How to Groom a Rough Coated Jack Russel Terrier

How to Groom a Rough Coated Jack Russel Terrier

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The Jack Russell Terrier has a double coat that needs to be taken care of on a regular basis. Learn to take care of this special coat to keep your Jack Russel Terrier happy and healthy.

The Jack Russell Terrier has a double coat of harsh, thick hair. Called the Parson Russell Terrier by the American Kennel Club, the dogs can have smooth, rough, or broken coats. Rough-coated dogs have longer hair than the smooth-coated, and have excess trace hair on the dogโ€™s head, face, legs and body. The hair is coarse to protect the dog from the elements, and soft, silky or curly hair is considered a fault. Rough-coated Jack Russell terriers need little grooming to look their best at all times.


Brushing is the most important aspect of grooming a Jack Russell Terrier, and the main purpose is to help the dog develop a hard, water repellent coat. Start by brushing or combing the dogโ€™s entire body using a wide-toothed comb. Daily brushing with a slicker brush is necessary when the dog blows the coat, (the shedding of excess hair naturally). This type of brush has a rubber cushion embedded with fine, metal pins, and will remove the hairs of the undercoat as soon as they are loose or almost ready to drop.


Shampoo is detrimental to the rough-coated Jack Russell as it softens the hair, according to the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America, and the dogs benefit from a dry shampoo instead. Mix equal parts of cornstarch with baby powder, work it into the dogโ€™s coat and brush it out thoroughly. However, if your dog is especially dirty and you need to give them a full bath, use a high-quality dog shampoo made especially for rough-coated dogs.


Strip the Jack Russell Terrierโ€™s undercoat twice a year as part of the grooming process. This is best done when the dog is blowing the coat. Once you have combed all loose hair and dust from the coat, separate the remaining hair into sections and examine each section to ensure all dead hairs have been removed. Pluck these out one hair at a time, as this removes the dead hair shaft from the dogโ€™s skin and allows for even growth of new hairs. You can also do this using a stripping knife, which removes several dead hairs at a time. If you are uncomfortable with this procedure, consult a professional groomer for advice and instruction.


The Jack Russell Terrier needs very little trimming. Trim the loose hair around the dogโ€™s face with a pair of blunt scissors, and avoid removing more than a little. Leave eyebrow hairs and whiskers around the dogโ€™s mouth, and trim just enough to balance the face evenly on both sides. Trim excess hair around the dogโ€™s genital area to help with hygiene, and trim excess hair on the feet and between the toes. Use thinning scissors to trim the tip of the tail to neaten it up.

If you are uncomfortable trimming the dog's coat yourself, consult a groomer once every eight to ten weeks to keep your dog's coat looking healthy and clean.

Train a Jack Russell Terrier Puppy to Fetch

The highly energetic Jack Russell terriers are strong, hardy and intelligent little dogs. Known by the American Kennel Club as Parson Russell terriers, they love to play and romp, and become frustrated if they donโ€™t get enough exercise. Teaching your Jack Russell puppy to fetch a ball will give the dog a way to expend excess energy, get plenty of activity both outdoors and indoors, and provide mental stimulation. Begin training at an early age, such as around 7 weeks old, while the puppy is still manageable and has not yet reached the hyperactive stage.

Playing Ball

Before you can train your Jack Russell puppy to fetch, you must teach the dog to enjoy playing with a ball. This will enable you to use playing ball as a reward for training throughout the dogโ€™s lifetime and greatly reduce your reliance on food and treats. Show young puppies that the ball means fun by playing with them gently and rolling the ball around. Make a huge fuss of the game and give the puppy lots of love and praise, so the dog learns to associate the ball with playtime.

Fetch Command

Put your Jack Russell terrier puppy on a leash and sit on the floor with them. Roll the ball around from hand to hand until the puppy gets the idea that it is time to play. Allow the dog to chase the ball and pick it up, then draw the puppy gently back towards you using the leash. Once the the dog becomes accustomed to the game, start to give the command โ€œFetchโ€ as the dog runs after the ball. Give plenty of praise and reward the dog with a treat each time the dog chases and fetches the ball. Do this every day for at least a week, for not more than 15 minutes at a time to avoid tiring the puppy or allowing boredom to set in.

Drop Command

Once the Jack Russell terrier puppy is fetching the ball and bringing it back to you to throw again without a leash, start to teach the drop command. As the puppy runs round with the ball in their mouth, call the dog to you and when the dog comes, give the command โ€œDropโ€ or โ€œGiveโ€ and swap the ball for a treat. Alternatively, use two balls, so the puppy will drop one ball to go after the other. Always give plenty of love and praise so the puppy knows they have done well. This will teach the dog to bring the ball directly to you instead of dropping it elsewhere for you to pick up.

Hold Command

Teach your Jack Russell terrier puppy to hold the ball, using a ball small enough to fit in their mouth. When the dog brings the ball back to you, instead of commanding them to drop it, give the command โ€œHoldโ€ and place your hand gently under the jaw for a second. Repeat the command to reinforce the idea, then allow the dog to drop the ball and reward the Jack Russell with a treat and plenty of praise. Practice this several times a day until the puppy understands to hold the ball until you give the command to drop it or give it to you.

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