Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier: A Complete Guide to the Rough Coat Jack Russell

Long-haired Jack Russell Terrier and a short haired Jack Russell running together

Jack Russell Terriers are brave, energetic, and inquisitive bundles of joy. Perhaps you’ve been considering adopting or buying one, and you somehow heard of long-haired Jack Russell Terriers.

Now you want to find out if they really exist and how they differ from the short-haired Jack Russells we often see.

Well, this is a one-stop guide where you’ll get to know almost everything about the long-haired Jack Russell Terrier as well as what to expect when you own one!

You’ll learn what long-coated Jack Russell Terriers look like, how big they get, and what they need in terms of grooming, among other things.

What Is a Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier? Do They Really Exist?

A long-haired Jack Russell Terrier belongs to one of the breed’s three coat types. Although commonly known by dog lovers as long-haired Jack Russell Terriers, they’re more correctly called rough coat Jack Russells.

Rough-coat or long-haired Jack Russells have the longest hair out of all the breed varieties, hence their name. Unlike smooth coats, the hair on rough coats may grow in different directions which often gives them a unique, textured look.

Even though they may appear different from the other two coats that are smooth and broken, they don’t exhibit that much difference in behavior, temperament, and size.

They aren’t also that expensive so if you prefer how they look, you can easily purchase them without breaking your bank.

What Does the Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier Look Like?

All Jack Russell Terriers have a double coat—a harsh outer coat and an undercoat.

Because they are hunting dogs, the hair of Jack Russell Terriers is coarse as it is meant to protect them from all elements. Their coat is often water-resistant and protects them from any weather.

Jack Russells have a primarily white body with either black or tan patches. However, it’s also possible to have both black and tan patches. The patches on their bodies can be any pattern as long as the dog remains at least 51% white.

Long-coated Jack Russells have long, thick fur covering their entire body. Their long fur is naturally wiry and straight and their rough coat can grow from one to two inches long.

The fur of rough coat Jack Russell Terriers grows in several different directions which often results in a textured look. Additionally, rough coat Jack Russells are sometimes referred to as wire-haired or wire coated.

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Do Kennel Clubs Recognize Long-Haired Jack Russell Terriers?

Little Long-haired Jack Russell Terrier runs fast in the snow

In general, Jack Russell Terriers weren’t recognized by any kennel club until the late 1990s. In 2001, both the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized Jack Russell Terriers.

Although the breed name was at one point changed to the Parson Russell Terrier, both are now considered different breeds.

Some kennel clubs such as the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) and the New Zealand Kennel Club (NZCK) recognize both the Jack Russell Terrier and the Parson Russell Terrier.

All three coat types of the Jack Russell are considered as the same breed. Hence, long haired Jack Russell Terriers are recognized by kennel clubs.

How Big Do Long-Haired Jack Russell Terriers Get When Fully Grown?

Long-haired Jack Russell Terriers are considered small dogs. But although they’re considered small, they can reach a height of 10 to 15 inches when fully grown.

Long-coated Jack Russell Terriers are slightly longer than they are tall at 18 to 22 inches. No matter what type of coat one may have, they can all grow to a height of 10 to 15 inches when fully grown.

All Jack Russell Terriers are proportionally longer than they are tall. Once fully grown, Jack Russell Terriers can weigh 14 to 18 pounds on average.

Are Long-Haired Jack Russell Terriers Rare?

The rough coat is a less common variation seen on Jack Russell Terriers. The smooth coat is more commonly seen and generally preferred by dog lovers as it doesn’t require grooming.

Although kennel clubs recognize long-coated Jack Russell Terriers, they need to be groomed and have some work done before entering the show ring.

Because of this, Jack Russells with short coats are preferred by those who love the breed.

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Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier Temperament: Are They Good Family Dogs?

Long-coated Jack Russells make for good family dogs but it will still depend on how active your family is. This dog will not be a good pet for a couch potato as it needs to get a lot of exercise.

Long haired Jack Russell Terriers are lively, intelligent, and fast. They’re brave, easily trained, and have seemingly endless energy but they’re easily bored.

Because of this, Jack Russell Terrier owners need to make sure that their pup gets enough exercise as they tend to dig, chew, or bark when bored.

In addition, Jack Russell Terriers also make for good guard dogs as they have a brave personality and won’t cower in a corner if they sense danger.

Are Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier Healthy Dogs? Lifespan and Health Issues

Long-haired Jack Russell Terrier puppy standing up

Luckily, rough coats and Jack Russell Terriers in general have few health and genetic issues. Not all Jack Russells will get any of these diseases but it’s always important to be aware of them especially if you have or are considering getting one.

Long haired Jack Russell Terriers have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. Because they’re hunting dogs, they were bred to be hardy. Most of the time, any injuries they may have are the result of their antics.

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This is commonly seen in small breeds. This disease, a deformity of the ball of the hip joint, can lead to arthritis in dogs. However, it can be repaired through surgery and can be thoroughly healed with rehabilitation therapy afterward.
  • Deafness: This condition is often associated with white coat colors and is sometimes seen in Jack Russell Terriers.
  • Patellar Luxation: Another common problem in small dogs, this condition is also known as “slipped stifles.” This occurs when the dog’s leg bones are not lined up correctly. If your dog has an abnormal gait, it’s best to plan for a visit to the vet.

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Rough Coated Jack Russell Terrier Grooming Needs

Long-coated Jack Russell Terriers have double coats, as do the two other coat types.

Because of this, their long hair is also quite thick and it can easily get tangled up. Make sure that this not often happen by attending to their following grooming needs:

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The first and most important part of grooming a long-haired Jack Russell Terrier is brushing.

The long-haired Jack Russell’s coat should be brushed or combed using a wide-toothed comb weekly. When your dog is shedding, a slicker brush should be used.


Bathing is often not recommended for Jack Russell Terriers unless they are filthy.

Because shampoo can soften their hair, it is considered detrimental for rough-coat Jack Russells. For this reason, dry shampoo is often used by Jack Russell Terrier owners instead.


Stripping is the process of plucking or pulling the dead hair from a dog’s coat. The long-haired Jack Russell Terrier’s undercoat should be stripped twice a year and it is best done when the dog is shedding.

You can choose to do this yourself or have a professional groomer do it for you. If you decide to do it yourself, you should comb all the loose hairs from the dog’s coat and separate the remaining hair into sections.

Once done, each section must be examined to ensure that all dead hair has been removed. If any remain, each dead hair should be plucked as it removes the dead hair shaft which allows new hair to grow evenly.

Alternatively, this can be done with a stripping knife which allows for removing several dead hairs at a time.


Long-haired Jack Russell Terriers generally need very little trimming. The loose hair around the dog’s face should be trimmed with blunt scissors but trimming more than a little is not recommended.

Excess hair around the dog’s genital area should be trimmed to help with hygiene, as well as any excess fur on the feet and between the dog’s toes. A pair of thinning scissors should be used to trim the hair on the tip of the tail.

Getting their coat trimmed once every eight to ten weeks is enough to keep their coat looking healthy and clean.

Long Haired Jack Russell Terrier Puppy Prices and Expenses: Do They Cost More Than the Short Coat Varieties?

Now that you know what to expect from owning a long-haired Jack Russell Terrier, you’ve decided that it’s the dog for you.

Of course, as with other breeds, how much it’s going to cost you to bring your new friend home will depend on where you get the puppy from.

As with most breeds, the difference between the cost of adopting from a breeder and a rescue is impossible to ignore. How much you’ll pay will depend on the age of the dog you want to adopt or buy.

The cost of buying a long-haired Jack Russell Terrier puppy from a breeder is between $800 and $2,500. Meanwhile, the adoption fee from rescues is usually $300 to $800 only.

Once you’ve brought home your puppy, you’ll need to take care of your new friend’s primary care and needs. Among your new responsibilities are its diet, training, and grooming.

Your average monthly expenses can cost as little as $50, but it can also be hundreds of dollars if your dog needs special care.

Yes, because long-haired Jack Russell Terriers are rarer, they cost more than the short-coat varieties.

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Places to Find Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier Puppies for Sale and Adoption

Long-haired Jack Russell Terrier puppy for sale

If you decide to buy a long-haired Jack Russell puppy, always buy one from a professional breeder. They dedicate their time and effort to making sure that the puppies are always healthy and the best they can be.

  • JRTCA Breeders Directory – The JRTCA has a list of breeders on its Breeders Directory. Look through the list and decide which breeder you want to buy a puppy from. This way, you can easily adopt and bring home a long-haired Jack Russell puppy with no trouble!
  • Diamond Gates – Located in Massachusetts, Diamond Gates has been dedicated to breeding happy and healthy Jack Russell Terrier puppies with excellent temperaments that are ensured to be conformationally correct.

However, keep in mind that you can choose to adopt a long-haired Jack Russell from a rescue instead.

This way, you can bring home a long-haired Jack Russell, save the lives of two long-coated Jack Russell Terriers and not break the bank!

  • Adopt-a-Pet – This organization is the largest non-profit pet adoption website in North America. They help pet rescue groups, animal shelters, and pet adoption agencies list and advertise their rescued pets for free. With so many Jack Russell Terriers on their site, you’re bound to find one you’ll be interested in!
  • Petfinder – An online, searchable database of animals in need of homes, this website also serves as a directory of thousands of animal shelters and adoption organizations. You’ll be able to look for the perfect Jack Russell for you to bring home!
  • Russell Rescue, Inc. – A national network of volunteers makes it possible for this non-profit organization to save and find forever homes for their rescued Jack Russell Terriers. They have all three coat types which vary from smooth, broken, and rough coat Jack Russells.

Commonly Asked Questions

Do Long-Haired Jack Russell Terriers Shed?

All Jack Russell Terriers shed, no matter the coat type. Unlike most dog breeds, short-coat Jack Russells shed more than the long-haired Jack Russell Terrier does.

Jack Russells should not be bathed unless necessary as this can lead to dry skin and more shedding.

What Are Other Coat Types of Jack Russell Terrier?

The Jack Russell Terrier has three coat types—short, broken, and rough.

Smooth coat Jack Russell Terriers do not have trace hair on their head, face, legs, or body. On the other hand, rough coats have excess trace hair and have long hair all over their body.

Lastly, broken coats are somewhere in between. They are similar to smooth coats but may have trace hair on their head, face, legs, or body. Broken coats’ hair is usually longer than a smooth coat.

How Many Coat Colors Do Jack Russell Terriers Have?

Jack Russell Terriers can have three coat color combinations with an infinite number of patterns.

Their coats are primarily white with black, tan, or black and tan patches. Any coat pattern on a Jack Russell Terrier is accepted as long as the dog remains at least 51% white.

Final Thoughts: Is the Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier the Right Dog for You?

The long-haired Jack Russell Terrier might be the right dog for you if you’re an active person, as Jack Russells need to get a lot of exercises to be at their best.

Jack Russell Terriers will appreciate and enjoy a fenced yard where he can run around and burn off some of his boundless energy.

Jack Russell Terriers also need to be trained well while still puppies, as although they are intelligent and easy to train, they can also be strong-willed.

During training, you’ll need to be firm, consistent, and provide positive motivation when your pup does well.

If you can give time to make sure your dog will get the exercise it needs, then a long-haired Jack Russell Terrier might just be right for you!


Ann Bristol February 23, 2022 - 5:12 am

My Jack Russell has very long hair. Looks like a Lion. His mom and dad were the same. He has papers and I got him in Texas. The hair on his back is a little shorter and wired. His main and face have long soft straight hair. How much hair can I cut off or is he supposed to look this way?

Mary Gibbens March 5, 2022 - 11:14 pm

Thank you for this article! As a first-time owner of a JRT I found this very informative!


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