In 2003 the name Parson Russell was given to distinguish between the American Jack Russell which has shorter legs. The parson Russell Terrier was bred to hunt rodents and even badgers. The common 'Jack' was dropped in 1999.
The coat of a Parson is very coarse and this was to protect the dog from thorny undergrowth and brambles. There are 3 variations of their coat, rough, broken and smooth but all share the same coarseness. As with other working dogs the Parsons has 2 layers of coat with the bottom one being waterproof.
Parsons Russell Terriers make good pets and are highly trainable. Their natural instinct to hunt rodents, foxes and badgers can be an issue if there are smaller pets around, so they do require the time to train them correctly. When out walking a Parsons it is wise to not let them run free near roads and also be aware that their hunting instinct may kick in, find a scent then the pursue it.
It is often assumed that dogs that hunt foxes, badgers and other small game actually kill but this is not true as their main function is to flush them out from their hideouts.