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Compact and clever, Jack Russell terriers (JRTs) are the ideal companions for dog owners who want a small dog that isn’t a lap dog. These pups are active, outgoing, high-energy, sturdy, and ... hairy. And while all of these traits will affect your experience as a dog owner, today, we’re looking at hair. So, do Jack Russell terriers shed?

Yes, Jack Russell terriers shed. So, while this type of dog is a good choice for many reasons, it may not be the right choice for people with allergies or people who like to keep a spotless home. Jack Russell Terriers are not hypoallergenic, and if you adopt one, you will find hair floating around your home.

We’ll explain how much shedding you can expect from a Jack Russell terrier, when it’s at its worst, and how to manage this hairy situation.

How Much Do Jack Russell Terriers Shed?

Do Jack Russell Terriers shed: Jack Russell Terrier lying on a couch

So, how much do Jack Russell Terriers shed? The amount of shedding will depend on the type of Jack Russell terrier you own.

JRTs are actually not one, but two different dog breeds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) split the breed into two in the early 2000s. The smaller variety was dubbed the Russell terrier, and the larger is now the Parson Russell terrier. So there is no longer one purebred dog breed called the Jack Russell terrier, but the term applies to both of these breeds.

The AKC separated the two varieties due to growing differences between these Jack Russell dogs. One of the differences was in the type of coat each of the JRT breeds had.

Russell terriers can have three coat types — a rough coat, broken coat, or smooth coat — while Parson Russell terriers only have one type of coat — a smooth double coat. The Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, JRTCA, recognizes all three coat types for both JRT breeds.

  • Rough coat: The Russell terrier’s rough coat will shed the least of the three coat varieties. Much of the loose hair will get trapped in the wiry undercoat, only getting released during grooming. 
  • Broken and smooth coats: These coats will shed moderately. 
  • Smooth double coat: Parson Russell terriers with this coat will also shed moderately with two heavier shedding seasons each year.

When Do Jack Russell Terriers Shed?

Do Jack Russell Terriers shed: Jack Russell Terrier looking at the camera

The Russell terrier breed sheds a moderate amount year, but it sheds a consistent moderate amount, regardless of the time of year. Because the Parson Russell is a double-coated dog breed, it will have heavier shedding seasons in the fall and spring.

Dogs with a double coat have an undercoat and a top coat. The undercoat keeps the dog warm in the summer and cool in the winter, and the dog will shed it when the seasons change. This leads to excessive shedding in the spring and fall. Some of the heaviest shedding dog breeds, like golden retrievers and German shepherds, are double-coated dogs.

The top coat on the Parson Russell terrier protects the dog from the elements, like wind and rain. This part of the coat sheds moderately all year round. So, with both the top coat and undercoat, the Parson Russell terrier will shed moderately for two seasons of the year (the summer and winter) and heavily for the other two seasons of the year (the spring and fall).

What Can You Do About Jack Russell Terrier Shedding?

Jack Russell Terrier taking a bath

If you’re wondering, “Do Jack Russell terriers shed?“ because you have dog allergies, you might want to look at Yorkies instead. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you have to choose between your health and your dog.

However, if you simply don’t like loose hair in your home, you can take steps to manage your dog’s shedding. A few upgrades to your home cleaning routine and a little extra care for your dog’s coat will help reduce the amount of hair you find around your house.

Here are the steps you can take, as a dog owner, to deal with dog shedding.

Invest in a Robot Vacuum

When you have a dog, a robot vacuum will become your greatest asset. A robo-vac runs everyday, automatically sucking up dog hair from your floors — reducing the amount of hair around your house and the amount of cleaning you have to do at the same time.

Train Your Jack Russell to Stay off the Furniture

A robo-vac can keep your floors clean, but it won’t help keep dog hair off your upholstery. To do that, you need to teach your dog to stay off your upholstered furniture. Provide them a cozy dog bed as a comfortable alternative.

Teach Room Boundaries

Similarly to keeping your dog off the couch, keeping your dog out of certain rooms will help minimize your exposure to dog hair throughout the day. Training your dog to stay out of the bedroom keeps your sheets hair-free. Keeping your pet out of the kitchen stops their hair from floating around and winding up in your food.

Keep Lint Rollers Handy

To remove dog hair from your clothes, place lint rollers in strategic locations around your house. Keep one by each entryway, one in your car, and one in your purse so you can quickly tidy your outfits as you leave the house. Also, keep lint rollers by your hamper so you can remove fur before you put your clothes in the wash. Leave a couple in your kitchen, so you can remove hair from your clothes before you cook.

Rethink Your Flooring

If you’ve been considering a bigger remodel, you have a great opportunity to make your home more pet-friendly. Tile flooring is easy to clean, while white carpeting can help hide the JRTs white hair.

Brush Your JRT Weekly

While Jack Russell terriers have low-maintenance coats that aren’t prone to mats, regular brushing can keep their fur healthy and reduce shedding. Brush your Jack Russell with a soft-bristle dog brush to spread the natural oils throughout their coat, and to remove loose fur before it sheds in your home.

Bathe Your JRT With a Deshedding Dog Shampoo

Jack Russells only need a bath about once a month. When you bathe them, use a deshedding shampoo to remove dead hair. If you don’t like the idea of dog hair in your bath or shower, try bathing your dog outside in the hose instead.

Feed a High-Quality Dog Food

Your dog’s diet has a major impact on their overall health. Feeding a food that has real meat as the first ingredient and contains other whole food ingredients can help prevent health problems and reduce the risk of excessive shedding. Your dog losing hair can be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Use a Fish Oil Supplement

An all-natural fish oil supplement for dogs helps prevent dry skin, dandruff, and other issues that can lead to excessive shedding. Try squirting fish oil on all of your dog’s meals to help maintain their coat healthy.

Give the JRT Some TLC

Person petting a Jack Russell Terrier

Yes, Jack Russell terriers do shed, but not all varieties of this breed shed the same amount. Regardless, there’s a lot you can do to help minimize shedding and make this clever dog a good companion for your clean home.

Take care of your dog’s coat with regular brushing and bathing, and address their coat health on a deeper level with a high-quality dog food and all-natural supplements. Make cleaning easier by investing in a robot vacuum and training your dog to stay off furniture and out of areas that you want to keep extra clean.

Both breeds of Jack Russell terriers are intelligent dogs who will learn the rules of your house. (Some may even learn to fetch your lint roller for you.) But, if you’re allergic to dogs, this breed may not be right for you.

You can explore other incredible dog breeds on the Native Pet blog.


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