Jack Russel

Dog Grooming a Jack Russell Terrier and Other Breeds

Dog grooming is an art that goes from basic pet care to almost spa-like pampering. The essential grooming requirements depend on the dog's breed and its characteristics. The first thing a pet owner deals with is dog hair.

Long hair dogs that shed need more frequent grooming than short hair dogs or those who only shed seasonally. Dogs with curly or frizzy hair need daily care to detangle the hair and remove debris or foliage that gets caught in the coat while the dog is outdoors.

Sending your dog to a groomer each week gets expensive. But if you want the best for your dog, you can even hire mobile dog groomers who have a full grooming station in their vans.

The groomer parks in your driveway and does the complete grooming onsite. This is a great convenience and avoids the "wet dog" smell lingering in your bathroom. To save money, you can also learn to do many of the basic grooming techniques yourself.

Dog grooming isn't just a luxury - it's a necessity. A dog that doesn't get proper grooming in a timely manner is at risk for illness, gingivitis, parasites and damage to both fur and skin.

Your dog may not be thrilled about getting a bath, but you can't let that stop you. Bathing is a health issue for dogs just as it is for people. You wouldn't stop bathing your toddler just because she screams at bath time, would you?

If you aren't sure about the right techniques for bathing, brushing and detangling your dog's fur, find a good online resource or ask if you can watch the dog groomer work. You may also take a class from a pet store or vet's office to learn the correct procedures - as well as get some expert tips on how to deal with your dog's anxiety or fears during grooming.

The skin under the dog's fur can be highly sensitive. Avoid aggressive scrubbing while bathing your dog or you can remove too much of the natural oils that protect both skin and hair follicles.

Adding powder or scents that aren't formulated for use with dogs adds the potential for skin irritation or infection. If a product isn't made for dogs or the type of fur on your dog breed, then make it a rule never to use it.

Be patient when grooming. Take time to talk gently to your pet, rub his head or tummy and lend a playful quality to the grooming session. If you're rushed or impatient, then don't even start the grooming. Your dog will pick up on your attitude and be fearful or difficult to manage.

Even if your dog spends most of his time outdoors, you still need to do basic grooming. Without regular bathing, your dog is at the mercy of fleas and parasites that thrive on his lack of cleanliness.

Dog Grooming Tools

Use the right tools. Don't use your old hairbrush on your dog. Get special brushes and combs that are made for your dog's fur. You don't save money using your castoffs if you damage the dog's skin and create a big vet bill.

Typical dog grooming tools include:

  • Wide-tooth metal comb
  • Scissors
  • Nail clipper
  • Ear cleaner
  • Dog toothbrush and paste
  • Dog Shampoo (buy rough coat shampoo for Jacks with Rough or Broken coat such as Rio Vista)
  • Bristle Brush
  • Stripping blades (for Jacks with with rough/broken coats if you plan on stripping the coat)

Smooth Coated Jack Russell Terrier Grooming:

Smooth Coated Jack Russell Terriers should be brushed daily with a dog brush or special mitt can help to minimize shedding.  Use scissors to cut any long hairs by pulling hair straight from body in direction that it grows and then cut.  Start at the Jacks head and then work back. Brush from up to down.  For extra shine you can use a gloss spray such as Synergy Gloss.

Rough and Broken Coated Jack Russell Terrier Grooming

For a Rough or Broken Coated Jack Russell use a dog slicker brush. These types of Jack Russells need to be stripped of hair that has stopped growing, but is still in the hair shaft. For this reason, many owners prefer a professional groomer.

If you decide to do it yourself, also brush your dog with a dog slicker brush. Brush in the opposite direction of hair growth. Start at the face and move fingers down the back of the neck. Pull skin tight, and pluck hairs.  Move to the chest and then legs. At the knees, there may be hair clumps. Do the back and then tail last and do the same. A dull knife can help to cut hairs. When done grooming consider a dog bath. A Jack Russell shouldn't need a bath more than once a month unless the Jack is frequently outside and dirty.

As an alternative to stripping you can use an electric dog hair clipper, although your dog will not have a show dog coat, but it will look neat.

One tip is to have your groomer show you how to care for your dog each day, and then you can do it yourself. You can also place rubber thimbles on your fingers to help grip small groups of hair.  You can also help improve coat appearance with the use of a homeopathic such as Skin and Coat Tonic.

You might save some money by bringing the dog to a groomer monthly or alternate weeks, while you handle the bath and simple hair brushing on the other weeks. Dog grooming is an essential part of maintaining your dog's health - as well as his good looks.


Parson and Jack Russell Terriers by Diane Morgan

An Owners Guide to the Jack Russell Terrier by Catherine Romaime Brown

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