The Show Coat

The coat of the Jack Russell is never sculpted; it should not be altered in such a manner as to give it an artificial, overdone appearance. Grooming should not be done to try to cover any conformation faults. This is a natural earthdog and his look should reflect that attitude. If you are showing your JRT, the judge will be looking for the dog who best suits the standard of the working terrier and who he or she would most like to take out into the field that day. Exaggerated leg furnishings and beards are not requirements of that standard. If your dog is a pet and is never shown in any conformation contest, you still will want to go over the coat weekly to keep the hairs from being shed in your house. You may use the plan above. Go over the dog at least once a week.

I like to refer to the conformation contests as the bathing suit competition. The judge is able to look at the dog to see if he is fit for the work of hunting and built for the job of earth work. Showing Jack Russell Terriers means showing of working terriers. There is not an enormous emphasis on grooming at JRTCA-sanctioned terrier trials. Dogs appear in the ring sometimes with dirt in their coats from work or missing teeth. It is not held against the dog. However, it is nice to see a well-groomed dog. A dog looking his best—fit, healthy, well constructed, and also well turned out—is a lovely package to behold.

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