In many ways, a Jack Russell terrier barking is natural behaviour for the breed. For one thing, barking is a dog’s primary way of communicating with both man and animals, be it in aggression or in boredom. For another thing, barking is one of the most effective methods whereby a Jack Russell flushes out its prey – foxes, that is (traditionally). And so, owners must never strive to stop their Jack Russells from barking as it is an essential part of their nature without which a Jack Russell might as well be called a sub-species of the Basenji.
However, excessive barking can be destructive at most and annoying at best. Certain measures must be made so as to stop the Jack Russell from barking well into the early morning hours for no reason at all. In short, it is bad behaviour that must be stopped or else everybody suffers.
Reasons Why Jack Russell Terriers Bark
We must emphasize that Jack Russell terrier barking done in an excessive manner has many underlying reasons. It is up to the owner to determine the primary and secondary reasons behind the perplexing behavior and then take the necessary actions to remedy it. Keep in mind that a barking Jack Russell may not exactly be being bad lest your first instinct is to punish by hitting the dog or withholding food.
- Boredom – Jack Russells being highly intelligent animals, the lack of mental stimulation causes them to relieve their boredom by incessant barking. Mobile and immobile things are the subject of the barking so much so that even changing shadows can be a source of endless hours of amusement. Or think of the barking as way of self-entertainment for the Jack Russell.
- Fear – In the fox hunt, Jack Russell terrier barking is a sign of their fearlessness toward foxes, which are potentially bigger than they are in size. Still, there are instances when barking can be a sign of fear for the Jack Russell especially in a puppy. It may be fear for anything that moves, even its own shadow.
- Aggression – Take note that Jack Russells are bred to be aggressive since these dogs are working terriers working equally aggressive prey. Plus, these dogs are highly dominant animals with the innate need to become the leader of the pack, thus, getting two Jack Russells together in one household is almost impossible.
Right Training to Stop Jack Russells Barking
Fortunately, there are ways to change the bad behaviour of excessive Jack Russell terrier barking. The steps undertaken will depend on the reason for the misbehaviour although you will take note that one reason is often connected to the other reasons. For example, a Jack Russell may start out with bored barking because of lack of physical exercise but will progress to aggressive barking when it is punished through physical means.
Here are the most effective tips on training a Jack Russell to stop barking incessantly and unnecessarily:
- Use positive reinforcement by praising good behaviour, that is, when the Jack Russell stops barking on command. Be modest about the praises, however, confining them to a pat on the head or “Good boy”.
- Use simple, clear and firm commands such as “Stop” or “Quiet” said in an authoritative tone of voice. Using too many words to command a Jack Russell to stop barking will only confuse its canine mind.
- Provide for plenty of opportunities for socialization, physical exercise and mental stimulation. Jack Russell terrier barking in an extreme manner often results from the inability to hone the mind and to burn off excess energy, which outdoor exercises in the field, park or dog trial centers should remedy. Also, these exercise sessions provide for socialization opportunities for the Jack Russell where man and other animals are concerned. Aggression or fear toward other creatures can then be lessened and so will the excessive barking.
- Spend time with your pet. Attention-seeking barking can only be remedied by providing more time for playing with a Jack Russell although we must emphasize that excessive barking should not be rewarded with attention. Instead, the attention is provided when the dog is not barking anymore.
Indeed, with patience, perseverance and love, it is possible to stop the annoying habit of Jack Russell terrier barking for apparently no reason at all. Soon, the house and the neighbourhood will have the peace that it once enjoyed before the dog started on its opera of barking.