Do Jack Russell Terriers Shed?

Jack Russells are an energetic breed that love to hunt and play. So they will test your patience at times, and need lots of stimulation, but they're also great family companions.

How much do they shed?

Jack Russell Terriers are a moderate to high shedding breed. Despite some common misconceptions out there, they absolutely shed. Generally speaking, the shorter their hair, the more they will shed as the hair growth cycle is shorter.

In this article, we'll be taking a closer look at how much they shed and what they're like to groom, so you know exactly what to expect.

About Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell Terriers belong to the terrier group. And, like Fox Terriers, they were purpose bread to hunt foxes and vermin back in the 1850's. 

They're a very energetic breed that are known for their stubbornness, dominance and relentless desire to hunt. So they're typically not very good with other animals, especially smaller animals. And they can be a bit nippy around small children for this reason.

This is why it's important to train them well and exercise patience. And if you do want to have other animals around, try to bring them up together from a young age.

Where do they originate?

Parson Russell Terrier

The JRT came about when a man named Parson John Russell (nicknamed Jack) wanted the "perfect" hunting dog. So he took a white and tan terrier named Trump and developed what we now know as the JRT.

Some people refer to them as Parson Russell Terriers, but there is a difference between the JRT and Parson Russell Terrier. The main difference is JRTs are a bit smaller and more rectangular in shape. They're about 10 –15 inches at the withers, and weigh roughly 14 –18 pounds.

What sort of coat do they have?

Jacks come with either a smooth, rough or broken coat, both of which are short and relatively easy to groom. The color of their coat is mostly white, and that was intentional because this helped hunters tell them apart from foxes in the field. However, they can be white in color, white with tan or black markings, or tan, white, and black (tricolor).

Jack Russell Overview

Coat Type

Smooth, rough or broken coat.

Coat Length


Coat Color

White, white with tan or black markings, or tricolor.


High shedding.


Easy grooming.


Jack Russell Terriers are a fairly high shedding breed.

High Shedding

For one reason or another, there seems to be a common myth that they don't shed much. Perhaps because their hair is white and short, so it's not as noticeable as dogs with longer, darker hair.

But make no mistake, they do shed!

Shedding is a natural thing that happens to most dogs. They need to shed in order to maintain a healthy coat, so it's generally nothing to worry about. Unless they are suddenly losing clumps of hair. In that case, there may be an underlying issue that your local vet could help you with.

In any case, JRTs that are shedding normally, tend to do so year round. However it can be worse during seasonal changes like spring and fall. Typically, the shorter the hair, the worse and more consistent the shedding will be. 

This is because when dead hair falls out, new hair replaces it, which creates a continuous, natural cycle. And the shorter the hair is, the faster this cycle will occur, and the more hair will end up on your carpet.

This particular type of short hair tends to needle its way into virtually any type of fabric too. So cleaning it up can be quite a nightmare. Which is why regular grooming is so important.


The good news is, JRTs are very easy to groom.

Easy Grooming

The best way to keep the hair out of your home and vehicle, is to brush your JRT regularly. Ideally, you would brush him everyday.

Not only is this good for removing all that dead hair, but it helps to spread the oils of his coat all over his body, which can reduce shedding further. Because one of the main reasons for excessive shedding is actually dry, irritated skin.

Which is also why you should avoid over bathing him.

Because if you're bathing him too often, especially with the wrong type of shampoo, this can lead to dry skin, and in turn a higher level of shedding. It can also lead to itching and scratching, another cause of shedding.

What type of brush should you use?

Which brush is best really depends on your dog's coat, and some types of brushes do work better than others when it comes to shedding. However, a simple bristle brush or rubber curry comb is often all you need to get the job done, provided you are regular with the brushing.

That said, tools like the Furminator will reach deeper into his coat and will remove more dead hair, a lot quicker. So if you want better results, in less time, this might be worth considering.

Are Jack Russells Hypoallergenic?

Jack Russell Terriers are not hypoallergenic, not by a long shot.

I mean, no dog is ever truly hypoallergenic. But in the world of "hypoallergenic dog breeds" as some refer to them, the JRT is definitely not one of them.


Well, when a dog makes you sneeze, it's not the hair itself. It's the saliva and dander (dead skin) that typically irritates people and upsets allergies. And since saliva and dander attach themselves to his hair, and he loses that hair by the minute, they're not hypoallergenic.

Breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic include low shedding breeds like the Tibetan Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, and Toy Poodle for example.

How to Reduce Shedding

The best way to reduce shedding is a regular brushing regime. Whether you opt to use a dedicated shedding tool, or a simple bristle brush is not the main thing here.

These guys are easy to groom, so the key is consistency.

The more you brush, the better. Because with every brush means less hair needling its way into your carpet, vehicle, furniture and any other place it can find.

Aside from brushing, there are some other ways you can reduce shedding in your JRT.

For example, ensure you are using a quality dog shampoo with natural ingredients. Feed your JRT a healthy, balanced diet. Walk him regularly to reduce stress related shedding. And if it's really getting bad, try some natural home remedies for shedding like coconut or olive oil.

See these articles for more ideas and tips on reducing shedding:

Bottom Line

Jack Russells definitely do shed, and it can become a nuisance.

But they also make great companions for the right person, and all it takes to get this under control is regular brushing. Which is quite easy given their low maintenance coat.

So if you're thinking about adopting a JRT, don't let the shedding put you off. By following the simple tips we've given you here, and you can enjoy your JRT and live hair free.

Do Jack Russell Terriers Shed?

Let's Face It... Cleaning Up Loose Dog Hair Sucks

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2 thoughts on “Do Jack Russell Terriers Shed?”

    • How much a dog sheds can vary depending on their age and things such as the breed, season, condition of their coat and other factors. But virtually all dogs that have hair shed/molt, and Jack Russells are no different. They shed right throughout their life.


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