If you fancy unique-looking small and active pooches, you have to know about the white Jack Russell Terrier. Apart from their superb hunting skills and bold personality, they boast a distinct all-white coat.
While they appear to be attractive and rare, some consider a pure white Jack Russell Terrier to be an unhealthy canine. But what does having a white coat color have to do with a Jack Russell Terrier’s health?
If you want to learn about the white Jack Russell Terrier, read until the end. In this article, we will discuss all the essential things about this beautiful purebred, including its lifespan, health issues, temperament, and more!
What Is a White Jack Russell Terrier? Are There White Jack Russell Terriers?
A white Jack Russell Terrier is a purebred Jack Russell Terrier that exhibits an all-white coat color. The coats on these dogs have no black and tan markings that are often seen in the breed. While unique-looking, the white Jack Russell Terrier is linked to certain health issues.
Jack Russell Terriers were intentionally bred to be more than 51% white. These dogs were originally used for hunting foxes as a sport, and having a predominantly white coat is essential in helping hunters distinguish them from foxes.
As such, a pure white Jack Russell Terrier is not an improbable occurrence. But since the pigmentation genes associated with white coat color have been linked to deafness, some dog enthusiasts are not so keen on this pooch.
They argue that since the Jack Russell Terrier is already largely white-colored, having an entirely white coat-colored pup will increase the likelihood of it being born deaf.
Are White Jack Russell Terriers Rare?
Although it may be unusual to see a pure white Jack Russell, they are not entirely rare. In fact, major kennel clubs recognize solid white as an acceptable color for the Jack Russell Terrier breed.
Depending on the set of pigmentation genes passed on by the parents, the probability of having a white Jack Russell in a litter certainly exists.
But due to the supposed increased health risk for white Jack Russell Terriers, responsible breeders take caution in what to include in their gene pool.
In contrast, they strive to produce puppies with an ideal amount of black and tan markings. Hence, pure white Jack Russells do not come by often and are rarely intentionally bred.
White Jack Russell Terrier Appearance
Apart from its all-white coat, the white Jack Russell Terrier is identical to the typical Jack Russell Terrier. Their weather-resistant white coat, which is hard and dense, also comes in three types.
The shortest is the smooth coat, which lies flat and is uniformly short over the entire body of the white Jack Russell. The rough coat, on the other hand, is visibly longer and consists of a short undercoat and a wiry outer coat.
The broken coat has the combined qualities of smooth and rough coats. White Jack Russells with a broken coat will have varying traces of long hair on their faces, body, and legs along with their short coat.
Size-wise, a white Jack Russell Terrier’s height measures around 10 to 15 inches and, in terms of weight, is between 13 and 17 pounds.
This small-sized pooch also has a body that is longer than its height. Their head is moderately broad and appears triangular-shaped when viewed from the front.
White Jack Russell Terriers also have dark-colored eyes which are almond-shaped, helping to give them an intelligent and alert appearance.
Their V-shaped ears can be slightly or fully flopped down, and their strong muzzle comes with powerful jaws and noses that are black in color.
White Jack Russell Terrier Color Genetics
White Jack Russell Terriers and albino Jack Russell Terriers may look similar at first glance. Many people even mistake a white Jack Russell for an albino. However, they are not the same. Let’s take a look into their color genetics.
For starters, the color of a dog is determined by the amount of pigment it has. These pigments called melanin come in two forms; the eumelanin, which is a black pigment, and phaeomelanin, which is a red pigment.
Melanin is not only responsible for providing color but also helps protect the skin from sun damage and enables the eyes to filter light.
In the case of albino Jack Russells, they are unable to produce pigments in their skin, which results in a white coat and pale skin color.
They would also have pink noses, and you can notice that the areas around their eyes are pink as well. Some would even have blue eyes. And because they do not produce melanin, they are more light-sensitive.
White Jack Russells, on the other hand, are able to produce pigments but have inherited genes that dilute or modify the amount of pigment produced, resulting in their white coat.
As they are able to produce pigment, a white Jack Russell is able to have dark-colored eyes and a black nose. You can also see that their eye rims are black too.
But because the pigment is important for the proper functioning of sensory hair cells in the inner ear area of dogs, white Jack Russell Terriers are at risk for deafness.
Do White Jack Russell Terrier Puppies Change Color as They Grow?
A white Jack Russell Terrier will not change color as it grows. However, some white Jack Russells may develop ticking or small spots of colored hair as they grow older.
A change in the color of a white Jack Russell may be attributed to old age, sustained injury, illness, medication, or dietary issues.
If you suspect that your white Jack Russell Terrier’s change in coat color might be due to severe disease, consult your vet immediately to have your pooch checked.
Do Kennel Clubs Recognize White Jack Russell Terriers?
Meanwhile, American Kennel Club (AKC) has separated the Jack Russell Terriers into two distinct breeds, with the taller variant being officially named Parson Russell Terrier and the shorter variant, Russell Terrier.
White Parson Russell Terriers are recognized by the AKC. However, for white Russell Terriers, having a solid white coat is a disqualifying trait in the breed standard. As such, white Russell Terriers are not recognized by the AKC.
White Jack Russell Terrier Temperament and Personality
White Jack Russell Terriers make great family dogs for active families and individuals. Their sense of curiosity always brings a persistent desire to be involved in family endeavors.
Whether it be through long walks, hiking, running, or playing games of fetch with their family members, they will thoroughly enjoy doing it as long as they are with their loved ones.
Moreover, they are affectionate and can form bonds with all family members. Interaction with small children should be supervised, though, as they are easily excitable, and playtime can turn rowdy.
Their ability to form loving bonds with family members also makes them prone to experiencing separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods of time. It is best to train them so that they can properly cope with this.
Their protective nature also makes them good guard dogs because their fearlessness makes them unrelenting when impending danger is sensed.
When it comes to training the white Jack Russell Terrier, owners must be firm, consistent, and use positive reinforcement techniques as they can get stubborn and insist on having their own way due to their intelligence.
Watch how impressive this off-leash trained white Jack Russell Terrier is in the clip below:
With all their bold personality, high energy, and affectionate nature, the white Jack Russell is a great addition to families and individuals who lead active lifestyles.
White Jack Russell Terrier Lifespan and Health Issues
White Jack Russell Terriers are dogs that enjoy a long lifespan. On average, they can live for 13 to 16 years.
However, these dogs are not immune to developing certain types of illnesses. For one, they are at a higher risk for abnormal hearing because of their white coat.
Along with the increased risk for deafness, owners must also watch out for signs of other possible health problems of the white Jack Russell.
Below are some of the health issues of the white Jack Russell Terrier:
- Congenital Hereditary Sensorineural Deafness: Congenital hereditary sensorineural deafness is commonly seen in dogs with white coats like the white Jack Russell Terrier. This condition causes the degeneration of blood vessels in the ear and leads to loss of hair cell function and deafness. However, it is worth noting that not all white Jack Russells suffer from deafness.
- Patellar Luxation: Patellar luxation is the dislocation of the knee cap, a condition common among small breed dogs like the white Jack Russell Terrier. Some dogs are able to bear this condition, especially if the degree of luxation is not severe. But for severe cases, a surgical procedure may be warranted.
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a bone condition characterized by the degeneration of the head of the femur bone in the back legs of the white Jack Russell. This leads to hip joint problems and osteoarthritis. Symptoms include pain, lameness, and limping.
- Ataxia: Ataxia is an abnormality that occurs in the nervous system of the white Jack Russell. This results in a lack of coordination of movement and balance problems. Signs of ataxia include weakness, head tilting, swaying, and wobbly gait.
When purchasing a white Jack Russell pup, verify with your breeder if it has undergone BAER testing to ensure that the pup does not have any hearing problems.
Also, it is crucial to make regular vet visits to ensure that your white Jack Russell maintains a healthy condition and to be able to detect early signs of any health issue.
How Much Does a White Jack Russell Terrier Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
The price range of a white Jack Russell is around $850 to $2,500. You can expect to pay more for puppies coming from champion bloodlines.
Adoption is also a good means to acquire a white Jack Russell Terrier. By paying an adoption fee of around $300 to $800, you are able to give a homeless white Jack Russell a second chance at belonging to a loving family.
As you prepare your funds to purchase your puppy, you must also allot funds for the essential items and procedures your white Jack Russell needs as you bring them home.
Below are the initial expenses of the white Jack Russell Terrier:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$50 – $80
|Food and Water Bowls
|$10 – $25
|$30 – $150
|$30 – $200
|Leashes and Collars
|$15 – $50
|$20 – $30
|$30 – $150
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$50 – $200
|Initial Vet Visits
|$100 – $300
|Initial Vaccine Shots
|$75 – $200
|Neutering or Spaying
|$50 – $500
|$10 – $20
|$40 – $60
|$15 – $30
|Total Initial Cost
|$525 – $1,995
The estimated price ranges above give you an idea of the amount you will be spending on your pup once it arrives. Remember to opt for quality-made items that are built to last and are made of pet-safe materials.
Places to Find White Jack Russell Terrier Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Finding a white Jack Russell Terrier may not be a very easy task for aspiring owners. But successfully owning one would definitely make all the effort worth it. With that, you need to begin your search by looking for reputable breeders.
Below are some reputable breeders where you can find a white Jack Russell Terrier:
- Edison Kennel – Edison Kennel has already received various awards from the Eukanuba Invitationals and Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. They offer both Jack Russell Terriers that are according to the Parson Russell Terrier and Russell Terrier standards.
- Hunter’s Moon Russell Terriers – Hunter’s Moon Russell Terriers focuses on breeding sound and healthy Jack Russell Terriers with great temperaments. All their Jack Russell puppies are raised in the owner’s home. Dogs from Hunter’s Moon Russell Terriers have already earned several awards from different conformation shows.
- Hickory Hills Jacks – Jack Russell Terriers bred by Hickory Hills Jacks are raised and exposed to different environments and situations to help them adjust to home life. Their Jack Russell puppies often begin a puppy curriculum that includes a weekly bath and nail trimmings. They are also kennel and potty-trained and socialized with family members.
Our puppy buying guide is a helpful resource for getting tips on safely purchasing your white Jack Russell Terrier online.
If you prefer to adopt a white Jack Russell Terrier, below are some rescues you can check out:
- Mid-Atlantic Jack Rescue, Inc. (MAJR) – MAJR is a foster-based rescue organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming Jack Russell Terriers such as the white Jack Russell and other Jack Russell mixes. They also have education and awareness initiatives to help the public, as well as owners, be informed about the proper care and handling of the Jack Russell Terrier breed.
- Russell Rescue, Inc. – Russell Rescue, Inc. is a volunteer-based rescue that takes great effort in rehoming abandoned Jack Russell Terriers like the white Jack Russell Terrier. Rescued dogs are placed in temporary foster homes until they are adopted. Aside from their rescue and rehoming efforts, they also educate owners and breeders about the special needs of the Jack Russell breed.
- Jack Russell Rescue CA – Jack Russell Rescue CA is a non-profit rescue that works hand in hand with animal shelters and rescues. Rescued dogs are provided with a temporary foster home until they get adopted. At the same time, this rescue is also able to accept owner surrenders of Jack Russells.
You can also read our ultimate guide to dog adoption to be informed on how to go about the adoption process.
And if you are wondering if you can get puppies for free in your area, this is absolutely possible! There are great options that are all worth giving a try in order to get a white Jack Russell for free.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are White Jack Russells Deaf?
While white Jack Russells may be predisposed to deafness due to their pigmentation genes, not all white Jack Russells are born deaf.
As a precautionary measure, make sure that your white Jack Russell pup undergoes BAER testing to determine any hearing impairment.
Do White Jack Russell Terriers Shed?
White Jack Russell Terriers shed a moderate amount of hair. During spring and fall, you can expect more shedding, especially for white Jack Russells with the smooth coat type. Due to this, they are not considered hypoallergenic.
Do White Jack Russell Terriers Bark a Lot?
White Jack Russell Terriers are not excessive barkers. However, due to their protective instincts, they will bark at any sign of perceived danger to alert and protect their owner.
You can train your pup to recognize non-threatening situations like the sound of household appliances to minimize this.
Final Thoughts: Is a White Jack Russell Terrier the Right Dog for You?
The white Jack Russell Terrier is the same incredible Jack Russell Terrier we all come to admire. What makes them extra special is their unique pure white coat, expanding their list of charming traits.
While charmingly unique, owning one comes with caution, not only due to their specific exercise and training needs but also because of their increased risk for deafness.
But with the right leadership skills and due diligence in ensuring the good health of the pup, aspiring owners are sure to experience the unique love, affection, and happy energy only the white Jack Russell is able to give.
Do you think the white Jack Russell Terrier is the right dog for you? Let us know and share your comments below!