Grooming A Jack Russell Terrier [Haircuts, Shaving & Fur Striping]


Whether you enjoy it or not, grooming your Jack Russell Terrier is part of providing the best care you can for your new dog.

I get it, and I prefer to avoid this at times as well. I would rather be outdoors interacting and enjoying the weather with my Jack Russell. Unfortunately, grooming is something you should not avoid.

It leads to a common question that I want to touch on in this discussion today.

Do Jack Russell Terrier’s Need Haircuts?

I have been the proud owner of a Jack Russell Terrier for the past 3 years now, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Smooth-coated Jack Russell Terriers do not need haircuts. Broken and rough-coated Jack Russell’s can be given haircuts using clippers if desired or necessary. Cutting your Jack Russell’s longer hairs on the face is also acceptable using scissors.

The rest of this discussion will cover the considerations you need to keep in mind when grooming, providing any haircuts, or shaving a Jack Russell Terrier.

Here is how I want to lay it out for you today:



How To Groom A Jack Russell Terrier

Grooming a Jack Russell Terrier depends on a few things.

First, the coat of your Jack Russell Terrier will make a big difference in what effort and work will be required from you.

I am referring to the two primary coats for this discussion: the smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier and the Rough Coat or Broken Coat Jack Russell Terrier.

And, for the record, you also have wired-haired Jack Russell Terriers (more on this shortly)


Smooth Coated Jack Russell Hair Cutting Needs and Grooming

For a smooth-coated Jack Russell, you will need much less work you need to perform on your end, and the overall grooming maintenance is much lower.

In most cases, you can rely on a few brushings each week and a bath with quality shampoo every 4-6 weeks.

Outside of these brushings and baths, you likely will not need to worry about shaving or performing any haircutting for your Jack Russell.

And then, we have the rough-coated Jack Russell.


Rough Coat Jack Russell Hair Cutting Needs and Grooming

A rough-coated Jack Russell Terrier is an entirely different story when it comes to grooming needs.

Rough coated Jack Russell’s have long hair capable of trapping dirt, debris and producing dander and shedding.

While everyone may approach how they groom their rough coat Jack Russell differently, the options you have and some of the steps you need to take remain the same.

Unfortunately, you will need to do a little more than brushing and providing a bath for top-quality grooming in this situation.


How Do You Cut and Trim A Jack Russell’s Hair?

If you have a wired haired or rough coat Jack Russell Terrier, you have several options for grooming your dog’s hair.

Sometimes shaving will be the best technique when brushing or stripping does not show to be effective.

However, I would recommend beginning with brushing and fur stripping to see if that works for you.

Shaving can be ideal if you cannot find success with the other methods.

One of the problems with shaving your Jack Russell is the shedding may not decrease much, and now they will shed more small hairs, which are often harder to clean up and travel in the air in the house with more ease.

Again, I am not saying that you should never shave your Jack Russell Terrier.

You can absolutely shave your Jack Russell Terrier.

To provide a haircut, if need be, remember the difference in shedding that you may experience if you take this approach.

For now, I want to cover fur-stripping so that you can attempt to implement this method first with your Jack Russell Terrier.


Fur-Stripping A Jack Russell Terrier

Fur-stripping, a Jack Russell Terrier, is not overly complicated. If you are not comfortable with it, you should leave it to a professional to get the job done.

Some Jack Russell’s will be easier to fur strip than others, and you want to learn a bit about the craft before diving right in.

Here is a step by step breakdown on how to fur-strip your Jack Russell effectively.

Before Beginning, make sure you have your list of equipment and fur-striping workstation ready to go.

This includes the following tools:

  • Comb
  • Wide Tooth Comb
  • Wire Brush
  • Short Serrated Striping Knife (dull blade)
  • Short Serrated Striping Knife (share blade)
  • Thinning shears
  • Rubber Mat (helps your dog remain stable and comfortable during the process)
  • Grooming Workstation (optional)

And of course, be sure to have some dog treats handy and remember to talk and interact with your Jack Russell during the process to keep them comfortable and enjoying the process.

The more they enjoy the first time, the easier it will be for the next time that your Jack Russell Terrier is ready for some grooming and fur-striping.


#1- Find and Purchase a Quality Striping Knife

You can find a lot of different variations of striping knives to use for the process.

Sometimes, it is even beneficial to have a few of these striping knifes on hand if you have a rough coat Jack Russell Terrier with different areas of the body where the fur is more difficult to strip.

Personally, I like the Mars Professional Striping Knife (Link to Amazon)

It is high quality, and will certainly get the job done for a Jack Russell Terrier.


#2- Reserve Plenty of Time for Fur-Striping Your Jack Russell Terrier

Another thing new Jack Russell owners often neglect to realize is that fur-striping can take several hours or longer depending on your dog’s coat.

You need to save some time and go through the process at a steady pace and not rush.

You can break up the grooming session for your Jack Russell into a few smaller sessions.


#3- Get Your Jack Russell In A Calm and Relaxed State

Next, you want to make sure your Jack Russell is not hyper and ready to play before Beginning.

We all know how energetic this dog can be and striping your Jack Russell when they are in this mood would be difficult.

Get your Jack Russell for a run.

Even if you do not want to take them for a run, consider getting them out for a long walk or some other exercise form.

Whatever you can do to tucker them out more, will help them behave more calmly during the process?


#4- Begin The Fur Stripping Process

When you feel confident that you are ready to begin the stripping process, get your Jack Russell in a room or spot where you can easily clean up the hair and fur that is striped and begin by striping from the backbone up towards the neck.

Next, it is time to get your striping knife of choice ready to go.


#5- Position The Striping Knife

Take your striping knife and hold your index finger behind the blade with a firm grip and begin combing a portion of your dog’s hair.

You can use your thumb to keep it sturdy in place while you begin removing the hair.

Continue this process for each area of your Jack Russell’s coat.


#6- Remember That You Have Several Body Areas to Cover

I told you a minute ago, set aside some time, and I meant it.

You have a lot of areas to cover for a Jack Russell being such a small dog.

You need to make sure that if you are planning on fur-striping your Jack Russell that you cover and groom the following areas:

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Tail
  • Sides
  • Neck

Starting to feel like you should trust a professional to handle this yet?

When you are doing each of these areas, you want to keep the skin taut and work around cowlicks.

You can pull the skin back in small sections with your striping knife of choice and remove all the long hair.


#7- Provide Your Jack Russell An Optional Bath

Once completed, you can give your Jack Russell a bath if you desire to remove any dead hair or loose hair you can from the dog.

It is also recommended that you do another quick fur-striping session 4-7 days later to clean up any longer hairs or spots missed on the first round.

Again, while this process is not overly complicated, I would highly recommend using a professional groomer for your Jack Russell to complete fur-striping or shaving.

Sure, it may cost a few bucks, but at the end of the day, you know it is done safely, correctly, and will have your Jack Russell looking and feeling the best!

My 2 cents at least.


Consider a Furminator For Your Jack Russell Terrier

Another useful tool you can consider helping with the grooming process for your Jack Russell is the popular FURminator.

It is a useful tool for striping some loose and long hair from your Jack Russell and is ideal for getting to the undercoat on your dog.

I also love that it has a button release to drop the fur once removed from the dog, making the hair easy to discard in the trash.

Again, use any tools you want or use a professional groomer.

The FURminator is a tool I recommend trying or having on hand for quick grooming and brushing needs for your Jack Russell.

This applies even if you have a smooth coated Jack Russell.

You can check it out here for yourself (Link to Amazon)


Grooming Is Part Of Jack Russell Ownership, Keep Up With It

Providing a quick trim, a haircut, and grooming a Jack Russell is something that comes with owning and raising a Jack Russell.

It should not be ignored and keeps your dog’s coat healthy and happy.

Not to mention, providing top-notch grooming techniques for your Jack Russell is going to allow you to enjoy the benefits as well, such as less odor and reduced shedding.

I personally enjoy cuddling up with my dog much more when she is clean and smelling good.

If you do not trust yourself to get the grooming job done effectively, consider a professional to keep your Jack Russell in top show quality.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terrier’s and the grooming tasks you have ahead of you!


What Other Grooming Tips For A Jack Russell Terrier Can You Share?

Do you have any other tips or tricks to share with the community about grooming a Jack Russell Terrier?

Be sure to share those ideas, thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

Recent Posts