Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier [Pros, Cons & Details]

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Plenty of confusion circles the Jack Russell Terrier communities or potential adopters for this dog breed around the simple concept of the different coats Jack Russell Terriers can be bred.

I was in the same situation before adopting my smooth coat female, Jack Russell Terrier.

I understand that you may be looking for a Jack Russell that is suitable for your likes, dislikes, or even allergy needs, so the rest of this brief discussion will be focused on explaining the wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier.

Additionally, I want to cover the primary differences between the smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier and wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier to ensure you understand the differences.

Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier Overview

Wire-haired Jack Russell Terriers will be 100% exact to a smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier when it comes to behavior and temperament.

Both dogs are still Jack Russell Terriers.

It is that simple.

The differences in behavior, personality, and the dog itself will be derived from the breeding itself and the bloodline of the Jack Russell Terrier.

However, the physical appearance of the coat of the Jack Russell Terrier is going to be different with a wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier.

Grooming needs for a wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier will also be different for a wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier compared to a smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier.

Remember, I am the proud owner of a 3-year-old smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier. You can see plenty of her by visiting my YouTube channel here.

Smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier’s and the grooming needs, physical appearance, and potential shedding are perhaps where my true expertise lies.

Still, I have been engraved in the Jack Russell Terrier communities for quite some time now.

Not to mention, I take pride and enjoy being as educated on the topic for this dog as possible so I want to begin with explaining the primary differences you will encounter with a wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier as opposed to a smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier.

Differences Between Wire Haired and Smooth Coat Jack Russell Terriers

As mentioned, a minute ago, the differences between a Wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier and a smooth-coat Jack Russell Terrier will be far and few between outside of the coat itself, the work involved, and some potential shedding.

Well, and appearance.

That is another biggie between the two coat types.

A wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier is going to have longer hair, often growing in different directions, and known for those Jack Russell Terrier mustaches you often see in pictures or even on television.

Smooth coat Jack Russell’s have a shiny, clean look to their coat but do not be fooled; they are known to be heavier shedders and require grooming work as well.

Those are the details I want to dive into next.

Do Wire Haired Jack Russell Terriers Shed?

Yes, Wire-haired Jack Russell Terriers shed. 

The good news is that they do not shed as much as the smooth coat Jack Russell Terriers, and the hairs they shed are not as pin needle-like.

Trust me, I know from experience.

I have spent my fair share of time vacuuming and cleaning Luna’s dog hair in my short time raising her.

However, if you absolutely cannot have any shedding in the home, a wire-haired Jack Russell is still not going to be ideal for you and will shed probably more than you would prefer.

I will cover more grooming needs and specifics about this shortly after answering one more frequently asked question on the topic.

Are Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier’s Hypoallergenic?

No, wire-haired Jack Russell Terriers are not considered hypoallergenic dogs.

Wire-haired Jack Russell Terriers are still known to be moderate shedders.

It can be reduced with proper and routine grooming for your dog.

Overall, if you need a hypoallergenic dog breed, a wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier will not be ideal for you and the family.

Grooming Needs of Wire-Haired Jack Russell Terriers

Now, it is time to discuss the specific grooming needs of the wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier.

This will differ slightly from the smooth coat Jack Russell Terrier, which I currently raise.


Brushing will be the most crucial task you regularly complete for your wire-haired or rough-coated Jack Russell Terrier.

This applies to me as well with my smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier.

This is going to help your dog shed out dirty and debris-filled hair and allows the excess hairs to be pulled off before shedding into the home.

I recommend brushing your Jack Russell Terrier at least once per week, and the more you can brush your Jack Russell Terrier with a rough coat or wire-coat, the better.

Over brushing is not really a thing with this dog breed and will keep the healthy coat showing shiny and much cleaner.

Regular Baths Are Key For Wire-Haired Jack Russell Terriers

Regular baths are another crucial part of grooming a wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier.

However, this is one of the tasks you can overdo if you are not careful, so be sure not to give too frequent baths to avoid drying out the skin and hair for your dog.

I recommend giving your wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier a bath every 4-6 weeks.

Brush your dog before the bath and use quality shampoo and conditioner for the best results.

You should also be considering using a shampoo that is specifically designed for a rough-coated (wire-haired) dog breed for optimal results.


Stripping is the most tedious task you will have to deal with when grooming a wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier, but it is necessary.

The good news is that it only needs to be completed twice per year for the best results.

After brushing through all loose hair, you will strip the remaining dead hair.

Special stripping knives are available that make this task relatively easy.

If you want my honest opinion, I highly recommend allowing a professional to complete this part of the process.

They know what they are doing; it will save you time and the headache of doing it yourself.

Not to mention, it is not as expensive as you would think to get this done and get it done correctly.


Trimming is one of the primary differences between the wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier’s with a smooth coat.

This is because the wire-haired Jack Russell Terrier grows longer hairs around the eyes, eyebrows, and even around the lips.

This is when you will trim neatly around these areas with special trimming scissors ensuring you are keeping the trimming even on both sides.

This basically completes the entire grooming process and is the last step you need to complete and make your dog look like show quality!

Wire Haired Jack Russell Terriers Can Make A Great Family Addition

Both wire-haired Jack Russell Terriers and smooth-coat Jack Russell Terriers can make great additions to any family and make great family dogs.

Both bring unique and spunky personalities with them wherever they go, and both dogs are going to keep you on your heels preparing for the next adventure.

Regardless of which coat type you prefer; Luna and I do not think you will be disappointed with your choice to adopt.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russell Terriers!

Do You Have A Smooth Coat or Wire-Haired Jack Russell Terrier?

Which coat type of Jack Russell Terrier have you raised and owned in the past?

Do you have any further recommendations or advice you can share with the community?

Be sure to share those 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.

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