Barking at fence excessively with neighbour's dog - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Barking at fence excessively with neighbour's dog

Hi everyone,
I'm hoping for some guidance so here goes; our 18 month old GSD male is not a dog that barks much but our neighbours have 2 dogs that bark at anything and everything. One of their dogs is a 14 yrs old female and she barks all the time but our dog does not pay any attention to her. The problem is with their 6 yr old male lab mix. He barks all the time but as soon as they are outside at the same time, they will run up and down the fence (chain link) and growl and bark at each other. It does not look friendly at all... they will do this for a few minutes if nobody is outside to call them away from the fence. After a few minutes of growling, my dog will start to wag his tail and it's almost like a game but at first, it seems like they hate each other. (They met before back in the Fall and they played for a bit in our yard with both owners present and they were fine).

We got out dog at 13 months from the breeder and the neighbours dogs have always barked at us and everyone even before we got our dog. I know that I can't control their dogs' behaviour... We are going to plant think hedges in a couple weeks to try and make a barrier so they don't see each other as much...

Can I please have some suggestions on how to train my dog? I don't want him to run to the fence and bark back at their dog. I would preferably like him to just ignore their dogs barking.

Thank you for your advice!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 11:53 AM
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I had same issue with my neighbor with only a 4ft fence between yards. First I added a visual barrier. I went with heavy reed fencing. My dog was a pup and I thought a direct visual distraction would be too much..in the meantime I was teaching a leave it command. If he ran along the fence (with the visual barrier up) I corrected him and reinforced "leave it" everywhere not just at the fence. I used a prong with a 12" tab on it.

Then his leave it got more trustworthy as he aged. The fence blew down in a snowstorm this year and he went to go look at the other dog a time or two but once I said leave it a few times he got it. Now he ignores him. I did put up another wooden barrier again because I do not trust the other dog to not hop over the fence (agile pitbull...nice dog but who knows if DA or just simple fence aggression).

Sometimes it is as simple as a visual barrier...but it is also a good opportunity to work on a "leave it" command. Good luck!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Comet! I will try the "leave it" command. So I can't let him out into the yard unless I'm with him right? Or else, it will undo the practice of the "leave it" command? Also, the 12" prong with a tab on it... Can you explain what it is exactly? We will also plant the largest hedges we can buy to try and make a physical barrier also.

Thank you!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 12:33 PM
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I wouldn't leave him out unattended for sure. With my dog I had a regular prong collar on him, when out and about I would just a regular lead to correct..at home and in my yard instead of a leash hanging off of it I had a leather tab that I could grab to use for a correction. They have them in most pet stores...Leerburg.com sells them online.

I'm sure there will be other good suggestions from the other members here. That is just how I solved it. My dog is reasonably drivey, but he is handler soft and cares about corrections even while in drive. Some won't be as sensitive while in drive for sure. That is why I think a visual barrier would be more fair to initially teach "leave it". I know someone with a dog that is so handler hard once fully in drive that I wanted to choreograph his corrections when he would not out to "Ave Maria". You can not easily take him off his game with a prong or e collar. Takes a very skilled strong handler. So it really depends on the dog.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 03:41 PM
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Can you talk to the neighbors and offer suggestions on how to stop their dogs from fence fighting? That is a bad habit and can lead to real fights if their dogs can escape into your yard? They need to stop it. Can you report them to AC if they don’t try to stop it? If there is enough room, I would probably consider a second row of fencing along that side made out of solid cement blocks that prevent them from seeing into your yard and tall enough they can’t jump over.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:59 PM
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For your german shepherd, it sound as if he want to play or otherwise interact with the 6 year old dog on the other side of the fence. While you cannot do much about the neighbor’s dog, there are a few ways to teach your dog that barking is not a wanted behavior.
First, I would recommend teaching or brushing up on the Leave It cue, which can be learned fairly easily. Having someone hold an object your dog wants, but that they are not allowed to have, you can give your dog the cue “Leave It” to teach them that ignoring anything you tell them to leave alone gets a reward.
A physical barrier like a row of bushes can help, but some dogs will still bark even if they hear others back. I would recommend going through a positive reinforcement dog training class, so that your dog sees you as the most fun and positive thing around, and will want to respond to you instead of barking and running.
Lastly, I would say giving your dog an alternative to barking, such as playing with a toy or giving them something else to focus on in the yard will help reduce the barking. I do not recommend using any shock and noise collars or devices, as they may cause your dog to become aggressive towards other dogs in a small space such as a yard.
I hope this information helps!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 10:44 AM
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A few wires of electric fencing at nose level should do the trick for both dogs. I can't imagine having to deal with a dog trying to fence fight with mine whenever I want to go out and enjoy my backyard, that is a tough one. You can train your dog, but if the neighbors won't work with theirs, it will only take one, maybe two "corrections" from that fence, and the problem will be solved.

You can buy DIY electric fencing for deer, chicken runs, etc. at most feed stores. It's not pricey, and it would only need to be live for a couple weeks.

Train the dog to "leave it" anyway, because it is a great skill to have in place for any dog, but I wouldn't want to have to go out with my dog every time he/she wants to go in my fenced yard. Particularly for those middle of the night emergency bathroom breaks. The electric fence will solve it, fast.

Communicate with the neighbors, first.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:09 AM
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My neighbor’s girlfriend had a Saint Bernard who would come onto my property and drive my dogs bat crazy. My dogs are dutifully watch over their property proudly. The Saint Bernard would sit their and just seemingly to laugh at them and enjoy their kujo like demonstration. (He was really cute a giant pup)Once the dog broke free of its owner and chased us in our car. My neighbor was always more then apologetic and had to physically drag their laughing dog away. This dog really liked to visit my dogs and seemed to be entertained by them which drove them so much more crazy. When I called them they did come to me. I have had much prior practice having my dogs listen to me it many kinds of distractions. Not soon after the neighbor invested in a very expensive fence in their front yard voluntarily that faces my backyard to prevent their dog from coming up to my fence line. I think they broke up and their girlfriend left with her dog. Keep a very long lead on them and get them used to calling them to you or leave it when this happens before the onslaught. A leash pop using the long lead when ignoring your instructions. Great way to practice with distractions I used this as to practic. Ecollar can be then used to proof off lead instructions a way to correcting off lead -if they blow off your instruction. You must learn how to use one I always recommend a trainer or it can make things worse. Also deer fence or another kind of border can be put up a few feet away from the original fencing also.


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Last edited by Jenny720; 04-19-2019 at 11:20 AM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 12:19 PM
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Just my two cents worth......I don't think the hedge idea is an overall solution for a few reasons......


I have a very similar situation......3 barking neighbor dogs at the fence line......and I have a fairly reactive territorial bitch.....the fence aggression/barking/posturing much as you described.


First, you have a great training environment right in your own backyard......


My neighbors think it's good exercise for their dogs to run the fence line with all the extra added baloney......that's cool....their yard...their dogs...and like I said...it gave me a great training area.


This unacceptable behavior ( my dog ) is what prompted me to get busy with some serious impulse control training and then led to proximity training as progress was made....used a 6 foot lead and prong and worked obedience training closer and closer to the fence as success allowed......heavy on the reward when my dog kept her crap together. Long line was next with less strict obedience except recalls....closer and closer to the frenzy on the other side of the fence.



Finally got to the point of down/stays on the long line with the dogs going off at the fence.....closer and closer to the fence.......and then no long line.



All along the way....lots of play/tug/fetch was included.....I'd like to think I also became more fun than the 3 dogs......plus good things happened when she did as she was trained.


It's a bit funny how she ended up today.....per the opinion of a forum member who has helped me tremendously....the idea of being able to call the dog off the fence antics was suggested as acceptable and she definitely will recall when I issue the command. I do allow her to go to the fence to date...run a couple laps...she looks at me and self regulates.


Overall, it was a process that took a fair amount of time and consistency. I'm thinking there are quicker ways to change the behavior and better trainers who could make the change happen faster...




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