennel Club website.

Australian National Kennel Council

Not Recognized

Russell Terrier is part of the Unclassified group.

Visit the Australian National Kennel Council website.

Canadian Kennel Club

Recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club

Russell Terrier is part of the Terrier group.

Visit the Canadian Kennel Club website.