How to Cut Long Hair Jack Russell Terrier

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If you suffer from dog allergies, you might consider adopting a long-haired Jack Russell Terrier due to its low shedding level. However, the coat can grow longer than one inch, and learning how to cut long hair from a Jack Russell Terrier will help you trim it and improve the dog’s appearance.

How to Cut Long Hair from a Jack Russell Terrier

Unlike smooth-coated JRTs, rough-coated JRTs require regular haircuts to give room for a healthier and hard coat that can repel water. Trimming the hair of a rough-coated JRT also helps to improve its comfort and make other general grooming procedures easier.

Graphic image of a Jack Russell with scissors with a text explaining how to cut long-haired Jack Russell Terriers

In most cases, you will need to cut and groom the hair of a rough-coated JRT two times each year. Usually, this will be around February so that the dog can have healthy hair by around April to help it balance its body temperature during summer.

The next stripping should be around August so the dog can grow a thick and healthy coat that can help it keep warm during winter. Regardless of the dog’s age or how long the coat is, you can use the following procedure to cut the long hair.


Keeping in mind that JRTs are hyperactive dogs, having to move around amid the procedure can distract the dog and trigger plays that can make haircutting a challenge.

It’s advisable to assemble all the tools and equipment you will need for the procedure before you start cutting the hair. Some of the hair cutting equipment you need to assemble includes:

A long haired Jack Russell terrier
  • Comb
  • Wire brush
  • Rubber mat
  • Sharp blade short serrated stripping knife
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Dull blade short serrated stripping knife
  • A pair of thinning scissors
  • Although it’s not a must, it advisable to have a grooming workstation
  • Treats and rewards to keep the dog calm
  • Blunt scissors

Calm the Dog Down

Before you start working on the dog’s hair, the first step is to calm it down and make it relax. Considering that JRTs have high energy levels, they might not calm down. It’s therefore advisable to first engage the dog in intense exercises such as jogging or hiking.

Place the rubber mat on the table or grooming workstation if you have one, and then place the JRT on the mat. Typically, the rubber mat helps to keep the JRT comfortable and stable throughout the trimming and stripping process.

Keeping in mind that any unexpected movements during trimming or stripping can lead to injuries, you need to ensure the dog is happy and in a good mood by giving it some treats.

Brush the Hair

The wiry JRT coats tend to form mats and tangles, especially without regular brushing. Before stripping or trimming the hair, you need to brush it to remove all mats and tangles that can cause pain and discomfort.

Jack Russell terrier looking at the window

Depending on how thick and matted the hair is, you can start with a wide-tooth comb and then use the regular comb. However, you can first leave the most sensitive areas such as the ears, genital region, and stomach.

Trim the Hair

Keep in mind that the trimming doesn’t help remove the dead hair. Typically, it only helps to improve the dog’s appearance and does not give room for a more hard and healthier coat to grow.

That means you will only need to trim the most sensitive areas where you cannot pluck out the hair. Use the blunt scissors to trim the hair around the face area. Evenly balance it while avoiding the whiskers around the mouth and the eyebrows.

Trim the hair around the tip of the tail using thinning scissors. Depending on how long the hair is, you can trim the hair between individual toes. It is also advisable to trim the hair around the genital region to promote the dog’s hygiene.

Strip the Hair on the Remaining Parts

After trimming the hair on the most sensitive areas, you will need to strip and remove the dead hair on the other body parts to give room for a hard and healthy coat to grow. Usually, you’ll know you have completed the stripping process when you can feel and see the white undercoat.

Keep in mind that the stripping process can take time, so you might need to break it into shorter sessions. Take the dull blade short serrated striping knife, hold it firmly with the index finger behind the knife’s blade and then start stripping the following areas.


Pull the neck skin taut and hold several adjoining hairs between the dull knife and the thumb or the forefinger and the thumb and then pull the knife in the direction of the hair growth. It is advisable to start at the neck back and then strip towards the front and the chest area.

Considering that it can be challenging to strip hairs in the cowlicks area, pull the skin and strip several hairs each time. You can then gently comb the hair towards the direction of its growth using the sharper knife.


While holding the dull knife the same way as when stripping the neck, strip the hair at the back of the dog. You can use the wire brush to brush the hair away from its growth direction for better stripping results.


In most cases, the hair around the dog’s knees grows longer and makes it appear as if it has bumps. After you strip the dog’s legs the same way you have stripped its back, take the blunt scissors and trim the hair around the knee area.


The same leg stripping procedure applies to the tail, only that you will need to use the wire brush to brush the hair towards the dog’s body. After you are through, hold the tail with your left hand and then use the thinning scissors to clip the extended hairs at the tip of the tail.

Jack Russell terrier running on the grass

Important Tips When Trimming and Stripping Long Hair Jack Russell Terrier

Although trimming and stripping a long-haired JRT might seem like a straightforward task, you might not get the results you expect if you don’t follow the following procedural and safety tips.

  • Bath the dog after stripping or trimming to remove any loose or dead hair from the dog. Bathing the dog can also help relieve the itching and discomfort associated with trimming and stripping.
  • Evaluate the general mood and conformation of the dog. If the dog is aggressive or excessively hyper, you can give it a break to avoid injuries that can come with unexpected movements.
  • Repeat the procedure after 4 to 7 days to get rid of any hair that you might have missed
  • Clean the dog’s ears to get rid of any hair that might have entered them when trimming and stripping

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Happen to My Long-Haired JRT Coat if I Clip It Instead of Stripping?

When you clip the hair of a long-haired JRT instead of stripping it, the loose and dead hair will remain, and the undercoat will not aerate.

As a result, the coat will not be hard enough to repel weather elements, reducing the dog’s ability to withstand cold winter weather or lose heat during summer.

Should I Bathe My Long-Haired JRT Before Trimming?

Avoid bathing your JRT before trimming or stripping, as bathing your dog with shampoo or applying a conditioner will make the hair slippery and challenging to strip. Typically, dry and dirty hair is easier to grasp firmly.

Final Thoughts

Consider trimming and stripping your long hair JRT at least twice a year to improve its looks and give room for a healthier coat to grow. Knowing how to cut long hair Jack Russell Terrier will allow you to trim and strip your dog without pain or discomfort.