Well, I was home for lunch today and out back with Angus, who is not allowed to fetch for the time being because of his hurt foot.
So, we were just hanging out together. Next door it sounded like Owen (neighbor's new puppy) was outside...I thought my neighbor had brought him out for lunch. Angus noticed it too, and headed towards the fence.
I was doing the usual "happy talk" for when they approach or are approached by other dogs, in an attempt to keep them light and calm and give the impression that it's something good, not anything to get upset about. I said something like, "Angus, who is that!" About that time both dogs started barking, and Angus really started going at the fence. Also about that time I realized there were two dogs over there, not just Owen.
I went over and positioned myself between Angus and fence, then climbed up to see over. It was not my neighbor over there, but the lady who comes to walk her dog. She had also brought HER dog along, a Schnauzer.
Once I was talking to the lady and she backed her dog away from the fence a bit, Angus calmed down and never made another peep. But she made a comment about "what kind of vicious dog do you have over there?" (Jokingly, but still).
Some background: Angus had gotten to be terribly bad about fence fighting at our other house, thanks to the most obnoxious, ill-tempered terrier and Chihuahua I've had the misfortune of meeting. They would just let them out of the house, unsupervised, and both of them would beeline for the fence and run up and down it barking like they wanted to get in and kill Angus. Great. It happened virtually every time Angus was in the backyard. So, thanks to the wonderful example they set forth, Angus became a very accomplished fence fighter.
They moved away before we did, and in this house we are on the corner. The only dog that will ever be beside our fence is Owen (or any other dog who lives there later). So, it occurs to me now that this could become a problem if they decide to build a fence for Owen. OR, it could become an opportunity to fix this once and for all...
I am sure I could talk my neighbor into whatever I wanted to do to set up and control the scenario. Any suggestions or thoughts about counter-conditioning for this?
I had visions today of both boys being out back, Owen coming to the fence, boys attacking the fence and, when that proved futile, turning on each other. They've done this with squirrels, so it's not far-fetched to think it could happen again.
Brief pity party: Why do I have such maladjusted dogs? It's not fair, as hard as I try.
/pity party off.
Sorry Connie, I don't have any ideas - but I hope you find some solution for this.
if it were me, i'd just deal with each situation as they might occur. are you worried because your boys spend time in the yard on their own where you wouldn't be there to get them to settle down? i really can't think of any way to condition them to supress this behavior. i could see taylor and penny behaving the same way if another dog came near our fence, while luke might show mild interest only.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
I don't know what to say either. I have a situation at my house with the neighbors dogs. They don't adjoin our property, but if I take my dogs on leash for a walk out on the road, which I like to do to keep up their leash manners, these two Shar Peis come bouncing off their fence snarling and barking and fighting the fence and each other trying to get to my dogs. I have spent a lot of time trying to train my dogs to walk calmly past their house and it's very hard. We cross the road so that we are not near their area but those two even scare me. Libby doesn't pay much attention anymore, but Willy has a hard time resisting their efforts to antagonize him. If the owners are home, they come out and take them inside, if they're not home those two end up fighting with each other. I'm not going in to stop them either. I don't think they're very friendly.
Well, that makes me feel a little better Sunjin - that mine aren't the only ones who would do this, and I consider your dogs to be extremely well-trained.
No, them being out alone isn't a really big concern. They are very rarely out there by themselves (almost never). When this first happened, at the other house, we would put Angus out back in the mornings while we were getting ready for work. Now they both get walked in the morning, then they're inside with us.
But, if they *were* out there by themselves, I can see something erupting quickly...and once it's started, it's difficult if not impossible to stop. It's one of those things where you really have to manage it, and not let it ever progress to that point I guess.
I would like for them to be able to spend some time back there on their own sometimes when I'm gardening out front or something...that was what I had in mind with landscaping the yard with non-toxic plants. I do think Simon would enjoy just hanging out outside. Angus is pretty happy just to be wherever the people are (usually indoors), but I sometimes have a hard time convincing Simon to come back in. He likes outside.
I guess I'll just have to see how it plays out and cross that bridge when I get there, as you said.
Mine don't really fence fight, but they will stand and bark at things outside their fence (our fence does not butt up against neighbors, but they see the neighbors dogs across the road).
You live in a HOA, correct? I remember you talking about the fence in the beginning, so you couldn't install, say, a solid wood fence?
When mine get into a frenzy, Remington will be the one most likely to "attack" and he goes for Ruger. But it is Magnum who dominates all and she only has to snarl at Remington and it's over.
Might I suggest getting a 3rd dog? A nice alpha bitch to keep your boys in line
LOL Linda! That is what I need. I have too many kings, but no queen to tell them what to do!
We do have a solid fence, six feet high. That's what all the bitching was about. The fence we had when we moved in was four feet high and aluminum, one of those strictly ornamental fences. Simon would have been over that in a heartbeat. So, we took it down and put up the wood fence. It's not solid-solid, but it's shadow box style and pretty darn hard to see through.
I just found a good article about fence fighting. From this, sounds like management is the best option:
is your backyard property completely fenced in or is there space around the fence line that is open? i'm wondering if you could plant prickly bushes in that area to deter other dogs, people, cats, etc. from getting right up to the fence. maybe it would help?
connie, luke-taylor-penny are troublemakers and maladjusted, too. they mostly look good and well behaved on camera.
"Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford
Dogs behind a fence (often on their own property!), have the same teritorium drift as they whould show if they are off the leash on a area they already know
So, his behaviour isnt at all strange in his opinion! .. He's just protecting his area
And yes, this behaviour is also verry good to train out ...