Are Jack Russells Hypoallergenic?

By helloBARK!
Updated on 9 August 2021
Fact Checked

Jack Russell Terriers are not hypoallergenic despite being popular family pets that can be found around the world.

These small dogs tend to make great pets due to their happy and energetic personalities.

Their size makes them the perfect apartment dogs for pet parents who live in cities.

Alternatively, they’re often companions for senior people who are looking for a low maintenance canine.

Jack Russell Terriers come in three different colors: white, black and white, and white and tan.

Given nearly 10 per cent of the American population are allergic to dogs, Jack Russells could be problematic for those with allergies.

The American Kennel Club don’t list the Jack Russell Terrier as a hypoallergenic dog breed.

Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. There's no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog in spite of claims that breeders might make. It’s always best to speak with your vet or your doctor before deciding to get a dog if you suspect you may have allergies to pets.

In this article, we’ll take a look at why Jack Russell Terriers are not hypoallergenic dogs and potential alternatives.

What does hypoallergenic mean?

Jack Russell Terrier puppy (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Jack Russell Terrier puppy (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Hypoallergenic is a word that was first coined by the cosmetic industry in the 1950s.

If you’ve got experience buying cosmetic products, you’ll probably be aware of the meaning of the phrase hypoallergenic.

It was used to refer to a cosmetic product that was less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

By definition, hypoallergenic doesn’t rule out the potential for an allergic reaction, but just makes it more unlikely.

If you’re researching dog breeds online, you’ll notice the term “hypoallergenic dogs” pops up a lot.

What is a hypoallergenic dog?

A hypoallergenic dog is one that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other types of canines.

The AKC make it clear on their website that there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog.

However, there are some breeds that are more unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction.

These tend to be dog breeds that are hairless or have a low shedding coat. Some dogs like the Poodle have a unique coat that retains the dander produced by a pooch.

The AKC suggest 19 breeds that are more suitable for those with an allergy to dogs, while the Kennel Club have a list of 31 canines that they consider to be more hypoallergenic.

What causes an allergic reaction to dogs?

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, around 10 per cent of the population in the United States are allergic to dogs.

However, there are over 80 million dog owners in the USA, which amounts to nearly one quarter of all the people in the 50 states.

While you may think dog hair is the big culprit with regards to allergic reaction, it’s only part of the problem.

Dander is a common cause of dog allergies. These tiny microscopic pieces of dead dog skin enter humans through the mucous membranes (nose and lungs).

While all dogs produce dander, which is like human dandruff, some breeds are considered hypoallergenic.

For instance, the Mexican Hairless Dog produces dander but it can be washed away easily with regular baths.

Poodles, on the other hand, have tight curls that catch the dander, which can then be trimmed or washed away when they go to the groomer.

Are Jack Russell Terriers hypoallergenic?

Jack Russell Terrier going potty (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Jack Russell Terrier going potty (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Jack Russell Terrier are not hypoallergenic dogs.

These little terriers aren’t listed by the American Kennel Club or Kennel Club as a type of dog that is suitable for those who have allergies to canines.

Jack Russells are considered to be moderate shedders, although it can depend on the length of the coat.

If you struggle with allergies around canines, you may want to think again before you bring a Jack Russell Terrier home.

Jack Russell Terrier shedding

Jack Russell Terriers do shed quite a bit.

According to the Jack Russell Terrier Association of America, the shorter the coat the more JRTs will shed.

The breed do shed seasonly as well, which can be a particularly challenging time for a Jack Russell owner.

They generally have two types of coats: smooth and broken. Some JRTs have a rough coat as well. All varieties have a double coat.

According to DogTime, Jack Russells require weekly brushing to remove dead and loose hair.

JRTAA warn that bathing a Jack Russell Terrier can make the shedding worse and it’s a good idea to avoid doing so unless absolutely necessary.

Jack Russell Terrier cross breeds

If you’ve got your heart set on a Jack Russell Terrier but you’re one of the 10 per cent who suffer with dog allergies, you may want to consider a Jack-A-Poo.

These hybrid dogs are a mix between a Jack Russell Terrier and Miniature Poodle. Predominantly known as a Jack-A-Poo, they also go by the name Jackadoodle, Jack-A-Doodle, Jackadoodle, Jackapoodle, Jackapoo, Jack-A-Poodle, Jackpoo, Poojack, and Poo-Jack.

The first Jack-A-Poo was thought to have been bred in the early 1990s when these designer dogs were becoming more popular.

While their clearly not a pedigree breed, the the International Designer Canine Association recognised these unique little dogs in 2009.

The idea behind the creation of these pups was to create a breed with a low shedding coat that would be more hypoallergenic than Jack Russell Terriers.

According to, these small pups are low shedders and hypoallergenic.

However, there’s no guarantee that a Jack-A-Poo won’t shed given they’re only half Jack Russell and half Poodle.

A Jack A Poo that takes after their JRT parent more than their Poodle parents could be a moderate shedder rather than hypoallergenic.

Hypoallergenic dog breeds

While Jack Russell Terriers aren’t hypoallergenic, the Kennel Club lists 31 breeds that potentially would make a good fit for those with an allergy to dogs:

• Lagotto Romagnolo
• Irish Water Spaniel
• Spanish Water Dog
• Bouvier des Flandres
• Giant Schnauzer
• Portuguese Water Dog
• Russian Black Terrier
• Hungarian Puli
• Komondor
• Bichon Frise
• Bolognese
• Chinese Crested
• Coton de Tulear
• Havanese
• Maltese
• Yorkshire Terrier
• Lhasa Apso
• Intermediate Mexican Hairless
• Miniature Mexican Hairless
• Standard Mexican Hairless
• Miniature Schnauzer
• Standard Poodle
• Toy Poodle
• Miniature Poodle
• Shih Tzu
• Tibetan Terrier
• Bedlington Terrier
• Dandie Dinmont Terrier
• Glen of Imaal Terrier
• Sealyham Terrier
• Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

The American Kennel Club has a shorter list comprised of 19 breeds:

Afghan Hound
American Hairless Terrier
Bedlington Terrier
Bichon Frise
Chinese Crested
Coton de Tulear
Giant Schnauzer
Irish Water Spaniel
Kerry Blue Terrier
Lagotto Romagnolo
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Portuguese Water Dog
Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Anything else to consider?

You can also talk to a breed to learn more about their pups and whether they’re likely to be hypoallergenic or low shedders.

If you’ve got an allergy to dogs, you should discuss with your local health expert before you decide to bring a canine into your home.

It’s worth remembering that there’s no guarantee that hybrid dogs such as Jack A Poo are going to be hypoallergenic.


Jack Russell Terrier (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Jack Russell Terrier (Photo: Adobe Stock)

So there you have it, Jack Russell Terriers aren’t hypoallergenic.

If you have an issue with allergies around dogs then these little pups are unlikely to be a good fit for you.

JRTs are moderate shedders that require weekly grooming to remove dead and loose hair.

The Jack-A-Poo could be a welcome compromise if you’ve got your heart set on these dogs.

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