Do Jack Russells Shed a Lot?

By John Martin - February 15, 2024

Jack Russell shedding on couch

Jack Russell, or Jack Russell Terrier, is a small dog breed belonging to the terrier breed just like the Fox Terriers. These dogs have been in breeding since the 1850s to hunt vermin and foxes.

The simple answer to your question is yes, they shed a lot, but there’s more to it than just quantity of shedding. Take a look.

Just a Little Background

For starters, Jack Russells are quite energetic, stubborn, dominant and very good when it comes to hunting. That’s also why they are not great when it comes to getting along with other smaller animals.

But they don’t do very well when it comes to kids which is why they must be trained if you have children or other pets. Jack Russells need to be taught patience and obedience since the time they are puppies to make sure there are no problems in the house.

But these dogs still make for excellent pets once they are trained and that’s probably why they are very popular. They are 10 to 15 inches in height and 14 to 18 pounds in weight.

What You Must Know about Their Coats

Unlike certain other dog breeds like Pugs, the coat color of a Jack Russell does not impact the amount of fur it sheds. They come in black and white, white and tan and white coats.

A lot of them are white in color, which means the light-colored furniture can take a little beating that comes from all the shedding. And there’s quite a bit. If you have the misfortune of owning a lot of dark-colored furniture, you will need to take some extra care.

Now, this coat could be rough or smooth and it could also be short or long. Usually, it is short, which means grooming is easier. However, that doesn’t stop the dog from shedding like it is with many other dog breeds.

Truth is, these dogs do shed a lot more than other breeds and those dogs with long hair aren’t really an exception.

Shedding happens throughout the year but it is more vigorous when seasons change, which is around autumn and spring. It’s the time when the dog gets rid of its dead hair and grows new follicles.

This is a natural and a continuous and cyclical thing. In fact, the cycle picks up the pace when the dog has short hair.

And no matter what the fabric of your furniture, the hair will cling to making it a nightmare for the owner. But there are ways to take care of it.

Jack Russells also shed abnormally or excessively, sometimes for no reason, really. Clearly, the verdict is that they shed quite a bit, but the nature of shedding is the same as other breeds.

Typically, the dog has a shiny and healthy coat despite the massive shedding. That’s fine.

If you notice that the shedding is happening in clumps, you have a problem and it needs to be investigated. That’s because there might be a condition that is causing this weird kind of shedding.

Before we head to solutions, let’s look at the possible problems so that it becomes easier to solve them.

You can call it abnormal shedding if it happens a lot outside of the window of seasonal changes. You can start by looking at any possible skin irritations or problems from too much bathing.

While research is good, it is best to consult your vet before jumping to conclusions or trying to solve it on your own.

Also Read: Are Jack Russell Terriers Easy to Train?

What You Can Do to Stop It

Jack Russell Terrier getting groomed

Here are four avenues that will help you keep the shedding normal and under control so that you can save your furniture and keep your Jack Russell healthy. Here we go.


Developing a regular brushing routine is a good way to keep shedding under control. You can do this with a regular bristle brush for dogs or a special shedding tool.

What matters is not so much the tool but the consistency with which you keep the regimen going. It’s good to brush the fur as often as you can so that you can protect your vehicles, carpets and any other place your Jack Russell frequents.

This brushing exercise should also be followed by a good scrubbing. In fact, that might even be the key.

Scrubbing is important because it will keep the grooming regimen in order and reduce the amount of shedding. And while you’re at it, try to look for grease and dirt and remove it. This will help you comb the fur with ease and without hurting your pet.

A lot of dog parents don’t bathe their pets too often because it makes their skin too dry. That’s a legitimate concern with Jack Russells.

But you can’t have a dog smelling bad because it is bad for its skin health. It’s particularly important to figure this out with a Jack Russell because these dogs are outdoorsy and like to get dirty.

For indoor dogs, the regimen of bathing them once in two months works just fine. But since your dog is an active one, you need to bathe them at least once every month.

You must take the brush to it as soon as the dog is dry after a shower. The aim here is to remove dead hair regularly so that the brush doesn’t get caught in them. So, you won’t pull on their coat and hurt them.

You also don’t need to wait to give the Jack Russell a bath to brush them. The latter needs to be done once a week while the bathing can happen once a month, as mentioned before.

Brushing the dog two times a week is not out of line. It will also give you the opportunity to look for dirt, which is good for healthy and hyper Jack Russells.


You already know that it’s a good idea to bathe these dogs once a month. If you do it more often than that, you might irritate their skin and that is bad for the skin and the coat.

But depending on the season, some say that giving them a basic bath and brushing the fur can be done on a weekly basis. Talk to your vet before you make these changes.

You must also make sure that you have high-quality shampoo. And the more natural ingredients it has, the better. If you can help it, make sure all the ingredients are organic.

This is good for your dog’s health too when it is combined with a balanced and healthy diet.

And if you go for more baths, make sure that you use a towel to dry the Jack Russell instead of a blow dryer. It might be fine for dogs with long fur, but definitely not the short-haired ones.

If you ignore this, you might end up burning their fur, which is both a painful and unnecessary risk.

And by the way, you are not the only one who is unhappy about the shedding. Jack Russells tend to get stressed about all the shedding.

So, it is a very good idea to take the dog for a walk regularly because it helps them calm down.

And on the side, you can try applying some olive or coconut oil to keep the shedding under control. It is a recommended natural remedy.

Proper Eating

Your third concern should be regarding their diet. You can reduce the shedding if you give your Jack Russell all the required nutrients through food.

This involves adding the right amount of minerals and vitamins so that the coat is soft, shiny and doesn’t get as damaged or at least as often.

Depending on how active they are, adult Jack Russells need anywhere from 450 to 650 calories every day. A puppy needs about 800 to 900 pounds because it is still in its growing phase.

This is an average dog that is 13 to 17 pounds heavy.

If you feed them at least 75 percent dry kibble, the diet can be called balanced. Since dry kibble is quite crunchy, you can also expect the plaque and tartar buildup to be reduced.

And don’t forget that maintaining dental hygiene is a big part of avoiding many other health problems in these dogs. So, it’s a good note even though it has nothing to do with the Jack Russell’s shedding.

While you are taking a deeper look into the diet, you must check the label on the food product. This will give you an idea about adding supplements to the diet when you discuss it with your vet.

The other thing about giving your Jack Russell a balanced diet is to give the dog enough water. This is important in general, but it’s all the more important in this case because a lot of its food is dry.

If you deprive the dog of liquid content, the coat will not get the amount of moisture it needs. This will make the coat dry and brittle, which means there will be more shedding.

If you want to add foods that produce moisture to your dog’s diet, here’s what you must consider.

  • Lean meat
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrot
  • Apple
  • Green beans

Talk to Your Vet

Don’t worry about seasonal shedding because it is normal. But keep an eye on the dog to make sure it’s nothing unusual.

If you suspect a problem, call your vet because it could be a basic skin problem or a serious health condition. The best way to ensure this is to keep your vet appointments regular.

Also Read: Are Jack Russells Smart Dogs?


It is not uncommon for vets to prescribe supplements for Jack Russells, so don’t overthink it.

Develop a regular bathing and grooming schedule and make sure the food is right. Check the shedding fur to ensure there are no clumps. That’s not supposed to happen. That’s pretty much it.