The Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier: Complete Guide And Tips

The Jack Russell Terrier is a lovely dog that is owned by many people around the world. Yet, not many people know that there are different kinds of Jack Russells depending on the coat.

The Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier is different from the Smooth Coat Jack Russell because its coat is 2-3 inches longer. These messy-looking dogs are as energetic and lovable as their smooth-haired counterparts. However, they still have some other differences. 

Key Takeaways

  • There are two types of Jack Russell Terriers: A wire-coated one and a short-coated one
  • It is a small dog with a height of 10-12 inches, and a weight of 9-15 pounds.
  • The Wire Haired Jack Russell has a 1-2 inches long coat.
  • It is an energetic and playful dog that is affectionate with its family.
  • Jack Russell Terriers have a lifespan of 12-14 years.
  • Common health issues include Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease and Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome.
  • The Jack Russell Terrier needs 90 minutes of exercise every day.
  • This dog breed costs around $800 and $2,500.

What Are The Two Types Of Jack Russell Terriers?

When it comes to the difference in coat type, we can describe two types of Jack Russell Terriers: Smooth Coat Jack Russell Terrier and Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier. Even though these two dogs share many similarities, we can still notice a few differences in their physical appearance.

According to the AKC, both dogs are around 10-12 inches tall, and 9-15 pounds heavy. Because of this, they are considered to be a small dog breed.

The Smooth Coat Jack Russell Terrier has a short smooth coat that is less than 1 inch in length. It only grows in one direction and it is shiny in its appearance.

The Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier has a long wiry coat that is 1-2 inches long. It grows in different directions and it is messy in its appearance. These dogs will often have mustaches made from their hair.

When it comes to color, both dogs can come in white as their base color. What makes them distinct is the markings on their coats that come in a few colors: Tan, Brown, Black, Cream, and Tri-Color.

Temperament – A Lively And Protective Dog

When we talk about the personality of the Wire Hair Jack Russells, we talk about the personality of all Jack Russells as it is the same. This dog breed is considered a great family dog. It is very affectionate with its family, as well as very loyal. It is also good for children because it likes to play a lot.

This dog was bred as a hunting dog for a long time, so it is a high-energy dog. Because of this, families that tend to be active, are a much better fit as owners of the Jack Russell Terrier. It tends to show destructive behavior if it doesn’t get enough exercise. If it doesn’t get its exercise meetings met, this dog will bark excessively, start digging and destroying things around the house and get frustrated and aggressive. It also has a high prey drive to chase smaller animals, so it isn’t the ideal home for a family with another small pet.

The Wiry Jack Russell is also very intelligent so it makes for an easily trainable dog. It is a vigilant and brave dog that protects its territory so it can make for a great watchdog.

What Health Problems Is It Predisposed To?

The Jack Russel has a life expectancy of around 12-14 years. They are considered to be generally healthy dogs, but there are a few noticeable diseases we need to mention.

Common Health Problems

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease – This is a disease of the femoral head (the ball in the ‘ball and socket joint of the hip). It happens because there isn’t enough blood flow coming to the bone so it deteriorates. You will notice your dog limping on the affected leg because of pain.
  • Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome – This is an inherited neuromuscular disease. It causes severe generalized muscle weakness and fatigue, especially after exercising. It appears early in the puppies at 6-12 years of age. The puppy will collapse after a few minutes of intense exercise.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease – This is an inherited disease of the blood, where a protein called Von Willebrand factor is missing. It causes problems with clotting of the blood which leads to prolonged bleeding after trauma. There may also be spontaneous bleeding of the mouth, nose, or genitals.
  • Eye Problems – There are two eye problems common with the Jack Russel Terrier. The first is Lens Luxation where the lens of the eye is dislocated from its place. The second is Cataracts where the lens becomes opaque. Both of these diseases can cause blindness.

Taking Care Of A Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier

There are a few things you should take care of to properly care for your Jack Russell Terrier. These include giving adequate nutrients, exercising, training, and grooming the dog.


On average, all Jack Russell Terriers should eat around 1-1.5 cups of food per day. You should spread that amount of food to 2-3 meals a day. Of course, you should aim for high-quality dog food meant for smaller dog breeds.

All of the food you give to your dog needs to be high in protein and low in carbs. This means that you should include food that comes from meat like chicken, beef, or fish. You can even give your dog horse meat in some cases, but you need to be careful. The food you give should also be rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fatty acids.

Make sure your Jack Russell isn’t allergic to the dog food you offer it. Be aware of the signs of an allergic reaction.


The Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier is considered to be a low-maintenance dog. But there are still things that you should do. One of the most important tasks is to properly brush your dog. This helps your dog shed out its dead hairs thus reducing shedding. It also helps moisturize its hair by spreading its skin’s natural oils. You should brush your Jack Russell at least once a week.

Wired Jack Russells should be bathed once every 4-6 weeks. If you bathe your dog too often you will risk hurting its skin. Make sure to use a special shampoo designed for a wire-haired dog. This dog will also require stripping the remaining dead hair after brushing its loose hair. You can use special stripping knives to make this procedure easier. This should be done twice per year for best results. Because the Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier has long hair, it also needs trimming. Using special trimming scissors, you should pay special attention to the hair around the eyes, eyebrows, and lips. Doing this once every 8-10 weeks should be enough.

Besides this, you should cut your dog’s nails regularly, as well as brush its teeth, and clean its ears to keep them clean.

Exercise And Training

On average, Jack Russells will need around 90 minutes of exercise every day. This is because Jack Russells were bred to be hunting dogs so they are full of energy that needs to be released. You can exercise your dog by going on regular walks to the dog park or around the neighborhood. You should also include some demanding exercises like jogging, fetch, or hiking. 

Training the Long-Haired Jack Russell Terrier can be easier than other dogs because it is intelligent and eager to please. Training and socializing should start early in its life to be effective. Because these dogs tend to bark a lot, you should teach them the “Quiet” command early on. You also need to teach it the “Stop” command to prevent behaviors like digging and chasing small animals. Make sure to have all the training sessions short because the dog will get bored easily.

Is This Dog Expensive?

Due to their special look, these pups might be a bit harder to find compared to normal Jack Russells. But there are still places where you can buy and adopt one for yourself. Have in mind that you should avoid puppy mills at all costs.

Cost Of Buying

On average, the price for this breed is around $800 and $2,500. This price will be different depending on where you buy your dog from. Always make sure you get your dog from a breeder that you have researched well. They should give you all the needed information about the dog you are interested in. You can also ask to see the puppy’s parents to make sure they are healthy.

Some places where you can find these pups include the Snow Creek Jack Russell and the Little Eden breeders.

Cost Of Adopting

You might also find a Rough Coat Jack Russell in an animal rescue shelter. Those dogs need a home, so you will do the humane thing. It is also much cheaper than buying a dog from a breeder. Even though you might end up with an adult dog rather that a puppy, you will certainly have a new best friend in your home.

Some places where you can adopt these pups include the Jack Russell Rescue and the Russell Rescue, Inc.

Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier smiling at the camera

Is The Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier For You?

The Jack Russell Terrier is a dog breed that can come with two types of coats: a smooth short one, and a wired long one. In this article, we talk about the latter.

The Wire Coated Jack Russell has the same temperament as the Smooth Coated one. It is a very high-energy dog that loves to play around. It is also very affectionate with its family. It does have a bad habit of digging and barking excessively if it doesn’t get enough exercise.

The lifespan of this dog is around 12-14 years. It does have a few genetic diseases to keep an eye on but it is a relatively healthy dog breed. To keep it happy and healthy, you need to provide a healthy diet, regular baths, and enough exercise and training.


Are Long-Haired Jack Russells Good Pets?

Yes, these dogs are great for the whole family, except for families that are sedentary, or families that don’t have time to care for the dog. That is because these dogs require a lot of exercise throughout the day.

Is The Wire Haired Jack Russell Terrier Rare?

This variant of the Jack Russell Terrier is less common than the smooth-coated one. This is because the Smooth Coated Jack Russell Terrier is desirable for most breeders that attend competitions.

Are Wire Haired Jack Russell Terriers Hypoallergenic?

No, these dogs are not hypoallergenic. The reason is that they shed more than the dog breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic. With the right grooming schedule, you will be able to reduce this shedding to an acceptable rate.

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