Leaning forward, I look out my window to see Dubhy the Scottie running the fenceline and barking madly at two black Laboratories who’ve drifted around from a distant neighbors house, still sporting the extraordinarily unsuccessful shock collars that should keep them home.
I’ve always wondered why . . . and suddenly I see it. There is an excellent opportunity that Dubhy has a strong negative ancient organization with black Labrador Retrievers as a result of his irregular but frequent encounters-of-the-fence-kind with our neighbors wayward dogs. Duh!
If a dog has had considerable chances to fence-jog, fence-fight, or simply bark madly when people pass by his lawn, it can be challenging to stop these behavior. Demanding direction of his surroundings to remove his “practice time” is critical.
In his well-known poem, Mending Wall, Robert Frost starts out by saying, Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. We could revise that marginally to say Something there is that doesn’t love a fence.
Fence-running, and its close cousin, fence-fighting, are expressions of obstacle discouragement, also called restraint discouragement.
Fence-running can fast become a COCD. He’s a course worn around the interior of our large lawn, which wasn’t there prior to his joining our family.
I don’t have any doubt that if Dubhy were a (shudder) backyard dog, he’d have serious issues. Instead, hes only outside when we are dwelling, and if he begins his fence-running behavior we interrupt it and bring him in. We’re lucky that our fence doesn’t conjoin any of our neighbors fenced in dogs, or we’d need to take much stronger steps to manage or retrain the conduct.
Restraint discouragement additionally quickly turns into aggression. Aggression is due to stress and pressure, easily activated by the arousal of fence-running. Some dogs who fence fight are amazing if they fulfill the same dog sans obstacle. Others, like Dubhy, may generalize their aggression to some or all dogs even when there is no fence present.
As dog owners become more and more responsible about keeping their dogs safe at home, the prevalence of fence-connected conduct issues increases. The obstacle is there, even if the dog cant see it, and the extreme punishment of the jolt the dog receives if he breaks the invisible obstacle can intensify the ensuing aggression.
Preventing Fence Aggression and Impediment Discouragement
It looks like you’re cursed if you do, and damned if you dont!
This really is a case where prevention and direction are greatly easier alternatives than training. There are numerous things you’ll be able to do to reduce the likelihood and chance for fence running and fighting. You can:
1. Install a robust fence
This really is the greatest alternative, albeit pricey, and in a increasing quantity of shortsighted communities, prohibited. If you block your dogs visual access to the stimuli outside his fences, hes unlikely to get aroused enough to start the undesirable behaviors. If you live in a no-fence community, you might want to consider moving.
2. Keep your dog inside
Dogs who are long-lasting outside residents are at high risk for fence-related behavior issues. You may find many reasons its not wise to leave your dog outside when you’re not dwelling; this is just one of them. If hes out while you’re away, hell get plenty of chances to practice fence-running and -fighting. The more he practices, the tougher the conduct is really to transform.
Do like we do with Dubhy: let your dog out in the lawn for little periods only when you’re house, and bring him in immediately if he begins the unwanted behaviors.
3. Eliminate the stimuli
Dubhys fence problems are actuated by stray dogs and itinerant cats. We removed the bulk of Dubhys fence running by embracing (with the neighbors approval) the neighbors cat who had taken up residence in our barn. We had Barney vaccinated and neutered, and brought him inside, solving a great percentage of Dubhys problem.
4. Modify your current temporary dog fence
If you might have a see-through fence, like the omnipresent chain-link enclosures common here in Tennessee, do something to allow it to be more sound. There are slats reachable as you’re able to skid into the chain link to block some of the visual stimuli.
You can attempt the slats to see if they work, and if not, line the interior of the fence with something to block his view fully. FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) is probably the most permanent choice, additionally the most high-priced and least visually poor. Other available alternatives might be plywood, or tarps, at least briefly.
5. Install an airlock, another pretty expensive choice that can discourage fence-fighting
An airlock is created by assembling another fence inside your present one to create a no-dogs land between your dog and your neighbors.
As an added benefit, this protects your dog from neighbor kids sticking fingers and potentially dangerous things through the fence. While a double obstacle can reduce genuine fence-fighting, I will be confident this choice would not have put a dent in Dubhys fence-running behavior.