Are Jack Russell Terriers Hypoallergenic? [Allergy Guide]

You have heard it said that dogs are a man’s best friend. Dogs bring joy and happiness through companionship, unconditional love, and attention. Unfortunately, many people suffer from allergies, and the allergens from dogs can increase allergic reactions, especially in those with asthma.

It might be hard to believe, but almost 30% of Americans have allergic reactions to our furry friends. Let’s look at the causes of dog allergies, hypoallergenic dogs, Jack Russell Terriers allergies, and potential solutions to minimize the impact that dog allergens will have on you.

are Jack Russell Terriers hypoallergenic
Are Jack Russell Terriers hypoallergenic? [Allergy Guide]

Keep reading, and by the end of the article, you will be an expert in dog allergens and Jack Russell Terriers.

Are Jack Russell Terriers Hypoallergenic?

The magic question is: are Jack Russell Terriers hypoallergenic? Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. Jack Russell Terriers are not considered a hypoallergenic dog breed.

Jack Russell Terriers are great dogs, but they are not great for people who have allergies. These dogs shed a moderate amount. The unfortunate reality is that even though they are a short-haired dog breed, the shorter hair causes them to shed more frequently.

Additionally, this breed sheds seasonally and will experience heavy levels of shedding at least twice a year. The severity of this shedding also depends on their coat type.

two Jack Russell Terriers together
Two Jack Russell Terriers posing together for a photoshoot.

Types of Coat on Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell Terriers have three types of coats: smooth, rough, and broken.

  • Smooth coat: short in length and runs in one direction.
  • Rough coat: longer (at least one inch) and grows in multiple directions.
  • Broken coat: a combination of smooth and rough coats.

Rough and broken coats are known to shed more and release more allergens than a smooth coat.

grooming Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier being groomed in a pet salon.

Why Are Some People Allergic to Dogs?

There are two types of dog allergies. The first type of allergy is a result of dander. Dander is the flakes of skin that a dog sheds. It is similar to human dandruff.

When a dog licks their fur, they spread dander around. You can also find it in dog bedding and anything else that dogs come into contact with. The build-up of dog dander on your hair follicles causes allergic reactions.

The second type of allergy is from saliva. When dogs lick their fur, they spread saliva around. The proteins that cause allergic reactions are in dog dander, saliva, and urine. 

Some people believe that short-haired dog breeds or dogs that shed less will not cause allergic reactions, but this is not the case. You can be allergic to short and long-haired dogs. Allergic reactions change from person to person.

If you are determined to have a furry friend, you can find a dog breed that is right for you despite your allergies.

allergy with a dog
A man having allergy with a dog.

What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?

Hypoallergenic dogs are dogs that produce less of the proteins that cause allergies. These dogs have either less dander or no dander. No dog is utterly allergen-free because all dogs have saliva and dander.

Hypoallergenic dogs refer to dogs that shed less than other breeds. These dog breeds are a great option if you have allergies or asthma.

There are three types of coats that hypoallergenic dogs can have:

  • Single coat: this type has only one layer of fur.
  • Double coat: this coat has two layers of hair.
  • Hairless coat: this type does not have any fur.

There are many hypoallergenic dog breeds to choose from. Some of the most popular hypoallergenic dogs include: These breeds include the Affenpinscher, American Hairless Terrier, and Australian Terrier.

large hypoallergenic dogs
11 Large Hypoallergenic Dogs (Breeds with Photos)

The History of Jack Russell Terriers

Jack Russell Terriers were first bred over 200 years ago in England. Parson John Russell produced this Terrier to chase foxes out of their dens on hunting expeditions. These dogs were born to be tenacious, swift, and brave.

Jack Russell Terriers were first brought to America in the late 1800s and became a popular breed in the early 1900s. Due to their aggressive nature, they were popular working and hunting dogs.

The JRT breed is a descendant of the Fox Terrier.

jack russell puppy
If you adopt a Jack Russell puppy, expect a ball of energy and lots of play

The Personality of Jack Russell Terriers

As I mentioned earlier, these dogs are intelligent with a lot of energy. These two characteristics are some of the reasons why they are such popular pets.

They need a lot of exercise, and if they do not get enough, they can become destructive. These dogs are also very loyal and loving to their family.

One of the quirks of the JRT breed is that they love to dig. This urge is likely a result of their breeding and history of hunting dogs. It is challenging to break Jack Russell Terriers of this habit.

Many experts suggest giving them a place to dig instead of trying to train them of this urge.

Jack Russell Terriers are great family dogs and will get along with everyone in your family. However, they do not always mix well with other dogs, especially dogs of the same sex.

Since this breed still has a strong urge to hunt, you should not have other small pets like rabbits, gerbils, or hamsters if you have a Jack Russell Terrier. Your JRT may turn the other small pet into a snack.

Jack Russell Terriers are highly energetic and will bounce and run around. They need to walk at least once a day. Their high energy levels make this dog breed challenging to manage in apartments.

Big things can come in small packages.

Jack Russell Terrier playing
Jack Russell Terrier running with a wooden stick in his mouth.

Can You Have a Dog if You Have Dog Allergies?

If you have allergies but still want a dog, there are a few things you can do to make it work. There are hypoallergenic dogs that do not shed and that will produce fewer allergens. These breeds include:

adult terrier eats watermelon
An adult Jack Russell Terrier eating some watermelon

Some people with allergies can also tolerate certain types of coats better than others.

If you have moderate allergies, you may be able to get away with a dog that sheds less frequently. A dog that only sheds seasonally is a good option. You can also try brushing your dog more often to help control the shedding and allergens.

You can also do a few things to reduce allergens in your home.

Having an allergy to dogs does not mean you can never have a furry friend. There are many ways you can minimize allergies and still enjoy the companionship of a dog.

Jack Russell Terrier licking
Jack Russell Terrier licking owner’s hand.

Wrap Up

So are Jack Russell Terriers hypoallergenic? No, they are not hypoallergenic. However, if you have mild dog allergies, you can still have one of these pups by taking steps to minimize the allergens in your home.

Taking the steps mentioned above can help you enjoy the wonders of a JRT without constantly sneezing.

Most people can find a hypoallergenic breed suitable for their allergies. With so many choices, there is a perfect dog breed for everyone. Do you have other tips for living with allergies and owning a dog?