Most potential JRT owners ask us, ‘Do Jack Russells bark a lot?’. It is one of the most frequently asked questions, especially by the people who live in apartments.
Today morning, one of my friends called me and asked for some tips to stop his yappy Jack Russell from barking all the time.
After giving him some tips, I thought of writing about Jack Russell Terrier’s barking behaviour. I included my previous experiences in this post as a JRT owner. And also, I did some online research on this topic to discuss it from a broader perspective.
So, do Jack Russells bark a lot? Yes, Jack Russells bark a lot more than other small dog breeds. They are energetic and attentive dogs. And also, they have got hunting instincts and predatory behaviors from their ancestors. Therefore, Jack Russells have a protective attitude towards their owners and territories. It makes them bark a lot. And also, they usually bark to release energy, boredom, excitement, fear and looking for attention.
There are some other common reasons for the excessive barking of Jacks. I will discuss all the reasons deeply in this post today.
I know that it is challenging to raise a mouthy dog. There might be lots of complaints from neighbours; I had the same. However, I could manage to reduce my JRT’s excessive barking to some certain extent.
Accordingly, I will give you some valuable tips to reduce your JRT’s excessive barking. I have practically used those tips, and those will be useful to understand your dog correctly.
I have listed the main topics that I cover in this article. If you are in a hurry, you can easily jump to any section by clicking the topic. Let’s get started.
My Jack Russell Terrier’s barking behavior
I have two Jack Russells named Shaggy and Lenny. Therefore, I have a lot of stories about their barking behaviour.
Jack Russells were bred as working dogs. Mainly, they were good at hunting small foxes and rabbits. Still, they carry some of their ancestor’s predatory behaviors with them.
Their excessive energy, alertness and attentiveness make them energetic. So, they will make you busy and your home noisy despite Jack Russell’s small size.
I adopted my JRT named Lenny 7 years back. She was quite noisy and yappy at the beginning. I understood that they try to express their thoughts by barking. If you notice correctly, they have different tones and types of barking.
I had too many complaints about the noises from my neighbours. Fortunately, I was able to reduce my dog’s excessive barking.
Eventually, I learnt how to respond to my JRT barking because I understood her thoughts. That helped us with effective communication.
Then, I adopted my second Jack Russell ‘Shaggy’ around 5 years ago. At that time, I noticed there is a huge difference in the barking of my new puppy. Shaggy was quieter than Lenny. Therefore, I think there is a difference in barking between male and female dogs.
The other thing is, my Jack Russells are not barking too much in the house. They start barking at strangers and other pets when they are taken outside.
As I said earlier, Jacks are an intelligent dog breed. They learn things quickly. Therefore, you need to train them correctly to reduce their destructive behaviours and aggressiveness.
However, I can say that if you can understand them, they will not bark excessively. You will learn their communication quickly once you adopt a dog. Therefore, it is not a big deal.
Why do Jack Russell Terriers bark a lot?
There are common situations and causes for Jack Russells to bark a lot. Typically, barking is one of their ways of communicating with their owner. And also, they bark for threatening strangers and other pets.
Jack Russells inherited the loud barking from their ancestors. They used to be hunting dogs around 200 years back. Their loud barking helped hunters to find their targets easily. And also, JRT’s barking helped to scare the animals and push them to the hunting pace.
Jacks don’t hunt nowadays, but still, they have their loud barking attitude. I am not wrong if I say that is their nature.
Apart from their ancestral barking behaviour, I have noticed some unique situations where Jack Russells excessively bark. Those are a combination of what I observed raising two JRTs and doing extensive research on the topic.
1. Jacks bark when they need to release energy
We know that Jack Russells are an energetic dog breed. They need lots of activities and space to release their energy.
When there are fewer activities, they start to show some destructive behaviors. Sometimes, JRTs start shaking to release their unused energy.
Barking is another way of releasing energy. At the same time, they tell us that they need more activities to keep them awake.
2. Boredom causes barking
Most energetic dogs expect a lot of activities to keep them alive. It helps them to maintain their physical and mental health.
If you don’t give him enough exercises, it may cause them boredom. Then they start excessive barking. JRTs expect you to take them out to have some space for running and playing.
It would be great to provide some pet toys to play with when they get bored staying inside the house.
Jacks prefer their owner’s company all the time. When the owners are not at home, they start feeling lonely. It drives them to excessive energy.
One day in October 2017, I was late coming home after work for around 6 hours. I was complained twice by my neighbours that my Jack Russells are barking continuously.
I understood that Jack Russells are worrying about their owners. They know our typical daily routine. Once it breaks suddenly, they start worrying.
And also, Jacks bark a lot when they are alone. I think deep silence makes them nervous or anxious. It seems they love to hear their voice when they are alone. That might drive Jack Russells to bark a lot.
4. Jack Russells bark a lot for protecting the territory
As I mentioned earlier, Jack Russell Terriers are loyal and alert dogs. They care about their owners and the family. Therefore, you can expect excessive barking when a stranger or animal comes closer to you.
JRTs are not like other small dog breeds. They think they are the leader of the pack. You may notice that most Jacks take the lead when they have a walk with the owner.
Sometimes, Jacks are overprotective. Therefore, you can expect some unexpected barkings or destructive behaviours.
5. Jacks excessively bark when they fear
JRTs are courageous dogs in nature. Therefore, they make noises when they fear.
You may notice most of the other small dog breeds hide somewhere safer when they are afraid of something.
However, Jacks start making continuous barking when something is not tolerable. They are so sensitive to heavy noises. Still, my JRTs start continuously barking while I am using my noisy vacuum cleaner.
They are so afraid of firecrackers. It is challenging to make them quiet on the 31st nights because of the firecrackers.
6. Do your Jack Russell bark a lot? He may be Excited
Jack Russell Terriers bark a lot when they are excited. They are so generous in expressing their emotions. In that case, Jacks are humble and honest dogs.
They get excited every day when I come home after work. They are barking, chewing my feet, licking my face and running everywhere in the house to express their excitement.
And also, I share some of my human foods with my dogs. Especially, they love steaks. Every time I prepare steaks, my JRTs are continuously barking because they are too excited about the food.
To be honest, I love that attitude of Jack Russells.
7. JRTs bark a lot to take the attention
Jacks are attached to their owners. Therefore, they expect a lot of attention. They start complaining when they don’t have enough love and affection.
If you have limited time for attending with your JRT, provide him with enough toys that can make him busy. So, there will not be any complaints.
Do Jack Russell’s bark all the time?
No, Jack Russell Terriers don’t bark all the time. They are a little bit more vocal than other small dog breeds. It doesn’t mean that they bark all the time.
Typically, they bark for a reason. We discussed earlier the most common situations of JRTs excessive barking.
If you identify their needs correctly, there will not be a reason for them to bark all the time. Training is also essential to stop excessive barking. We will discuss how to train them later in this article.
Are Jack Russells yappy?
I have seen that most people love to have yappy dogs. In that case, JRT’s are not that much yappy than Huskies, Beagles or Corgies.
However, you can train Jacks to speak with you. They are intelligent dogs that can learn things quickly.
Jack Russells loud barking may cause unnecessary troubles from neighbors. Therefore, it is advisable to train them at a young age to be quiet.
How do I get my Jack Russell to stop barking?
We discussed a lot of information about Jack Russell’s barking behaviours. And also, it is essential to know how to stop excessive barking.
A small puppy is like a baby. We should teach them what to do and what not to do. Dog owners have to sacrifice some time and effort to train their dog to behave well.
In that case, Jack Russells are quick learners. They have a good capacity for understanding lots of things. So, if you plan to raise a JRT, you should start training them regularly and continuously until your dog is well mannered.
There are few practical things you can do to stop your JRT’s excessive barking behaviours. Those are easy to follow as well.
1. Try to understand their needs
Jacks bark a lot to express something to the owner. It may be anything related to its daily routine, need or health issue. Therefore, try to read your dog’s intentions when they bark.
You will be able to categorize their barking tone, volume and the way they bark within a short time. Then, you can act accordingly without making your JRT tired of barking.
Once you understand your Jacks intentions, he doesn’t need to yap all the time for informing you.
2. Don’t reward the barking
As we discussed earlier, Jack Russell Terriers are intelligent. And also, they are so energetic. Therefore, they love to take the lead and give commands to others. He may try to do the same with you.
In fact, don’t let him control you. I have seen most Jack Russell owners who cannot control their dogs because they show too much love. It allows JRTs to control their owners to do what they want.
I advise dog owners to control their dogs by appreciating the good work and depreciating destructive behaviours.
Accordingly, don’t reward their barking. You may think that you don’t reward them when they bark. Let me explain.
What will you do when your dog barks looking at you while you are watching TV? Probably, you pet them.
And what will you do when your dog barks to take your attention while you are talking with your friend? You take him closer to make him quiet, right?
That is the reward of barking. JRTs know how to get what they want. Therefore, don’t look at them when they bark, looking at you without a particular reason.
Try to avoid his barking while you are in the middle of something important. Use the word ‘Quiet’ or ‘Stop’ when they bark continuously.
Eventually, they will understand that you are not willing to see him barking. Then, he will reduce barking voluntarily.
3. Make your Jack Russell busy
Jacks tend to express their energy by running, playing and jumping. They need daily activities for around 30 – 40 minutes. They can maintain their mental and physical balance when they have enough exercises.
Therefore, take him out for a walk every day. And also, it would be great if you can provide some toys to make him busy. It will help him to play on his own without making so much noise.
4. Socialize them at the early age
Jacks may have aggressive barking towards strangers and other pets. Therefore, early socialization is essential.
Try to move them with other pets as much as possible. Then, they will learn how to behave in a team. Eventually, it will make a well-behaved dog.
5. Use radio to talk when he is alone
My Jacks used to bark continuously when I was not in the home. I understand that they bark because of boredom. Therefore, I turned on the FM radio when I went outside for a longer time.
Later, I found a better way. That is a pet talk machine. There is a display where my dogs can see me. Also, I can see them and speak with them using that. It is beneficial for me to reduce their barking while I am outside the house.
6. Train your JRT to be quiet
Training is the key to a well-behaved dog. Therefore, try to train your dog to be quiet.
We know that Jack Russells are highly trainable dogs with a good capacity for understanding. So, you can train them to bark or stop on command.
You should start training them to bark first on your command. You can use something like ‘Speak’ or ‘Start’. Try to poke them, showing some stuff or toy and ask them to bark. Once they bark at your command, please give them a treat.
Your JRT will learn the barking command within a few days. Then, start the ‘Quiet’ or ‘Stop’ command. First, you command them to bark and then ask them to stop. Once he did it correctly, give a treat.
After that, you will be able to control your dog’s barking with a small command. Isn’t it easy?
Are there any alternative methods to stop JRT’s barking?
There is a wide range of alternative methods that reduce dog barking, such as e-collars, vocal reduction collars and other types of collars.
However, I don’t recommend those types of technology-related equipment to control natural behaviours like barking.
Conclusion – So, do Jack Russells bark a lot?
We have discussed extensively all the information related to Jack Russell Terrier barking behaviour. I think this post answered the question ‘do Jack Russells bark a lot?’.
And also, we discussed the reasons for JRT’s excessive barking. Finally, I have given some valuable tips that can be practised at home to stop your dog’s barking.
I hope this article was helpful. Stay with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting topics related to JRTs and other dog breeds.
Cheers from Shaggy and Lenny!