Cats & Dogs
I'm glad that people have continued to respond to this thread. I have the same dilemma. I really wanted to get a Parson Russell Terrier (AKC version of the Jack Russell), but chickened out and got my rescue corgi, Monty instead.
He has been great with the cats. They live in parallel universes that never intersect. I was hoping for the dog and the cats to bond, but this is the next best thing.
The success with Monty gave me the courage to try a Parson pup and after a week I felt I had made a serious mistake and returned him to the breeder. He was just a pup and any pup would chase a cat - basically trying to play with the cat, not hurt or hunt it, but I just couldn't see my cats ever learning to live with such an active dog (Monty is a slug). A couple stood their ground, but several were terrified (I have 7). If they kept running in terror I couldn't blame a terrier for his prey drive kicking in and I am inexperienced with training dogs in the first place. I think the sheer number of cats I have was the biggest problem. Unfortunately, one of the youngest cats was the most terrified, he's a fairly jumpy cat to start out with, so I don't think I could get a terrier while he is alive. I hope he will have a long life and that will mean possibly 14 to 16 years before I could even consider trying this again.
If anyone knows of a dog that has many of the traits of a Parson, with a lower prey drive I'd love to hear about them. I like the fact that they are smart, feisty, mischievous, clown-like affectionate dogs. I like their size combined with the fact that they don't act like "little dogs." I really like their body structure which is very moderate, balance, healthy. I don't want a dog that has any extreme features which will make it less sound. I love Monty dearly, but I can't see getting another corgi because they are dwarfs. Breeding specifically for a genetic weakness makes no sense to me. I hate the fact that I have to worry that he might hurt himself jumping up and down from high places. I want a solid sturdy dog. I do like the personalities of the corgis I've met so I might mellow on this point.