Dog Fence Fighting: Causes and Problematic Issues

Have you begun to notice that your dog, when outside in your yard, goes crazy at the fence and shows aggression toward anyone who passes even somewhat nearby? This general behavior is known in the dog training world as fence fighting, and it can be stressful for both owners and dogs themselves — luckily, if it’s becoming a common issue in your dog, there are things you can do to deal with it.

At Innovative K9 Academy, we’re here to serve as your comprehensive dog training experts, with everything from puppy school and group classes to private sessions — we even offer training for prospective dog trainers! What are some of the reasons certain dogs begin to fence fight, why is this a bad thing, and what can you do to curb this behavior? This two-part blog series will go over everything you need to know.

Reasons Behind Dogs Fence Fighting

There are several reasons why your dog may engage in fence fighting:

  • Protective instincts: One of the most common reasons is that dogs will fence fight as a way to protect their territory. This may be their home, yard, or even just a spot in the yard that they’ve claimed as their own.
  • Fear-related issues: In other cases, the instincts shown while fence fighting may be based more in fear than in territory protection. For example, a dog may see people or other animals walking by on the other side of the fence and become agitated, leading to barking, lunging, and even biting.
  • Barrier frustration: This term refers mostly to situations where your dog sees another dog they want to interact with, but then gets frustrated because of the fence between them. This can result in a lot of barking, whining, and clawing at the fence.
  • A “fun” hobby: In some rarer cases, your dog may even fence fight purely for the fun of it. This usually manifests as dogs who are extremely excitable and will bark, jump, and run around in a frenzied state when someone or something passes by on the other side of the fence.

Why Fence Fighting Should be Prevented

While fence fighting might sometimes just seem annoying, there are actually a few reasons why it can be harmful:

  • Possible danger: One of the biggest dangers of fence fighting is that it can lead to dogs becoming overly aggressive and potentially biting people or other animals. In some cases, this type of behavior can even result in a dog being euthanized.
  • Dog stress: Another issue is that fence fighting can be very stressful for dogs. This may lead to them developing anxiety or fear-related issues, which can be difficult and expensive to treat.
  • Destruction of property: A final problem with fence fighting is that it can often lead to dogs destroying property — such as the fence itself, or plants and gardens in the yard.
  • Leading to other bad behavior: In other cases, fence fighting may be a sign of other behavioral problems that need to be addressed. If your dog is constantly fence fighting, it’s important to take them to a professional trainer in order to figure out the root of the issue.
  • Disruptive: Finally, fence fighting can be disruptive both for the people living in the house and for passersby. This is because it often results in a great deal of noise, including barking and whining, as well as physical activity like running and jumping.

In part two of our series, we’ll go over how to address these issues in your dog, and how to train them so fence fighting isn’t an issue. For more on this, or to learn about any of our dog training programs or services, speak to the team at Innovative K9 Academy today.