How to Wash a Jack Russell

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Jack Russell Terriers are active, loving, and playful dogs. If you own one, you may need to give it a bath more frequently than other dogs depending on its outside activities.

If it’s your first time, you might be wondering how to Wash a Jack Russell Terrier. Let’s discuss a detailed step-by-step method to give your Jack Russell Terrier a proper bath.

How to Wash a Jack Russell

The following steps will help you understand the right way to wash your Jack Russell Terrier efficiently.

Jack Russell sitting on a chair while draped with a blanket

Step 1: Gather the Supplies

The first step is to gather all the supplies you need to complete the entire washing process. The following supplies will suffice.

  • Shampoo
  • Towel
  • Slicker Brush/Metal Comb
  • Cotton

Make sure that you place the supplies in the bathroom that you’ll be using to wash your dog. Leaving the bathing space, while your pup is soaking in water, isn’t a great idea. It will jump and go out of the bathroom, which will drag water throughout the house.

Step 2: Make the Dog Feel Comfortable

Some Jack Russell Terriers like to be washed, but others don’t appreciate it. You’ll need to make your dog feel comfortable and the best way to achieve that is to take your dog to the bathroom and tap it where it likes. You can also give them dog food as treats to help them settle down faster.

Step 3: Brush the Dog

Use a slicker brush or metal comb to start brushing your dog’s hair gently. Begin the process by brushing the hair on the head and then moving to the upper back before working your way down to the dog’s feet. Make sure that you run the brush in the direction of the hair growth.

Brushing will remove dead skin cells, loose hair, and debris from your dog’s coat to prepare it for the bath.

Step 4: Block Ears

If your dog is cooperating, place a large cotton ball inside its outer ears. It will keep water from reaching the inside of your dog’s ears which can lead to infection. Make sure that you don’t push the cotton balls too deep that they become hard to reach.

Step 5: Soak the Dog’s Body with Water

Plastic duck toy floating in a bathtub filled with water

Now place your Jack Russell Terrier inside the bathtub and fill it with warm water (not hot). Start wetting your dog’s coat with water. Keep in mind that these dogs have a coarse double-layer coat that prevents water from reaching the skin.

So, you’ll need to use your hands to massage your pup’s body in order to wet the skin properly.

In addition, if you see that your dog is becoming nervous, stop right there immediately and wait until it calms down. You might need to give your pup another treat to make it feel comfortable again.

Step 6: Apply the Shampoo

Use a dog shampoo and apply it to your dog’s entire body except for the face. Start the shampoo application from the neck and make your way to the tail. Use your fingers to start massaging the suds into the dog’s coat.

Don’t forget to apply and scrub shampoo on the inner thighs, undersides of paws, and underbelly as these places contain the most dirt.  

Make sure that you use shampoo in a small amount because it goes a long way. You can always add more if needed but starting with an excessive amount of shampoo will create a lot of suds. It’ll be very difficult for you to remove them thoroughly from your dog’s body.

Step 7: Clean Face

Make sure that you don’t apply shampoo to your Jack Russell Terrier’s face because it can lead to irritation. Use a damp towel or cloth and start scrubbing the face of your dog with it. Stick to cleaning only the sides of your Jack Russell Terrier’s face if it’s not being cooperative.

Step 8: Rinse the Shampoo

Person holding bubble foam

Start pouring clean water on your dog’s body and use your fingers to rinse the shampoo through its coat. Use the same technique that you used while soaking the body. Start from the top and make your way towards the feet as it’ll save you time.

Don’t forget to apply water underneath your dog’s body to clean it thoroughly. Make sure that you remove shampoo from your Jack Russell Terrier’s body thoroughly. That’s because even the gentlest shampoos can leave a sticky and soapy residue on your dog’s coat that can lead to irritation and allergies.  

Step 9: Dry the Dog

Now, allow your Jack Russell Terrier to shake off, and then use a clean towel to massage its coat. Don’t remove the dog from the bathtub until it has stopped soaking. Wipe the entire body and wrap your Jack Russell Terrier in a dry towel. 

Remove the cotton balls from the pup’s ears and discard them. After that, plug in a hair dryer and set it on the low settings to dry your pup’s coat completely.

Step 10: Brush the Fur Again

Brush your Jack Russell Terrier’s hair again using a slicker hairbrush gently along the direction of hair growth. You can also apply a coat shine spray if you want to make your dog’s fur look smoother and silkier.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most common questions that people ask about washing Jack Russell Terriers.

How Often Do You Need to Wash a Jack Russell Terrier?

You should wash your Jack Russell Terrier every four to six weeks unless your pup goes for a dirt-filled adventure. Keep in mind that washing your dog too frequently will be counterproductive. It will remove the natural oils from your dog’s coat that can cause irritation.

Can You Use Human Shampoo to Wash a Jack Russell Terrier?

You can use the human shampoo to wash a Jack Russell Terrier but you must not do that. The chemicals used in the human shampoos are not suitable for dogs and they can also disrupt the acid mantle.

It’s a very thin layer made of acid on a dog’s skin that acts as a barrier to potential contaminants such as viruses and bacteria.

Damaging this layer also means that your dog will become vulnerable to harmful germs and contaminants that can lead to severe health problems.

What Kind of Brush Do You Use on a Jack Russell Terrier?

You should use a slicker brush on your Jack Russell Terrier because this dog has a smooth coat with short hair. The hair of Jack Russell Terriers also sheds frequently. Using a slicker brush that comes with rounded pins will allow you to remove dead skin and loose hair from your dog’s coat to prepare it for the bath.

How Do You Wash a Jack Russell Terrier without Water?

If it is really cold outside and you need to wash your Jack Russell Terrier, you have the option of using a dry shampoo. It’s a great product that allows you to wash your canine friend without using water. Most dry shampoos for dogs come in a bottle with a sprayer.

You only need to spray the shampoo on your dog’s fur, let it sit there to dry completely, and then use your hands to rub the coat. After that, you can simply use a towel to clean the coat thoroughly.  

Final Words

Washing your dog regularly is crucial to ensure your dog’s well-being. I hope this guide will help you understand the right way to wash your Jack Russell Terrier easily. Make sure that you use only dog-friendly products to wash your dog safely and keep it clean and happy.