PARSON RUSSELL TERRIER - about the breed and our dogs...
There are enough websites with lots of information about the breed, so only briefly about our experiences and our Parsons.
The Parson Russell is a medium sized active terrier, they say, hunters in the heart, but I'm sure with some work their hunting instinct can be transferred into playing games and other interesting activities.
It is also said that a Parson cannot be well educated, even more, some believe that the terrier will not be ok with cats, or with rabbit or parrot. With patience and positive energy it's possible. And I'm far from an dog expert, I've given up dog school and have trained all my dogs by myself. My dogs, past and present, were always polite and friendly, and relatively inconspicuous in all possible situations, including at cat shows, where we are often including our dogs. Our dogs have clearly defined limits (so do the cats, but these limits are much expandable, in my opinion, and particularly what the cats think), they know how far they are allowed to go and what is an absolute no-go's.
Parsons learn very quickly, with whom they can do nonsense stuff, they know the tolerance limits of different people. Who can be manipulated and who not.
Our Parsons know how to behave in a restaurant, also at business meetings, at work, while traveling ... They do not jump on people but have a much more sophisticated way to make them aware of themselves: they suddenly appear in a hand where they want to be petted.. The bother only people who want that, otherwise they are almost invisible under any table where they do not beg. The best for our dogs reward is to be petted (in addition to treats, of course). They cuddle with us like cats.
Parsons easily adapt to traveling or plans that are changing rapidly, from time to time a hectic day when a few minutes of individual attention must be enough and we all wait for the evening (and couch).
Our shoes, balls, kids' toys ... are all whole. Tables, sofas and curtains are also intact. For playing and chewing we have lots of stuff that is suitable, including sticks, bones and various dog toys and nibble we have sticks, bones and a lot of dog toys suitable ... Our beautiful garden plants thrive without additional Parson-style digging - yes, this can be learned too. It's much better to play with a ball instead of a golf course on the lawn.
I think most people dislike barking and we don't allow our dogs to bark, especially if it's for no reason.
Every dog can make a mistake or have an 'oops' with the rules, just the as also humans make mistakes. And so our lives with our parsons are with a couple 'oopses' here and there, but in general it's sometimes beautiful, sometimes funny, but it is always fun, friendly, playful ... and hairy.
Children? Small people are great, but here the same goes for dogs and cats: socialization and education should be excellent. So there is no question that my pets are ok with children ... The question is rather whether children in question are good enough for my pets. Mutual respect is the key to success. In our house are 3 little people who had the luck that they didn't need to beg their mom about the urgency about having this or that pet, they were born into a pet household. I had a cat since my 6th birthday (before that I kidnapped our neighbor's cat). My dog Felix came to us almost two years before the first kid was born and they drooled over each otherâ€¦ until kids Nr.2 and Nr.3 arrived to accompany them. Now we often have a full house of kids & their friends. Unfortunately Felix after 13,5 years with us continues to watch over us as an angel.
However, if you allow your Parson to do silly stuff - stealing, chewing, digging, chasing, begging... then he'll do it. There's a big chance that he'll get you around without you even noticing it. In any case it's good, you have good nerves and lots of humor to live with them. A good dog school or other chances of learning (where especially the owner gets some education) wouldn't be bad, also one or a couple good book are useful (take a look at Cesar Millan's books). As any other dog, a Parson needs clear instructions. If you speak with a dog as with a baby, he'll only get confused, and if the intonation is 'correct', a dog will be praised for an 'oops' or maybe even a big mistake.
We work with our dogs with the clicker-system and with positive motivation. My preferred way of showing the dog that he made a huge mistake, is ignorance. Also simply saying 'it's not right' in an angry voice does the thing.
Parsons learn extremely quickly, they do great in various dog sports like agility, frisbee, flyball ... But our dogs prefer simple walks, however they can do various tricks and often obey me when I look at them.
My opinion: our dogs are not suitable for everyone, definitely not for too tolerant owners, rude kids and too busy families. But they are a challenge for people who have the energy, time and love for an intelligent, playful and cuddly family member.