One of the behaviors that we get asked the most about is fence fighting. If you haven’t heard the official term, ‘fence fighting’ is simply when two dogs in opposing yards, separated by a fence, growl and run and basically… well, try to get each other. It’s dangerous for your dog, loud, and can sometimes even getting you bitten when you try to deter it. So, how do you put a stop to this behavior? Today we’ll discuss dog training techniques that you can use to put a stop to fence fighting!
Why are dogs fighting through the fence, anyways?
That’s a good question! In rare cases you will get dogs that do this and yet they get along just fine when you put them together. In such cases, your dog is simply playing with the other. This is very rarely the case, however. In most cases your dog is getting worked up because they want to investigate and the fence is preventing them. After awhile, this association gets ingrained, and the very sight of the fence triggers an adrenaline rush and your dog decides to ‘take it out’ on the neighbor’s dog. It’s frustrating for everyone involved. So, how do you stop fence fighting?
Keep your dog away from the fence when the neighbor’s dog is out
If you are close with your neighbor, the simplest solution might be to agree on a schedule for when your dogs will be outside. This keeps the dogs from getting worked up and taking it out on each other and can keep the noise level down. While it is a simplistic solution, it is worth a go if you and your neighbor get along. If this is not an option, however, there are other ways to nip this behavior in the bud.
How to keep a dog away from a fence fight
The best way to put a stop to fence fighting is going to be blocking the neighbor’s dog from view. One way to do this is to build an ‘airlock fence’. If you are unfamiliar with the term, an airlock fence is simply another fence built a foot or so from the current one, designed to block the view of your neighbor’s yard from your dog. You only have to cover the portion of the fence where the dog is behaving badly so this can be a fairly inexpensive solution to your fence fighting problem.
How to keep dogs away from the fence: More options
If an airlock fence is not an option there are some other methods that you can employ to keep your dog from fence fighting. Some strategies that you can try are as follows:
- Citronella collar – One option that a lot of people are not aware of is citronella collars. These can be useful if the behavior is fairly new and not yet ingrained. So, how do they work? By use of a remote you can trigger the collar to emit an unpleasant scent. This gets your dog attention and you can then issue a command for the dog to come to you. Once they come to you, get them to sit and give them a treat. Try repeating this frequently for a few days and see if this makes a difference.
” You can remotely trigger the collar to simply beep or vibrate.”
- E collar – Before you panic, the e-collars of today are nothing like the first generation of e-collars. While they can deliver a light shock (equivalent to the pads used to relax muscles in massage therapy), with the right collar you can remotely trigger the collar to simply beep or vibrate. This gets your dog’s attention so that you can say ‘no!’ firmly. We recommend calling them to you and some brief play or training before repeating the process until your dog learns that fence fighting is inappropriate and will not be allowed.
- Distraction training – Simply associating a command word or even a sound like a whistle or a smooch with treats can help you to simply distract your dog the old-fashioned way. Get your treats ready and when the dog starts getting worked up, simply say your command or sound and call your dog to you. After awhile your dog will begin to associate staying away from the other dog with earning your favor and the behavior may be modified.
- Consider a professional trainer – If you’ve exhausted all avenues or simply don’t have the luxury of a lot of training time then a professional trainer might be the solution that you need. Trainers have a lot of socialization training options that may be employed to help reduce the chances of your dog getting overexcited at the sight of other people, dogs, or animals in general.
Exercise patience with this problem
9 times out of 10 when we hear about this problem the behavior has been in play for a long time. This is an important factor because once this is a habit it can take as long, or sometimes a little longer, to train your dog out of it. You will want to be very patient in this regard and even if you dislike your neighbor we’d really recommend having a talk with them. The odds are whether the two of you get along or not, the both of you are fond of peaceful evenings. So try to reach an accord that you can both work with so that both dogs have alternate schedules. The best solutions are the simple ones!
In this article we’ve discussed fence fighting in detail. From the why of it to various solutions that you can implement in order to deter the behavior. Dogs are very territorial by nature and when they get overexcited it can be dangerous to handle them, so make sure that you don’t grab them when they are fence fighting. Beyond this, be sure to try our tips and tricks and before you know it this behavior may be a thing of the past!