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Long hair Jack Russell - the title pretty much sums it up. In fact, the long hair JRT is more correctly known as the wire coat or rough coat Jack Russell Terrier. But are there other differences besides hair?
How much do long hair JRTs (rough coats) differ from short haired or broken-coated JRTs? The short answer is: not a lot. The biggest difference you need to consider is grooming.
Long hair Jack Russells don't shed, at least not nearly as much as the short haired ones do. The short hairs tend to cling to everything as well. If you have or are considering getting a smooth-coat Jack Russell, be prepared to constantly have your clothes, furniture and car seats covered with little white hairs. Seriously, they get everywhere. On the other hand, longer hairs tend to collect more dead leaves and other dirt as your dog goes about its daily business. So, put simply, short hair means more mess in your house, and long hair means more mess on your dog. You can't win, but you can make the best of a bad situation.
If you don't groom a long hair JRT it's hair will grow long and shaggy and get out of control.
Grooming Rough Coat JRTs
The method for grooming a long hair JRT is more time-consuming and delicate than grooming a short hair JRT. You shouldn't cut a Jack Russell's hair. Cutting changes the texture of the coat, making it softer - a Jack Russell's coat is supposed to be firm and wiry. That said, you may think a softer coat would be perfect for a pet. Keep in mind though that cutting can also dull the color of the dog's markings. So as a basic rule of thumb, never give your dog a hair cut if you want it to win Best in Show.
Grooming should be done on a table to save you having to bend down to meet your JRT. Run through the coat with a comb first to remove loose hairs. Use your thumb and index finger to pluck the hairs. Start with the hairs that poke out the furthest. Hairs should come out easily and plucking should not cause the dog pain. Repeat until the dog looks tidy. You can buy a rubber thimble to help with this, or give the dog a little dusting with grooming chalk.
Making Life Easier
If you get worn out trying to groom your rough coat Jack Russell, buy yourself a stripping comb to strip the hairs off rather than plucking them. Don't try to groom too much at once. If your dog gets agitated, try again later. Grooming is a lot like training - it's not about one big session, but lots of little ones with incremental progress each time.
Apart from these factors, there's no difference between long hair Jack Russells and short hairs. They are both equally friendly and loveable - and equally likely to be little maniacs.
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