What Causes Jack Russell Barking Behaviour?
As with many dogs, Jack Russells like to bark. However, this breed seems to like it infinitely more than many others, so just why do they do it? Remember that these dogs were originally bred to be hunting dogs who need to bark in order to communicate information to their masters, so barking is actually part of their heritage. Back in their hunting days, Jacks would run far ahead of their masters as barking served as the only ways for their masters to know the location of the terrier and, in turn, the prey. Without that trait they certainly wouldn’t be able to do their job properly, making Jack Russell barking a huge part of who they are.
This natural inclination, in addition to their protective and somewhat aggressive personalities, suggests you’re more than likely to experience some Jack Russell barking. Be ready for barking anytime a stranger enters the home or even when pedestrians, or other dogs, cross in front of the house—your dog must make his presence known to establish his territory. Barking also tends to occur when Jacks chase, play, get bored, lonely, of otherwise frustrated.
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Drawback To Instinct
Frequent barking may well be an innate part of the Jack Russell temperament, yet after awhile it can also be exceedingly irritating. Uncontrolled yapping is unpleasant for anyone with hearing distance and must be addressed before it becomes a permanent problem. Because barking can also be a demonstration of aggression and entitlement, prevent this problem by establishing your dominance over your dog and your house.
Preventing Your Jack Russell From Barking
Luckily, it is possible to train your Jack Russell to stop barking. While you don’t need to render your dog totally silent (and shouldn’t)you can diminish his unseemly barking. With the right amount of patience, training, and consistency you’ll be free to leave your home without a cacophony of barking.
The first step is to only praise wanted behavior and to simply disregard and ignore any unwanted behavior; this method is known as positive reinforcement. Jack’s tend to think that they’ll get attention when they bark, but if you totally ignore your dog when he starts he’ll soon get the message. Instead, praise him when he stops barking and illustrate that an absence of barking will yield positive results—even though it’s hard to ignore constant barking, this method is one of the most effective.
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Often your Jack will be in the yard barking. Ignoring these barks won’t make you popular with your neighbors, so simply let him in whenever his barking starts. Follow the positive reinforcement method, wait ten minutes, and then let him return outside. This should be your approach anytime he barks outside and eventually your dog will get the picture—if he wants to play outside, he can’t be barking.
Should you find your dog barking at other people or animals, make it abundantly clear that this is not okay. Give him a stern “no” or “stop” and he’ll know he’s in the wrong. It’s also possible that your Jack is barking simply because he’s bored. Try to keep your dog sufficiently entertained, especially if you’re going to be gone for any period of time so that he stays occupied.
So, to stop your Jack Russell barking you’ll need a combination of understanding, patience and consistency. Consistency is a major part of the process because even though Jacks are very smart, they do need some time in order to develop new patterns. Issue the same response whenever he barks and he’ll soon be quiet to win your attention and affection.
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