Being a dog owner, especially a Jack Russell owner, has a lot of perks. With all those snuggles and cuddles and little acts of affection, your Jack Russell does nothing specific and yet steals your heart.
But when it comes to their barking, some of us get really tired of it. And no, by barking, I do not mean those happy barks that echo through your house when your Jack Russell is excited.
I mean those random, uncontrollable barking sessions in the middle of the day, and worst-case scenario, in the middle of the night!
In this article, we will cover all about Jack Russells and their barking. From the reasons behind their barking to the solutions and tips to reduce it, everything is in here, so stay tuned and keep reading!
Understanding Why Dogs Bark
Let us start with the very basics by discussing the reason behind your dog’s barking. Although there are no fixed reasons for their barking, there are a couple of common scenarios where dogs are seen to bark a lot. And by a lot, I mean A LOT! Let us inspect and analyze them further one by one:
Excitement barks are often high-pitched, along with wagging tails, tapping feet, and sometimes running round and round in circles until they make themselves (or you) dizzy.
Attention Seeking barks usually occur when your dog is hungry or needs help. These are a long string of barks, with pauses between them, and continue until you get on your feet and address their issue.
When dogs are hurt or are in pain, their barks are often high-pitched and trail off. This is their sign to ask for help and aid, so you should thoroughly examine them for any visible signs of injuries or hurt and consult your vet if required.
Fear and Anxiety
This type of barking is often defensive and occurs when your dog encounters a strange person or an unfamiliar dog. These are usually continuous and sound more like growls instead of barks.
Surprise barking is an involuntary response to something that your dog was not expecting in the first place. These are singular, high-pitched barks, sounding exactly like human shrieks.
Yes, you read that right. Sometimes your dog barks because it is bored. These barks are usually to grab your attention or forcefully indulge you in some playtime.
While your dog may bark at almost everything around you, you, as a dog owner, need to realize that this is their normal behavior in most scenarios.
According to RSPCA Pet Insurance, ‘after all, they can’t speak to us, so this is how they communicate.’ So instead of getting annoyed by excessive barking, you should probably look for the reason that triggers it.
Do Jack Russells Bark A Lot?
Well, if you are a Jack Russell owner, you might know the answer to this question already. Jack Russells are known for their highly energetic personality, and more the energy, more the barking.
Their fast and fierce nature was initially not made to be kept as indoor pets, as they originally were fox hunters. Hence, a life confined to limited space and exposure bores them out, and they bark their heads off for attention or in boredom.
Apart from being fast and fierce, Pets on Mom also describes Jack Russells as ‘strong-willed, protective, territorial and stubborn.’ Hence, most of their barking also originates as a protective measure against other humans or animals.
The Causes of Jack Russell Excessive Barking – Why Do They Bark So Much
The answer to this question is none other than that barking is in your Jack Russell’s nature.
Since they used to be hunting companions in the early 1900s, they are intuitive by nature. Hence, they are territorial and cannot stand anything in their way, and they uncontrollably bark when someone enters their territory.
Also, if you are a parent, you might have noticed that when you give attention to one of your children, the other gets jealous. The same is the case with your Jack Russell. They act as your child and will get jealous if you give anything and anyone more love than them.
Hence, to get your attention back, they will bark and bark until you leave everything and assure them of your love and affection.
Since we previously stated that Jack Russells were bred to be hunting dogs, they have an impeccable hyper energy level. Hence, they need to release this energy somehow in order to function optimally, as they are not meant to sit on couches and live in apartments.
In most cases, the only way they can release this energy is through barking. This is especially common if their owners are negligent of their proper physical exercise and training.
How Can I Stop My Jack Russell Barking All The Time? Solutions and Tips to Reduce Barking
Jack Russells and their barking go together hand in hand. Although forcing them to quit barking is an impossible route altogether, there are some ways through which you can reduce it. Let us discuss them all one by one:
Make exercise and playtime a part of the daily routine
Exercise and playtimes are important for all dogs, but for Jack Russells, they become a necessity. The more your Jack Russell is tired and exhausted, the less likely they are to bark. Give them toys, take them for walks, and play ‘fetch’ with them as much as you can.
Use an ‘interrupter’
Use something to interrupt your dog while they are in an episode of constant barking. This something could be a water spray, a small cloth that you put on your dog’s head, or a specific toy that your Jack Russell loves dearly.
Grab their attention
The quicker you distract your Jack Russell, the faster they are to stop barking. You could either use an interrupter or a command to divert them from barking and grab their attention.
Never use treats
Whenever you give a treat to your Jack Russell when they stop barking, you are encouraging their behavior. This will lead to a habit of barking whenever they would want a treat, and breaking such habits is easier said than done.
Ignore them altogether
One way to stop your Jack Russell from barking is to ignore them completely. Though it is not as effective as the other methods, this will discourage them from unnecessarily barking, as they would understand that this is not a proper way to get your attention.
Use the ‘stop’ command
Like the commands ‘sit’ and ‘lie down’ come in handy on various occasions, you can also teach the instruction ‘stop’ to your Jack Russell to quit any unfavorable actions, including barking. If this does not work, you should continuously take your Jack Russell’s name until they listen to you and then tell them to stop.
Be consistent and patient
Barking is a natural instinct for Jack Russells. Hence, stopping them from doing so is going to take a lot of strenuous effort. As their owner, you should be patient with them, as no method works effectively for the first time.
With time and consistency, your Jack Russell will start understanding your commands and will probably also stop unnecessarily barking. But during all this time, you have to keep your calm and restrain yourself from shouting or being harsh on your Jack Russell.
Stopping Your Jack Russell Barking When You’re Not There
Stopping your Jack Russell from barking when you are not with them can be quite a pain, as almost all of the above methods require you to be with your Jack Russell.
However, there are some ways through which you can ensure that your Jack Russell behaves in the best possible way, even when you are not around. Some of them include:
Tire them out
Play and exercise with them as much as you can before you leave. When your Jack Russell is tired, it would not have enough energy to bark constantly.
Buy them lots of toys
Toys are a great distraction for excessively barking Jack Russells. The more they are busy playing with their toys, the less likely they are to look for any reason to start barking.
Contact doggy daycares
If your dog is social and loves being in the company of other dogs, doggy daycare is a feasible option. It will keep your Jack Russell occupied until you can be with them.
If the above description does not fit your Jack Russell and they are somewhat of a loner, you can hire a dog-sitter to come and stay by their side until you are away.
Introduce them to your family
In scenarios where you cannot be with your Jack Russell, any of your family members can take it in with them or pay a daily visit to make sure your Jack Russell gets their daily exercise and playtime.
Shower them with love
When you are finally with your Jack Russell, do not forget to shower them with all the love and attention. Also, tell them how they have been a good boy/girl all along and how proud you are of their good behavior!