Do Jack Russells Bark a Lot?

By John Martin - January 31, 2022

Jack Russell barking

This is the most common question among potential Jack Russell owners: ‘Do they bark too much?’. Well, they do bark more than most small dogs.

It can be challenging to own a dog that makes a lot of noise, but if you understand the reason behind this behavior and train your dog accordingly, you can successfully reduce its barking.

Why Do Jack Russells Bark a Lot?

Jack Russells were bred as hunting dogs and have a lot of drive and energy. Though it doesn’t stop them from being loving family dogs, they do have a strong predatory instinct.

They used to flush out mice, rats and foxes from their underground hiding places and barked loudly to keep them at bay. They developed a habit of barking at moving objects, smaller animals and other noises.

Their protective instinct towards their family and house also makes them bark a lot. There are several other reasons for their barking, but being guard dogs is the primary reason they bark at every disturbance.

It can be very difficult raising a loud dog. You keep getting complaints from neighbors and it is hard for you to live in a noisy home.

Understanding the reason for their barking can help reduce it significantly. You can train your dog to be much more manageable at the very least.

Here are all the potential reasons for your Jack Russell dog’s barking:

Excess Energy

Most Jack Russells are very hyper. Like all hunting dogs, they have a lot of energy and need to spend it in various ways.

If you have a Jack Russell, it needs a lot of activity on a daily basis and access to open space. When your dog doesn’t get enough activity, it turns to destructive behaviors to release this excess energy.

Jack Russells have also been known to shake incessantly to spend pent-up energy. Barking is also another activity that helps them use their excess energy.

Barking incessantly might be your dog’s way of telling you he needs more activity and more engagement in his day-to-day life.

If you start doing more physical activity with your dog and he stops barking, you can be sure that he was barking due to having excess energy.


Boredom can also make your Jack Russell bark too much. If you leave your dog alone all day, it might make him feel lonely and bored, making him bark.

Jack Russells have a lot of energy, as we’ve already mentioned. They need attention and open spaces to keep them occupied.

If they are cooped up in an apartment all alone, they are very likely to get bored. It might even make them destructive.

Jack Russells thrive on company. They like being near their owners and often become velcro dogs.

If there is a break in your daily pattern or you don’t return home for a very long time, it can lead to long barking sessions.

Being alone can also cause your dog stress and anxiety. Jack Russells were not meant to live in solitude without much activity, so you shouldn’t get a Jack Russell if you don’t have enough time and space for it.


Almost all dogs are prone to barking out of fear and Jack Russells are no exception. Any unexpected noises or actions can trigger loud barking.


Jack Russells are very smart and always eager to learn. They always display their emotions in very obvious ways.

When they are very excited, they like to express it vocally. You might observe that they start barking when you come home, when they meet other dogs or when they are about to get treats.

Attention Seeking

Jack Russell dogs need a lot of attention. They adore their owner and want to be present in every part of their life.

If you don’t give them enough attention, they will complain by barking incessantly. Playing with them and spending more time with them could be one way to reduce their barking.

People who cannot afford to spend any more time with their Jack Russells should get them plenty of toys to keep them engaged. If they are busy playing, they are not likely to seek attention by barking.

Protecting Territory

As you already know, Jack Russells are hunting dogs. They can get very territorial and they always want to keep their house safe.

Jack Russells will bark to keep strangers and other animals away from you. It might seem like jealous behavior, but they are actually trying to keep you safe.

Their leadership instinct is also very strong. They fancy themselves the leaders of the pack and protectors of the family, leading them to bark at every potential disturbance near them.

Do Jack Russels Bark Constantly?

Jack Russells are a lot more vocal than other small dog breeds, but they don’t bark constantly. There is always a reason behind barking and they stop when the trigger is removed or their need is satisfied.

If you go through the above list of reasons for their barking, you might be able to pinpoint why your dog keeps barking. Once you know the reason, there are probably several ways to put an end to this behavior.

How to Get a Jack Russell to Stop Barking

If you know why your dog is barking a lot, it is important that you also understand how to put an end to their behavior.

Before you learn about ways to reduce barking, it is important to know that barking is a dog’s way of communication.

Our dogs communicate with us in many different ways and barking simply happens to be one of them. There is nothing you can do to make your dog stop barking completely.

You can reduce their barking to some extent, but you need to be able to live with a normal amount of barking. If you can’t tolerate any barking, you should reconsider having a dog at all.

You will need to spend some time and energy on training your dog to be quieter. Fortunately, Jack Russells are very smart and respond positively to training and learning new behavior.

Here are a few realistic things you can try to keep your Jack Russell from barking too much:

Understand the Dog’s Needs

The very first thing to do is to try to understand what your dog needs from you. He might need some kind of change in their routine or he could be facing an injury or health issue.

Do not disregard your dog’s barking and always check if there is an unusual reason behind it. You can probably recognize different kinds of barks by paying attention to the volume, tone or frequency.

Once you know why your dog is barking, it will be much easier to reduce the barking. Deal with patience and understanding when your dog starts barking.

Stop Reinforcing Barking

Jack Russells are very intelligent. They pay attention to your reaction to their behavior and learn how to get their way.

If your dog wants attention from you and knows that you will pet him and play with him if he barks, he will definitely bark at you whenever he wants attention.

Jack Russells like leadership. Your dog might even try to control your behavior by barking and getting you to do what he wants.

You need to stop rewarding your dog when he barks if you want to stop his barking. Rewarding him for being quiet and withholding praise and attention when he barks will help eventually curb the barking.

If you give your dog whatever he wants just because he barks, you are subconsciously telling him that he can get his way by barking at you. This is not healthy for your relationship with your pet.

If your dog barks at you for attention, simply walk away from him. Only return when he quietens down and give him a treat, indicating that being quiet will give them attention and rewards.

Keep Your Dog Busy

People usually only focus on the barking itself when they try to reduce their dog’s barking. Truth is, there might be other factors behind the barking which need to be dealt with.

With Jack Russells, the most common problem is that they don’t have a suitable outlet for their energy. They are hunting dogs and need a lot of exercise throughout the day to keep them satisfied.

Dogs that don’t get enough activity or live in apartments and don’t have too much space have a lot of excess energy often resort to barking.

Make sure your Jack Russell gets at least 30-45 minutes of physical activity every day. Daily walks are essential and throw in occasional activities like running or swimming a few times a month.

Letting your dog off the leash every day in an open space for some time every day is also a good way to let him blow off some steam. Alternatively, you can get him some interesting toys that keep him busy for extended periods of time.

Let Your Jack Russell Get Used to Barking Triggers

It is only natural for dogs to bark at unfamiliar sights or sounds. You cannot hope to completely rid them of this behavior, but you can desensitize your dog to common stimuli like traffic, other animals, doorbells, etc.

Whenever you are faced with a barking trigger, give your dog a treat to convey that the trigger is a positive occurrence that gets them rewarded. If you stay consistent with your efforts, your dog will get desensitized to these triggers and stop barking at them.

Train Your Jack Russell to Be Quiet

Jack Russells can be very mouthy, but they are luckily very trainable. You can train them to be quiet on command, which will give you some control over their barking.

To train your dog to be quiet on command, you need to first train him to ‘speak’ on command. Use the words ‘talk’ or ‘speak’ and try to get them to bark by knocking on a wall or showing them toys.

Whenever they bark at your command, give them a treat. In a couple of weeks, your dog should be comfortable with this command.

Once they master the barking command, you can start teaching him to stop. First, ask him to bark, followed by ‘quiet’ or ‘stop’.

If he stops barking at your command, give him a treat. Stay consistent with your training and soon your dog will stop barking whenever you ask him to.

Parting Thoughts

Incessant barking can be very irksome for pet owners. Jack Russells, in particular, can be very loud, which is very hard to live with.

If you want to reduce your dog’s barking, you need to first understand the reason behind it. Once you know the reason, there are many different ways to get your dog to stop barking.