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Discussion Starter #1
Oh boy, I'll just jump in. It's been awhile.

Spirit is almost 14 months, still intact. He graduated beginning obedience and we were doing intermediate but I'm not feeling well and need to take a break for a bit, hopefully not long. He is my first GSD, and honstly I'm not sure I have any business owning one.

I love him and I hate him. But that's beside the point. I don't really hate him.

We live in a rural area, no fence. I have an IF fence which he respects very well. The dog next door, Bunny FooFoo, excites him too much though. He's broken the boundary with her once (she's fixed) and there was **** to pay with that one, getting her back. Go figure though, he will be chasing a squirrel at break neck speed and stop on a dime at the boundary. He is never outside without me. In fact, now I put a long leash on him, in addition to his IF collar. That way if something happens, because his recall is crap when he's reacting, I have more leverage with getting a hold of him.

Everything is fine, reasonably so, except BunnyFooFoo. Spirit is over-the-top crazy about that dog. He barks, he runs the boundary, he growls, he won't listen to me, everything good about him is gone in an instant. And BunnyFooFoo, bless her heart, she stands there braced like she's just daring him to come on over. She's a good dog. Spirit is the problem. It's just not a good set up for him.

I can't build a real fence. I wish I could. I could put up something flimsy but not sure that is going to fix the problem.

I'm in avoidance training now, we just go out when BunnyFooFoo isn't outside. But it's summer now, that's not very often and the days are getting longer. Spirit stands at the window and looks outside. I feel bad for him, I feel guilty. I definitely feel like a bad neighbor and a bad dog owner. I never felt this way with my golden retriever, she always listened to me, Spirit no so much sometimes.

What do you think? Any sage advice?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
He is territorial, I should add. He barks at my neighbors when he sees them out, I correct him immediately. I can manage that behavior. I can't manager the BunnyFooFoo behavior, he goes insane.

He's like this with all dogs he sees outside, though he's never fought. And he's played with BunnyFooFoo before I trained him on the IF fence, they played beautifully together but BFF is a tease, she runs and will never be caught -- pitbull/boxer mix on steroids.

He is so good in class -- I can drop the leash with him 3 feet from another dog and he will keep the stay command. Amazing the difference in class and here at home.
 

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It sounds like BFF and Spirit could have a great time together. Would you consider letting them have some playtime together? A neighbor 2 doors down from me has a Lab that my puppy plays with, and they have a great time. So great, actually, that they can't let her out off-lead or she'll beeline right over, lol. I take my puppy out regularly to play catch, so he's had more exposure to the unfenced frontage, to teach him to stay within the perimeter.
 

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hopefully you'll feel better soon. if you can't train find someone
who can help you. if you can't build a "real fence" build a kennel
or have someone build a kennel for you.

Oh boy, I'll just jump in. It's been awhile.

Spirit is almost 14 months, still intact. He graduated beginning obedience and we were doing intermediate but I'm not feeling well and need to take a break for a bit, hopefully not long. He is my first GSD, and honstly I'm not sure I have any business owning one.

I love him and I hate him. But that's beside the point. I don't really hate him.

We live in a rural area, no fence. I have an IF fence which he respects very well. The dog next door, Bunny FooFoo, excites him too much though. He's broken the boundary with her once (she's fixed) and there was **** to pay with that one, getting her back. Go figure though, he will be chasing a squirrel at break neck speed and stop on a dime at the boundary. He is never outside without me. In fact, now I put a long leash on him, in addition to his IF collar. That way if something happens, because his recall is crap when he's reacting, I have more leverage with getting a hold of him.

Everything is fine, reasonably so, except BunnyFooFoo. Spirit is over-the-top crazy about that dog. He barks, he runs the boundary, he growls, he won't listen to me, everything good about him is gone in an instant. And BunnyFooFoo, bless her heart, she stands there braced like she's just daring him to come on over. She's a good dog. Spirit is the problem. It's just not a good set up for him.

>>>>> I can't build a real fence.<<<<<

I wish I could. I could put up something flimsy but not sure that is going to fix the problem.

I'm in avoidance training now, we just go out when BunnyFooFoo isn't outside. But it's summer now, that's not very often and the days are getting longer. Spirit stands at the window and looks outside. I feel bad for him, I feel guilty. I definitely feel like a bad neighbor and a bad dog owner. I never felt this way with my golden retriever, she always listened to me, Spirit no so much sometimes.

>>>>>What do you think? Any sage advice?<<<<<

[/QUOTE]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My neighbors unfortunately are not friendly so not likely they will help me with Spirit's behavior. They didn't like Spirit going in their yard to play with BFF even when Spirit was a puppy. I wish I could get rid of my neighbors. They own their house, I just rent ... I wish they would put up a real fence, but they don't care. They just want to be left alone.

A kennel, been giving that some serious thought. They just seem so small and so inhibiting. I have a big beautiful yard, I hate it that I can't let Spirit enjoy it.

Is it possible he will be less reactive with age, or when I get him neutered?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Having a GSD without a real fence is extremely challenging. Hindsight is 20/20, but I really do enjoy Spirit, he challenges me every day to think in new ways, to be on the ball. No slacking with this kid LOL But if I had known how difficult this would be, I might have not decided to do this.

Last week 2 of the neighbor's children came in my yard. They wanted to say hi to Spirit. As soon as they stepped foot into our boundary, Spirit was barking at them. I thought for a minute that I could calm him and de-escalate the situation but it didn't happen. I have to make a hard rule that no children are allowed in my yard when Spirit is outside. Period. Kinda scary. I thought GSD's were smart enough to perceive real threat -- 2 little kids is not a threat, is it? Am I misunderstanding the breed, or do I have an unsound GSD?

He's never bitten anyone, never given any indication that he might. But the barking for his territory, I'm not messing around with that. He barks, I listen. I either remove the threat or I remove him. Am I doing this right?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He would be a happier dog if I had a real fence.

I just feel like a bad dog owner, like I've gotten myself into something I shouldn't have. Not so much for me, but for Spirit. He deserves better. He is so smart, so attentive, and sweet -- haha, in his own mow-you-over GSD way :crazy:
 

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What do you do with him out there to distract him? I have a fenced back yard with neighbors on 1 side where the children like to sit on their raised deck (which overlooks my yard) or atop their playset (ditto) and play their flutes and bark, trying to my puppy going. They're not mean or anything, they just like him, lol. He's fine with them now and won't bark because I always, I mean always, go out there with him and we play flirt pole games, which he's much more interested in. Maybe if you can engage Spirit in better times, BFF won't seem so appealing.

I take him out front, unfenced, and play catch. He's way more interested in playing games with me than the puppy 2 doors down, or the children riding their bikes. It's just a matter or making myself more interesting than anything else. This is very important - he needs to be captivated by me, or his natural curiosity will lead him to find something else.

I wonder if installing something out back that would block Spirit's view would help? I know a fence is out of the question, but even a simple set-up with some vines growing - say peas - you want a veggie garden, right? Too bad your neighbors are unfriendly, otherwise both dogs could have so much fun. Some people. I personally wouldn't kennel my puppy while the neighbor's dog gets to run around free, I think he'd get too frustrated.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you, really.

You mean I can't just garden and expect Spirit to stay out of trouble? LOL I know.

I have company coming over this evening. We'll practice. My friend can stay on one side of the yard where BFF is and I'll see how ball games work with him on the order side. I do have a flirt pole too, lots of ways to play actually.

Going to set up my fire pit this evening too. Hoping we can have a nice, quiet evening by the fire.
 

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And that's a great idea about a garden boundary. I could put up a tal trellis over in the corner where BFF almost always is, because that's where the kids play on their trampoline. Full sun.

It may not be a whole solution, but it might help. It at least isn't going to hurt. Thanks!
 

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You're welcome! :) That fire pit idea sounds great, lol, I might do the same if it doesn't rain. Things will get better when Spirit matures, don't worry, lol. When I garden out front I always tie my puppy and give him a bone to keep him occupied. I have the odd horse ride by (cool, but it keeps me on my toes, lol) so I need to be vigilant. Have fun!
 

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Ok, you can put up something flimsy. Hmmmm. I am guessing that, like all of us money, and perhaps permanent fencing could be the issues as you are renting.

Here is what I did years ago, and I am sure it will be a little more expensive now, but definitely cheaper than something flimsy.

Go to Lowes or home Depo, and maybe tractor supply -- I know they have the fence pole tool. By some "T" posts and some rolls of horse fencing. About 8 years ago These were approximately $25 for a 25 or 50' 5' high role of fencing. The post hole thingy is a tool you put on top of the t or u-shaped post and lift it up and slam it down until the post is deep enough into the earth. I would figure a post for every 5-8' of fencing. They cost around $4. But that was a few years ago.

In my zip code at tractor supply, 5' studded T posts are $4.19.

5' x 100' of the horse fencing at tractor supply is $180.00.

Use your house for one side, and You can put up a 50'x 25' area. Figure 20 T posts at 4.20 each that's approximately another $100. And you might find this stuff cheaper -- this is NE Ohio -- not too terrible far from you if it is cheaper here.

You will need a gate. My dad and I built a gate with wood and some horse fencing. I do not suggest this. I suggest ordering a gate panel for the Doc Bob Kennel system from tractor supply. It will cost $100 and they work great. It is 5' wide and 6' tall, and most of that is gate panel, so you can still get a lawn mower or wheel barrel through it.

Ok, now is the trick. GSDs have been known to dig or climb. If you go out there with him every single second he is out there, then you needn't worry about it. Your obedience will be fine to keep him from molesting the fence. But if you do want to let him out here and there on his own, then this worked great for me:

I bought a small solar powered electric fence and a roll of aluminum wire.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp...ctric+fence&minPrice=&storeId=10151&viewType=

Hope the link works, but the solar charger is still $99, the aluminum wire is $26, and the t-post insulators are on that page, I think a couple of bags of them would be plenty -- 8.99 each.

Got to run now, but total cost to have a nice fenced in area -- and you can make it larger by adding more horse fencing and t-posts -- the electric fence will go for 2 miles -- will be, roughly, $525.

The nice thing about the electric wire is that the dog can see it and will adjust himself before reaching it. Mine would rush to the fence, stop, look for the wire and stay away from the wire. They respected it. I no longer have my wire up, as they learned to leave fences alone. Install the fence at least 12 inches off the ground so you can weed-wack the fence.

Hope that helps. Good luck. Other places might be cheaper.

ETA: it isn't permanent and can be uninstalled and will leave no permanent marks, so your land lord should not have an issue with it.
 

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Selzer, I was looking into that but I was looking at the little metal posts and I just didn't feel like it would be sturdy enough. That's what I was thinking about when I said flimsy.

The wood posts, I can definitely do that and it would be much stronger. A split-rail fence with wire mesh, that could work. But I have slopes to tend with, not sure how to do those.
 

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I am telling you what works for me. The T-posts (I think I used seven foot posts) are pounded into the ground, and quite sturdy. I have never had a failure due to dog or wind or wild beast from any of that fence. And when I added the privacy fencing, I pulled up some of that fence and re-used it to make the back area much larger.

Of course a dog out all day without the benefit of the electric wire might defeat the fence.

It really doesn't take away from your view either. You can hardly see the fence at all, from a distance. The dogs do not try to go after squirrels or marauding strays through that fence.

The privacy fencing I used was about 25$ for a 6'x8' panel. 2 4x4 posts are used to hold the panels up. These are set in concrete. This fence is not nearly as sturdy as the horse fencing. The dogs could chew through that fence in an afternoon without missing their nap. Thus, I don't leave them out in the yard on purpose anymore.

(Joy has been left out there a few times on accident, and she had no desire to test my fence, thank God.)
 
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