Help me stop my dog barking!

My 10-month-old Jack Russell/Parson Russell cross, Molly, has always barked too much but has been getting worse and worse. Just now, for instance, a neighbour came to my door; Molly not only barked like crazy but refused to stop. I called her to come and see the neighbour, but she instead she ran under my bed and continued barking from there.

Apparently for the first ten minutes when I go out she barks like crazy and hurls herself against the door. I don’t make a big deal or leaving or returning; when I return, she’s always pleased to see but doesn’t bark. She does bark when anyone else comes home though, even my daughter. It’s not a yap of excitement, it’s full-throated angry barking, and that’s for someone she likes.

I praise her a lot when she’s quiet, praise the other dog (not mine, but one I look after a lot) for being quiet, and tell her off for being the crazy loud barking. I’ve tried a collar which vibrates if she barks - it actually vibrated at random times, like when walking along quietly, but never when she barked. I’ve tried a spray collar but it is too big, too heavy and doesn’t actually seem to respond to sound, only if you blown into it, at which point it sprays into the air. Completely pointless.

Right now I can’t afford to get a dog trainer out. If and when I get the money I’m owed, I can, but it’s not an option till then.

My friend’s dog barks, and mine don’t. Hers doesn’t bark when he stays at my house, and here’s why: I’m VERY disappointed when dogs are noisy. I’m just devastated. I just cannot believe they would do such a thing. This terrible disappointment that they would so something so awful is a quiet thing, I do not yell at barking dogs because then they just think that making a racket is the appropriate thing to do. Instead I speak softly in tones of great dismay, and they have to shut up to hear me. Works for me.

I don’t shout either, because that would just be adding to the noise. I say shh and whisper to her.

My dog (bulldog, let her RIP) hardly ever barked and never at people. She would kind of growl at other dogs and would belt out a scary series of barks when it thundered, but other than that, silence.

I wish she had barked more often.

It’s only when people come to the door, but unfortunately that’s several times a day: the postman, my friends, deliveries (I get quite a few) and the HUGE numbers of people delivering junk mail even though I have a ‘no junk mail’ sign on the door - I get bout 7 or 8 different hand-delivered leaflets pushed through the door daily.

I’ve never tried it myself (when I lived with a pair of barky dogs they weren’t actually mine) but I’ve heard the dog trainers on TV say that you should teach a dog to bark on command. Supposedly they then stay quiet unless told to make a noise.

Shock collar. Doesn’t hurt the dog, but provides instant feedback from you via a remote control. My sister had to buy one for her dog that loved to go chasing moose and refused to return. Worked like a charm.

You can get a citronella collar, not a shock collar. It sprays harmless citronella that scares and pisses off the dog when they bark.

You might try just working on being polite when someone comes to the door. Practice having people come to the door, and you leash the dog and make them come to the door with you and sit. Get a training lead to use to get the dog to sit and pay attention (not bark). Try to keep this up when there are un-expected visitors at the door too, after the initial training session.

Sounds like your dog is quite scared of people at the door, being that he runs and hides. The issue isn’t that he likes to bark, it’s that he’s freaked out. If you teach him how to act different when people come to the door, he will.

Perhaps if he’s better about the door, his other barking will be more tolerable.

I dated a dog trainer several years ago. She often took in “rescue” dogs that people gave to shelters because of bad habits and tried to get them to be helper dogs for handicapped people. One such dog was a Doberman that was a constant whiner. If you were not paying attention to him he went at constantly. She said that a shock collar was the only thing that would get him to stop whining.

When he got zapped there was this unearthly yelp that made your skin crawl, then he would settle down and shut up for while, but the next time I visited he was back to it, so the urge must be HUGE. Having said that he was not he brightest dog in the world. A Jack Russell may be able to make the association between getting zapped and barking and the need to shut up.

I have tried both the static shock collars - though all the ones I’ve read about actually vibrate, not give a shock -and the spray collar, like I said in the OP. I’m looking around now to see if there are any better ones.

Practising having people come to the door really is not an option. It would mean standing there with the door open and a dog barking like crazy into the echoey hallway, which would be much worse than her barking in the flat. I think my neighbours would actually kill me. We’re at risk of eviction as it is.

I like the idea of training her to bark on command; I could try that outdoors maybe.

My neighbor tried the citronella collar. It didn’t work. He keeps filling it and the dog keeps right on barking.

If you get vocal when she gets vocal she’ll interpret that as good dog and that will encourage the behaviour. Your second problem is that it’s a Jack Russell mix these breeds are naturally high energy.

Good luck, you may have to get a trainer.

I forgot to add something important here: my dismay at this poor behavior begins at the very first bark, not after the dog has been barking for five minutes and has worked himself into a lather. It’s confusing for the dog if you allow a bad behavior to continue for a minute and then get annoyed.

Just an observation. It is way easier to do training prior to problems arising. I would never have a dog in my house that hadn’t gone through at least basic obedience.

In addition, this type of obedience work is relatively cheap. My dogs have all gone through basic classes done in a group, two hours weekly for 6 to 8 weeks for $150 to $200 for the course.

I wonder if maybe I got the wrong type or something, because there was no way the spray was going to go anywhere she’d notice even if it had actually sprayed. She’d have ended up with a very wet underside of the the muzzle, that’s all.

Hmm. Could be. I mean, any attention is good attention in some ways. But she doesn’t react in a way that says she she thinks I’m saying she’s a good dog - she knows full well she’s not supposed to do this. I’ve actually been trying to counteract this by maming sure she gets attention and occasionally rewards for all the tims she’s not barking, but maybe it’s not enough.

Oh hell no - we live in a flat. Any reaction I have is always at the first bark. There is no option for letting it go on.

When I got this dog I was all set to take her for obedience training and had money set aside for it as one of the costs of having a dog. I assumed there’d be a class I could take her to. I Googled, asked for recommendations at various places including the vet’s, and it turned out I couldn’t find one that was less than an hour and a half on public transport from my house, and that’s an hour and a half without a dog; they were all aimed at dogs aged 6 months or under; an hour and a half on buses and tubes with a puppy would be hell for you and everyone around you. It wasn’t doable.

(They also cost a lot more than you say, but I was expecting them to - this is London).

Bizarrely, all the North London ones I found online were in Finchley. Why Finchley?

When Molly was seven months old, I saw an ad in a supermarket noticeboard for a puppy training class nearby, but they wouldn’t let me take her as she was too old.

Early training probably would have helped, but I couldn’t get to it and it’s too late now at any rate.

BTW, apologies for my horrendous typos in the OP and probably subsequent posts; I’m very tried right now.

Ok then, every time your dog goes nuts when someone comes to the door, put a leash on it and get it to sit and be quiet (via “popping” the leash and touching the dog’s behind to keep it focused/get it to sit) before you open the door. It might be frustrating for you to have to do it this way but dog training isn’t just a one-time thing.

My immediate neighbor has a Jack Russell also, who also had the same problem. They’d previously lived in a house with a big yard, and the dog had the run of the place; now, in a condo setting, she still thought everything was hers to defend.
It seemed really mean, but the neighbor ended up getting a bark caller, and…it worked. Yes, there was at least one occasion where the little dog would bark through the pain anyway, and it’s hard to watch, but it only took a couple of months, and now she hardly has to wear the collar anymore. AND she’s stopped barking at every last thing.
ETA: didn’t see you’d already mentioned trying those, sorry! /facepalm

Heh. Getting a leash on her would be an achievement when she’s going crazy barking at the door. She’s a small dog and even though I’ve tried to minimise the places she can hide, the living room table where my work computer sits cannot be changed in height and she hides under there barking like she’s protecting everyone’s lives from a T100 at the door.

It’s OK, you’re not alone, and I am going to try a different brand of collar than the two I’ve tried so far. I tried for the ones with high ratings on Amazon (, but none of them had many ratings - like four or five people rating them at most - so that’s not a terribly good guide.