Jack Russell Terrier Colors (Coat Types, Color Options, etc.)

By John Martin - May 3, 2022

Remember Milo from ‘The Mask’? The gorgeous brown and white Jack Russell Terrier stirred up quite a storm in the movie. The Jack Russell Terrier is known for its high energy levels and adorable looks that could capture anyone’s attention in a heartbeat.

If you have set your eyes on a Jack Russell and are confused about which color to get, read more to gain a better understanding of different Jack Russell Terrier colors.

History of the Breed

Originally bred as hunting dogs to prey on foxes, Jack Russells were developed in England in the 19th century by Rev.John Russell. Jack Russell Terriers trace their origin back to the now extinct English White Terrier.

Though they are lively, clever, and affectionate, the Jack Russell Terrier has some aggressive traits owing to its prey drive. The Jack Russell Terrier was bred to be predominantly white to differentiate them from the foxes they were to hunt down in the field.

The color of a Jack Russell Terrier depends on factors like parentage and genetics.

Personality and Behavior

The Jack Russell Terrier contains a huge personality for its small but sturdy body. They are highly energetic, outdoorsy, and love exercises and activities.

Jack Russell Terriers could be a difficult pet dog to handle if you are a first-time pet parent. Though it’s been centuries since they were bred to hunt down foxes, their prey drive remains intact and could cause problems if they aren’t properly trained and disciplined.

Jack Russell Terriers can become excellent guard dogs if they are properly socialized and trained. They are intelligent, independent, active, and always eager to work.

A Jack Russell Terrier would be a great fit for you if are ready to devote time, energy, and efforts to training them and keeping them engaged in different activities.

Different Color Choices of Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell Terriers playing in a field

There are several color variations when it comes to a Jack Russell Terrier. All the color combinations of Jack Russell Terriers involve white as a defining feature, as the breed was developed to be predominantly white.

Let’s have a look at the different Jack Russell Terrier color variations to form a better understanding of the breed.

White Jack Russell Terriers

A pure white Jack Russell Terrier may be a sight to behold, but studies show that the instances of deafness are found more in pure white Jack Russells.

Pure white Jack Russell Terriers aren’t that common anymore, and pure white puppies would mostly develop patches of some other color as they grow up.

Black and White Jack Russell Terriers

A black and white Jack Russell Terrier is differentiated with black patches and markings on a primarily white coat.

Brown and White Jack Russell Terriers

Brown patches on a predominantly white coat are the defining feature of a brown and white Jack Russell Terrier.

Lemon and White Jack Russell Terriers

As the name suggests, the lemon and white Jack Russell Terrier has lemon-colored patches or markings on a primarily white coat.

Tri-Color Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell Terriers could sometimes spot more than two colors on their coat. There are two such tri-color combinations in Jack Russell Terriers.

The first combination is black and tan patches on a white coat, and the other combination is brown and tan markings on a predominantly white coat.

Tan and White Jack Russell Terriers

These are Jack Russell Terriers with tan markings or patches on a principally white coat.

Red and White Jack Russell Terriers

Red and White is a unique color combination to look for in the Jack Russell Terrier breed. But as the name suggests, the colors aren’t red and white, but a combination of bright brown patches that are a bit reddish on the facial area.

Chestnut and White Jack Russell Terriers

Chestnut and white Jack Russell Terriers have the richest tan color with chestnut-colored markings and patches on a white coat.

Jack Russell Terrier Coat Textures

Jack Russell Terrier in park

Another important physical feature of a Jack Russell Terrier is its coat. The texture of a Jack Russell Terrier’s coat can be categorized into smooth, broken, or rough.

Though the physical features of a dog breed depend on its parentage, it isn’t uncommon to find different-looking puppies in the same litter. This happens as a result of their ancestry with dogs of different coats and colors.

The different variations of the Jack Russell Terrier coat textures are as follows.

Smooth Coat

Smooth-coated Jack Russell Terriers have very short and smooth hair that grows in a single direction. As smooth as it looks, the hair is also coarse enough to protect the Jack Russell Terrier against rain or cold weather.

Because of the absence of long, wiry hair, maintaining the fur of a smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier is easy compared to the rough-coated and broken-coated Jack Russell Terriers.

Though easy to care for, the short fur of the smooth-coated Jack Russell Terriers inclines to retain dirt particles. A smooth-coated Jack Russell will have consistently short hair all over the body, including its face.

Rough Coat

Jack Russell Terriers with a rough coat are characterized by long wiry hair that is generally rough. The hair will grow in different directions, and its length will vary from an inch to a couple of inches.

There will be excess hair present all over the body including the face in a rough-coated Jack Russell Terrier. Because of their wiry hair, rough-coated Jack Russell Terriers are also known by the name wire-haired Jack Russell Terriers.

The wiry coat of the Jack Russell Terrier acts as a protective shield against extraneous elements and is generally coarse. Rough-coated Jack Russells may need grooming, which isn’t a requirement for smooth-coated Jack Russell Terriers.

Broken Coat

A broken coated Jack Russell Terrier’s coat is the combination of a smooth coat and a wiry coat. They have the best of both worlds as the short fur gives the sleek look of a smooth coat and the wiry hair offers protection against external elements.

Generally, the smooth coat and rough coat appear in an equal ratio but could vary from dog to dog. Compared to a rough coat, a broken coat needs minimum grooming efforts and requires less time for tidying it up.

A broken coat looks very similar to a smooth coat, but with traces of hair on different parts of the body.

Commons Markings of a Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell puppy with patch over eye

In addition to the varying color choices and coats, the markings and patches on the Jack Russell Terrier breed also vary. Following are the common markings that you can spot on a Jack Russell Terrier. These markings differ from dog to dog.

Patch over Eye

A common marking seen amongst the Jack Russell Terrier breed is an over-eye patch of any color. The color, size, and shape of this marking could change from dog to dog.

An over-eye patch is generally seen over only one eye, not in both eyes.

Patch over Ear

Just like over-eye patches, patch over-ears are also seen in just one ear and not both. The coloring of the patch, the size, and the shape would vary.


Another form of marking, a mask refers to the fully colored head of a Jack Russell Terrier, whose rest of the body is white. Jack Russell Terriers with a mask look unique and interesting as their head will be one color and the rest of the body, white.

Mask with a Streak

A mask with a streak refers to a marking where the head is fully colored with a streak of white color in the center.

Saddle Markings

Saddle markings refer to the spots that appear on the Jack Russell Terrier’s sides and back. These markings could be of varying sizes, shapes, and colors.

Tail Spots

Tails spots are the markings or spots that appear on the tail of a Jack Russell Terrier. This could refer to a partly pigmented tail that extends to the backside or colored spots on a Jack Russell Terrier’s tail whose body is white-colored.

Tips to Maintain the Appearance of Your Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are adorable, but you would need to put some effort to ensure that their looks stay intact. The coat type of your Jack Russell plays a key role in deciding the type of care that you need to provide it.


Grooming is an essential step in maintaining the luster of the coat and the grooming methods will change depending on the coat type of your Jack Russell Terrier.

The rough-coated and broken-coated Jack Russell Terriers will need a more elaborate grooming process when compared to the short-haired, smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier.

Grooming a Smooth-Coated Jack Russell Terrier

The short and sleek fur makes the smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier the easiest type to groom. All you need is a good quality pet towel and brush to groom them.

The smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier might shed its fur frequently, so brushing is an important step to follow while grooming them. Make it a point to brush your smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier every day during the shedding season.

Brushing helps in getting rid of the shedding hair and promoting hair growth.

Grooming a Rough-Coated or Broken-Coated Jack Russell Terrier

Grooming a rough-coated or broken-coated Jack Russell Terrier involves more work when compared to grooming a smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier. The long hair needs special care and hand stripping would be one way to groom the wiry hair.

If you and your dog aren’t comfortable with hand stripping, don’t hesitate to go for a stripping knife. You should be extremely careful while using a stripping knife and should only use a light hand to do it.

In short, grooming when done correctly helps to maintain the coat and color of your dog intact with its beauty and luster.


Using a good dog shampoo will go a long way in maintaining the looks of your Jack Russell Terrier. Though daily baths are unnecessary for Jack Russell Terriers, try to bathe them whenever they get dirty.

A good shampoo will make the cleaning process of Jack Russells easier by removing dirt from its coat.

Clip the Nails

You should clip the nails of Jack Russell Terrier every few weeks. Owing to their aggressive traits, Jack Russell Terriers that aren’t well trained tend to destruct things around them, like scratching or tearing your furniture or shoes.

Clipped nails would prevent such destructive behaviors and would keep the nails to be clean, less prone to injury, and healthy.

Brushing Its Teeth

Get good quality and relaxed toothbrush and toothpaste for your Jack Russell Terrier and regularly brush its teeth. Brushing teeth regularly is important for the overall health and well-being of your dog.

Make sure that you brush both the front and back teeth of your Jack Russell Terrier.


Unlike dogs with a lot of furs, the Jack Russell Terrier breed doesn’t need heavy trimming. You can use a scissor to trim the hair on the body, including the legs, genital region, and tail tip.

Brushing the Hair

Brushing is an unavoidable step when it comes to maintaining the appearance of Jack Russell Terriers. Regular brushing not only helps during the shedding season but would also make the hair of your Jack Russell Terrier hard and water repellent.

Have a brush and comb handy if you want to improve the appearance of your dog.

Ensuring a Healthy Diet

The last but not the least tip to maintain your dog’s appearance is to feed it healthy and high-quality dog food. You should feed food according to the age, level of activity, and size of your Jack Russell Terrier and must refrain from overfeeding at all costs.

Parting Thoughts

The Jack Russell Terrier comes in a wide range of colors and markings, including white, black, brown, tan, etc. No matter what the color, markings, or coat type they have, Jack Russell Terriers make excellent pet dogs.

Make sure that you choose the Jack Russell Terrier according to your color and coat preferences and give them a happy forever home. They have a lot of personality and energy to add colors to your life, all day every day!