Jack Russell terriers were bred as working dogs for use during fox hunts with continuous barking as the main form of identifying and holding back the quarry. As such, you will find that your Jack Russell is extremely vocal with his barking in addition to his innate intelligence, athletic ability and fearless disposition. You can say that a Jack Russell without its distinctive barking is just another mid-sized dog or another dog wanting to become a sub-type of the Basenji.
However, there are times when your Jack Russell barking can become extremely annoying to the ears so much so that even the neighbors are starting to complain. The barking just will not stop – from the early dawn to the middle of the night – without apparent reason for such a disturbance.
So, you want the Jack Russell to end the bad behavior of excessive barking and only bark when the occasion calls for it. In this case, we suggest first understanding the causes of the Jack Russell barking and then knowing how to stop it depending on the identified root cause. Think of it as getting to the root of the problem so that long-terms solutions can be found.
Causes of Jack Russell’s Barking
It must be emphasized that dogs use barking as one of their main forms of communication along with howling. Thus, your Jack Russell will bark for any number of reasons – being angry, being excited and being scared are just a few of the reasons for the behavior.
More specifically, your Jack Russell barking can be due to the following reasons:
- Claims on Territory
- Raising the alarm
- Seeking the attention of the master
- Greeting humans or dogs
- Expressing negative emotions
- Giving in to compulsions
- Expressing pain from an injury or illness
You cannot and should not stop your Jack Russell barking just as long as it is in the relatively normal range. Instead, you must train your dog to stop on its bad behavior of excessive barking.
Ways to Stop Excessive Barking
When your Jack Russell refuses to stop barking regardless of the things done to do so, we suggest determining if there is a valid reason behind the behavior. You don’t want your dog to stop barking when an intruder is nearby or when it has an illness that must be treated immediately.
But if the barking is without reason, which happens about 8 times out of 10, then you must stop it. Ask yourself the following questions to determine a pattern to the barking behavior:
- At what times does the dog bark?
- At what object or subject is the dg barking at?
- What are the possible triggers, if any, to the barking?
There are certain times when you should not take negative action to stop the Jack Russell from barking, of which territorial barking is the most important. In fact, if you try to stop the territorial barking, other aggressive behaviors like growling and biting can result.
Instead, you should focus on finding ways in which territorial barking can stop. First and foremost, you should establish leadership as the alpha dog of the pack and, hence, you are in charge of protection. Second, you can install safety measures so that the territory is protected – opaque fences, blinds and even closed floor-level windows are just a few possibilities.
Then you have the case of a Jack Russell barking because of an illness or an injury. In fact, this is often the first cause of barking that you must look into. You should perform a preliminary examination of the dog from snout to tail so as to rule out any cuts, bumps and other signs of injury and illness. When in doubt, go to the vet for expert medical opinion.
Also, the Jack Russell terrier breed requires high levels of stimulation in both the mental and physical aspects. Thus, your dog may be barking excessively as a way to entertain itself and, thus, ward off boredom.
In this case, we suggest giving more play time for your dog. Go out into the park, take daily walks, play catch and just generally provide your pet with exercise for its physical and mental stimulation. Soon, your dog will be a tired and, therefore, happy dog – no more unnecessary barking in the middle of the night.
For other causes of barking like compulsions, expressions of negative emotions and response to triggers, we recommend training with a clicker. A professional dog trainer will be able to help in this regard.
Indeed, stopping your Jack Russell barking excessively is possible. Learn more about Jack Russell Training on our homepage today.