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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, so I’m new to this forum! Very glad I found this because I’ve been running into an issue.

Of course GSDs are territorial and defensive of their home/family and I knew what I was signing up for. I have a 9 month old female that isn’t aggressive towards anyone in the house, my friends, or anyone when we are out of the house away from the property. But when she’s in the back yard she is extremely protective and barks at anyone walking by, cars passing, and my neighbors boardering my backyard. I assume they are just too close to the fense for her to feel comfortable.

She will bark and jump and I’ve watched her do this multiple times, before calling her in. She doesn’t look as if she’s attempting to get over the fense. Although they fear she’s going to jump the fense and attack them and are now threatening to call animal control.

I really would like to avoid a situation like that. She’s very sweet, and calm around people when we are out just today at a park, a little boy asked to pet her and hugged her, she was licking his face being friendly as usual. I don’t feel she is aggressive towards people anywhere but at the house.

I walk her every morning, I let her out back to play with our other dog usually mid day a few times and later to relieve herself for the night. But when the neighbors are out there she will bark and jump for a few minutes as they stand there. I call her in as soon as I see she’s barking at them, she barks at a lot of things so it’s hard to tell when she’s barking at them.

My question is, what am I doing wrong, what could I do to help her feel more confident and not bark at my neighbors, and if they decide to call animal control on her would there be anything they could do? When I’m outside with her she’s perfectly fine, it’s only when I leave that she starts barking at them and others. I don’t believe she would ever jump the fense and attack anyone, but I don’t want to take the risk of them calling and something happening to my puppy.

Thank you for reading, I know it’s a brick wall
 

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Ask them if she can meet them that might makes her at ease. She might be barking because she is being territorial.
 

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My dog is VERY dog reactive due to a scuffle with another dog a few months back. Everywhere. Except the backyard. I attribute him being good in the backyard to my six foot privacy fence AND the fact that I never left him outside alone when he was growing up (he just turned 1 in March). When we're outside in the backyard, it's playtime. I do training drills and use the flirt pole. He ignores my neighbors' dogs (on all three sides) even when they are barking at him. He's never developed a habit of barking in the backyard because he's obsessed with playing. When I'm engaged with him in the backyard, nothing else matters to him. He is laser focused on me and tunes everything out. This is a dog that would bark and lunge at people and dogs while out on walks. Although with consistent training, he may be almost over that period...lol.

Now, when I occasionally run inside for a bathroom break or to check on dinner and leave him outside, he still won't bark at the other dogs or people. He sits right outside my lanai with the flirt pole in his month waiting for me to come out. He will also run from one side of the lanai to the other trying to see me. He's like "Mom! Mom!! Hey Mom!!! I'm still here. Do you see me? I'm ready to continue playing. Mom? MOM!?!?" Who has time to bark at other dogs when he's trying to stalk his mom? LOL

If your dog is outside alone, it's too hard to correct or fix the problem. You have to be out there with him...one, to correct him and two, to redirect him so he learns a new way to behave. If this were me and I was dealing with irate neighbors, my dog would never be outside alone. He'd be on a long line so I could correct the behavior in the moment. If he's being doing this behavior for awhile, you will have to be very consistent in correcting/redirecting to establish new muscle memory. JMO

- Also, just because I have a privacy fence, some wooden slats are far enough apart that he can view the other dogs. He could technically go at the other dogs if he wanted to. He just doesn't. His only memory of being in the backyard is playing with me.
 

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My dogs bark at strangers but they never bark at neighbors. They have learned who belongs and who doesn’t. You need to be out there with her and stop when she barks at people who love there. Don’t let her continue to bark at the fence.
When I’m out there she won’t bark at them, she’ll stare and observe I can tell she’s interested in going over but won’t. It’s only when I leave her out unattended. I’ve introduced them to her and they’ve pet her, but that hasn’t seemed to change much. I would like to get her to the point where she can distinguish who belongs and who doesn’t.
 

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My dog is VERY dog reactive due to a scuffle with another dog a few months back. Everywhere. Except the backyard. I attribute him being good in the backyard to my six foot privacy fence AND the fact that I never left him outside alone when he was growing up (he just turned 1 in March). When we're outside in the backyard, it's playtime. I do training drills and use the flirt pole. He ignores my neighbors' dogs (on all three sides) even when they are barking at him. He's never developed a habit of barking in the backyard because he's obsessed with playing. When I'm engaged with him in the backyard, nothing else matters to him. He is laser focused on me and tunes everything out. This is a dog that would bark and lunge at people and dogs while out on walks. Although with consistent training, he may be almost over that period...lol.

Now, when I occasionally run inside for a bathroom break or to check on dinner and leave him outside, he still won't bark at the other dogs or people. He sits right outside my lanai with the flirt pole in his month waiting for me to come out. He will also run from one side of the lanai to the other trying to see me. He's like "Mom! Mom!! Hey Mom!!! I'm still here. Do you see me? I'm ready to continue playing. Mom? MOM!?!?" Who has time to bark at other dogs when he's trying to stalk his mom? LOL

If your dog is outside alone, it's too hard to correct or fix the problem. You have to be out there with him...one, to correct him and two, to redirect him so he learns a new way to behave. If this were me and I was dealing with irate neighbors, my dog would never be outside alone. He'd be on a long line so I could correct the behavior in the moment. If he's being doing this behavior for awhile, you will have to be very consistent in correcting/redirecting to establish new muscle memory. JMO

- Also, just because I have a privacy fence, some wooden slats are far enough apart that he can view the other dogs. He could technically go at the other dogs if he wanted to. He just doesn't. His only memory of being in the backyard is playing with me.
When we’re out there together it’s all eyes on me, playing tug of war, teaching new commands and reinforcing old ones. I’ll limit outside time only to walks and playing. And when I see her become distracted I will continue to correct it. From what I understand the issue is being outside alone or with the other dog. I have roommates that have their own dog and they don’t do much with her in regards to walks, playing, commands, I find myself trying to work with her as well, but sadly it’s tough to take the time between both of them, especially when It’s not my responsibility. I feel bad not letting them play together but I’ll be firm for the time being and keep it just me and her, or I’ll be out there supervising when they play and take her in when it’s time to go in.
I really appreciate the suggestions and advice. If there’s more to add or I’m missing anything please feel free.
 

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When I’m out there she won’t bark at them, she’ll stare and observe I can tell she’s interested in going over but won’t. It’s only when I leave her out unattended. I’ve introduced them to her and they’ve pet her, but that hasn’t seemed to change much. I would like to get her to the point where she can distinguish who belongs and who doesn’t.
I meant to type “live.” She’s only outside with you until she stops barking, then. Each time you leave her alone and she barks, she is rewarding herself.
 

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Not sure what animal control can do without knowing the laws in your city/county. Where I live it’d be a warning, at most a fine for breaking a noise ordinance but even that’s a stretch. To be safe, make sure she’s licensed.

Everyone else has covered everything else.
 

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Take her out in the yard on a leash. If she barks, you can correct her immediately. From there, take her out without a leash. She barks, she goes right back in the house. It is important to be on good terms with the neighbors. They should not have to put up with a dog yapping at them, while they are in their own yard.

Try to check to see if your neighbors are out there, prior to letting your dog out. I don't even want my dogs to be too interested in the neighbors. If I am there, I can distract my dogs.
 

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We're actually moving because of the neighbors dogs that bark incessantly if they see us or our dogs outside. We live in town so houses are fairly close, I just can't stand it. Please bring your dog in if you can't be out to monitor them.
 

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I know at 9 months my dog had a heightened sense of reactivity. Then again around 14 months. I will suggest right or wrong. Everytime the dog is outside you are outside. The dog reacts you body block, and have the dog sit in front of you. Having a leash of the dog is handy. The dog is not released until you have eye contact. The sit and stopping the reaction came quick the eye contact for release is taking time. I have to move back and forth blocking anything the dog looks at.
 

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How high and secure is your current fence? A 6 foot+ privacy fence might help prevent your dog from seeing some of the things that trigger her barking and make the neighbors feel more secure. Also, I don't know if they are recommended or effective as I've never used one, but there are different kinds of anti-barking collars available. I hate conflict, so I wouldn't let my dogs out in the yard when I wasn't home, and I would call the dogs in whenever I saw the neighbors outside or when the dogs started barking a lot.
 

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How high and secure is your current fence? A 6 foot+ privacy fence might help prevent your dog from seeing some of the things that trigger her barking and make the neighbors feel more secure. Also, I don't know if they are recommended or effective as I've never used one, but there are different kinds of anti-barking collars available. I hate conflict, so I wouldn't let my dogs out in the yard when I wasn't home, and I would call the dogs in whenever I saw the neighbors outside or when the dogs started barking a lot.
I agree about the fence. I think the privacy fence would work. It can be built right against your existing fence. But it will need to be 6 ft. high and well made, boards close together, and flush to the ground. Also be sure to get a gate that you can lock. I did the same thing but my situation was different than yours. I have 6 ft. chain link fence but the neighbor's dogs across the alley would come out charge at the fence when I had Sting who promptly charged back. It got to the point where Sting just had to hear their door open and out he went, it was the same for their dogs. Yes, I tried the training and I got him to the point where I could distract him but not always. I did not want to keep him inside when he enjoyed being out just because I couldn't be out there with him. When Sting got old, he fell running out to the gate when their dogs charged and couldn't get up without help and was sore for 3 days. I didn't want Baron to go through that so I had the fence built. Last fall, the alley side was done and Baron was only 10 weeks old, and the neighbors did keep their dogs away from the alley when he was that little. But once the privacy fence was up, there was no need. Interesting, that last month, the other sides were finished and Baron is nearly 10 months old. Well, one side is right up against my other neighbors' driveway. There was a gate with the old chain link and when Baron was a cute puppy, they would come out and put their hand through the gap and pet him. When he got older and bigger, Baron started to charge the fence when they came out. The privacy fence stopped all that. He totally ignores anything going on outside the backyard.
 

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When I’m out there she won’t bark at them, she’ll stare and observe I can tell she’s interested in going over but won’t. It’s only when I leave her out unattended. I’ve introduced them to her and they’ve pet her, but that hasn’t seemed to change much. I would like to get her to the point where she can distinguish who belongs and who doesn’t.
Sounds like you already have the solution. Supervise the dog. And the dog is young? So, if you are there to provide an example of how to act enough times, eventually as the dog grows up she'll be more likely to do this when you are not there if you ever have to step away for a minute.
 

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For the sake of the neighbors I was thinking of a bark collar also. Teach the Enough! or Quiet! command when she barks at people. Then when you are not out in the yard the antibark collar will reinforce it.
 

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We're actually moving because of the neighbors dogs that bark incessantly if they see us or our dogs outside. We live in town so houses are fairly close, I just can't stand it. Please bring your dog in if you can't be out to monitor them.
We are in the same boat, but it will be a while before we can move. I have profound hearing loss so you'd think I could ignore it, but it's yip yip yip for hours on end from our neighbors chihuahua. Our neighbor doesn't even like the dog himself. His ex got it for their young daughter before they split so he's stuck with it or end up being the bad guy if he rehomed it. This dog gets the others in the area barking too.

On a side note, is it legal to have large birds of prey as pets?
 

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Down on the Elk River of Oregon, a Schipperke was taken off a front porch by a Golden Eagle.
 

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We are in the same boat, but it will be a while before
we can move. I have profound hearing loss so you'd think I could ignore it, but it's yip yip yip for hours on end from our neighbors chihuahua. Our neighbor doesn't even like the dog himself. His ex got it for their young daughter before they split so he's stuck with it or end up being the bad guy if he rehomed it. This dog gets the others in the area barking too.

On a side note, is it legal to have large birds of prey as pets?
My neighbor has two small mixes that egg each other on. I don't know how she can stand to be in same house with that noise. Warm weather now so windows are open and it's worse. On the other hand we do have bald eagles in our neighborhood. (as long as the inspection passes, we only have a month to go).
 
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